There Are Some Who Call Me "Tim"
I've always taken issue with my name. Tim Johnson. There's only... what... a zillion of us on the planet? No offense to my parents... they sort of came with the name "Johnson" so that wasn't really up for debate. And the name "Tim" was a relatively commonly regularly-overused name back in the mid-sixties... why not? Actually, as I've gotten older, I have found I prefer my given name, Timothy, over the shortened version, but still... not helping much in the distinguishing factor.
Let's review, shall we? In the Tim/Timothy Johnson category, there are a Senator from South Dakota, a Congressman from Illinois, the Director of Antz and Over The Hedge (now I know why I liked that movie so much), the producer of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the medical editor for Good Morning America, and the Correspondent for the Washington Bureau's Beijing Office. A few of the lesser known in the all-inclusive club of Tim Johnsons are an associate music professor at Ithaca college, a linebacker (for either Baltimore or Oakland, but he's not showing up on either roster), the captain of the New Zealand Wheel Backs Wheelchair Rugby Team. And let's not forget the rabid dog in To Kill a Mockingbird... his name was Tim Johnson also.
Growing up, there was a Tim Johnson a grade ahead of me who managed to get into more trouble than Imus at a Diversity conference. During my undergrad years, there was a sociology professor, and we got each other's mail on a regular basis. There's around two dozen of us in the Des Moines metro phone book, with whom I've been confused on the basis of credit ratings, arrests/legal issues, mail, and death (yes, I supposedly died a couple of months ago, prompting a plethora of ads for memorial stones to arrive at our house).
AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRG!!!! How does one develop a personal brand in a crowd this large? (Minus, of course, the recently deceased one.)
- I blog. This alone has catapulted me to the top page Google searches on both Tim Johnson and Timothy Johnson.
- I am who I am. Before I was hired on at Drake, I ran into Dr. Delaney Kirk (who was instrumental in my hiring). She was my professor way back when, and we had not seen each other or talked in about six years. When I commented my surprise that she remembered me among all the names and faces, she gave me that deadpan look for which she is famous and simply replied, "Tim, when somebody rides a skateboard into my classroom as part of their final presentation, I don't soon forget them." I guess my personality creates its own unique brand... (lest we forget the bunny suit)... enough said.
What about the rest of you? Even those with less-than-common names... what are you doing to promote your personal brand? Will people remember you in six years? What about in six days? Six minutes? Just some thoughts to ponder on a Saturday night.