It’s sublime that the little word “brand,” which we toss about so lightly these days, has definitions that are horrific when juxtaposed: A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name, and an identifying mark burned on livestock or criminals or slaves with a branding iron.

The internet has made it so that no matter who you are or what you do — from 9-to-5 middle managers to astronauts to housecleaners — you cannot escape the tyranny of the personal brand. For some, it looks like updating your LinkedIn connections whenever you get promoted; for others, it’s asking customers to give you five stars on Google Reviews; for still more, it’s crafting an engaging-but-authentic persona on Instagram. And for people who hope to publish a bestseller or release a hit record, it’s “building a platform” so that execs can use your existing audience to justify the costs of signing a new artist.

~ Rebecca Jennings from,

No one has to go in for being personally branded (in the marketing sense. And it should go without saying, but I will anyway, that no living thing should ever be branded in the physical assault and torture sense.) Everywhere, I do my best to show up just as me.

I don’t try to ram everything down everyone’s throat. I don’t need a personal brand, because I’m not selling myself—I’m not marketing me. Anyone, across everything I do, can easily figure out how to engage with whatever it is that I create, and if that involves paying me, that’s easy enough to figure out. I’m just working with the garage door up. Hi, I’m Craig. This is what I did yesterday, do in general, or am doing today.