How to ruin your Personal Brand

Total failure or a well-thought of tactic?

Or how Fernand Huts builds/ruins his Personal Brand

Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

I love that quote from Dr. Seuss.

Every time I’m afraid to leave the comfort zone…

Every time I’m afraid to be visible

Every time there is something holding me back writing a blog post or shooting a video


Scary it is, building your Personal Brand.

“What will people think about me?”

“What gives me the right to say this?”

“Will people think I’m a bragger”

“Or my goodness, will they think I’m a stalker?”


Do you sometimes have that feeling too?

I guess so.

I am sure I am not alone.

Lots of my clients are afraid to build their Personal Brand because of this.

Lots of people resent Personal Branding and come up with these (lame?) excuses


And then, I remember dear Dr. Seuss.


It’s helped me to grow from an introverted ugly duckling into a woman on a mission (inspiring and enthusing people to grow and never be small again) who uses Personal Branding to achieve that ambition.


Authenticity is the keyword here.


So hurray for Dr. Seuss.


Question is:

“Can you exaggerate being yourself and saying what you want in a way that it harms your Personal Brand?”


I guess so.


What about Fernand Huts, CEO of Katoennatie. He is one of the richest entrepreneurs in Belgium and doesn’t really need Personal Branding to get some attention. He is famous, all right. Not only because he organizes mediaeval parties and buys extremely expensive art.


A couple of days ago he explained that there is a lack of entrepreneurship in our country because modern women ask too much from their husbands. These men need to be the “new man” and that doesn’t leave them with a lot of time to be an entrepreneur.


You can guess the reactions in the media.


I wonder…..

Is this an example of old fashioned macho-sexism or is he just giving his well-intentioned point of view on the entrepreneurship issue?


Who knows?!


Anyway, that’s not the debate I want to have here.

I am more interested in what the effect is on Fernand Hut’s Personal Brand.

Everyone knows him now.


So having a strong opinion has an effect on your Personal Brand.

It puts you on the map.

Untitled design (10)

So you might even consider to make a controversial statement or to “blunder” that has no huge consequences but makes you known.


  • Everybody knows (well in Belgium, that is) Minister Muyters now and his great mathematical skills 🙂
  • Some of you might remember Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake’s “blunder” in the 2004 Superbowl show – the so-called nipplegate
  • Oh, and you have to love Bill Clintons “blooper” at the press conference with Yeltsin.
  • What about Donald Trump’s opinions. From respected entrepreneur to “opinionated” presidential candidate. Now there’s an example of rebranding.
  • And a last funny one from thé king himself Elvis Presley. Some think he’s laughing with the background singer, but he’s not. Find out (if you don’t know yet) what’s the real reason 🙂


Brings me to one of my other favorite mottos: “Don’t take yourself too seriously” 🙂


Anyway, you can build a Personal Brand with 1 great one-liner or quote.

Or with blunders & bloopers.

Or a controversial opinion.


But I’d advice to keep it decent and respectful when you decide to swim against the tide.

Don’t you?


Your turn, what do you think about blunders?

And please do share some other juicy examples 🙂


4 thoughts on “How to ruin your Personal Brand”

  1. Blunders zijn fouten en fouten leren ons iets. Leren met schade en schande zeggen ze ook in ons streek. Groeien met vallen en opstaan. Enz.
    Schaamte is 1 van de grootste obstakels evenals ons ego. Als je verder kijkt dan enkel jezelf wordt het steeds duidelijker. Degene met de langste tenen hebben hoogst waarschijnlijk zelf nog maar de minste stappen gezet. Ik heb meer respect voor iemand die de moed heeft om fouten te durven maken dan iemand die niks durft te ondernemen uit schrik om een fout te maken en er voor afgerekend te worden. Stel u een wereld voor met enkel maar bangerikken, volgens mij dan slechts nog maar een dode en versnipperde wereld. Deze comment is waarschijnlijk in verschillende hun ogen een blunder, so what.

    1. Completely agree – falen mag, moet zelfs. Face your fears and go for it! Wat is het ergste dat je kan gebeuren? een deukje in je ego? 🙂

  2. Geert Vermeir says:

    Branding = your one-liner mission

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