Don't fence me in: branding advice for the multi-talented

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Through a wonderful series of events including the recent Personal Branding Summit, I exchanged emails with Marci Alboher, columnist and blogger for the New York Times.  Marci wrote a book called One Person/Multiple Careers: How the Slash Effect Can Work for You.  She chronicles the careers of people who are multi-talented, such as a school teacher/model and psychotherapist/violin maker. 

I know that this "slash" phenomenon affects many of my readers and clients who squirm, protest and outright rebel when asked choose a primary focus for their business.  Through my work with branding expert Suzanne Falter-Barns, I have spent many hours on the phone and in online forums pleading with multi-talented people to narrow their focus.

Marci asked if I would write a guest post on this topic for her New York Times blog Shifting Careers.  And it is live today  – check it out!

While researching for this post, I looked up the most prominent "slasher" of the moment, 4-Hour Workweek’s Tim Ferris.  Much to my surprise, his site turned up a video of a Google Talk with him and Marci, discussing their respective books.  I really enjoyed their conversation.

Thanks Marci for the opportunity to guest write your column!  I had to pinch myself this morning when I saw my mug smiling under the New York Times masthead. 🙂 

3 Responses to “Don't fence me in: branding advice for the multi-talented”

  1. Zayne S Halsall says:

    Embedded video not available? Do you have any other URL?

    Here you go Zayne:

    If that doesn’t work, just go to YouTube and search “Marci Alboher.” The correct video is the first to come up.


  2. Hi Pam!
    It’s been a while, but I had to comment on your guest blog post. I would be all smiles too. I love Marci’s blog and articles and I am so excited that you two have teamed up.

    I just love the synergy that blogs create. And when I see that when of my favorite bloggers hooks up with another fave blogger, it makes me feel like I am on the right path.

  3. Pam:

    Congratulations on your featured guest post. You make very good points on a fascinating topic. My two cents on it are that we all have many interests and talents, however we don’t necessarily have to turn them all into a business. I think the problem comes when we try to attach a business model to everything we do.

    There are, however, ways to do it. I recently profiled a remarkable individual in my blog. His name is G. Kofi Annan and his story ( ) can give us a hint on how we can converge many of our different interests in one business and brand.

    For example, he is using his sense of fashion to launch a trendy clothing line that at the same time is a vehicle to fulfill another one of his passions: to change the negative stereotypes about Africa.

    Over time, he will turn this talent and experience into helping other entrepreneurs tackle difficult branding problems.

    There you have it. Three very different interests and talents: fashion, social activism and marketing consulting all working together in synergy, without a conflict and consistent with the personal brand he wants to create.

    Congratulations again and all the best.