I live a sort of double life, maybe even a triple life. Let me explain. Currently, I have a full-time day job. I go to work Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4 pm. I also started a photo and video business called ItsLarryG Creations. When I’m not working on my actual job, I’m usually trying to work on my side job. In between all of that I have this, my personal brand. I craft blog posts and create self-motivated projects to make myself seem more interesting, self-motivated, and look good in front of the professional world and potential employers.
From the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, I am usually in constant thought about one of my three lives. I am constantly looking for new ideas and ways to improve. It’s just in my nature. Before photography and video gained a large portion of my time it was music. I play guitar, a little piano, and was teaching myself to be a music producer.
However, through all of that one thing remained constant, something I call the separation of person and state. The separation of person and state is the ability to disconnect from your persona to become a person again. It’s something similar to the separation of church and state. Being both, but not allowing one to completely influence the other’s decision making.
As an example, I try my hardest to keep Larryg.co personal and professional. I try to keep ItsLarryG Creations creative and fun. This separation, however, is beginning to weigh on me and my mental capacity and I want to discuss it here. As a creative human, I am interested in and fascinated by multiple things. I have different interests, hobbies, and things I’d like to pursue.
In theory, separating my interests into their own segments seems logical. I put photo and videos in one bucket, I put professionalism in another bucket, I put personal in another bucket and so on. But what happens when you have 10 buckets? You run out of arms to carry them or space to put them. Things like ideas and deadlines get crossed and mixed up and essentially you burn out or become overwhelmed.
This is what I’m trying to avoid. I think of Gary Vaynerchuck. He has the Gary Vee brand, his personal brand. Next to that, he has Vaynermedia, VaynerSports, One37pm and now Empathy Wines. All of those entities exist separately, but he uses his personal brand to promote them all.
Whenever Gary has a new idea or venture or something to talk about, it comes from his personal brand. He’s using that brand as leverage to promote and grow the others. He’s always going to be Gary whether he’s Gary the CEO of Vaynermedia or Gary the creator of Empathy Wines.
I believe that his example is a great one to experiment and try. If you listen to Gary for only a short amount of time, you’ll know his story. He built a persona as a wine guy and transferred that knowledge into building his own marketing agency and from there grew and created his personal brand. While a lot of people rag him for his high energy and repetitiveness, it’s working.
He speaks a lot about patience and doubling down on one thing. As someone who is multifaceted and creative, it’s a little difficult for me to give all of my time and energy into one thing. My question is how can I grow my professional personal brand while also growing my company brand? The answer I keep coming back to is to combine them.
As long as they are separated, one will suffer. As a team of one with a full-time job, I cannot afford to be pulled in 3/4 different directions. It’s taxing mentally and professionally. I’m not exactly sure what changes are going to happen, but changes are coming.
Unlike a separation of church and state, a separation of person and state cannot survive, grow, and thrive without a team behind them. They must grow together. In the coming weeks and months, ItsLarryG Creations will begin to merge with LarryG.co. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I’m sure that they need one another to grow successfully.