The 92,000 Hour (30-Day) Personal Branding Challenge #92khrs

The 92,000-hour challenge is a personal branding exercise that was birthed at Brand Camp – NYC on Tuesday, May 24th as a method to get people (Human Brands) to re-think our life work (or what we were designed to do.)

What’s the significances of 92,000 hours?

The average person lives 78 years in the United States, which translates, to 683,200 hours that a person will live.  Many people are starting to eat healthy and working out so many individuals will live beyond the average life expectancy.  The two biggest activities a person will engage in, in their life is sleeping and working.

If a person works from age 21 until age 65 and works 40-hours per week they will work 92,000 hours. The data shows us that the average person will work past age 65 and works more than 40-hours per week.  So the number 92,000 hours really represents the minimum number of hours that a person will work in their life.

How the Challenge Works/Requirements

Here is how the 92,000-hour challenge works.  For the next 30-days, starting June 1, 2011 we are going to work on fleshing out our life purpose by creating a bucket list.

  • Identify an Accountability Partner: You must identify an accountability partner.  Your accountability partner will help to keep you accountable to following through.
  • Get Listed: Add your name to the 92,000-hour challenge Google Doc list.  The purpose is to develop a community of people that will be catalyst who will help us better understand what we were designed to do (optional) - (Must Request Access to be included on the list)
  • Use the Hashtag: Use the hashtag #92khrs when you share your content in Twitter so that we can track comments.
  • Create Weekly Blog Post: Each week you are required to publish at least one blog post whether it is video or text and share it via Twitter with the hashtag #92khrs.
  • Create a Bucket List: The output is to create a bucket list of things that you believe that you would like to spend your 92,000 hours doing.

Weekly Blog Post Topics

  • Topic #1- When I Grow Up: Create a list of what you wanted to be when you grew up! Identify the dreams you had when you were younger before people grown ups told you your dreams were not possible.
  • Topic #2- Skill Set: Identify your skill sets and create a skill set inventory (This is not a list of things that you do on your current job.)
  • Topic #3- Idea Job Description: Create your idea job description and work environment.  Think about this from the perspective of being your own boss.
  • Topic #4- Side Project: Create a side project that you could work on to give you some real world experience doing what you dreamed off.

Launch Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

End Date: Friday, July 1, 2011

Why are we doing this in a public domain?  The reason is to make you and me more accountable.   Making a public statement creates positive peer pressure and will help us stay committed to following through for the next 30-days of the challenge.

Please leave a comment if you plan on participating in the 92,000 hr personal branding challenge.

Add your name to the 92K Hours Challenge List in Google Docs: (Must Request Access by clicking the link)


How You Spend Your Time in 2010: 22% in Social Networks

As the year is coming to an end it is a great time to review goals, financials and the value of our time. Which leads me to one of the most important questions how did you spend your time online in 2010.

A large portion of our lives are shared online: So between messaging, commenting, sending emails, blogging and conducting online searches, etc., as a society we spent approximately 25% of our lives online (this translates into 5.5 hours a day.) What did this mean to your personal brand? Did the time you spent online help to grow business, your career opportunities, or help you position that side project that you were working on. In the area of personal branding one of the key components is the value of your minute. According to Nielsen report in 2010 here is how we spent our time online.

The Breakdown

  • 5.5 Hours Online per day
  • 22.7% Spent on Social Networks (Facebook #1 destination)
  • 10.3% Online Games
  • 8.3% Email
  • 3.9% Videos
  • 3.9% Online Search

As we embark on a new year how will you plan your time management goals for 2011? Remember success is a planned activity it doesn’t happen by default. There is less than a week left in the 2010 and many people have packed it up for the year? Well the year isn’t over yet. It is the perfect time to prepare for 2011. Below are a few ways to start preparing for 2011

  • Brand Insights – An experiential personal and corporate branding workshop for 15-people in FD Lofts in Detroit Eastern Market – 01/20/11 with Hajj Flemings (Founder of Brand Camp) and Matthew Kruchko (Managing Director of Applied Storytelling).
  • Mind Mapping iThoughtsHD is a mindmapping iPad app that will import and export mindmaps to and from many of the most popular desktop mindmap applications such as Freemind, XMind, Novamind, MindManager, MindView, iMindmap and PDFs.
  • Goal Setting – Establish measurable goals for 2011.
  • Finalize Pending Projects – Many of us have projects that have been started and not completed.
  • Side Project – Start working on a New Project to launch the beginning of next year.
  • Re-Evaluate Resources – To increase your productivity in 2011 look to add a virtual secretary or outsource some functions to be more productive.

What did your time translate into in 2010? How does it affect your bottom line?

Let me know what you are doing to plan for 2011!!


Staying Invigorated and Forever Young

Keeping Yourself Young

One of the lessons that I received over the weekend, had to do with keeping your faith young. In most cases when we reach maturity in things we do, we are at our best. However being young in something doesn’t always have to be a direct correlation with immaturity.

I recently came a across a slide show that I put together for a really good friend’s wedding. On the soundtrack is a great song, called Forever Young, by Rod Stewart. Although the lyrics seem to be targeted towards a relationship with a son or daughter, I felt the song generally inspires us to stay young.

I strongly feel this is how we should approach our personal brand. Staying young in heart and mind allows you to stay invigorated, passionate, and most important – teachable. As we mature in life, some of the ways to maintain youth is to continue to learn different things that allow you to sharpen your skills and your knowledge base. Here are a few more things to consider:

Pay Attention to Accidental Inspiration
Although I think it is necessary to be purposeful in everything we do,inspiration and creativity many times is accidental. For instance a combination of experiences allowed for me to be inspired to write this post as explained above.  I think it is always good to keep the juices flowing by mixing up the monotony and allowing yourself to be inspired by your experiences. Allowing yourself to be open to different genres and creating new relationships are good ways to mix things up. Just like a fruit smoothie, if you don’t mix it up you will find that all the good stuff is at the bottom.

Be Prepared for a Pivot
Good entrepreneurs are always ready for a potential pivot. Sometimes you start a business or initiative going in a specific direction. However things in the market could change or your customer evolves and you find that you have to take your idea in a different direction. To be prepared for a pivot you have your hand on the pulse of the market and be prepared to make a pivot in another profitable direction. Changing directions sometimes requires energy; it helps to stay young in the mind and be able to learn new things. This can apply to career’s and passion projects as well.

Maintain Momentum
Sometimes it is natural for us to get comfortable and on auto-pilot with our day-to-day responsibilities. Keeping our batteries charged through rest and recuperation, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and constantly staying in practice allows us to keep up with the pace of our purpose in life.

These are things that can edify your day-to-day duties on-the-job or business, relationships with your spouse and kids, and in our friendships. Stay Invigorated and Forever Young.

Inspiring @Pantene Commercial: Deaf & Mute Girl Learns to play the Violin

What inspires you in life? This Pantene commercial is about a deaf and mute girl that learns to play the violin against all odds. What challenges do you face in life that you complain about? If she can overcome the odds in her life what is stopping you?

Choose to be different and live your dreams. Don’t live your life to just be like others.

Personal Branding with Skype

Skype Social Media Workshop with Hajj E. FlemingsOn Saturday, February 27th I had the opportunity to teach a social media session, “Closing the Digital Divide” for @PowerOrgMATH who conducted an on-site workshop for students and parents in the Columbus Ohio area. One of the best parts of this session is that I was able to participate from Michigan via Skype . Based upon my positive experience I thought I would post a blog about ‘Personal Branding with Skype’.

Historically I haven’t been a heavy Skype user.  My recent usage of this tool has exposed me to the significant personal branding opportunities. The power of this tool is not that it gives you that cool Jetson type feel, but its ability to connect people in different locations while providing a face-to-face interaction real-time.

Understand it is a free tool  and you are only as good as your internet connection and hardware.

Skype Basic Set-Up
To get started download the free-of-charge Skype software.  You will need to set-up a profile, have access to an internet connection and some basic hardware:  laptop/desktop computer/mobile device, web cam, headset, and recording software (the recording software is only required for recording audio and/or video).

Skype Profile

Hajj E. Flemings Skype Profile
•    Skype Handle - I recommend establishing a Skype handle (which is your number or contact) using a name that is consistent with your other social network profiles.  (My Skype handle is ‘HajjFlemings’ which is my real name).
•    Avatar – Use the consistent avatar that you used across all of your social networks (actual photo).
•    Bio – Brief bio that should be consistent with your other social networks.

If you are a high profile person, celebrity, or have stalker concerns use a Skype handle and profile that is appropriate and safe for you.


Web Cams –  Only required if video is being enabled.  One of the best web cams is the  Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000.

Headset –The headset is strongly recommended for recording purposes.  The biggest  factor that will go into the type of headset you will need is the type of device you will using (desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone).  I would recommend you doing some research.  I personally have a Plantronics.

Recording Software – The personal branding value is maximized when the video functionally is ultiized.  To record you have to download a third party application.
I have listed a few different options.

•    Vodburner (PC Only)
•    Call Recorder for Macs
•    Screenflow – Screenflow is a screencasting software that can be used to capture the video is a cool application that a friend of mind Henry Balanon swears by.

Personal Branding Value:

In the example I used I was able to extend my reach to a group of educators that were outside of  my network with no cost to me except my time.

Products that can be produced from Skype
•    Audio Podcasts
•    Video Podcasts
•    Video Interviews
•    Workshop Presentations

Value Provided By Using Skype
•    Extend your network
•    Extend your reach
•    Reinforces your relevance in the new media space.
•    Its FREE!!! It saves you money and time.
•    Sharable content if recorded, uploaded and linked to.

I hope this short blog post opened up your eyes to the possibilities of using Skype as a personal branding tool.  Please share your thoughts in the comments section about how you have used Skype as a personal branding tool.

The Super Bowl Guide to Building Brand Buzz

Here are 5 unique ways to create your own buzz, observed from Super Bowl XLIV brand advertisers.

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Brand Camp ’09: Personal Branding 2.0 Conference Wrap-Up


What happens when you get a collection of true thought leaders, entrepreneurs, storytellers, tweeters, visionaries and a world-class athlete in a single room?  You get the Brand Camp ’09 experience: engaging conversations with like-minded people that inspire change and transform gray matter with each spoken word and each character of every tweet.

Why Detroit?  Detroit is a blue collar, manufacturing town that was built on the back of the automotive industry which was the Silicon Valley of its day. The cheese has moved and Detroit is currently going through a brand crisis.  It is the perfect location to discuss how social media, personal branding and passion is changing the way we work and live.

Super Heroes/Professors

The list of Rock stars that rocked Lawrence Tech University providing nutrious content for attendees to consume for 7-hours and shared in short 140 character burst of information.


Mitch Joel, Ken Brown, Scott Monty, Rohit Bhargava, Hajj E. FlemingsValeria MaltoniApril Holmes,  and Robert (Bob) Fish (Not Pictured)

What others are saying about Brand Camp ‘09

Is Brand Camp a conference, an experience, or a movement? Only time will tell, but for now it is a passionate community of early adopters who are growing their personal brands and businesses with social media.


Brand to the Beat of a Different Drummer

3002687604_081a257ee5_oIn today’s job market, job seekers inevitably want to get hired and are constantly seeking new and unique ways to brand themselves so to stand out from the crowd. However, with so many professionals trying to establish their personal brands off and online, it may seem that it is becoming increasingly challenging to stand out and get noticed in one’s industry or area of expertise and interest.

I reached out to fellow job seekers and career experts for effective personal branding tips that could help you distinguish yourself to your chosen and targeted audience of employers, and here are some top tips that I compiled to share with you today:

Learn or Master a Skill

Focus on your area of expertise that you want to be known for. Stick to what you’re good at, and then make it even better it. How? For starters, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Don’t go to the local non-profit organization and volunteer your time, joining its marketing team to end up doing whatever task comes your way. Take control of the direction of your marketing project. Go online, research, and commit to learning one new focused skill; pick a skill that increases your value in your expertise. This is your new job for now. Really commit to it, and spend the time it takes to learn it. Master it. Then, go to someone in your target audience, and offer that skill to them to solve a problem. Show them how you can help them; offer them your solution. Make it the best. Wow them with it. - Maren Finzer,

Write a Book

I’ve been lecturing and writing about careers for quite a while now and the best branding advice I can give is this: write a book. Or, an e-book at least. Choose a unique title to enhance your branding efforts. Include the e-book when job-applying online. Ideally, you can afford to have an actual book printed and can include it with your resume when you’re being interviewed in person.  Don’t let the idea a writing a book deter you–books nowadays don’t fit the traditional definition. They can be a collection of blog articles. Or, short manuscripts. (I’ve been some that have fewer than 30 pages, some of which contain a simple quotation.) You could even outline the knowledge/expertise that brands you and hire a ghostwriter. - Marlene Caroselli,

Plan an Event

Plan a local event for your industry. Sounds crazy, right? With the popularity of “un-conferences” growing, it’s possible for anyone to plan an event for their industry.  Local project manager Jason Brett planned ProductCamp Atlanta. He recruited sponsors to pay for the food and facility. He invited everyone he knows in the industry. 200 people RSVPed for the free event and 185 people attended. It was held on the Georgia tech campus, which provided ample parking and free wireless access. Jason used consistent branding for himself and for the event – so that his name became well-known throughout the community. Jason received a job offer within 30 days of the event. - Brandy Nagel

Use Video

Because personal branding is just that –personal– one of the most effective tools we teach our clients is to allow potential employers (or customers) that “VIP-Access to get to know you” via use of video.  We encourage our clients, for example, to produce a 6-part series of 60 second videos sharing relevant information to not only show their expertise, but also to allow others the chance to understand their personality and build a following.  Potential employers start to like you before you’ve even met face to face.  Suddenly, you are walking into an interview where everyone has already watched your carefully built You Tube channel and vlog posts (they watched it while you slept) and they feel like they know you.  You are a friend on their doorstep, while the other candidates are strangers they’ve never met.  And you know the rule about that.  Never talk to strangers. - Aly & Andrea,

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of personal branding insight!

Chris Perry is a Gen Y Brand and Marketing Generator, a Career Search and Personal Branding Expert and the Founder of Career Rocketeer, the Career Search and Personal Branding Blog.


Official Brand Camp ’09: Conference T-Shirt Release


Today we released the official design for the Brand Camp ’09 graphic tee design.  The Brand Camp Conference t-shirts will follow the Air Jordan tradition and every year we will drop the hottest social media conference t-shirt design in the land.  Be apart of the Brand Camp shirt genealogy and get your social media lifestyle wear.

Brand Camp II (2009): Design Specs:

  • Design:  The design integrates: “I Grustle all Day.” and “Brand Camp”
  • Garment: American apparel 100% cotton garment will be used for a great fit.
  • Colors:  Brown/Yellow/White

Note: To get your Brand Camp ’09 t-shirt you have to attend the conference. : )


Who Owns your Personal Brand? The Employer or the Person.

Who owns your personal brand sounds like a 17th century concept when people owned other people. In the 21st century the social web, individuals and brands are driving the conversation on who owns your personal brand. So I start this post by posing a question can anyone own your personal brand?

I would argue that you own your personal brand and the qualities that make you interesting and irresistible. This argument begins to blur when you start talking about your digital identity and personal digital network.

Let’s start off by defining personal branding.

Definition of Personal BrandingIt is the process of identifying what makes you unique and authentically packaging and communicating your story in a way that creates value and helps you to solve a problem.

Personal branding in a digital world has become a necessary evil whether you subscribe to the theory or not for the following reasons: (1) the content consumption habits of people and corporations have changed, (2) the instability of the job market and (3) shortcut for talent seekers (small businesses, employers, and educational institutions).

Qualities that Successful Personal Brands Possess

o Operating in your Genius – If you take a highly successful person and they lose their wealth, their career success is diminished, or job the true essence of who is what will enable them to make bounce back regain what they lose. True genius is not in how much money you have made but in understanding an identifying the following three points:

• How you are wired – Understanding how you think and operate.
• Platform/Space – Identifying our area of expertise.
• Business Model – Identifying a method or process for how your ideas makes money.

o Unique Personal DNA – No company or entity can own your character, personality, or creativity; they can only have the opportunity to own what you have created.

o Creativity – A corporation can never own your creativity, they can lease your creative juices. They can own the ideas you create during your working relationship.

The Personal Brand Benefits Breakdown (Quick Snapshot)

There can be a mutually beneficial engagement between personal brands to the employer.



Who benefits from the personal brand when it operates within the employer brand? The employers primary benefit is identifying talent.

Employer Brand
o Awareness – Helps identify potential candidates for a position.
o Data Points – Provide more information to make an informed decision on a potential candidate.
o Network – Maybe. Depending on your job responsibilities your network could be an asset. It is a big ‘if’.

Personal Brand
o Awareness – Helps potential employer identify you.
o Value – Helps you to package yourself so that you can fully leverage your talent.
o Digital Footprint (On-line) – Helps make you searchable.

In conclusion change is the order of the day and the following four issues will have to be dealt with policies, people, responsibilities, and cultural change.

o Policy versus People – Is there a risk? The answer is yes concerning person and employer brands. The fact that you are apart of the company it is no longer perfect and proper guidelines have to be set so that people can operate successfully. Shining the brass on the Titanic or creating policies that override the value and good of using social media, like with ESPN will have to be addressed.

o Corporate Guidelines – Coming soon to an employer near you are corporate guidelines for employee engagement with the social web.

o Responsibilities – There is a two way street with the employer and the employee to be socially and ethically responsible.

o Fear – Fear of the unknown. This is new territory so there are a lot of unknowns concerning the usage of social media in corporate structures.

“Despite that social technologies can improve customer relationships, the risks may be too great for some companies to bear, as a result, some corporations will shy away from allowing employees to have personal brands.”
Jeremiah Owyang

Brands are ultimately powered by people so it is unrealistic to think that people won’t benefit from the social interaction of social media in a job context. Employer and personal brands can co-exist, much of the value for the employer is in identifying the talent unless there is a direct connection between your job function and your network that impact the bottom line.

At the end of the day cream always rise to the top, just like great athletes find a way to impose their will on the game. For example Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is unstoppable you don’t have to set a million screens or run plays for him he will score period regardless of who is guarding him. Stars make it happen. If you take away the engagement of personal brands within an employer brand the stars will rise I guarantee you.


Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Great Minds, originally uploaded by bobsd46.

Influencers, thought leaders, and creatives see the world 180 degrees from everyone else.  There is an old clique that states ‘Great Minds think a like’ which I happen to disagree with. Great minds despise good and become great.  Great minds not only don’t think alike they are not equal they challenge lesser minds, status quo, the fear of failure, and mediocrity. It is the great minds give us creative and innovate products that we didn’t realize we wanted until we saw them.

Revolutionary Ideas from Great Minds

o    Netbooks – They made laptops lighter, smaller and more cost effiencient.  (Netbooks will account 20% of laptops globally sales in 2009)
o    Twitter – Builds brands in 140 characters or less. (Twitter has gone mainstream and has a growth rate of 1,382%)
o    ESPN – 24-hour sports station started by Bill Rasmussen in 1979 with $9,000. (This was before CNN and MTV)

What if Apple focused on owning the MP3 market?

This blog post was birth from my recent purchase of the iPhone.  I begin to think about Apple and how they owned 75% of the mp3 market.  Why didn’t Apple focus their energy on continuing its dominance of the mp3 market?  Apple realized there was a greater opportunity with mobile devices and were not afraid to shift.

“Great minds don’t worry about owning markets
they focus on owning ideas.” -  Hajj E. Flemings

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