Q&A with Dr. Colby Jubenville


At his core, Colby B. Jubenville, PhD is a coach who uses the obstacles and challenges people face in search of achievement as “teachable moments” that help make sense of their life, work and relationships. Dr. Jubenville holds an academic appointment as a Professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and is the Director of the Center for Student Coaching and Success. He is the author of two books including “Zebras and Cheetahs: How to Look Different and Stay Agile to Survive the Business Jungle” (Wiley) and “Me: How To Sell Who You Are, What You Do & Why You Matter to the World.” Jubenville works in the business community in human capital and believes at the intersection of personal brands and personal relationships is Emotional Intelligence (EI). He was selected by The Nashville Business Journal as a member of its 40 Under 40 class and selected by YP Nashville as its Impact Award Winner, which recognizes top leaders who have made a significant impact on the city’s YP demographic. He is the recipient of the St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile, Alabama) Distinguished Alumni award. Jubenville is a member of the Forbes Councils and publishes content on Forbes.com; and is the host of The Goat Consulting Podcast, which drops weekly on Apple Podcast and YouTube.

Why is personal branding important?

Personal branding is important because it can help you build trust and connection, look different, establish credibility and authority in a specific industry or area of expertise, and connect with an audience or potential clients/customers in meaningful ways.

Trust: In business relationships, the foundation of trust is safety. Safety in business is am I known, heard, valued, important, does my opinion matter? All of these scream personal branding!

Differentiation: Think unique perspective (how you see it), unique education (how you know it), unique experience (how you do it).

Credibility and Authority: A strong personal brand can lead to more (and better) opportunities. It can also be a competitive advantage over others who may not have a strong personal brand.

Networking: Think new opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations. You are at the bar. It’s more than just who you know. It’s who knows you and what they know about you.

Career Advancement: Personal branding increases visibility, reputation, and influence, which lead to more opportunities for advancement, promotions, and higher salaries.

What are some common misconceptions about it?

The 5 myths of Personal Branding include:

  • PB is bragging.
  • PB equals your social media presence.
  • PB is only for celebrities.
  • PB requires you to act differently.
  • PB is all about appearances.

How can someone identify their unique value proposition and communicate it effectively to their target audience?

A personal brand is made up of Brand Image and Brand Identity. Brand image is the feeling(s) that other people have about you. Brand Identity is made up of your unique perspective, unique education, unique experience. What feelings do you want others to have about you?

What role does emotional intelligence play in building and maintaining a strong personal brand?

At the intersection of personal brands and personal relationships is Emotional Intelligence (EI). Emotional Intelligence is the #1 predictor of performance in the workplace. It can be taught and learned. Those that have it perform at a higher level than those that don’t. EI starts with self-awareness. Think of it this way: Personal branding starts with self awareness, a key component of EI!

Can you share some examples of individuals or companies that have successfully leveraged their personal brand to achieve their goals?

Johnny Cash, Gary V., Mr. Rogers, Trader Joe’s, Julie Voss, Golden Goose, Top Golf, and of course, The University of Alabama (football).

How can someone stay authentic and avoid coming across as inauthentic or overly self-promotional when building their personal brand?

Double down on you, not someone else. Your experiences make your story. Your story makes your identity. Your identity shapes your behavior. Your behavior drives your outcome. Write down three stories that are the defining moments of your life. Start there.

What are some common mistakes people make when trying to build their personal brand, and how can they avoid them?

When starting, focus on what your motivation is to create a personal brand. Don’t try to do it all at once. Pick one of the following:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Differentiate Yourself
  • Move Up in Your Career
  • Build Meaningful Relationships (Connection)
  • Recruit and Close
  • Pitch to Clients
  • Build Referral
  • Raise Money (and Friends)
  • Take Market Share
  • Create Impact & Competitive
  • Advantage

How can someone measure the success of their personal brand, and what metrics should they track?

Easy metrics. Pick one from above. Grow it.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to think about building their personal brand?

As Don Shula would say, “Don’t let the start stop you.” Stop thinking about it. Start doing it. It works. Start small. Try this, “My name is ____ and I specialize in _____ .” People pay more for what you specialize in!

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Priority Group is an integrated brand delivery platform helping companies grow their brands in channels people see, touch, feel and experience. Priority Group is an integrated brand delivery platform helping companies grow their brands in channels people see, touch, feel and experience.

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