Personal branding inspiration you'll likely remember for quite some time.
1) Do something amazing with a basic, everyday object
Most people's yoyo skills are limited to making one go up and down, if they can even do that, which makes Jensen Kimmitt all the more impressive.
One of the things I love about this clip is that he's so good, you don't even notice how many mistakes he makes, which is a terrific message in itself: how well you recover from failure is often key to success.
2) Win, lose or just reach the final rounds in a famous contest
Given the popularity of American Idol and similar contests around the world, just getting to the final rounds ensures that many, many people will know who you are.
3) Publicly fulfill a common fantasy in spectacular fashion
To quote Gawker, Steven Slater is “a folk hero for quitting his job in the most scorched-earth way possible, grabbing two beers and cursing on the airplane intercom before bouncing down the giant inflatable slide, and running home to make sweet love to his boyfriend. Sure, it wasn't the safest way to exit an airplane, nor was it the most mature way to quit a job—but it's the ultimate revenge fantasy for anyone who's toiled away at a thankless job, and we're glad somebody did it.”
4) Parody something everyone's heard of
Remi Gaillard is a French comedian. One look at this popular clip (over 22 million views) and you'll never look at Rocky the same. The slogan that concludes each of Remi's clips is actually his personal brand statement, and roughly translates to: “It's by doing something ridiculous that you become someone.”
5) Commit a crime that shows incredible skill
This is one idea that I can't recommend but it definitely works.
There are many stories of hackers who were caught and then became successful computer security expert, the most famous of which is ‘Best Hacker in the World' Kevin Mitnick. Kevin spent a few years in jail for his crimes and is now a very sought-after consultant.
6) Be the very best at one aspect of your profession
Ok, this isn't so out of the box, but it sure is memorable. Magician James Galea does the best card trick ever:
7) Make a serious attempt to solve an age-old mystery or problem
In mathematics and computer science, the ‘P is not equal to NP' problem is one of the most widely-believed concepts that has yet to be proven. A good explanation of it is, “can a problem be as quickly solved as it can be checked?”
Recently, researcher Vinay Deolalikar made a serious attempt at solving the problem. Although his proof was ultimately shown to be wrong, his serious attempt created an international buzz that won't be forgotten for years.
Another example would be Andrew Wiles, who shot to fame by proving what's known as Fermat's Last Theorem, over 350 years after the theorem was written.
8) Be the first ever to do something difficult
Midway through 2010, Jessica Watson become the youngest person to sail around the world alone and unassisted.
If you like this article, you'll enjoy True Stories About What It Means To Be Outstanding.
I originally published this article on the terrific Personal Branding Blog.