Martin McGovern

3 Ridiculously Simple Personal Branding Hacks That Always Work

I treat nearly everything I do as a test or social experiment of some kind. Particularly with personal branding, I am always experimenting and implementing new ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve got a few new tricks I’ve successfully tested over the last 8 months.

Here are 3 incredibly simple Personal Branding hacks that always work for me:

1. Make your bookmark your business card.

No not that PornHub page you bookmarked. Not that kind of bookmark. Your book bookmark. You know, BOOKS--those clunky things filled with words that contain knowledge? Yeah, those things.

Instead of your Barnes & Noble receipt, a wallet sized photo of A.C. Slater,

or a real life sized Kevin hart (dude is tiny!), use your business card as your bookmark. Throw your book in your bag, and you always have at least one business card on you. If your card is oriented vertically, you can even position it so your name sticks out of the page. When your book is set down on a table, it can stir intrigue from those around you.

Just last week I struck up conversation with someone on the train who happened to work at the company where I taught a personal branding workshop earlier that day. He wasn’t in the office that day so he missed the workshop, but we chatted and I was still able to give him my info because the book I had in hand had my business card between pages 117 and 118.


  • Does not work with e-readers.
  • Reading means less time for Snapchat.


  • Never be caught without a business card.
  • Get caught READING in public!


2. Ask people what they are struggling with.

I’ve concluded that the absolute worst question to ask someone is, “How can I help?”

When someone asks me how they can help, my mind goes into, “Oh gosh, ummmm, geez what do I even need help with? Should I ask them to water my Eucalyptus plant?! WAIT--I don't even own a Eucalyptus plant!”

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Not a lot of things give me social anxiety (extravert advantage), but asking me how you can help is one of them.

The bottom line is 99% of the time people either don’t know what they need help with, or don’t know if they are allowed to ask for help.

Instead, I have found that one of the BEST questions to ask someone as they introduce themselves and they tell you about their career, their entrepreneurial venture, their project, etc. is, “What are you struggling with?” (Another way to phrase it is, “What’s your biggest challenge right now?”)

People may not know where they need help, but EVERYONE knows where they are struggling.

In this example, my Cofounder Martin told me his struggle was being hooked into a fishy business deal.

This method gets someone to open up to you, forming an authentic and honest relationship, and gives you an opportunity to provide immediate value. You may have advice, a suggestion, or a contact you can put them in touch with. And if there truly is no way you can help them, people at least feel better getting some shit off their chest.

They’ll remember you as someone who cares.

I ask people what they are struggling with all the time and it’s led to introductions that benefited them, tuning them to helpful resources, and even brought us new students in our workshops and classes.

You don’t forget the people who help you.


  • Engage in real human conversation.
  • Take genuine interest in another person.


  • Provide immediate value to people you meet.
  • Form honest and authentic relationships.


3. Wear an article of clothing that speaks to the weirder sides of you.

This one I have a love/hate relationship with.

Why? Well, oftentimes I go to networking events, conferences, etc, wearing a blazer and a wrestling t-shirt.

LOVE = I get to wear my wrestling t-shirts outside the house at professional events.

HATE = I spend more money on wrestling apparel as a result. :)

I was at an event several months ago wearing this shirt with a blazer:

And yes, this is a photo of me wearing the shirt on a different occasion for a public speaking appearance.

This is a shirt featuring a WWE wrestling group called “The New Day”. At that event, I kid you not, 7 people spent 30 minutes trying to figure out the nuances of the shirt (“Is the unicorn blind or just an artist wearing sunglasses because they are in outer space???”), and I got to explain The New Day to them. THAT’S a conversation I want to be part of!

Too many people think they have to put on a certain image or look.

Now, obviously, don’t be a bum. But take those events, those conferences, those coffee meetings as an opportunity to show people what you care about. Whether that means a shirt, a wristband, your sneakers, or otherwise--whether it’s your love for wrestling, Breaking Bad, running, yoga, or Captain America, give them a window into your weird.

You’ll strike up more of those real and authentic conversations. People will get to know you better personally--not just as your job title. And what usually happens is they have a weird thing they care about and you form a common bond over your weirdness.


  • Look different from everyone else.
  • Strangers are genuinely interested in you.


  • Put personality into your appearance, confirming you’re not a robot.
  • Form common bonds over shared interests.


Have you tried any of these? What other Personal Branding hacks have you used before? Leave a comment below.


Take care and be awesome today,


written by Rajiv Nathan

These 2 Mindsets Impact Your Personal Brand Like Crazy

A couple weeks ago I f’d up my knee.

While playing basketball, I made a quick stop and turn to defend a pass when my right foot slid out from underneath me and I jarred my knee out of place. I immediately hit the ground.

If you cringe just reading that, it was a hell of a lot worse actually experiencing it.

I went to the ER that night, and now Derrick Rose and I have something in common.


I’ve been on crutches for the last two weeks, and am scheduled for minor surgery soon.

This injury was super inconvenient timing because, as you may recall, I’m in yoga teacher training on weekends.

Reactions to Experiences

Life is not comprised of experiences. Life is comprised of REACTIONS to experiences.

How we choose to react to a given experience—and we have a choice, positive or negative reaction—dictates our mindset.

Types of Mindsets

Our reaction to an experience dictates our mindset, and depending on how we react, we’ll have one of two mindsets:

  1. A MEH mindset—driven by a negative reaction

  2. An AWESOME mindset—driven by a positive reaction

We explore dozens of MEH and Awesome Mindsets in our Master Class because they play a major role in molding our personal brands. Negative reactions build a Meh brand. Positive reactions build an Awesome brand.

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How I’m Reacting to My Injury

Here’s how I’m choosing to react to my knee injury and how that’s shaping my brand:

My Experience

I badly injured my knee playing basketball, it hurt like hell, I’m on crutches.

My Reaction

I’m not gonna feed you BS and act like it’s amazing to be on crutches, because it’s super f’ing annoying. And I would obviously rather be 100% healthy right now. But after the initial shock of getting injured, I CHOSE to react POSITIVELY to the experience. I could have said, “I can’t do yoga anymore, I can’t teach now, I’m screwed. I give up.”

Instead, I said, “It won’t be the same, but I can make this work. I can still lead a class from the front of the room on crutches. And now I have a chance to figure out how to do yoga while seated. Just because I’m injured doesn’t mean I can’t keep learning. I can make this work.”


My Mindset

This POSITIVE reaction dictated my entire mindset the weekend after the injury during training, and moving forward. We took 5 different classes that weekend, and the first one I lowered myself slowly onto the mat, set my crutches to the side, and spent the next hour figuring out how to do every pose either on my butt or laying down.

It opened me up to a world of possibilities and experience yoga in a whole new way.

Each class since, I study the mechanics of the people around me as they get into a pose, and I refine my seated modifications. I observe their knee movements and think about how I can speak to that when teaching a class.

I’ve embraced an AWESOME mindset, and now I feel I'll be better able to teach yoga to people with low body injuries. It’s similar to owning your Desirable Difficulty.

And you know what else happens when you carry an AWESOME mindset? Other people see you for your possibilities, instead of your limitations.

I am super grateful to my fellow teachers in training and instructors who helped me carry things, or rolled up my mat, opened doors, etc. but beyond that, because I didn’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, they didn’t treat me like an inferior. Instead, they asked me questions about my modifications, and what I was learning. The last thing I wanted was a pity party, and no such party was thrown.

Consider the alternative. If I had a negative reaction and a MEH mindset, I would have either sat in those classes and said “I can’t do this, I'm injured” , or I would have said "I'm done with training altogether, why don't I finish up when you offer training again in 6 months". The Meh mindset would enable me to sink deeper into my limitations.


How YOU Can carry an Awesome mindset

Remember, life is not made up of experiences. It’s made up of REACTIONS to experiences. You can have negative reactions which generate Meh mindsets, or you can have positive reactions which generate Awesome mindsets. Your brand will grow in the direction of your mindset.

If your job sucks, and you continue to react negatively, creating a MEH mindset, you’d say, “This is the way things are and I have to deal with it.”

But if you choose to react positively, you’ll embrace an Awesome mindset and say, “Why don't I take a personality test to help me find what environments and situations would make me happier? What if I meet with new people to learn how I can help them?”

If you want to start a blog, your instinct might be to react negatively before getting started, and your MEH mindset would have you say, “What’s the point? Other people are already writing about this anyway.”

But with a positive reaction, your AWESOME mindset would have you say, “People haven’t heard MY point of view yet, and that’s what make the difference.”


Where in your career are you carrying a MEH mindset?

Leave a comment below, because I KNEED to know (see what I did there?) ;)

Take care and be awesome today,

written by Rajiv Nathan


What THE ROCK Is Doing Better Than Everyone Else

This morning, I woke up with The Rock.


His voice sang in my ear, "Goood morning Sunshiiiiine...Geet your caaandy ass out of beed!"

Again, not joking. And this isn’t even the first time it’s happened.

The Rock’s melodic voice has gotten me out of bed EVERY MORNING for the past month!

Now, I already know what you’re thinking.

“Wait, Raj. How did you get Hollywood megastar and WWE People’s Champ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to sing you out of bed every morning for a whole month?! Shouldn’t he be on set, or lifting something heavy, or anything other than being your personal alarm clock?!?”

Well, The Rock has news for you.

See, about a month ago, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson released an alarm clockapp, called Rock Clock, and yes, it’s every bit as epic as it sounds.

So, for the past month, I've gone to bed setting my Rock Clock every night, and waking up to his intense energy every morning.

He sings to you. He beeps at you. He rings over and over and says, “I can do this all day!” And when you turn him off, he sends you a motivational image or video to get your day started right.

I’ve long said The Rock has the BEST personal brand on the planet, and he’s now taken it to the next level.

What is that next level? The fact that he’s now part of my ROUTINE.


How The Rock Got Into Bed With Me

I’ve obvi always been a huge Rock fan, but prior to Rock Clock, I had to seek him out, either watching WWE, or catching one of his movies, going to his Instagram, etc.

I had to proactively make a decision to find The Rock.

But with Rock Clock, I don’t have to go out of my way. He’s in my face, every day.

What Rock did was latch onto my routine. I use an alarm clock already, soRock took what exists that’s part of my routine, and added value to it by making an incredibly entertaining version.

Naturally, I default to Rock Clock the second I learn about it, and now I’m waking up with Rocky every day.

He’s raised his personal brand to the next level by making himself a part of the millions (**deep inhale**) AND MILLIONS of The Rock's fans' routine as well.

The 3-Step Process to Become Part Of A Routine

Truly dope personal brands come from creating your own projects. That could be a newsletter, a blog, a podcast, videos, etc.

Even if you’re not creating anything yet, keep reading, because once you do, you’ll need to know this.

Now, it’s not enough to only create here and there. Trust me, I’ve had experience with that in the past and it doesn’t really get you anywhere. What you want to do is this 3-step process:

  1. Create and release your work

  2. Understand your audience’s routine

  3. Add value and become part of that routine

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How Our Podcast Became Part Of YOUR Routine

Here’s what this process looks like with our Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast.

  1. Create and release your work

    When we started our Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast just over a year ago, we were a little sporadic with episode releases. We’d aim for every Monday, but if something came up, we’d bump it by a day, or sometimes go a whole week without releasing an episode.

  2. Understand your audience’s routine

    We know most of you are working during the day, and many of you are either working jobs where you seek out distractions because you don’t like what you do, or working creative jobs where you need something in the background to be your soundtrack. BOOM.

  3. Add value and become part of that routine.

    Knowing that you either need a distraction, or some creative energy while on the job, we know we can be the thing that makes your day better. So, we get our podcast on a consistent schedule, release episodes every Monday, and add value to your weekly routine.

What’s been the result? Well, 51 episodes later we’ve had countless people tell us our podcast helps get them through the day. Our artist friend Liz listens to us while she paints. Our current Master Class student Mary Kate listens to us at her desk as she contemplates her next career move.

We took having to come find us out of the equation, just like Rock did. Every Monday, we push out a new episode, and I send you an email as a reminder.

Our brands add value to your day-to-day, and we’re part of your routine.

Rock Out With My Clock Out

Back to our boy Rocky now. While his alarm clock features a motivational image or video every day, this app isn’t so much about motivation, as much as it is becoming part of my (and millions of others) routine. Like I said before, I go to sleep thinking of The Rock, and wake up thinking of The Rock EVERY DAY!

If our podcast isn’t already part of YOUR routine, you can bet your ass that we’re working towards becoming a part of it.

If you become part of a routine, you take your personal brand to the next level.

What's something you've created that you could make part of a person's routine? Reply back and let me know.

Take care and be awesome today,

Written by Rajiv Nathan

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