Mark Reyna co-hosts this installment of The Access Point, our newly-launched weekly webinar series that aims to prepare Black and brown college students for the workforce by having the real, nuanced talks they don’t know they need. He, Mike Yates and Brandon Gordon explore the importance of personal branding and discuss how to effectively craft and nurture your own personal brand.

Read the Episode Below

SPEAKER 1 0:10

Welcome, everybody to the access point. This is episode number three. And I’m really excited about this, I got my co-host, Brandon with me. And we have a very special. Yeah, we have a very, very special guest. On the access point today, Mark, Reyna and we’ll talk to mark in just a second. But first, if you are new to the access point, if you’re new to the live in corporate world, let me just tell you just a little bit about living corporate, living corporate is a writing and podcasting and media platform that’s dedicated to exploring and celebrating underrepresented identities in corporate America. So basically, we celebrate black and brown people around here, our accomplishments, our struggles, the way that we’re coming together to overcome those things, our brilliance, our intelligence, all of that. So live in corporate is absolutely one of my favourite platforms on the internet. But obviously, I’m biased, because I am part of CO hosting this show. So I’m happy that you are here with us. And so Brandon, can you tell the folks that have not joined us before about the access point?

SPEAKER 2 1:19

Sure. The access point is for people like you black and brown individuals that want to get ahead in your career, they’re getting this platform is geared more towards to college student and early graduate, who’s getting started in their careers, and really wants to know how to dig deep and get inside of the currency, really excel for it. And so we will have topics every Tuesday at seven o’clock pm to really to with special guests. And we will tell you about personal branding of a topic we have today about how to get your salary together, finding mentors, things like that. So we really want people to be engaged as questions. And come visit us every Tuesday at seven o’clock.

SPEAKER 1 1:59

That’s right. That’s right. And today, I’m super excited about today. Because I’m a nut about personal branding. I like if you know me, you know that you can have a conversation with me without talking about personal branding. I’m always telling people like Yo, get on LinkedIn, get on Twitter, get on Instagram. And so I’m super excited to have mark here to lead us in some great discussion about personal branding. Mark is going to introduce himself, but I just want to celebrate the fact that he and I went to the same university, Texas State University. Right here. We were there at the same time. So like we like we real love together. So Mark, tell us tell us who you are, like, what do you do? And why do you like coming on the access point appeal to you?

SPEAKER 3 2:50

Yeah, for sure. So thanks for the introduction and what a small world to Bobcat. So, you know, as Mike and Brittany were saying, you know, warm welcome, but my name is Mark, Reyna. And here to talk everything personal brand. A little about me by day, I help organizations focus on what I consider the most important asset, their people. And by night, and weekends, anytime in between, I’m founder and storyteller add in graduation, which you probably thought, what is that? Like? What? I get that a lot. Um, but you know, for me, I discovered my passion, it was helping people helping people understand their brand. And then I took it a step further. And I really wanted to help companies and organizations understand what is their employer brand, everything that’s included? So we’re looking at workplace culture we’re looking to make, make sure employees feel safe, and welcome and feel like they belong? And are there opportunities for everyone in the organization across? And so when I look at, you know, what are the three words that make my brand and what fuels my passion, its inspiration. It’s gratitude, and it’s motivation in renovation. I wish the story was cooler, but that’s just how it came about. But so most of my career, it’s been within the HR umbrella. Have you focused on talent acquisition? So when the opportunity came up to speak to recent grads or college students, it was kind of a no brainer for me, especially, I know, the work that living corporate does. So I was, I was all in, it didn’t even hesitate. Um, but it’s always been important to me to amplify marginalized voices, and really now more than ever, and it’s important to speak up, and it’s important to people. So I’ve been in your seat. The things that I wish I knew when I was in that seat is the reason I’m here today. And it’s to share my knowledge with you.

SPEAKER 2 4:56

I appreciate that. Thank you.

SPEAKER 1 4:58

Yeah, I love that I love and gratitude I love that man like that is, that is awesome. And so let’s, let’s jump right in. So before we get into some more like specific questions, I want to give you the floor mark, to tell our audience, our listeners. Anything you want about personal brand. So like, if you have to sum up, like, what is personal branding? And why is it important? What would you say?

SPEAKER 3 5:27

So, on my soapbox, I would say when you’re looking at your personal brand, this is your career management. And so the one thing I’m going to say is different, is better than better. And the reason I live by that is because what you’re looking at when you’re building your brand, it has to be bold, and has to be authentic. And so, you know, you don’t want to have a brand that can be compared to anyone else. And so for me, that’s why it’s, you’re going to make it your own. There is no one all be all playbook. However, I hope today you leave without at least some tools to help get you started with building that brand.

SPEAKER 2 6:11

Yeah, that’s awesome.

SPEAKER 1 6:12

I love that. I love that. So I know, I know, Brandon has a question. But before we hit that, if you’re watching, please use the Ask a Question feature, asked mark a question we’ll stop. If it’s a great question. We will also have a Q&A period right after we’re done with our questions. So please, this is for you guys. So if you have a question for Mark, please, please, please ask it if you have one for Brandon and myself. Ask it as well.

SPEAKER 2 6:39

I do have a question from Ryan extra ties into what Mark says I wrote down something very great. It said be bold and be authentic. And I was like, wow, that really? Because I think about branding. You also think about these companies, right? And they have, you know, a coke product Pepsi product, McDonald’s very key to Sharman to clothing, Polo, Nike, you know, all the branding, right? So we need to apply that to college graduates and to its early people, I started my career. So my first question is for College School? Isn’t early graduates getting started on their personal branding? How does the process work? How does so how can someone be bold and be authentic? What social media platforms that are most likely to use this day and age?

SPEAKER 3 7:28

Yeah, so good questions. And I feel like the best place to start to it, it’s going to be three questions. And this is how you’re going to want to start building your brand. And it’s asking, where have you been? Where are you? And where do you want to go? So when I say, you know, where have you been? I’m not talking about that Riyadh and song that actually used to be out in club? No, where have you been, this is going to be your opportunity for introspection. And that’s whenever you’re going to build that self-awareness. So this, I think, is the most critical step. And the reason I say that is because only you know, the journey, you’ve been on those challenges and those obstacles that you’ve overcome. That’s what’s helped develop your superpowers. So whenever I say be bold, and be authentic, this is really that foundation that you’re building for your brain. And so, then you look at, alright, where are you? So luckily, today, most of the audience, it’s going to be, you know, recent grads, soon to be grads. So you’re looking at, you know, some professional experienced internship, some networking, I never figured out the networking thing in college, I’ll be the first one to admit it. Where’s that? 101 playbook? Yeah, it doesn’t exist. However, where you are, it really is the seat that you’re in right now. So, you know, you’re starting your career, and you’re really going to be looking at how am I going to manage my career now? You know, what do people think of me? What is that perception? So then third, where do you want to go? And it truly is that I mean, the sky’s the limit. Whenever you’re looking at this, it’s what do you aspire to be? What imagine that seat, imagine that corner office, imagine that team and that culture you’re a part of. So this is what’s going to help you actually grow and build that why statement. So in that order, is typically what I would advise you starting from, where have you been doing some introspection, diving into, alright, this is where I’m at right now. And you can kind of look forward then and say, alright, this is what I want to do. And this is how I’m going to develop my brand.

SPEAKER 1 9:40

Yeah, Love it. Love it. Love it. So where do you start what platform I mean, like, like, I love the three questions. You know, one of the one of the practical questions that a lot of people ask me is they’re like, look like, like, I don’t have Twitter fingers, or they’re like, Look, I don’t know how to use LinkedIn. So Like, where’s a good? Like? What’s a good platform for people to start? If they’re if they’re afraid? Or if they’re not knowledgeable, like, where should they start?

SPEAKER 3 10:07

So building your brand, I and I do look at it as an interchangeable career management. LinkedIn is your playground that is where you are going to build your brand, you’re going to develop it. And honestly, I wanted to ask everyone to become a LinkedIn super user. So if you’re not familiar with the tool, just like anything else, the more you’re in it, you will become familiar. And that’s where you’re going to build your brand. And really, that is whenever you’re going to start to engage with intention. And you’re going to start, you know, looking for mentors, or you’re going to start building your audience and looking at maybe industries or roles you aspire to be, because then whenever you aren’t comfortable with posting, and sharing, you know, content about leadership, that’s really going to be where people notice you. And that’s why it’s important to keep your brand there. Um, so then, of course, you can also say, the opposite, like, what is where should you avoid, you know, building your brand. And I would say, you know, LinkedIn, if you’re going to develop yourself and pour into one, you know, one social media platform, which post COVID, they grew like six times the amount of users they had before. So that means there’s a lot of other working professionals and a lot of other companies investing in the tool right now, too. So if you’re looking for visibility, which that’s what you need for your brand, LinkedIn is the place to be. And then I would just kind of pause every other social media with that focus. Yeah, all of your other social media, I would say, keep that for you. That’s, that’s your personal space. And then the perception what you’re going to share with the world, let’s do it on LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 1 11:55

I love that. Especially because, you know, there’s a lot of people out there listening to people like Gary Vee, and look, I love Gary Vee. But he’s got this thing called the 7921 rule, or the 8020 rule, which is like spend 80% of your time on one platform, and then 20% everywhere else. And I actually found myself when I started my personal brand journey. I was like, I disagree with that. I got time for that. I got four kids, I got a full time job. I don’t have time for the 20% everywhere else. And so I did exactly what you said mark, I sunk my teeth into LinkedIn. And I was like, how big can I grow this in one year? And once I, if I can get over a certain amount of followers, then I’ll go play with Twitter. Right, then I’ll go I’ll go do something else. So yeah, I love I love that you say that focus on one platform first. And that should definitely be LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 2 12:46

LinkedIn, especially for personal branding. If you don’t have a LinkedIn after this episode, go to LinkedIn page. Yep, please.

SPEAKER 3 12:57

And the reason I wholeheartedly support that is because part of your brand is you want to build trust in your audience and in your network. And so that’s why just keeping your focus on one platform, you are going to successfully build that trust quicker than if you spread yourself too thin, too.

SPEAKER 1 13:13

Right, right. Yeah, um, yeah, I see people in the comments are like, please use a photo on LinkedIn. Yes. I don’t trust anybody on LinkedIn. Without a photo. I ignore those requests. I don’t do it. So we got a question. We have a couple questions that that our audience members have asked, and I want to show them some love. So first, I’m going to get to I think this is a question from Zach. And I’m going to go there only because we are on the subject of LinkedIn. But Nina asked a phenomenal question. And we’re going to get through it, but it’s kind of going to sit on its own. So while we’re still in the topic of LinkedIn, I’m Reverend Zach Nunn. Oh, he just asked, what are the 101 to an effective LinkedIn profile? Which is a great question. So like, what would you say that mark?

SPEAKER 3 14:05

So like I said, background and talent acquisition, so recruiters will come to your page, and they will spend three to five seconds as they’re doing passive candidate searches. And the first thing they’re going to notice is your headline. So that’s why whenever you get to building your why statement and you get to understanding, you know, what is that introspection? What am I three words, in you develop that statement. Not only are you going to share that in your headline, but I mean, you are going to speak into existence like you are going to begin to coach people around you to know you in familiar, familiarize yourself with those three words. When I think of Mark, I think of inspiration, I think of gratitude, I think of motivation, and that’s whenever you know you’re getting your brand off the ground. Um, it’s key to have a photo. I mean, I would say not having a photo trying to fix that quickly. If you didn’t notice from my photos ever sent out, I’m not going to be in a suit and tie. It’s just not who I am. However, you still want to make sure that that the perception you’re giving to people, it’s related to the role in where you want to go. So at the same time, I’m not trying to be a financial accountant. But if you are, I bless you for doing numbers. But you do want to make sure that you have your photo, you’ve got your headline, and that you actually have some experience. Now you don’t need to go full job description and list every responsibility. But you want to have at least three to five core bullets of what you have successfully done. And take this from your resume. Or, you know, you probably already can highlight and say, you know, the amazing things that you have accomplished. So definitely include that as well.

SPEAKER 2 15:50

Yeah, I like that.


Brandon, would you add anything to that? What else would you add?

SPEAKER 2 15:54

Well, I was going to ask a question about, I know, there’s a feature, I can’t remember top of my head. But there’s a feature on LinkedIn to where people can actually vouch for, your success in what you’ve done. And recommendations. There we go. So how would you go about asking people for recommendations on Hey, I’ve worked on this program, I have this certification, like, he’s done a great job seeing everyone’s leaving baseball, how can college grads, or people that still early in the workforce, get those recommendations from those from other individuals.

SPEAKER 3 16:26

So I, this is not my original idea by a friend, Heather doolin, she runs people on purpose. Yeah, so she also focuses on, you know, personal branding and authenticity. And so I was having a conversation with her last week. And you know, one thing that not only is she sharing with her clients, but she has created like this outline and developed a cosine. And so it’s, you know, I worked with you in this group project, I, you know, maybe grown up next to you, and you, you know, help, you know, I’m an older person, you help Mel Milan, and I, I appreciate you and you like really take care of like I can, I can speak on your character, and I know the work that you produce. So anyone in that circle, what you want them to do is start to ask them today. I mean, especially to if this is your you know, last year in college, or if you just recently graduated, take an inventory of you know, those projects, and those teams that you’ve worked on, people that can speak on the impact that you’ve made in so just simply ask them, you know, can you vouch for the impact they’ve made? Can you vouch for, you know, the character I have, and the work ethic, and that’s what recommendation letters are. And oftentimes, too, that’s what recruiters are going to continue to look at. As they’re skimming your profile, they want to see what do other people think of you. Um, so that’s…

SPEAKER 2 17:51

Going to also be applied to any community service visit you’ve done over the years as well.

SPEAKER 3 17:56

Oh, definitely. So volunteering, community service. And it really is people that can speak on your character, because at the end of the day, someone’s landed on your page, because you’ve already, you know, fit those requirements of you know, we’re looking for this role, and you have this education in this background. So what they’re going to be looking at is what are those differentiators? So how can I tell you apart from the other stack of candidates, and that’s going to be, you know, these recommendations too. So I definitely would take advantage of.

SPEAKER 2 18:26

you’ll be surprised, like I get I get hits daily on LinkedIn about new job offers and new career opportunities, because I stay active on LinkedIn, because I keep my approach is nothing to keep your profile active, as well stay on her often. Talk to people, yes, at work, things like that.

SPEAKER 3 18:45

So a few ways to make sure that you’re populating in those early page searches, is I would say weekly, update your page. And not necessarily changing it around something as simple as a period or a comma, or moving some bullets around is going to show the LinkedIn algorithm that you’re an active user, and that you’re continuing to look for new opportunities. Granted, you have that button, there’s an open for opportunities button. So you have that clicked. If you simply you know, once a week, go in, you know, update your resume, whatever it is, you know, big or small, you’re going to continue to be in those top searches. And you’ll be in those top pages. So the people that are going to be in age 20 and beyond, probably haven’t changed theirs often. So definitely, I would say keep that in mind. And also October is the busiest job posting on LinkedIn. So it’s perfect timing to be talking about this.

SPEAKER 1 19:41

Yeah, yeah. And I’ll say you mentioned the open to work feature. And this is a whole nother webinar, but you should always be open work on LinkedIn. You have one thing in my I’ll always listen, you never know when. I mean I have been in a situation where I’ve had a job and somebody reached out to me, and they’ve let me design my own position and offer, right. So use LinkedIn. I’ll say, also, take what like really, really, if you are a college student, early career professional, take what you’re hearing from Mark, seriously, Mark is a, it’s actually he’s in a category of people on LinkedIn that not a lot of people have less than 1% of users on LinkedIn have more than 10,000 followers. And Mark is one of those people. So definitely make sure you check out his page, when you go to one of the things I’ll recommend is like to follow and connect with people that are already doing well on the platform. And literally just use them as a blueprint, right? You can do one of two things, hit them up and say, hey, how are you doing what you’re doing, most all of them will share with you. And the other thing is just literally like look at the weight, like study their page, and use their page as inspiration. Follow mark, Follow me Follow Brandon, there is a person who’s one of the best people to follow for job seekers on LinkedIn. His name is john Marty. JOHN has a lot to say about recruiting, hiring, I’ll put his name in the chat. JOHN is the person who you can reach out to and he will literally coach you, like through how to build a LinkedIn template allows another one who’s been on live in corporate a couple of times so. So definitely, I would say take LinkedIn seriously, because I think it’s time for us to sort of move away from LinkedIn. But take it seriously. It’s I think it’s all of our favourite tool. I’m obsessed with it.

SPEAKER 3 21:31

In the last bit, you’ll find people to that have their name, and then Li o n, LinkedIn open to networking. So that could even be a good starting point. If you don’t feel comfortable. Those people literally are saying, connect with me. And you can follow their brand and look at that blueprint.

SPEAKER 1 21:49


SPEAKER 2 21:50

Yeah, absolutely.

SPEAKER 1 21:51

Um, yeah. So I want to get to Bonitas question, because it’s been out there for a while. And I think it’s a good time to sort of like shift gears back to building brand. She said, how do you find your niche? As you build your brand? Which is a question somebody literally just asked me today, how do you find your niche when you’re building your brand.

SPEAKER 3 22:15

So, so one thing that you want to concentrate on, and I’ve said this a few times was, you know, the perception. And there’s, there’s so much power behind how others perceive you. And the reason that is important is because all of the most important decisions in your career will be made when you’re not in the room. So when you’re looking at promotions, when you’re up for you know, new opportunities for a pay raise, you’re not going to be the first one that’s discussed with. And so that’s why the perception and brand you leave behind, it’s going to be key. So we don’t have an hour to do the full exercise. But something that you can do really quickly and just take note is draw a square, and then write you know, the words or phrases that describe your behaviour, your characteristics, you know what you’re good at some of those superpowers. So all of those descriptive words, put it in a box, you’re probably going to fill that box up, its fine. So then in the second one, what you’re going to do is draw on their square, and then put a circle. In that circle, you’re going to only pick three words, three words or phrases. And this is what you want people to know you for. So for example, if you know you’re looking to be in finance, like I said, I praise you, but you want people to think that you’re analytical. If you’re in marketing, you want people to say that he is the most creative person I know. So if you’re looking to go into HR, you want to be able to say he is the most, she is the most centric, human person I know like best at Human Design, that is how I know her to be nuts, that work she does. So as you go through that, you’re going to then you know, come up with some words that are authentic and true to you. And just because you start here, doesn’t mean it’s the end all be all, your brain will continue to evolve. So as long as you get started, that’s what matters, um, would have also done is you know, trying to develop, you know, what are these three words? How do people perceive me? There, I’ve had people that go straight to Facebook, like I have the most friends and connections on Facebook, I’m going to ask them describe me in one word. So what you’re going to be looking at is for like themes, and you’re going to also be looking for words that might surprise you. So you know, and then that’s how you’re also going to help try to build that story and create that narrative. It then also to it goes back to you once you’ve developed that statement and you know some of these words and phrases. You want to center your brand around. You’re going to then just coach people, every opportunity you get on an interview, or you know, in a meeting or a call or maybe just lunch with a friend, you’re going to speak those words into existence until people are just, you know, bleeding in the ears. And they already know you are the most creative, Human Centered Design analytical person. That is the goal. Right. And it won’t happen overnight either. But once you get started, I typically look at my brand, one to two times a year. So look at it one to two times a year and really try to dive in. Just is this still in line with where I want to go? Does this still, you know, true to what people you know, perceive? So? Yeah, don’t be afraid to get started because it will continue to grow. Yeah,

SPEAKER 1 25:43

I think Mark music’s hit on a really important thing. Brand building is the long game. It’s not it’s not short term. It is the long game. It’s how you maintain success over a long period of time. Go ahead, Brandon, what you are going to say.

SPEAKER 2 25:56

Well, there was a question in the chat. I wanted to bring up as well, too. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. So we have a question from paint, as, if you do not have directly rate related internship or experience to the career path you want to take? How can you leverage your brand to make those experiences relevant?

SPEAKER 1 26:13

Great question.

SPEAKER 3 26:14

So really good question. And you’re probably you might have noticed this and not realize that a lot of companies now have completely shifted to what are the requirements for this role. And that’s probably, you know, the kind of effect of people saying college is too expensive. Or, you know, I’m not going to go, you know, to this hybrid learning. But what’s the most important, especially if you don’t already have, you know, these internships, you still have the skills to tell your story. So transferable skills is exactly what I’m talking about. So, transferable skills. We all have these, since we were growing up in kindergarten, and learn to communicate. And then we were in high school and learned how to work on teams. And then in college and beyond. And we learned these analytical and thinking skills. And so whenever you’re looking at these occupations, you can tell your story through transferable skills. And so oftentimes, people think that they have to have these jobs. And then you know, we’re, we’re the three or five impacts that you’ve made. Well, if you’re looking at a role, if you’re coming fresh out of college, not everyone’s going to expect you to have all of the skills, you know, all of the requirements, you’re not going to check all of those boxes. But if you can tell a story that shows I am the best problem solving, communicator, and I’ve worked five years in a restaurant as a server. And this is how that translates.

SPEAKER 2 27:48

That’s very my go to one right there I worked. And I did school, I’m flexible. There we go. Right there.

SPEAKER 3 27:55

And then a lot of times, too, I’ve had a job since I was 15. And, you know, always try to develop that work ethic. And so it’s, you know, whenever I was applying my first job in HR internship, I had no HR experience. However, when I look at HR, it’s a people role. It’s a people industry, I’ve got plenty of experience in that. And so that’s whenever you can actually be creative. Because I think, what you’ll understand and what you’ll see as you as you develop your brand, and remember, different is better than better. Um, your resume should not look like everyone else’s. It shouldn’t be one page, black and white Times New Roman font 10. Like, you want to be able to share who you are, I always say you need to ID your CV, bring it to life. And that’s exactly how you’ll do it through transferable skills.

SPEAKER 1 28:49

Yeah, I love that. Um, yeah, a couple things. One thing I’ll say is the other thing I believe about personal branding, and a whole lot of people don’t necessarily believe. But I think if you if you get good at what Mark is saying, if you get good at storytelling, telling your career story, I can almost bet you that the better you get at that, the less you’ll actually have to use your resume to get a job. Right? Like, I have not used a resume to get a job in over six years. Right? Because people come to me without the resume and they’re like, yo, like, let’s get it going like, you know, so. So the better you get at this, the less, the less you will have to use your resume, but still is important to have a really good resume. Right? So we’re going to listen to Kristen’s career tips, right? Like, you don’t plug interesting script tips, but figure like figure out how to have that resume in your back pocket. You need to be prepared at all times. So before we get to this next question, I just want to like look, throw out this plug like I think this chat is so important. Mark is dropping some major jams, so hit up your friends, tell them to get their butts over here and get on this webinar. I just texted my brother and was like, get on this webinar. And he is here. He just asked a question. So shout out to my brother, Caleb, who’s also a Texas State University student. All right. Which I’ll say another interesting point that you mentioned earlier, Mark is about like the network from college. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I left Texas State with like a real network like it. It didn’t feel the same as like a Stanford and didn’t feel the same as like, a lot of HPC. Like, I just talked to anybody from Yep, I’m telling you, I just the most important people in my network right now. I met through LinkedIn, all of them.

SPEAKER 2 30:43

So how did you go? Because, um, my story is completely different. All the network I have came from. So I know, how did you because I know people that Nope, this is where with me, I know people that know people, right? So I may know the popular person, the popular person hangs out with me. And then I know their inner circle. And that’s how I become friends with them. So that’s how my brandy so everyone knows SPG, I met my first Miss BG why because zag movie SPG? Why not? Yes. One, he knows my best friend. And that’s how the whole network started. So, but you’re saying that you’ve left college in college is one place where you’re supposed to learn and grow yourself how to brand yourself as well. Because those four or five years that you’re there, you’re learning you’re also learning your craft and career. So how did you leave Texas State without? Broke? Like, Brandon, that’s blow my mind.

SPEAKER 1 31:41

I don’t think I left without a brand. Like

SPEAKER 2 31:43

Well, I’m not a brand. But brandy.

SPEAKER 1 31:47

When I’m just saying I don’t think the university like and Mark, Mark, you can speak to this too. Like, I don’t I don’t know that Texas State does a great job of creating a strong alumni network. Right. Like there are there’s the like, the different alumni chapters, right. Like there’s a Houston chapter. There’s an Austin chapter. But we don’t like a lot of other schools have, I think much stronger alumni presence, right. Like, I talked to a lot of people from Stanford, right? I like I just talked to a guy from Hampton. And like this Hampton Howard rivalry like in like people, you know, like, yeah, like, I grew up, a lot of people in my family went to PV. So it didn’t matter. Like where you like, if you saw somebody wearing a T shirt in like the grocery store.

SPEAKER 2 32:30

You have introduce yourself, and your homecoming will take good care. And that’s how it always works.

SPEAKER 1 32:37

Yeah, [Inaudible] is in the chat, but he was like, y’all might have to graduate. Right? I don’t know. Like, I have a group of friends that I still talk to, but my most important resources, just have they have not come from Texas State. Right. I feel like it’s rare that I meet somebody from my university. This like Mark, right? Like, that’s why when Margaret yesterday, we were talking to him, he’s like, I wouldn’t take said I was like, what? Nobody, like? Nobody. So I don’t what do you think about that Mark? Do you feel the same?

SPEAKER 3 33:13

No, it’s, I feel it’s the same. And I feel like whenever you’re going to look at, like, the different colleges experiences are like this different journeys, like, similar to you, I found that the network I have now is, you know, 100 times bigger than it was in college. And I think it has to do with being able to find, like your sense of community. And so, you know, whether you’re in college, and you’re kind of, you know, still deciding, you know, what are you going to do with like this career track, you’re really not going to be networking and intentionally networking, with people that you know, are in your classes, if you’re still figuring out, maybe I hate accounting, and I keep coming back to numbers. But I think to like, you know, it’s kind of still trying to understand what is the career path that I want to go on? Um, and so what I would say is like, recently, you know, I’ve joined a lot of slack communities. And so Slack, what you can do is, you know, actually join people that are in the same industry have the same, you know, kind of, you know, interest in thought leadership or content or, you know, just wanting to kind of shake things up. And you know, I’m looking to move into a different industry, you can find people on slack on meetup, where you can build your network. And the thing is, is you want to network with people to absorb their network, because what you’re going to do is you’re going to exchange and you’re going to share those contacts and you are going to lean on one another. So did I have that command at Texas State? No, I lived with a group of friends were they’re all doing very different things. And so what I found success is LinkedIn and slack and meetup in and just really understanding this is the community that I know you know what support me, and I would support them, kind of like we’re doing right now. And really what living corporate does as well. So I feel like this is also a platform where you would continue to network and build your community here.

SPEAKER 1 35:12

Yeah, we also stay, we went to a university that that was known as a party school and was trying to shake that reputation. So that may also play into why people are not so like forthcoming with like, yeah, I went to Texas State, because you still get people that are like, Oh, you went to that? School? We’re like, actually, it’s a very good school. We have a great teaching programs. Like, we’re the number one communication program in the country, graduate or undergrad. So yeah.

SPEAKER 3 35:43

Hey, it’s like I said, it’s the Harvard on the river.

SPEAKER 1 35:46

That’s right. Yeah, exactly. So I want to get to this question. This is a great question. From Caleb, shout out to Caleb, that’s my brother, my younger brother, who is at Texas State, and about to graduate soon. So this is timely for him. He says, what would you suggest for somebody who has multiple interests and aspirations?

SPEAKER 2 36:10

Wow, that’s a great question.

SPEAKER 3 36:14

Oh, hello, I’m sorry?

SPEAKER 1 36:17

Well, no, I’ll say well, you, if you have multiple aspirations, for me, you will need to find your, I want to say favourite, but the one you feel most passionate about, because that’s the one you’re going to put the most time effort energy into. The view, if you delay dabbling in too many things, like a jack is a jack of all trades, master of none. So if you really dabbled in this in this aspiration, and this aspiration, you’re spreading yourself thin, and you’re wasting time, one thing, precious that we can never get back is time. So if you going in too many things at one time, you can never master that particular graph, you want to master Brandon, you got to get on LinkedIn and post and post and post and talk to people. Master that then venture out into a different list was to me, once you gave a task and get once it becomes second agency that you can branch out to other areas that you feel passionate about and focus on it. So how do you feel about that mark?

SPEAKER 3 37:17

I completely agree. And I literally speaking from experience, I was in school, I changed my major, I went in with biochemistry focused on med school, and went all around the circle and ended up with political science and what I say to people The reason I kind of went from you know, you know, science, to then marketing communication, and then ended up in poli sci fi, I was searching for what, what really came intrinsically and like, naturally to me, and now was writing, and that was doing research. And that was kind of putting my own conclusions and thoughts together. And so that’s why for me, it felt right. So when I hear you say, you know, you’ve got, you know, a variety of aspirations, you know, maybe narrow it down, what are like some of those top aspirations, those top, you know, three, aspirations, like, start there. So that way you can at least give yourself some direction, and then understand, you know, this is, you know, the brain and it’s hard to develop, because this is where I want to go. When I started my career, it was, you know, I had an HR internship, I worked at the Federal Reserve, it was, you know, temporary. So after that, I’m like, let me see what this policy stuff was about. I mean, I just still paying a lot of money for it. So let me just figure it out. And what I realized is, you know, I went in, and I started working in, like, global immigration, and like US immigration specifically. And I enjoyed it, it was great knowledge. However, I learned one, no way am I going to law school into, like, I really feel grateful, like, I feel so happy whenever I’m able to help a family that, you know, is here, you know, has this amazing, you know, education background, and help them you know, in their family, get this visa and work at this company, and that, you know, they’ve worked really hard and poured into it. It’s that feeling of like just him calling you and feeling grateful. Like, there’s nothing better than that. And for me, that’s when I knew I needed to work in the people space. And so I think as you go through and try to figure out what are those top aspirations? Now, what job am I going to have in those experiences? As you start to live them out, you will really narrow down those aspirations and you’ll be able to hone in, you know, work closely if that’s the direction you’re going to go. In totally speaking from experience, so I don’t, I don’t think you’re in a bad place because you’re on this call right now. So say a lot.

SPEAKER 1 39:58

That’s right. Yeah, you don’t go the other thing I’ll add to that is like, don’t feel the pressure to have it all figured out because nobody does, right? And like, like, I mean, this Yes, this is the answer to Caleb’s question but he hears me say this all the time, like, like, you don’t have to have it figured out, I changed my major six times in college. Like, yeah, I was a business major for one day. I went to business calculus, and that Professor put that syllabus on that on that PowerPoint screen. And I said, what? Close that laptop. I said, Ma’am, I won’t be back. And I wouldn’t change my major. I changed. I was graphic design. I was, I was like, like, a Mass.Com like I did, I changed my major sixth, and I ended up graduating with two degrees in four years. So like you like, look, you don’t have to have it all figured out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college. And the thing I’ll say is that most people really are about like three to five things. The story that I want to want to sort of leave this question with is there’s a guy named john Henry. JOHN Henry is a real estate investor. And that’s what he wants to be known for. But he did a lot of stuff. In the last six months to a year, he was one of the founders of what’s becoming like one of the hottest black venture capital funds in the country, which is called Harlem capital. So he found he, he’s one of the co-founders of Harlem capital, he had a television show on vice called the hustle where he’s coaching entrepreneurs, right? Like, yeah, like one of the highest grossing products ever on Shark Tank was on that show. And he coached them before they went on Shark Tank, right is this very weird product called for? But you know, like, so he has all these successes in all these other arenas. And then you saw that he left Harlem capital, and you’re like, Whoa, what’s going on? And then the show is not, it’s not that the show is not being renewed, he left the show in like, wait a minute, and he kind of like disappeared on social for a little bit. Because he changed his interest. He wanted to be known for real estate investing. So he switched his brand to that, because he had been doing them all right, like he’d been posting content about all of those, because now His focus is Look, I want to make the hood rich, not trying to be hood rich, I want to make the hood rich. I want to get my mom and my dad about their job, right? That’s what he’s about now. He’s still coaching entrepreneurs and like, but he’s filtering it through his the new brand that he wants to present. And, and you know, one of the interesting thing he said, he said, I lost followers, because people were like, y’all wanted to show back, y’all, I want you to be in Harlem capital. He’s like, but that’s alright. Cuz there’s, there’s 7 billion people on earth. Like, it’s not about followers. It’s about doing what you’re passionate about. So great question, Caleb. Great answer. Brandon and mark. So like, I feel like we’ve been having such a great conversation and thank you. AUDIENCE MEMBER like thank you guys are watching for lighten up the questions. If you have any more questions, please, please, please ask questions. Please ask questions,

SPEAKER 2 42:56

If you have any questions. Now, if you have any questions, follow leaving Corp on Twitter and leaving Corp underscore pi. Where can we find you mark?

SPEAKER 3 43:06

They can find me on LinkedIn and also in graduation. com. So always available, you know, LinkedIn shoot me a message I one of those people that I can’t leave my messages unread, you know, so if you’re reaching out if you’re looking for advice, or, you know, wanting to ask any questions about you know, what we discussed today? How can you learn about your superpowers? What are some exercises? How can you, you know, learn to build your wife statement? Shoot in my way, I am completely available. And I’d love to help.

SPEAKER 1 43:39

Yeah, yeah. Um, so there’s a question I want to hit before we, before we close out. And I think this is a really important question. And so I and also y’all make sure if like, if you’re, if y’all not ready to end, make sure y’all send another question. But the last question I have is, like, we live in this digital world now. And there are a ton of people online all the time. And I actually get a lot of questions from people, as I coach them. And as they talk to me, they say, well, what if somebody said something that I’ve said, or what if I’m trying to say something that’s already been said? So what’s the one thing you would tell people before we sign off? And go watch this debate? Let’s be honest. Before we sign off, how do we distinguish our so how do we stand out in such a big digital world?

SPEAKER 3 44:34

I would say I mean, whenever you’re going to start producing content, which I encourage you as you’re building your brand, what is going to help pump you and fuel that, that brand to go beyond you know your network and in go into other people’s networks of your connections. It needs to be authentic. And whenever you’re looking at what you’re posting. Do not compare yourself to how many likes someone has. Because we all know, likes doesn’t mean anything, it comes down to views. So how can you get more views of the content that you’re pushing? So I would describe being a thought leader, which anybody can be a thought leader, it’s being disruptive. It’s having an original idea. And it’s sharing it in your own words, and genuinely, from how you feel, you know, whether it’s new technology, whether it’s, you know, people interacting, whether it’s looking at, you know, what other people in your network are doing, I would say, Be true to yourself, be bold, and have fun with it. Because one thing we just covered is your brain will evolve in six months from now, you want to just redirect and follow a new aspiration that is completely fine. And that audience, they are going to grow and they will going to follow you, you will find your tribe, it’s just you have to be confident in yourself, and be willing to put yourself out there it can, it can feel terrifying whenever you hit post, but I promise it will get easier. So that’s also, one thing I had to learn is just hit post, and then go on to the next idea.

SPEAKER 1 46:11

Yeah, absolutely. I love that just hit post. I love it. Like, look, personal branding doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just your personal, right, you’re not you’re not branding for a company. So you just put as much content out there, as you can, like, I said this on the first episode of the access point, and people were like, what I was like, get on LinkedIn, and post at least three times a day. That’s like, I’m serious, like, post at 9am, post at 12. And then post it.

SPEAKER 2 46:42

That’s it.

SPEAKER 1 46:42

And I guarantee you, and some sometimes we can do is, in the early days, I used to post at 10 o’clock at night, because I knew the big dogs on LinkedIn, they were asleep. And so people would read my stuff. Like I was trying to get people to engage with me. So I was like, let me and as a result, I have this, this very interesting audience and friend group from other countries, from Israel and from Indonesia. And like all these people, I’m like, oh, because I was posting at 1011 at night. So do not be afraid to post Mark said it, you heard it here. First, don’t be afraid to post, don’t get that Post button.

SPEAKER 3 47:21

And then I think too, whenever you look to track your growth, I would one thing that I did was I looked back into inventory. And I was like over the last 12 months, who was engaging in my content, and you know, the content that I had the most comments or engagement? What was it? And you know, what I discovered is, as much as you know, I would repost what I would call like, maybe like some level c content of your brand. So level C is kind of like three here and it’s global, maybe you’re going to post a quote of the rock, everyone’s going to like that. And then if you’re looking at like this B level content, you go up this step ladder, and it’s related to your brand, however, it’s showing you living your brand. So if it’s, you know, a picture of me at this volunteer event, or if it’s, you know, a picture of, you know, it’s more personal. And so then whenever you get onto a level content, that’s where it’s purely thought leadership, and you’re really going to want to stick to your brand and be consistent with those messages. So when I looked back over the 12 months, it was that B level content where my audience was engaging the most. So then I had to figure out how can I stay in this lane, but still continue to, you know, disrupt and provide, you know, original, authentic views. So I wouldn’t say, look back, give yourself three or six months look at, you know, what engagements been successful? And then, you know, do you want to continue to go down that road? Or do you want to pivot, and you know, follow your audience. So it’s really up to you whenever you’re looking at your brand, but there’s ways to measure the growth and then to redirect, so that way, you’re doing it based off of the data. And you’re also sticking true to yourself, which I think is number one.

SPEAKER 2 49:01

Yeah, yeah.

SPEAKER 1 49:03

Actually, I want to ask one more question. Before we go. That’s related to what you said, about not being afraid to post. I think people are afraid that like, audiences will like that they’ll get hate. Right. And I’m like, my personal brand is it’s built on challenging the education system. I have a podcast that is called school sucks. I hated school growing up, I work in a school, right? And so like, almost every day, I’m telling people like, what are you doing is wrong, right? Um, so I actually get a lot of hate from people. So thank you. So what’s one thing that that you do or like, what should a person do when they experience negative reactions or hate on the internet?

SPEAKER 3 49:47

I mean, it’s going to be out there. They’re, called trolls for a reason. So I will pay if that doesn’t describe how to just brush them off. One thing that I’m really passionate about is empathy. And so, whenever I understand, you know, I look at someone that’s sending hate. And I tell myself, you know, it’s because they just don’t understand my, you know, perspective. They don’t have experiences with anyone that looks like me thinks like me. And you know what, I feel sorry for that person, because I hit post, I’m happy with it. It’s not going anywhere. And that’s their problem. So that’s kind of just my approach to it. But you know, what you will develop and build your audience that appreciates and values what you have to share. So just trust in that.

SPEAKER 1 50:38

Well, you know, Mark, thank you so much for coming. I feel like you were dropping gems all over the place, man.

SPEAKER 2 50:43

I actually have notes written down right now. Yeah.

SPEAKER 1 50:46

Me too, Yeah. So thank you so much. Really appreciate you everybody that was watching. Really appreciate you watching. We really appreciate your engagement. Thank you for being here for another episode of the access point. We’ll be back next Tuesday. I will be I will be on with Tristan. Next Tuesday. So make sure you check us out next week. All the promo and stuff will be coming up from that if you want to connect with Mark connect with him on LinkedIn. Mark Reyna. He is the most popular Mark Reyna on LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 2 51:21

Made your profile. Put your picture on there. Start posting. That’s right. That’s right.

SPEAKER 1 51:27

Alright guys, so we’re going to go watch this debate. We’re going to go have a good night. We will see y’all on the next one.

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