Free At 50 Tips on the How-To’s of Personal Branding: A Lesson From Thomas Jefferson

Free At 50 Tips on the How-To’s of Personal Branding: A Lesson From Thomas Jefferson

Apr 10, 2024

How do you want to be remembered? Yes, this is branding.

There’s a reason I’m asking…once you ditch 9-5 life for entrepreneurship, everything you do is YOU. You are the brand. You are the business you create. You are in charge of what the world sees and the driver of your bus as far as the services or products you choose to offer. How cool is that?!

Thomas Jefferson wrote this before his death on July 4, 1826.

Thomas Jefferson: Design for Tombstone and Inscription, before 4 July 1826, 4 July 1826
could the dead feel any interest in Monuments or other remembrances of them, when, as
Anacreon says
Ολιγη δε κειςομεςθα
Κονις, οστεων λυθεντων
The following would be to my Manes the most gratifying.
On the grave
a plain die or cube of 3. f without any mouldings, surmounted by an Obelisk of 6. f. height, each of a single stone: on the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, & not a word more
Here was buried
Thomas Jefferson
of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia.’
because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered. to be of the coarse stone of which my columns are made, that no one might be tempted hereafter to destroy it for the value of the materials. my bust by Ceracchi, with the pedestal and truncated column on which it stands, might be given to the University if they would place it in the Dome room of the Rotunda. On the Die of the obelisk might be engraved
Born Apr. 2. 1743. O. S.
Died —

Click here for the current link on the National Archives website to see it in full, with citations/notes.

As my dear friend and fellow 18th-century history lover Krista pointed out: he didn’t mention his presidency.

History may remember him in many ways, but he controlled the narrative from the perspective of his tombstone; we can learn from it. We are clearly shown what was important to him.

And we can use Jefferson's instructions as a lesson. I think it's brilliant in terms of how we create a personal brand.

Necessary disclaimer: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share; it does not change your price but sometimes you might get a discount.

Coffee at the St. George Tucker House in Colonial Williamsburg, Free At 50 living where you used to vacation, personal branding

Photo credit: Daphne Reznik at St. George Tucker House, Colonial Williamsburg

But where do you start for creating a personal brand?

You don’t have to commit to a design for your tombstone like Jefferson felt the need to do. That said, it can be a way to organize your thoughts for your personal brand. Let’s make it step number one on my quick checklist today.

My 5 steps for kicking off your personal branding journey.

  1. Write down your “dream epitaph” – what does it say… are you being remembered for your 9-5 life or for being a parent, a spouse, a friend, someone who empowers others, a writer, a creative… what?
  2. Create a list of your skills, talents, passions, and of course: your mission and your message.
  3. What colors do you like? Play around with a palette on Canva (click here to get the free version – you can upgrade if needed!).
  4. Create a list of things you love. For example: I love history, living where I used to vacation, and coffee!
  5. Narrow it all down and weave it into what is your personal brand.

Want help?

It’s here and of course, I have a recommendation! Margaret Bourne’s e-book: How To Win Over Readers, Clients And Customers: A Guide To Personal Branding For Bloggers And Solopreneurs

Click here to purchase the e-book and dive right into creating your brand with her toolkit by clicking here.

Rise shine and create Daphne Free At 50 Instagram post branded with coffee and personal notes

@daphnefreeat50 branded Instagram post utilizing Canva

Closing out one of my shortest blog posts on record.

Yes, this was a short one!

But it’s all I needed to share what I was inspired to share by running across Jefferson’s instructions for his epitaph. I hope you’ve been inspired as well… and moreover, I hope you TAKE ACTION.

Want to discuss?

Book a FREE call with me by clicking here and type MY BRAND in the booking notes!

And if you're interested in history... check out my "just for fun" blog here! Every post ends with words from history. Cheers!

Virginia State Capitol bust of Thomas Jefferson, third United States President

Photo credit: Daphne Reznik- Jefferson bust, Virginia State Capitol

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