You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your reputation. Your reputation is set of histories that you carry around with you. Histories that you wrote.
Your reputation is the cumulative opinions that others hold about you or your work. It’s like your own personal family photo. You can’t escape it. It’s a fact. It has already happened.
You’re able to contribute to these stories about you and influence others into seeing you or your work a certain way. This is the marketing of the personal brand.
But there comes a limit to how much you’re able to influence others. You can’t control the stories they tell each other about you or your work.
The story you want to be telling yourself and others - the real story - is one which fulfils the expectations you set yourself through your own principles and standards.
This is the story that lasts when the personal brand has faded. Your principles are ultimately all that matter.