Here’s Your Medicine: The Brand Doctor

What’s the difference between branding and personal branding? When is it time for a rebrand? Henry Kaminski, the Brand Dr, knows all about this. This episode does not disappoint!

How did you get started?

I come from humble beginnings. My parents tried to have a family for 16 years and couldn’t. I don’t think I would try anything for 16 years, continue to fail and keep trying. Finally a Dr found out what was wrong, I don’t believe in coincidences at all, and I was conceived. 2 years later, I am in the crib, blue and unresponsive. They rush me to the hospital, due to poor nutrition, I lost all the salt in my body. Finally I got back to normal. When I hear that story, I think I’m here on borrowed time and have to make the best of my life. If my parents could try for 16 years I can do anything I want. I took the story and I made it apart of me growing up. It’s how I’m at where I am at today, without that story I wouldn’t have the drive and motivation I have today to help people design their business and life. This is what I am here for. That’s the backstory of how I have been living my life for the last 39 years.

Let’s get into the Brand Dr stuff.

I’m going to share stories, it’s the best way for humans to understand and comprehend. I graduate college right around 9/11 so nobody was hiring. My uncles has connections at a local hospital and I started there by checking insurances at the same day surgery center. My boss resented me because she had to give me the job, half the day she’d stick me in the waiting room to clean the coffee pots. I was working my ass off and I was apart of every committee and subgroup, got my masters degree and I was going for any managerial or directional position I could, I ended at a spot in the sudden infant death syndrome center. It was event planning/fundraising for the department. It was rewarding and sad. I was able to create and plan events, the rewarding part was I was able to take the money and create support events for all the families in the state that lost their babies to SIDS. I get Z100 to sponsor one of the biggest radio channels on the planet. I needed marketing materials. We did the event at a club and needed the material, so a friend designed the flyers. He’s showing me how to do it, he’s creating the design for me. It was awesome, I had to figure it out. We do the event, I get my boss to buy me photoshop. I start doing all the design work and start picking up side hustles outside of work. I am getting paid more on my side hustle than I was at the hospital.

To get to your point, I come to a crossroads. The economic downturn hits, 2008. They are cutting people, morphing positions. My side hustle was a hobby at the time. I got the call from my boss, “come January 1 you’re done. You can stay here and you’re going to be somebody’s secretary 100% of the time, or you can leave.” This was November/December. I went to my uncle, but he didn’t have a spot for me. He was always my back up so when he went, “I don’t know.” I was worried. It’s where I have to make a decision, my uncle never gets back to me. I said, “that’s your answer Henry, it’s time to fly.” I told my boss, I’m going to go. My first year I hustled $248,000 in revenue, that gave me the confidence. 24 months later I make my first million and after that scaled it to 3 million, 4 million, 5 million. I was a 1 man band, but I was like Jordan, I spent every penny I earned.

Every 36 months, I’d make another million dollars. I had humble beginnings, then my mom takes off and my father raises me on his own working 4 jobs. He put me to work early, so I got a strong work ethic when I was strong and young. When I got money, I spent every dollar! That caused a lot of resentment and riff in my family. There are family members that still won’t talk to me because I did stupid things back then.

You made such a good point, you had no control over the economy but it forced you into a place of inward looking and going for it. The adversity we are going through, it’s giving us an opportunity to rise to the occasion. How do those of us still recovering, find our path?

It’s going to be different for every single person. There’s opportunity in times like this. When things happen I get calm. When shit hit the fan I got calm and I said, what can I do to help people. This world right now needs leadership. They need somebody to look up to, somebody to listen to. Are you going to be a sheep, or are you going to be the leader of the pack? I’ll be damned if I’m the sheep. There’s opportunity in this the real leaders rise up, they don’t fold.

Let’s talk about branding. Give us some simple pointers to help develop ourselves.

Couple things, what is branding? And what is personal branding? 2 very good definitions I have found through my studies. Branding is the gut feeling people get when they interact with you or your business. When you walk out of the room, what are they going to say about you?

What’s personal branding? Its the intersection between how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you. When that gap is wide, Houston we have a problem. When the gap is narrow, that person is excelling tremendously cause there’s an alignment. Look for how you can provide more value to the people you want to help. You have to get specific on who you want to help, and what can we do now at a higher level. This is where you do your homework. You’re not going to wake up with all these ideas, you have to get out there and ask questions.

How do you know when it’s time for a rebrand?

I had a client that lost a $100,000 job, the feedback he got back was that our CEO did an audit of your online presense, although you did good work, you looked amateur and unprofessional. The guy they did hire, they spent 5x more on the project because they wanted to assure that quality. The universe is going to tell you. Does your brand’s identity truly represent the value you deliver? If the answers no, it’s time.

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