Connecting with Bill Sobel

Dan Schawbel has been called “the millennial version of Tom Peters” — a consultant, writer, columnist and public speaker known for his energy, influence and ideas.

Schawbel is a young man with a long resume: he's the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, the author of two bestsellers, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future and Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success and a columnist at both Time and Forbes.

He's been featured in more than 1,000 media outlets, from “The Today Show” on NBC to “The Nightly Business Report” on PBS, and has spoken at some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Google, IBM, Time Warner, CitiGroup, McGraw-Hill and Siemens, as well as some of the most notable schools … Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and MIT. 

He was named to Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30 List in 2010, the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2012 and described by BusinessWeek as someone entrepreneurs should follow on Twitter.

Why should you care? Because he understands social media, personal branding and that ever elusive millennial workforce, among other things.

'Personal Branding Czar'

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Schawbell said one of his core beliefs is that to be successful today you have to be accountable for your career and take charge of your life. And one of the keys to success is knowing how to promote yourself.

Sobel: I was honored that you asked me to provide a quote in the first book you wrote in 2009. Since then, you've moved from Boston to New York and have re-invented yourself again. Can you tell us a bit about Dan Schawbel, then and now?

Schawbel: I worked for EMC for three and a half years when I graduated college and had three different positions during my time there, including the company's first ever social media position. This was back in 2007 after I had started a blog, magazine and video series. That eventually caught Fast Company's attention, and after a profile, I was hired internally for the social media job. The experience of creating my own job at a Fortune 200 company inspired me to write Me 2.0, which eventually led me to start my company, Millennial Branding.

My original business model was personal branding coaching for individuals and social media consulting for small businesses. Eventually I lost interest in those things, especially with the sheer amount of competition, which undercut me for similar services. I made the transition a few years ago to workplace research and consulting, with emphasis on generational dynamics. The new book, Promote Yourself, along with major clients helped me make the transition. I'm also now partnering with Career Edge, a group of experts selling a solution to embed a career curriculum into higher education.

Sobel: You are one of the first people I know that really pushed the notion of a personal brand. Tell us more about that.