🎉 1 Year of Writing the Personal Brand Brief

The Personal Brand Brief turns 1 today! The craziest part? I almost didn’t start it in the first place. Today’s article digs into some lessons I’ve learned along the journey. 🎈

Hey Newsletter Fam. You’re joining 18,500+ founders & entrepreneurs curious about building an online voice. If you enjoy reading the Personal Brand Brief, forward it to a friend. ✉️


A year ago, the Personal Brand Brief was born. Kinda crazy. Because I almost didn’t start it in the first place. 

What 99% of people don’t know is that I almost didn’t start writing this weekly newsletter in the first place. Why? Because I thought no one would care to read.

My head was full of self-doubt and I actually sat on my hands for 6 months before starting it. 6 months of fear and imposter syndrome.

Finally, my wife said, stop humming and hawing and just do it already. You’ll learn something either way. And if you don’t start, you’ll regret not trying. 

When I heard that, something switched. 

I thought to myself on 3 questions that I think everyone should ask themselves before starting something — 

  • “Am I focused on what I can learn or how much I can earn with this project?”

  • “Am I more excited about the process or the end results?”

  • “Is this a decade building block or a short term goal?”

All my answers leaned on the earlier parts validating it was the right project to invest my time into regardless of how the result panned out.

That mindset led me to write the first edition of PBB and today, 365 days and 52 editions later, here I am writing to you about my journey. 

1 year later, the PBB newsletter has gone above and beyond in amazing me with opportunities. It has kicked in a new curiosity that I’ve never had before, it’s helped draw in speaking and consulting opportunities for my business, and it has helped me connect with countless people that share the same heart for storytelling in a digital world.

To mark PBB’s first anniversary (and an early celebration of many more come) I want to share with you 3 lessons that this past year has taught me:

Empathy is a Creator’s Biggest Asset: 

  1. Listen to your audience, understand what they expect from you and deliver upon it. Creators rarely converse with the people they are creating content for. 

  1. Respect their time and make your content worth their time. Writing concisely and saying more in less has become my guiding light for the coming year. 

To Sustain your Work Ethic, Adopt a Learner's Mindset. 

Writing to you every week has taught me more than I could’ve imagined. 95% of people quit their goals by week 2 of New Year’s resolutions. Very few make it a whole year. I have the blessing of making it an entire year with my writing goal. 

That consistency hasn’t been easy, but it’s surely made me realize how essential curiosity is in the world of writing. If you want to go long, adopt a learner’s mindset.

When you’re an explorer, you don’t fear unknown waters. You cherish the opportunities ahead. That’s what I’ve learned with this one year commitment. 

Ditch Perfection, Settle for High Quality:

The coming years of PBB will be full of experimentation and authentic stories. I want to shake things up in a way that makes you smile and say “wait, you can do that?”

We’re always taught to do things the “right” way in schools. So instead of focusing on cookie cutter perfection, I’m gonna be serving up wild west wisdom. 

What really matters is: doing something in a way that teaches you, shapes your habits, and guides your life in a direction that has meaning.

I hope my weekly newsletter can be a piece of that for you in the years to come.

Here’s to building a culture that stops waiting and starts building. 

What can you expect next? 🚀

My goal is to make PBB a newsletter that shakes things up. I want to write a newsletter that honours your time, makes you laugh, and teaches you something meaningful. 

I also want to bring you top-notch interviews and insights from people who are killing it out there. If you’ve got suggestions on who I should invite next, reply and let me know.  

Thank you for being on this journey with me 🥂

P.S. We are about to hit 20k subscribers. If you’ve learned something this year, it’d mean the world to me if you could forward this newsletter to a friend to subscribe.

Share Personal Brand Brief


I’d love to hear your takeaways or maybe a “wow” moment from reading the Personal Brand Brief this year. If you’ve had one, you can shoot me an email (a single word or a line can do) at: hello@joelhansen.com


Here’s the work spot I started the newsletter exactly 1 year ago today in Victoria, BC. My oh my does time fly. What’s a 1 year goal you’re excited about? Hit reply if you’ve got one.

Thanks for reading! I try hard to make it a newsletter you look forward to each week, so if you have any suggestions about content you’d like to see or ideas that sparked, let me know:

Leave a comment

Stay outta’ trouble and catch you next week.

✌🏻 Joel

Wanna learn more about my work? Click below:

📱 Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Cohort Course