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I have a friend who brews really great craft beer. He wants to teach others to do it, but he’s hit a small stumbling block — he’s never published anything and he’s got zero following. How can he start building authority and credibility fast? I gave him a couple suggestions… 

Plus I’ll also tell you about the time I was invited to a party at the Playboy Mansion and why I turned it down. (Believe it or not, these things are related!)

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43 Replies to “Beer, Personal Branding, and the Playboy Mansion”

  1. Brilliant as usual. I love gleaning from your wisdom. Good choice not to go to the Playboy mansion. 🙂

    • True!
      That’s the difference between real men and grown boys!

      btw I visited your page and your work is awesome, Sandra! Congratulations

  2. Great story. And reminder of importance of congruence – or just being honest about who you are. Thank you. I enjoyed listening.

  3. I have to be honest. When I saw the headline of your email I rolled my eyes. I can understand why the playboy mansion can be appealing for men but as a woman it makes me cringe at the thought of women being objectified in that way. I’m so glad you didn’t go because I may have stopped following you. Thank you for being considerate of your female followers.

  4. Thanks again Sir Jeff for that wonderful story, it’s uplifting. Continue to inspire more entrepreneurs all over the world.

  5. Adriana Corbo


    Thanks for all that you do Jeff. Leading with your own example and coherent behaviour is not a frequent advice these days.
    I’ve been reading/watching you for five years, for special things like this kind of guidance. It’s not just about marketing, it’s about life.

  6. Awesome nugget of wisdom that has given me a huge A-ha in how I can position myself in my day job that will help me there but also help my coaching business too. My focus previously has been too broad.

  7. Thank you for the story Jeff and advice to all of us. Perception, image, who you surround yourself with, all contribute to your reputation. Walking the walk of integrity and truth. Love it. You are a tremendous role model.

  8. Sally Chirio


    Hi Jeff,
    I’m just starting out and i happened across your videos. Your content gives me things to think about implement or improve.
    Thank you.

  9. Great story and you’ve motivated me to create a video to share with my group
    If I do it in all honesty then people will learn who the real me is behind my brand

  10. If he was working at my brewery, I would not like him sharing my brewing secrets….

  11. Hey Jeff – excellent as usual but speaking as someone who works in film and TV here in the UK can you please not constantly cut from wide to close up for no good reason? It’s hugely distracting. What you have to say is waaayyy compelling enough without the unmotivated cuts which detract from the message. Sorry – just had to get that off my chest. I’ll go lie down now in a dark room.

  12. I have just started on my business and yet I feel as though I have walked 10,000,000 steps, which I probably have with my past experience I’m offering. It’s good to know that, even though I feel like I’m scrambling around like a fledgling chick just out of its shell, I on the right path. So hard, but worth it. Thank you for your wisdom!

  13. Interesting story, Jeff.
    I think you’ve really nailed what it means to have integrity as well. Integrity in its true meaning – looking at the integral nature of you, and your business. Who we are, and what we think, say and do is integral to our brand, especially if we ARE the brand! Thanks for sharing this story.

  14. Peggy Riordan


    I am really glad you did not go to the Playboy Mansion. In doing my research on you, if I had come across a photo of you at that place, I never would have signed up for your course. It would not have mattered to me that your course is a great education. That may sound shortsighted, but I would have persevered on Google to find the info I needed to be successful. I never would give money or time to someone who would spend any time at that place. I have been an activist in the women’s movement since the late 60’s. You are correct that showing up there would have been horrible for your brand. Thank you for making the right decision, even though it may have cost you, in several ways, within the circle of ‘power people’ of that era.

  15. Terrific advice, as usual! Creative ideas come pretty easily to me, but how to narrow it down to what is best is sometimes the challenge. As a practitioner, this video really helped. in addition to all the training and coaching in PLF, but this simplifies the process. Also calling it the “real market research” really resonates with me, as well as calling what I’m stepping into as “knowledge or wisdom business,” instead of “Information marketing business.” I’m best working with others one-on-one, and the more personal I can be as I am learning to work with groups, the better.

    I also appreciate the video on positioning and branding, as that is becoming a way of life for As I create this dream of a business into a “dream business,” the importance of what you spoke to couldn’t be more important right now.

    So grateful!

  16. I have followed you for years and am continually grateful that you started – and continue doing videos with your valuable insights.
    Thank you for being a thoughtful thought leader!

  17. I remember this event at the Playboy mansion very well. I unsubscribed from many marketing newsletters as I was so offended by what these so-called marketing gurus were writing about the event and venue. One marketer had a female JV partner. I made up my mind about who she was purely based on her association with this male marketer. I clicked the link to her website and what I read there just confirmed what I was thinking… I quote: “…I will teach you how to urn a lot of money online…” I left a very polite comment about the “urn”. It was never published. She marked me as a spammer. 😀

  18. Melissa Malcom


    Thanks, Jeff. Awesome as always. As a female in male dominated industries since I was 22 (?), this really speaks to me.

    I’ve been in law, prison industries (as an attorney / investigator), trucking, etc and now I’m in finance / banking. I’m also facilitating the new EDI council. I plan to share with my new work friends.

    Thanks for all you do. Right message at the right time for me.

  19. Jeff- I love all your content and appreciate you highlighting personal branding, as I think it is key to selling anything well- we sell ourselves before anyone buys our product or service.

    As a personal branding expert, I would humbly reframe a key point: I teach that your personal brand comes first and then you can position it in the market to get results. So, you define your personal brand first (what are your natural talents, your unique selling points based on your own story/life) and then you can easily position yourself in your market based on your brand.

    And your example was spot on for me: the Playboy mansion only matches certain personal brands based on what positioning that personal brand wants in the market. I can see why you didn’t go!! 🙂

    Many thanks as always for being such a light,


  20. SimplyLinda


    I’m transitioning from a UK NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist role, to that of writer. For the last few years I’ve ‘hidden’ my background. The penny has recently dropped. Folk are curious about what I did, not what I do.

    Since prefacing my bio with my former professional status, interest in my witterings has increased exponentially. I don’t write about psychological stuff, but that doesn’t matter. I’m like your brewer friend at the moment, building a following. Wish I’d had this guidance years ago!

    Thank you.

  21. You should have went to the mansion. I’ve been to a few Halloween parties there and it was a great time. Met a lot of great people. You wanted to do it since you were 14 but you let people’s opinions of you thwart that opportunity. Your decision was based more on the fear of losing potential sales (money) and fear of people being offended. I like your stuff but you’re coming off as a liberal cuck now so I’ll be opting out moving forward. The only people that agree with you not going to the party here are a bunch of women who would have never been invited.

  22. Great message Jeff.

    I see too many marketers losing sight of this and making mistakes in their positioning. They fail (or at least forget) to think about the big picture.

    Good on you for turning down the Playboy Mansion gig. Not many dudes would have done that.

    I get paid to promote affiliate programs to other marketers. The only vertical market I refuse to promote is the porn niche. And for the same reasons you turned down the Playboy visit. I refuse to alienate my audience. And I’ve turned down big bucks just to stick to my guns on this issue.

    Happy Holidays to your and your staff. Let’s hope next year is virus-free.

    Sincerely – Bill

  23. Very nice story of awareness and perception of balancing your personal identity and professional brand with knowing & being aware of who your current and future publishers, avatars and partners are. Great tips and advice. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Great insights!
    Very powerful and I get your point. I am a woman, however I have a question… What if you really wanted to go? Is personal branding about stopping doing something that you love/like just because of what your followers will think about you? Is it about stopping being yourself to serve people? I am just curious because to be honest, I don´t mind leaders having their own lifes, if I like the content, then I am there. I wonder if it is too relevant for people. Can you please clarify? Thank you!

  25. Peter kiige


    Excellent sharing. I call this top of he notch encouragement ,and this is the kind of talk I have been yearning for. Thanks. Peter

  26. Thanks, real inspiring as always. I hope someone who reads this message knows where this video was shot… I could not stop looking at the foliage in the background, what the heck is that? The colors are absolutely spellbinding, love it! Please let me know what it is

  27. Barry D Friedman


    Great call to turn that down, Jeff. I’m still occasionally mentally/emotionally haunted by the time that I didn’t turn it down – and it was on TV. Ah, the ’80s.

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