Are you struggling with gaining traction with your brand? If so, know you’re not alone. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are new to the work effort required to boost a brand and get noticed.

I recently returned home from Italy where I was invited to share my story with 50 entrepreneurs and thought leaders at the Forbes Under 30 Unconventional Life with Jules Schroeder business accelerator retreat. The event was life-changing, and the connections were powerful.

Here’s the thing. There’s only one reason I stumbled upon this opportunity—I had a personal brand that stood out and connected me to the right people.

What Is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is your essence. It’s how people feel about you even when you’re not around. In today’s market, it’s the most powerful way to stand out among hundreds of thousands of other entrepreneurs and businesses vying for people’s attention. When you create a personal brand that’s unforgettable and burned into the minds of your audience, there’s no limit to your accomplishments.

I built my brand within 18 months—right after I returned home from my heart transplant. When you’re unable to walk, properly feed yourself, or even get dressed, the task of creating a brand can feel insurmountable. So how did I create a personal brand, noticed by key influencers in the midst of an emotional and physical setback?

Mentoring with the Most Powerful Mentor on the Planet

I started training with Grant Cardone, #1 New York Times best-selling author of books such as The 10X Rule, Sell or Be Sold, If You’re Not First, You’re Last, and Be Obsessed or Be Average in mid-2015. I was so tired—exhausted from the setbacks life had dealt me.

Working with Grant gave me the skills, knowledge, and motivation to dive into the depths of my soul. I searched for another round of inner strength, courage, and resilience to business‪—‬after seven long years of fighting for my life. He was my focus every single day—telling me exactly what I needed to do to build my brand, make sales, and keep myself financially stable.

Grant empowered me to think beyond current circumstances and to step boldly into purpose.

You see, I had a big mission. I was determined to be a beacon of light for others who were struggling. Grant reminded me I could not help others until I helped myself. He demonstrated the massive effort required to fight for my life—this time out in the world of business. The best part: I could do everything from home using free social media.

Busting out of Obscurity

There are certain strategic steps I made that separated me from the rest. After all, Grant taught not to compete, but dominate. All I needed was to come out of obscurity, out of the unknown—the place where no one knows who you are.

Here are the 5 strategies—each allowed me to create a six-figure brand, build influence quickly, and travel around the world sharing my story.

  1. Create your brand. Identify who you are. Assess your goals, dreams, visions and what makes your heart come alive. It’s critical you determine what makes you unique and sets you apart from the rest. Build your brand around your story to create a bigger connection with your tribe.
  2. Build your tribe. Survey the people attracted to you and your message. Find out what problems are keeping them from reaching their goals. Generate content addressing solutions to their needs and share across major social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great to begin distributing your content.
  3. Increase your authority. Partner with other influencers, organizations, or platforms and create higher valued content that reaches a broader audience. You need to be an authority among your circle of influence. Podcasts, digital TV shows, and article writing are excellent ways to build authority.
  4. Launch your offer. Package up the solution to your community’s biggest source of frustration and launch it. Use the profits to reinvest immediately back into your business to scale.
  5. Amplify your message. Congratulate yourself for everything you have accomplished and prepare to scale your message and solutions to reach beyond your wildest imagination. Now you have the financial resources to take your brand to the next level of growth. Seek out resources, events, companies, media outlets, and larger influencers with whom you can partner or collaborate and let your light shine!

Creating a powerful personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. Neither does success. It comes with commitment, consistency, and massive action. The first step is getting out of obscurity. If people don’t know who you are, you are blocking the flow of endless opportunities available every single day.

Building a personal brand is a long-term strategy for reaching the people you are meant to serve. Remember, your brand must attract key influencers and resources to amplify your message to the next level.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Founder/CEO Live Big Be Happy. #1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Digital TV Host, & Near-Death Survivor. Cherie is known for her powerful near-death experience. It took $3 million dollars, 100 top surgeons and medical experts in the world, a bionic heart, and a heart transplant to save her life. Her compelling story has been published by the largest database of near-death stories in the world and selected as 1 of 16 out of 3800 featured. The History Channel has approached her, and NHK Broadcasting in Japan has featured her in a film documentary.