I’m Not My Role Models, I’m On My Own Journey

Everyone has at least one role model in their life. People we look up to personally or professionally. But it’s important to remember that you are not your role model.

You’d think this was an obvious statement that didn’t need to made, but it’s something that’s been on my mind recently and I wanted to talk about it a little bit.

I have a few different role models for different aspects of my life. My dad for his work ethic and passion for doing things right. My mum for her compassion and how she always puts people before herself. Past managers who have shown me the value of networking and building meaningful relationships.

Alan Milner's Parents

My incredible parents

I even have role models I don’t know personally. When it comes to my business life, I look up to social media/business personalities like Gary Vaynerchuck and Carlos Gil. I see the businesses and personal brands they are growing and I aspire to be like them.

“So Why Am I Telling You This?”

Because I look up to all of these people I have spent a lot of time with them (either in person or by consuming their content). I want to find out what makes them successful in the area that I admire about them so that I can emulate that. So I can be like them.

This leads me back to my first statement. I am not my role models. No matter how much I admire them, respect them and aspire to be like them, I am not them. So why am I telling you this?

My Personal Brand

I got thinking about this statement recently after deciding I wanted to grow my personal brand in 2017. I wanted to build a personal brand like Gary or Carlos.  So, I 10x the amount of their content I was watching and reading to learn more about what they were doing.

Then I started planning what I was going to do. I wanted to write blog posts teaching people about digital marketing and business. I wanted to make vlogs that showed how much I worked and what I do. After all, that’s what these two, and many others, are doing and it’s certainly working for them. Why wouldn’t it work for me?

As I started planning and started creating I realised something. I know jack. Nada. Nothing. Who the hell am I to start teaching strangers on the internet how to do digital marketing without knowing their business? I have very, very little business experience so how can I teach someone about that? If I start doing that I’ll get laughed off of the internet or worse, give some bad advice and damage someone’s business, whilst simultaneously ruining my reputation.

Damn. I don’t want that. But I still want to create a personal brand. I still want to be able to provide value. How can I do that?


All of this came from the realisation that I am not my role models. I don’t have their experience or their knowledge.  I’m not in their position, so why am I trying so hard to be them?

Then I realised something else. At one point, my role models weren’t who they are today. One day they woke up just like me, without knowledge or experience of what they’re teaching today. But I didn’t get to see that. They’re in the middle of their journey. I didn’t get to see the beginning.

That’s it! That’s my content. I remember back to a Gary Vaynerchuck video about documenting, not creating. I can document. I’m at the start of my journey. I don’t have to teach people, I can invite them to learn with me. I don’t have to inspire people with what I’ve done, but what I’m doing and going to do.

So let this blog be an official invite to everyone to join me on my journey. I can’t promise that everything I do will be right or that it will help you. But what I can promise is a real view of how someone starts at the bottom and works towards the top.

Whilst I’m on the journey, I hope to meet other people on their journey that I can follow along with. So if you’re starting your journey, leave a comment below or tweet me at @almilner05 and let’s share our journey and experience together!

Here’s to the journey!


Leave a Reply

Alan Milner at House of Lords ICW