Blog Post

Brand Level Zero


It’s that time of year when people look back on the past year(s) and think about what they have and have not accomplished.

Going into 2015 I feel like this is going to be my breakout year- why and why now?

Why not just stay silent and in the shadows- why come in from the cold?

Because I have a lot of stories to tell, knowledge to share and I cannot afford to wait until I have mastered everything and I find the perfect time to start. The trials and tribulations of the procrastinating perfectionist! A constant battle between the opportunity cost of “rage to master” and just getting it done.

I choose to jump in now and run with what I’ve got and will begin to build this blog and my brand.

2015 will also be the breakout year for Virtual Reality (VR). A core passion of mine and only second (for now) to my first passion- SQL Server. I have been working with SQL Server since last century, it feeds my family and continues to pay my bills. The #SQLFamily is second to none! In working with databases and database engines for so long also helps explain why I have an innate and developed skill for pattern matching.

So before the New Year begins, let’s look at some of my personal social media numbers- a timid and humble baseline before I start building my brand in earnest:


LinkedIn (


Facebook (


Twitter (


WordPress (

And even egosurfing for Todd Kleinhans shows very little about me.

Pretty pathetic eh?

Note- I have not imported my address books into social media or used any other automated tools to jump start or spike my numbers. You will see these numbers organically change as I genuinely get into social media as I build my brand. Up to this point I have been sitting on the social media fence and just getting by with only a little effort. This too is about to soon change.

“When you are at the bottom, the only way is up,” I don’t remember who said that- I think I must have read that in a motivational book (Zig Ziglar?) some time ago.

When you find yourself at the bottom digging a hole, what is the first step? Stop digging! First law of holes if you visualize people standing around the edge of your hole laughing at you what is the second step? Get out of the hole but keep the shovel…

Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Do I have a detailed how-to-guide? Nope. A couple of presentations and blog posts by a couple of the many people I respect and admire in the #SQLFamily:

Steve Jones (@way0utwest | |

Brent Ozar (@BrentO | | | Short video on blogging

What do I bring to the table to build my brand? Just an intense desire to succeed, learn and pivot. This blog and the things I choose to share and build will be my public accountability and partial lifelog.

What kinds of things to build? You will have to stay tuned. Hint: much of what I want to share has to do with my core passions and compassionate use of Appropriate Technology

At this time next year let us revisit my numbers, number of blog posts, opportunities seized, things built, lessons learned, and people assisted.

So Cheers! Here is to the climb up from Brand Level Zero and on to greatness!

–Todd Kleinhans

P.S. Happy New Year and I hope you are as excited by the prospects of 2015 as I am.



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