By now you’ve probably heard that Roger Ebert passed away yesterday in Chicago. Having dealt with cancer and health-related issues head on since 2002, there’s no doubt he made a mark in journalism and fought ’til the very end. Here are several things we can learn from Ebert’s illustrious career.

1. Become your own brand. Before this even became en vogue, Ebert was already doing it. When you thought of movie critics and columnists back in the day, there’s no doubt his name would come to mind. And depending on your generation, perhaps his show, Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, would come to mind. Or how about the ubiquitous thumbs up or thumbs down approach regarding a movie?

As per The New York Times obituary, President Obama said in a statement, “For a generation of Americans — especially Chicagoans — Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive — capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.”

Again, he was a brand: “Roger was the movies.” Read more