“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ―Oscar Wilde
I have spent many years of my life in the corporate world discussing and evaluating corporate brands. A brand is a complete promise. For example a corporate brand is a specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, and service. It’s also a bundle of attributes. Think of Volvo, for instance, and you probably think “well built, comfortable, Swedishand safe”. It’s the car we drove as a family and the car the engineers in my world understand and channel. Although branding seems quite straight forward it takes a lot of time, money and hard work to build and maintain. Great brands can speak volumes in just a few words.
So then what the heck is a personal brand?
Well, it again is a promise that describes: your values, your gifts and talents, your boundaries, your character, your passions – (what truly gets you up in the morning) and your legacy. Personal branding is a never ending journey of self-discovery. A journey to knowing exactly how to communicate your authentic you– those unique, defining elements that give your personal brand distinction. In just a few words, images or actions you are able evoke your true self to yourself and others. It is what you stand for and what you return to.
So why is this important?
When I ask myself to move to a higher self I often call forth my personal brand. I will make notes, create a vision board and talk to mentors and friends to fine tune my brand. Although it sounds clinical, I promise you this exercise of self-branding and visualizing yourself living the brand is brilliant. This personal brand then becomes the legs of your daily habit regime. The type of habits you decide upon and the energy behind them will flow from your personal brand.
My brand changes as I grow, age and experience. My brand as a Goldman Sachs banker was a very different brand than the one I have created today. My brand is about: clarity, health, passion, energy, grace, joy and containment. This encapsulates my life as a life design coach, wellness expert, author as well as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. It helps me to generate my life goals and strategies. It helps me how to decide how I spend my time, how I carry myself, where I invest my energies and the overall direction I am moving. It is like my internal compass, allowing me to return to north/ my authentic self when I stray. I am not perfect, and often my brand is stronger than my actual self but it always directs me towards the right choices.
Manage your personal brand as if it were a trademark.
It is an asset that you must protect while continuously molding and shaping it. Your brand may be reflected in many different types of habits. It will guide and shape your habits, helping you move you to a better you.
Before you create the branding habit you must solidify your own your own Personal Brand:
- Write down your personal values, skills, qualities and roles – take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It wasn’t perfect either.
- Form a mission statement. What are your commandments? Don’t make it over complicated and don’t have too many.
- Create a picture in your mind of the newly rebranded you. Return to this often to ground and connect you. Perhaps utilize a vision board or a theme song.