It took a while to fully grasp this teachable moment. In what seemed like 35+ years in the making, I’ve evolved to understand the concept for one’s authentic self.
There are many names, most of which don’t really embody what it means to be authentically you. As a personal brand you’ll use words like “rebranding” or “revamping.” If you’re a wordsmith then you’ll find clever ways of saying the same ‘ish like “re-inventing” or “re-imagining.” I’ve used these, over and over, on many occasions.
The bottom line: I was looking for the right persona to fit.
Instead I decided to show up as I am and that makes all the difference.
A personal brand is not the same as a business brand. This was one of the many lessons I had to unlearn. This is also probably the root for most of your brand confusion.
Shifting towards cultivating your personal brand means unraveling what you think you know about branding. Building Nike, Apple or Starbucks is not the same as building Jane Doe. Sure, there’s some common core brand voice + values ideologies BUT the actual cultivation of both brand types (personal + business) are different.
You can personalize a business brand. You can give it everything but a heart + soul. In theory, marketers may tell you that business brands have a heart + soul but in reality, they don’t. Not in the same way as a living human being. This is core difference that makes building a personal brand different from building a business brand.
Who you are is your competitive edge.
When you’re a personal brand, it’s less about being better and more about being your authentic self. This is easier said than done because what often comes with owning your authentic self is a self-awareness and acceptance that you may not be emotionally ready for.
When you accept your authentic self then you are giving others permission to do the same. You are also giving others the right to not align with who you are, and that’s OK. Building a personal brand is your opportunity to live your purpose and not allow your life to be determined by what others expect you to be.
A business brand relies on the market.A personal brand depends on your willingness to express your imperfect & authentic self. Click To Tweet
When you show up as your authentic self, those who are not your right people will eventually remove themselves out of your space. Or you may do this yourself too.
It’s not enough to say “this is my personal brand.” You have to embody it, express it and allow it to shine.