Is it possible to find yourself through personal branding? Well - yes, you can find yourself as you go through any process in life - including developing your personal brand if you approach each opportunity with an open mind and a willingness to learn. It may be a difficult journey as you get to know who you really are because so often you worry about impressing others and forget about the "real" you underneath it all!
Being a business owner can be scary enough, but then, adding the pressure of developing a personal brand increases your stress to a whole new level. It may force you to step out of your comfort zone, face uncertainty and expose parts of yourself that you usually keep hidden. This is why you may be avoiding it as it's easier to stay how you are. But remember - if you don't move forward (in life and in business) you will end up feeling stagnant and stuck so ... take a chance, make some difficult decisions and trust the outcome!
Earlier this year I found that my business felt stagnant ... it needed help ... it needed a face-lift. I had to face the uncertainty of exposing parts of myself I usually kept hidden in order to get it back on track. This included some things now expressed in my logo - my signature (very personal) and an elephant mandala (those who know me know that - I LOVE elephants!). The most important thing I learned was that there is a sense of freedom gained in just allowing myself to be who I am.
I consider myself pretty self-aware and was OK with the people I knew "seeing" the real me - but when it came to a larger audience - I really wasn't sure. So, in order to move forward with my personal growth and my business - I had to face my own fears and make difficult choices for my personal branding without knowing the outcome - what a journey!
So, here are some tips to help you through your journey in personal branding ...
-ALLOW YOURSELF TO JUST BE WHO YOU ARE
It's amazing how we see ourselves and how it can be different from how others see us. When we are able to accept who we are, just as we are, we take an essential step to aligning with our true purpose in life. Drop your guard and accept who you are unequivocally.
-ALIGN WITH YOUR TRUE PURPOSE
If the business image you are portraying feels phony – it probably is! And, what is even worse is that others can feel that it isn't really authentic. One way to market yourself well is to align with your true purpose, find things that make your heart sing and lean into those feelings. Then, trust in the power of the universe and don't live something that you are not!
This means letting go of images you may have of yourself and trust that others can see your essence without all of the fluff. Then work to bring out that essence in your life and in your marketing. Take small steps as you feel comfortable.
-HAVE COURAGE TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
You can do this by releasing your need for control. Trust that you don't need to know all of the details and be open to trying something new. Living life and building your brand means allowing new opportunities to come in – try something new as the possibilities are endless! Letting go isn't easy so take it one step at a time.
-BELIEVE IN THE TALENTS OF OTHERS
This is a big one! Make sure you are comfortable with whom you hire to help you with marketing then let go of the reigns. Even though I crave certainty and control I knew I was totally out of my element and I also learned that by hanging on too tight I was limiting the creative potential in others.
You can make your own personal branding journey easier by just allowing yourself to be - authentically. By doing so you will align with your true purpose in life. Embracing uncertainty is part of life so why shouldn't it be part of your business? Let yourself feel the uncertainty as you go through the process of creating a new look for your business. Don't worry, try something new and if you do end up hiring someone to help you build your brand, make sure you are fully comfortable with them. I am glad I did and now know that I am now putting the real me out there in my business and it makes it a whole lot easier to live up to what I (we) created.
Make sure you let yourself shine!