Getting intentional with your why, writing it down, and having motivation behind building your brand is the first step in making it a reality. It is the first step in making your brand come to life, and your future vision come to life.
It seems that the majority of small business owners are becoming intentional with their why and are wanting to make their brand come to life. But first, we need to know: what is a brand? I know a lot of you might be thinking that a brand is a logo, or a set of colors, typefaces, and icons that look nice and pretty together. This is what a lot of people think of when they say that they are branding their business or working on their personal brand. They believe that branding is the visual system that represents a business or a person.
But what if I told you there is more to it? There is a lot more to it. Think of branding as the experience that others have when they interact with your brand. This means that when people experience your brand or you personally, they are getting to know you and your brand and they are building connections with what you are putting out there (your website, your tone of voice, your clothing, your beliefs, your hair color, the car you drive, and, yes, the logo you have on your business cards, social media and stationery set. Everything that you create around you is essentially creating your brand.
What I have realized after years of working in Corporate America and navigating the ropes there is:
Every choice you make will determine your brand.
This means two things for you:
- You have the potential to take charge, get to know your brand, and grow it intentionally. You have the power to dive deep into your mission, your values, and make intentional decisions that build on top of each other, to create a brand experience dream customers cannot help but be drawn to. You can get to know your brand’s core and make decisions and take actions that align with it. Actions that add up to something growing and lasting and YOU at your core. If you don’t own a business, you can also start to build a life around your core values and your personal brand. One that brings you the utmost joy and fulfillment on a regular basis.
- Or, you can forget you read this post and go on doing what you please. You can make decisions on how to grow your business and life that might feel good in the moment, or that are based on a certain comment you read in a blog post. You can making decisions on the fly and be confused about if they are really the right ones. Or worse, you can get stuck in NOT making a decision for fear of making the wrong one–perpetuating the state you are in and never getting out. You can try ‘all the things’ and never feeling like you are growing towards your goals, and you are getting burnt out along the way.
You find the power when you start making branding and life decisions intentionally based on your values and your mission. It will help you build the life and business that you dream of. Building a brand intentionally and strategically is how you get to the next level. It is how you get from that confused state of not knowing how or why to make decisions, to having something to back you up so you know you are making the right decisions for your business or life. When you know your brand’s core, you can know you are moving forward in the right direction and you do not have to waste time wondering about which decision is the right one. Knowing your brand’s core will help you know that right off the bat.
You will also be able to deflect heading in ways in your business or life that are trending or not necessarily right for your business. Not that all of them are bad ideas, but that is what they are–ideas. Knowing your core will help you know which ideas will work for your brand so you can head on a steady, lasting, and fruitful track that is right for YOU.
I know branding isn’t necessarily sexy and using those trending colors, typefaces, or following a career path that was right for your sister can be so so tempting when it works out so well for others. When you know your core, you will get to a place where you can find not only what is Right for your brand, but also what is not right for your brand. This is where the magic is. When you get to a place where you know your brand’s core inside and out, you can make decisions much easier. You can also ditch the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
This is what branding is all about. Creating that core that is so distinctively YOU. Making decisions based on strategy, not on trends. Finding your WHY and leading with purpose to make that a reality. This isn’t a journey that happens in a day, or a week, or even a year. Honestly, it is a journey that NEVER ends. But finding your WHY, finding your foundation, and getting intentional about your brand is the first step in making something that matters–whether that is a business that changes the world for the better or living your life in a way that bring you and those around you value and joy. The power to make those small choices that add up to big rewards is in your hands.
Take a second to reflect. Think of some big or some small questions that you have been struggling with answering lately. Take a few minutes to write them down . Perhaps one of your questions is deciding if you should leave your day job to run your side hustle full-time. Maybe it is deciding which daycare is best for your child and your finances and finding that balance. Maybe it is questioning whether to wear jeans or that lace dress to the event next week. After you write these down, I want you to take some time and reflect on why these are hard to answer. What is it about them that is making them hard? How does that make you feel? Write these down too.
In the next couple of posts, I will cover ways to find your brand’s core and how to use them to grow your brand over the years. In the next post I will reveal specific strategies for your business or life that I have used for clients. Taking time to write down and work through these strategies is what makes them concrete and will help you bring your brand to life.