Deep thoughts on personal branding: who are you?

I’m going to be speaking at the One Woman Fearless Summit in Victoria on March 3rd. I’m excited and terrified at the same time. My topic is “Being Yourself, Fearlessly” and I need to embrace exactly that to get through this presentation. So, what does it mean to be yourself and am I myself? And what does all of this have to do with the fitness and wellness industry???

Anytime I scroll through Instagram or Twitter I come across several personal branding posts. What does that even mean? I am who I am, right? Maybe not. I love the quote “Be who you post to be” because are you really a bathroom selfie? Are you washboard abs and green smoothies? Are you flawless? Are you as perfect as you portray yourself to be? How you present yourself is your brand. But are you really that version of yourself? I enjoy hearing celebrities say they just hang out at home in sweats. We only see their brand, we rarely see them for themselves.

I love fitness, but I don’t have six packs abs or flawless skin. I have a soft belly and I fall prey to redness and hormonal breakouts. I’m not great at box jumps (or any jumps, for that matter.)  I don’t run marathons or do CrossFit. I’m not a vegan and I don’t drink enough water. I am not so many things, but I am so many things at the same time.

I am a mother and I love my children. They throw tantrums and make getting out the door difficult. They push my buttons and I adore the heck out of them. I am a wife and my husband doesn’t understand why I want to be able to do the splits. He, too, pushes my buttons, but I’m devoted to him. I’m a friend who doesn’t always stay in touch consistently, but I’m fiercely loyal and will rush to your defense in a second. I’m an entrepreneur who’s navigating the business world by pursuing what excites me. I’m also a huge fan of Tudor history, empathy education, and hunting for beach glass. I am also a daughter and a sister and an aunt and cousin. I am more than my business, and so are you.

simonsinekI have been lucky enough to encounter many people who are running their businesses as authentically as possible. What that looks like is one fitness studio doesn’t promote the use of supplements or energy drinks. One turns down clients whose goals don’t align with her vision. That means setting boundaries and learning to say no to some requests and invitations to allow for family time and self-care outside of business hours. Spending time with these folks has allowed me to start discovering who I truly am and that it’s ok for me to decide how I’m going to run and grow my business. Clients become raving fans because of the how and why of your business, not the what.

One of my favourite poets is e.e.cummings (yes, I like poetry too. In fact I used to write poetry a lot as a teenager). He said “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”, and it does. eecummingsSo, who are you behind that Instagram gallery and that Twitter feed? Are you courageous enough to be yourself?

 

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