How To Create A Personal Brand - I'm Asking, Not Telling

As you have probably noticed if you’ve followed this website or any of my writing ventures over the last 10 years, I pivot. A lot.

I have beat myself up about this quite a bit. Calling myself names like flakey, uncertain, lacking depth, lazy, mediocre, directionless, etc. etc. Scolding me for my inability to commit to one given idea, even though the underlying purpose has always been the same.

To communicate my experiences and findings in a way that can help people heal.

Whether it be through an insight, smile, or sign of relief that “ Wow, I’m not the only one who’s felt this”. At the end of the day, that’s all I want. To help you feel better. And then to help you feel better than better, to help you get the most out of this crazy earthly experience we’ve found ourselves wrapped up in.

So why is the “Name” and the “Title” and the “Aesthetic” such a point of contention? I’m writing this right now to try and figure it out. Because.. I’m still tripped up on it (clearly). I always have a new idea or new parameters for my “personal brand” that feel great until, they don’t. I’m stuck.

I studied marketing and have had a few career stints in it, including my current role that is agency adjacent. All this to say, I know a couple of things when it comes to branding. A ‘brand’ is the identity of a product or service. But it’s more than that. A ‘brand’ should invoke a feeling that prompts you to connect with said product or service. A ‘brand’ should be succinct, consistent, enticing, memorable and recognizable despite geography. A ‘brand’ shouldn’t change, because then part of the identity is lost and the consumer will lose trust.

Maybe that is my issue with personal branding and establishing a ‘brand’ identity for myself. I’m not consistent in the ways that a brand is supposed to be consistent. I don’t know if something that represents me today will represent me tomorrow. I don’t know if the thought I found fascinating yesterday is still going to be as captivating a year from now. I don’t know if I’m going to find this photo of my marble covered laptop case and coffee great for my Instagram feed after posting 10 more photos. And let’s not even start on keeping up a blog that writes within the same ‘brand theme’. The longest I’ve lasted here is about a year before I’m over it. (Usually closer to 3-4 months).

Maybe this is why I can’t seem to commit to any ‘brand’ identity I make for myself. I’m not a brand, I’m a person.

But personal branding seems to be the way of now doesn’t it? Wether we intended to be or not, we are all our own brands - publishing content for the world to see that is a reflection of the product/service/purpose we represent. Even if we don’t really know what that product/service/purpose is.

People are fluid, transient, consistently in-consistent. Brands are the opposite. How can I -for the sake of my sanity, growth and hunger to reach the world - make sense of this oxymoron? And make it work?

Maybe it’s letting go of the idea that I have of what a personal brand “should” be verses whatever it is I want to create. Comparison being the true thief of confidence in this arena.

Or maybe it’s reshaping my belief system around what a ‘brand’ is. Does a brand have to be consistent to be a brand? Maybe the word ‘brand’ needs to be updated to fit our now. A world that is learning to embrace fluidity and changeability in almost every other way.

This is a bummer of a blog post because it doesn’t really have a conclusion. It is, open ended.
Just like my brand. lol.

I’ll leave it with this question: Can people be really be brands? If so, how?

(and is the word brand a word anymore? idk.)

New Year Or Not, Take Care Of You ( + Method To Do So)

Last year, my acupuncturist / teacher said something interesting during one of our trainings as it relates to the wellbeing of us humans as a whole. I think about it often. She said something along the lines of:

Most of the people that come to see me, are trying to work their way out of a deficit back to zero. I want to help people go beyond.

What she meant by this is that her patients and students come to her so that they simply feel OK again. Everyone is recovering from a dis-comfort or dis-ease, be it physical or emotional. Isn’t it interesting that in society, operating in a deficit is more of that norm than operating above average?

Imagine if breaking even was our low, and we took care of ourselves to feel above average. What would that be like?

Now is a good moment to point out that I’m not an idealist. It’s human nature to fluctuate and experience moments in the deficit and moments above average. That is a key component of the dualistic world that we live in. But I bring this up because medical statistics, the power of big pharma, and the number of health documentaries out there are proof that most people aren’t well. And being well has become something overly complicated. Drug commercials actually boggle my mind. Hence, why I don’t have TV. (And… I don’t like the aesthetic of TV’s.)

Point of me saying all of this is that I have a practice I’d like for you to test to keep your self functioning at or above average this year. It’s called The Daily MBS Method.

THE DAILY MBS METHOD

The Daily MBS method is very simple and if executed daily, extremely powerful. You ready for the big reveal?

Instead of making a resolution to hit the gym 4x a week, or cut out sugar, or meditation for 5 minutes every morning - make a contract with yourself to do 1 thing each day to care for your Mind, Body, and Spirit. Just one thing. Super simple. The brevity of the thing can vary depending on how you’re feeing that day. Making this method is fool proof and achievable whilst traveling or even sick.

M = Mind

Suggested daily practice(s) to center your Mind:

  • Take 7 deep breaths in and out with eyes closed (about 1 minute’s rest)

  • Free write all of your rambling thoughts onto a blank page

  • Tell someone you love them

  • Meditate

  • Listen to music without words

  • Go to bed early

  • Take a break from social media

B = Body

Suggested daily practices to care for your body

  • Drink extra water

  • Walk to work

  • Stretch in the morning or after work

  • Dry brush before you get in the shower

  • Before you get out of the shower flip the water to cold

  • Eat vegetables

  • Run / Dance / Cycle / Yoga

  • Get a foot massage (totally counts)

S = Spirit

First - let’s talk about what your ‘spirit’ is. I can feel some of you read the word ‘spirit' and get cringy or want to tap out of this article entirely. Instead of thinking of spirit as something cheesy or un-real, think about it as your ‘you-ness’. Spirit is another way of saying the essence of what makes you, you.

Now pause and think about how you would describe your spirit. What makes you different than every other person you know?

If you’re having a hard time with this question (no shame in that) then that is your spirit exercise. Do one thing everyday that makes you feel like yourself. This could be through a creative project, through reading or reflection, through activity or conversation, there is no limitation here.

Prioritizing time to connect to who you are at your core everyday can change your life.

New year or not, everyday is an opportunity to elevate your personal well being from the deficit or normal to above and beyond. Imagine if you spent more days in the green zone than in the red. Who would you be? What would that enable you to do?

Best of luck with The Daily MBS Method. I hope it works it’s magic.

Breaking Up Needs A Make Over

It's funny. My self ten years ago would have looked at myself writing this now and thought "What is this girl talking about - isn't the goal to stay together? To find things that are so great, you never want to let them go?"

To some extent yes. You will find things so brilliant in this lifetime, you will want them to be and remain a part of you. And that is a beautiful thing (don't get me wrong). But there is only one constant on this earth, and that constant is change. People change, circumstances change, climates change, stories change, ideas change, thoughts change, and most of all, you change. 

And you Should! Change is a remarkably beautiful thing. We have to change as people otherwise what would be? Infants? 

That said - it's funny that something so common, so inevitable, so deeply a part of our being can illicit this remarkable sense of fear. Because it is the duty of our minds and our bodies to keep us safe so that we can live. And what is on the other side of change? The unknown. And what lies in the unknown? What have no idea, that's why it's called the unknown and why our bodies and minds tell us "We don't know what's there, so don't do it!". Hence, the fear. 

Now what does change have to do with breaking up and why does breaking up need a make over? 

In order to come into any type of profound change, the type of change that challenges you to move forward into a more aligned you, something has to be released. Just like a snake sheds it skin or a caterpillar says goodbye to it's voluptuous leaf eating self, you have to be willing to let go of the thing that has kept you safe in order to transform into your next iteration. 

Change --> Growth --> Transformation

Breaking up needs a make over because breaking up is a beautiful opportunity. It is an opportunity to move forward, to explore purpose, to find alignment, to welcome in new teachers, to experience profound experiences, to meet the people we want to meet, to transform. Breaking up needs a make over because breaking up is a part of life that isn't scary or bad, it's completely natural. And we should embrace it. 

This process is not for the faint of heart, which is why many people don't do it. Many people go to extreme lengths to avoid breaking up by remaining in a constant that is less than average or worse. But if you're here now, if you're reading these words, if you feel the slightest tinge of inspiration or anxiety, it means you're ready to go there. And I'm ready to you help you through it. 

Breakup to breakthrough. 

xx
KD