face-66317_1920

Who Am I? – The First Step to Developing a Personal Brand

Walking through the aisles of my supermarket with my son (he is just a little over 3 right now), he noticed a snack on the shelf that he wanted. In this case, it was something that I didn’t particularly want him to eat at the moment, fruit snacks loaded with artificial colors and sweeteners, and so I gently told him not right now. To this he looked at me and said emphatically, “I’m the boss. So I can have them now.” Internally I found myself chuckling and realized very quickly, he truly believes this.

Now in this case, I am the parent and obviously I know that he is not the boss. But, regardless, it startled me enough to realize how much how he sees himself impacts how people interact with him. He projects being the boss in subtle and overt ways ranging from non-verbals to specific statements. He has a persona, an actual brand that he communicates to the world based on how he sees himself.

My son in this one brief instance illustrates the critical first step for developing a Personal Brand. You must answer the question, who am I? Now, I don’t for a moment want to lead you to believe that answering this question is simple. Nor do I want to suggest that you can do this overnight. Actually, what I am suggesting is to start today thinking about the answer to this question. It doesn’t have to be formal or scripted, just sit back and reflect on it and perhaps jot a few informal notes down as they come to you. Try to answer the question from a variety of vantage points including your professional, personal, spiritual and physical self. Additionally, bring some trusted friends and colleagues into this exploration process. Often times, it is hard for us to see ourselves fully. People that are closest to us can be very valuable in seeing our attributes and helping us to uncover our authentic selves.

As you look to answer the question of “who am I?” strive to be true to you. At the end of the day, being authentic is key. If you put out an image of yourself that isn’t true to you, people will see through it. It is time to truly believe in you and who you are. This means even the quirky aspects. The truth is not everyone will like you, but that is ok. You aren’t trying to win a popularity contest. As we dive in deeper to this process, I will help you look at how you can be true to you in your personal branding but still put your best foot forward.

I’m planning to continue these posts as a series into developing your personal brand. If you are a startup founder, without a doubt it is worth developing and thoroughly thinking through your personal brand. However, I believe strongly in the value of personal branding for a variety of different and distinct needs whether it be someone looking to advance his or her career, a student looking to get into college, a sales professional wanting to connect with prospects, and the list continues. The reality is, if you don’t consciously develop your personal brand you do still have one and that means unfortunately that it is being defined by someone else. So, take control and define the real you and share your awesomeness with the world around you.

If you are up for taking this journey with me, please stop by soon again. I’ll keep the process unfolding. Please note that giving this process the time and space in your mind has value in and of itself, so don’t rush it. I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about getting started on your personal branding. Feel free to post any questions to me in the comments section, I’ll be sure to respond quickly.

sunny-summer-catcher-feathers

Transition & The Power of Visualization

This isn’t the first time, and I don’t think it will be the last time that I am finding myself in a phase of personal transition. There are many factors in my life right now that are making me seriously look at who I am and where I am headed. It is easy during times like these to feel overwhelmed and I know I’ve felt this way in the past. This time, I’m choosing to see the exciting opportunity that exists to make meaningful and positive change.

So what are the factors putting me in a place of transition? Well, I’m about to have my second child, due date is June 19th to be exact. Additionally, the startup that I am co-founder of is taking a less prominent place in my professional life. So in many ways, I’ll be answering the question of what I want to do next professionally.

Facing transition is challenging on multiple levels. It is easy to get stuck in a holding pattern where nothing changes but at the same time you need to make change. For me, a positive way of dealing with this is taking a deep dive into my mind, body and soul to self reflect.

In my case right now, I’m starting my personal reflection journey with visualization. I created a virtual dream board and am using this to really focus my intentions and actions on what I want in my life. While I imagine there are numerous resources for doing this, I used the site Dream it Alive to create mine. In case your curious, I’ve included mine here for you to see.

VioletAlexandreDreamBoard2016

Stepping back a moment to take the focus to you, what have the factors been in your life that have placed you in a phase of transition? Is this happening for you currently?  How do you handle transition?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck or in the midst of transition, I suggest you join me. Step back, do some self reflection and create your own dream board. If you do, I hope you share it with me or if not me, perhaps you can choose a few people in your life who can support you on your journey. There is power in sharing positive energy, intention and focus with others.

Till next time.

the-eleventh-hour-1254213_1920

Is it Time to Start?

I’ve spent the last two years of my life working on FABRIQ, a startup that I founded with my husband. There have been so many experiences that I never would have had if we didn’t “start.”

So many people don’t start things because there is a fear of the unknown or of failure. I’m here to tell you that this framing just doesn’t make sense. Just the act of starting is an accomplishment. It is a decision to do something and to truly try. Whether or not that leads to an exit or Unicorn success story, it is the journey and all the things along the way that are learned that truly matter.

When we first began our startup journey, I had a picture of success in my mind. That picture involved becoming a venture capital backed business and taking it to a successful exit. For a variety of reasons in the last few months, it has become very apparent to me that is not the journey that I am on. And that is where I find myself here, writing to you and sharing a sliver of my personal startup story.

As a founder, it is so easy to wrap your identity up with your business.  When that comes to a close for whatever reason, you are left grappling with who you really are.

So again I find myself facing the pivotal question, is now the time to start? In this case, I’m referring to my blog and along with that a renewed focus on my personal, professional aspirations.

Starting anything is a critical decision point and something that some people embrace more than others. Are you a person who “starts?” And what exactly does that mean?

I know for sure that as I continue to write here I will explore other aspects of my startup journey. More than anything, I’m going back to my core. I’m looking at who I am outside of my startup. This personal reflection, as well as reflection on lessons learned on my startup journey, I hope will prove helpful to others.

So, I have decided once again to “start.” My question to you is what are you contemplating and perhaps haven’t pulled the trigger on? What is holding you back? Is it time for you to start?

I really hope that you will share your thoughts with me as I would love for this blog to become alive with true interaction and meaningful discourse.

Ciao for now!