It includes but extends beyond your reputation and reveals the trustworthy characteristics that engage others. The importance of your personal brand story cannot be overstated; it affects your interactions in the workplace and other professional environments.
How do you elevate your personal brand NOW?
# Number 1 – Curate Your Personal Brand Story
# Number 1 – Curate Your Personal Brand Story
To curate what I call a personal brand story – and everybody has one – you must first be present and know who you are and where you’ve come from in order to live and walk in your authenticity. When I work with my clients, the first thing that I always start with is this idea of rewriting the narrative that has been written for them.
I believe wholeheartedly in the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa; the term/symbol “that reminds us we must continue to move forward as we remember our past and at the same time we plant a seed for the future generations that come after us.” It is most often depicted with one of two symbols: a mythical bird looking backward with seed in its beak, while its feet are firmly planted forward, or as a stylized heart.
To know where you are going, you must be aware of your past. Not necessarily operating from your past but acknowledging that it has shaped who you are currently as it allows you to be acutely aware of what you no longer want or conversely, what you do want more of.
There’s a fine balance, however, of gleaning from the past without letting it hold you. Some people allow wounds or events from the past to imprison them, like a fly trapped in amber, forever transfixed, unable to move past that moment in time. Everything in life is viewed through the skewed aspect of that experience.
In another example, sometimes people are so fixated on memories of their “glory days” in the past or so future-focused that they are unable to either glean the jewels from the past or appreciate the gift of the present.
# Number 2, Develop Personal Core Brand Values
Next, take some time to establish your personal core brand values. Your core values represent the foundational ride-or-die attributes that align with who you are, on an intrinsic level; they do not change frequently. Through life, as you grow and situations change, what you hold valuable might shift. Therefore your core brand values should be able to evolve and grow with you; however, these are not things that should change on a daily or even yearly basis. Your core brand values form the perimeter of your boundaries and establish how you want to show up in the world. As you learn and define how you want to show up, your personal core brand values dictate what is and is not acceptable and serve as a litmus test for what is and is not acceptable for every situation in your life.
For example, once your core values are established, during a job interview they can help you decide whether the company is a good fit for you. Because as much as the company is evaluating you, you are also evaluating them: “Do I want to work for this company? Do we share any core brand values? Are our core brand values in alignment? If they don’t align in some way shape or form with your core brand values, that particular position does not deserve a space in your life.
It is the same thing with relationships, friendships; sometimes you need to look at and evaluate core brand values when it comes to your parents, siblings, or other family members…sometimes you must cut out the noise and operate from who you truly are.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
#Number 3 – Embrace and Own Your Personal Brand Story
And then, once you are there, you must own it, walk in it, live it, BE IT. This is where your core brand values come into play because they dictate your behavior and actions. You can’t be a wishy-washy person and flip flop – one day you’re showing up as this person, and then the next day you’re showing up as a different person. Not that you can’t reinvent yourself, I’m not saying that is not possible, but it has to come from a place of thoughtfulness and implementation.
So, to recap, these are three tips to elevate your personal brand story: 1. Curate your personal brand story; 2. Develop your personal core brand values, and 3. Embrace and own your personal brand story. Once you have curated your brand and developed your personal core brand values, then it’s time to regularly focus on and implement them as part of your daily routine.
None of this process should be theoretical, and again, this isn’t the time to hide behind or wrap yourself in the narrative others have woven about who you are. The brand story and core values you’ve articulated will only ring true as you continually live them out. Otherwise, they will not only be fabricated but will be difficult if not impossible to maintain.
Beauty has so many forms, and I think the most beautiful thing is confidence and loving yourself.