Whether we're aware of it or not, we all have a personal brand that we take with us everywhere we go. It's how we present ourselves, what we stand for, how we do things and what people think about when they hear our name.
It's how we show up in the world and how the world sees us.
How much it benefits us and how far it takes us on our path depends on how aware we are of it, how authentic it is and how we build on it.
Building on authenticity
Building a strong personal brand in the world doesn't need curating bits and pieces we think others might like to see, or over boosting our social accounts, or editing our truth.
It's more about getting connected with who we truly are, how we want to see the world evolving, what we can bring to the table, and how we want to live.
Our personal brands serve us in a similar way that brands serve companies. Mapping out what our brand is brings clarity and direction in our lives, a sense of purpose and coherence to our journey.
It helps us get us closer to our ideal work in the world, attract the right alliances and relationships and helps us navigate everyday scenarios and decisions.
The process of mapping our personal brands looks a lot like mapping a company's brand. Just like company brands, our personal brands sit on the same core foundational elements: our vision, mission, and values.
And as in the case of companies, the closer we are to our authenticity, the more sustainably we can build our personal brand.
Your vision statement
Start with your vision. Your vision is the destination.
Close your eyes for a few moments. And breathe deep. Then let yourself drop into envisioning the world you'd want to see and how you'd like to see yourself in it.
Connect with the causes that speak to you, your aspirations, your highest ideals.
What is the change you want to see in the world, what is the change you want to see in yourself? What does the world look like that you want to help create? How would your life look like if you'd live as your best self?
Each person has its own goals and its own idea of what success is and your vision can be crafted through different lenses: your impact on people, your community, the planet, or your industry.
Your vision can look something like this: technology that supports human wellbeing, a more heart connected society, a world where everybody taps into their creativity
Your mission statement
Articulating your personal mission statement is an efficient way to truly understand what you do or want to do, why you do it and why it's important. It describes what you do to work towards your vision.
Work backwards from your vision towards your mission by defining how you will get to that vision. By which means? Offering what type of value?
Mission driven people perform better because they know what they deliver and why. The simpler you can articulate your mission, the more clear it can guide you and get others to support you in your pursuit.
Your mission can be to impact your industry, to change the world, or to achieve a specific ambition. While crafting your mission, also bear in mind and articulate how you'd need to improve and build yourself personally to support that mission.
Your mission can sound something like: to design digital products that improve people's lives, or to facilitate heart to heart connection through events, or to write content that empowers others to live creatively.
Your values are deeply personal and uniquely yours. They are the things that you consider to be important in the way you choose to live your life. They define your moral purpose in life and how you do things.
You will naturally find yourself drawn to people, ideas, and causes, that align with your values, and they'll inspire and guide you to take action in integrity.
Add to your personal brand map your 5-10 top values, the values you hold most dear, those you wouldn't compromise and those you're striving to live out daily.
which universal beliefs do you hold? are these values really the guide to everything you do? what are the concrete everyday ways you put it into practice?
Then add a verb to each of these values. Adding a verb will help make sure these values don't remain simple concepts in your life, and they're backed up with some actionable energy.
Your values can sound something like: embracing curiosity, serving with generosity, pursuing freedom.
Now, with these three core elements articulated, you've got yourself a basic personal brand map that you can use both professionally and personally.
If you're looking for a new role you can compare your personal brand against the companies' you're applying for. How much alignment do you see between your vision and the company's? Can your role be the carrier of your mission? Are you guided by more or less by the same values?
You can also use your personal brand map if you're already engaged in a role to reconnect with it or move away if it no longer feels like a good fit.
Going beyond our professional landscape, it will hold us accountable in our day to day life, will inform how we choose to show up with ourselves and others and guide our every day decisions.
When dealt with consciously and authentically, our personal brands hold the potential of becoming our unique marks in the world and our gifts to the world simultaneously.
They're our pieces in the big puzzle, our unique contribution, what brings us a genuine sense of alignment and belonging, in our work, with ourselves, and in our relationships.
Article by Brand and Marketing Manager Theodora Gatin.