7 Signs It’s Time to Update Your Personal BrandGwen Witherspoon
I am 52 years old, and I suppose like most of the AARP generation, I don’t feel any different than when I was 25. I am still that hopeful, joyous, inspired soul…who always wanted to be and live as an artist. You could say that I have been building my personal brand over a lifetime…one heartbreak, one triumph, and one hairstyle at a time.
There have been turning points…moments, decisions that led to shifts in my perceptions of myself. Baudacity is the latest result. It came at a time when I was “rebranding”…taking inventory of 30 years of marketing, entrepreneurial, design, development, coaching and management experience. I wanted to translate all of it to take me into the next chapter of my young life.
A passion for branding courses through my veins. After hearing my pitch for yet another business I’d created, the Creative Director at my first advertising agency job once told me, “I think you just like creating all these personas for yourself.” She was sorta right. Actually, what I care most about is using everything at my disposal to help people live a better life–art, technology, music, words, yarn…a glue gun. Living that out has required that I allow the transformation process to have its way. I came up with seven signs that you might need to do the same.
Personal Brand: 7 Signs It’s Time to Rebrand Yourself
You actually declare out loud, “I don’t care how I look”…and it shows.
The truth is. You do care. We all do. You may have grown comfortable with your physical state (or just numb). Your self esteem may have taken several blows. But you care. It can be seen in the pep in the step of a makeover recipient. Don’t you love those before and after segments when a woman has been pampered and emerges looking and feeling like a new person? They are often overcome with emotion as they see how good they can look. Sometimes an external change in the form of a makeover can inspire vital internal work.
You feel sluggish and tired.
A lack of energy can have many causes, but one of the most common is a broken heart. When our deepest desires are denied or delayed…alliteration aside…we can feel defeated to the point where we don’t have the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Another culprit could be your diet. As much as you love those processed foods, sugars, sodas, and your favorite dishes, our bodies were not built for them. Is it time to pay more attention to what you are putting in your mouth? Or do you need to mend your couch potato ways? It’s simple. Basic nutrition, movement, and fulfillment create energy.
Your work does not give you joy.
We have all had to take jobs that we didn’t necessarily want, but staying in that situation can make you feel hopeless. I’m surrounded by artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. We all share a gene that allows us to quickly ditch the “security” of a 9 to 5 for the promise of wealth and independence. However, we often find ourselves so bound by our inability to pay the bills that we retreat to the “safety” of a check, only to repeat the cycle. If any of that speaks to you, or you just feel chained to a cubicle, know that it is just that…a cycle, a process. Personal branding is about working through the process over and over to make the adjustments that eventually bring you vocational bliss!
You cannot articulate what you want.
I founded Adam Red (formerly Glassworks Dream Boutique) to make dreams work. I kept running into people with ideas, but no understanding of how to bring them to pass. Since I can hear an idea and instinctively see the next step, it was a perfectly logical approach. I set out to coach the Dreamer and provide specific services to manifest the Dream. However, in 99% of the cases, my clients could not even tell me exactly what the dream was. It took four years, but I finally discovered that the core problem was Branding. Even if you’re not trying to start a business or change the world, if you are going to get a better life for yourself and those you love, you have to be able to say what you want. Mind you, getting there may start with what you don’t want, but you have to eventually get to the positive side of that equation.
Disappointment has overtaken you, leaving you afraid to try.
I believe we have regular dates with destiny–appointments–if you will. When we miss those appointments, when we’re disconnected, we’re disappointed. Langston Hughes asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?” A Hebrew Proverb says that hope deferred makes the heart sick. According to Dictionary.com, “dis” is a Latin prefix that means “apart”, “away”, “asunder”. It further explains that placing “dis” in front of a word changes its meaning in the negative. What happened? What have you been appointed to do and be? How have your dis-appointments affected you? I’ve been there–so disappointed and frustrated that I couldn’t love and live the way I’d envisioned that I was unable to muster the strength to try again.
You are not sure what you believe.
Did you start out in faith, but now you’re questioning what you thought God said? Or even if there is a God at all? It’s natural to question, to reevaluate, to test your assumptions. You were invested 1000% in that relationship, and you thought it was mutual. Now you’re unsure if you can trust anyone else. You followed all the steps, checked off all the boxes, but it still didn’t work out? It’s time to go back to where you started and take an assessment of the factors that were the basis for your original actions. You can use what you learn to discard what no longer works and fortify your foundation.
You resist change.
Change is hard. For everyone. Our routines are comforting. They provide a sense of security, even if the habits are self-destructive. Australian World Leader, Peter Daniels, infamously said that “success is the willingness to bear pain”. I decided years ago when I heard this truth that I wanted to choose pain that produces, rather than pain that destroys. Change is happening to us every day, every moment as time passes. Sometimes it’s out of our control and comes in the form of tragedy. At other times, it can be delivered to our doorstep by someone else. Quite often, it’s our failure to act. Whatever the cause, learning to embrace change will lead to a better life.
Is it time?
Whether it’s how you look, how you feel, or what you do, a better life is available. It will require that you simply verbalize what that is for you, face your fears to try again, pursue it from a position of faith, and embrace change. Expect it to hurt. They don’t call them “growing pains” for nothing. Nonetheless, you will come through the process feeling stronger, more capable, and ready to face anything. Take inventory of the resources you have available to help you, and start there…maybe consider finding a Coach. (I know a really good one.) Think about it, even Michael Jordan needed a coach. No matter how capable, experienced, or talented, we all need the support, accountability, and encouragement to become the best version of ourselves. A better life awaits!