As you may or may not know, I have been involved in one way or another in branding for the past 5 years and of late (the past 2 years +/-) I’ve been trying to nail down, when spare time permits, what my personal brand would look like.
Such a quest requires a certain amount of soul searching and self-reflection on both cosmetic and profound elements of your life.
- Suit or t-shirt?
- Beard or clean-shaven?
- Fast food or haute cuisine?
- Classical music or drum & base?
- Colourful eccentricity or minimalist introversion?
Long story short, I found it super difficult to define myself as a person, my life, my personality and my tastes are so polarised. Weirdly, maybe sadly, it was only when I started to look at my apps that I started to see the wood for the trees.
Sitting drinking my coffee in my health club and working on Quuu I was listening to Spotify favourites and realised that I was equally delighted by listening to 'X Gon' Give It To Ya’ by DMX as I was Sull’Aria from The Marriage of Figaro. My mood simply shifted from being super-pumped and tapping away on my keyboard like a 1940s journo on a typewriter, to being chilled, calm and composed (but equally effiicient and happy to work). Weird to be able to shift so rapidly right? Is that normal I asked myself? Well whether it is or not, that’s how I’ve always been, and that’s how almost all aspects of my life have been.
So why have I been trying to categorise myself? Can’t I just accept that I enjoy wearing a suit as much as I enjoy wearing a onesie to work in? It’s who I am, so why try to conform to some more socially acknowledged persona just to be able to form a coherent brand? Case in point, I am an avid user of Pinterest and have a board dedicated to 'my style' this was an interesting experiment, because although I love all of the stuff on that board, in reality, the real me would have also added a load of other stuff on there too which wouldn't have necessarily formed a linear image of who I am style wise - I was aware of the inconsistency and therefore looked to stick to the predominant style - in other words I was not being true to myself in order to fit into a particular style.
My brand has to represent an eclectic taste. And this broad stroke identity is perhaps fittingly representative/reflective of my life as an entrepreneur, i.e. different applications of knowledge from one day to the next. My love of choice is perfectly embodied in my career because I’m in total control, I get to work with all sorts of people from all round the world, from wherever I like (no wonder this is the life for me, it gives me room to be myself). I’m only just realising why this all adds up.
I guess the ‘take away’ from this blog is that if you’re trying to establish your personal brand identity, or even just doing some soul searching, don’t be too keen to push yourself into a compartment in which you don’t naturally fit. Be yourself, don’t aim to be like others, it’s enough to admire others from afar, they will naturally influence your life in the way that you want them to (whether you know it or not).
From now on, I'm going to be less self-conscious, and more accepting of my own tastes, styles, beliefs and aspirations!