Branding and personal branding — living your best life

What’s the difference between branding and personal branding?

There is none. Or, at least, there doesn’t have to be.


That’s hard to believe sometimes, I know. It’s like you undergo a kind of identity change when you step into “work mode.”

You have a business that reflects your heart’s mission and soul’s purpose.

You’ve done so much work on yourself. You reached the point in your life where you’ve had the vision, felt the calling, allowed passion and purpose to motivate you into being of service in your business.

All the skills, learning, experience and practices have made you the woman that you are, and have brought you this far.

Your personal brand

Everything that comprises the woman that you are — a beautiful regal woman who walks her talk, who has a big and loving heart, who is generous, who feels called to serve — that’s your personal brand. Your values. The way you show up. Your self-care. How you love. All of the above… But what happens when you turn your attention and devote your bandwidth — your time, your treasure, your talent — to your business?

You’ve got so much on the line in your business.

When your livelihood ($$$) is on the line, you can easily lose that beautiful glowing silken cord that ties your heart to your business. Based on fear, you start interacting with your business and making decisions from stress instead of from love.

Fear of failure. Fear of loss. Fear can drive you to seeing our business as a foreign object, instead of as a manifestation, reflection and organic representation of your best and highest: your values, your passion, your mission and purpose.

Is your business, in all its facets, in alignment with your heart and soul?

  • Get crystal clear about what you’re here to do. What is your heart’s mission and soul’s purpose? What has your life experience, your skills, your work, your adventures combined to create in you that you are meant to share?

    bumpyroad2This is one of life’s big-girl panties moments. You’re looking for what you are here to do, beloved. It may not look like what you studied, it may have nothing to do with your training. It may in fact look much more like your personal journey. What bumps, bruises and traumas have you survived? What did you learn that can benefit others? Your jewel is in there, as I wrote about in last November’s Full Moon article.

  • Then name and brand your business so that your mission and purpose shine through. Does your brand — name, tagline, website, social media — clearly communicate what your ideal client needs to know? Are you rolling out a luxurious welcoming red carpet that reflects your beautiful self?

    Or did you end up with a brand and presence that doesn’t really show your heart? This can happen when you’re afraid to speak directly to those you know you are meant to serve, for fear that you won’t thrive unless you cast a very very wide net. There’s a powerful urge to resist claiming your niche, and that urge comes from fear that you won’t have enough. I will ask you what was asked to me: Exactly how many of the seven billion earthlings do you need in your business or practice? Please, beautiful, speak to the ones who need you, the ones you are meant to serve.

  • Clear offers. Once on your red carpet, does your ideal client feel not only welcomed, but recognized, understood, safe and connected? Does she or he want to get comfy with a cup of tea and take in what you have to say? Does she subscribe to your newsletter, comment on your blog, and tell others about you?

    Do you end up censoring your message? Again, this comes from fear, a fear which tells you that you need to speak to everybody, so you’d better dilute your message. Please don’t. Speak directly to those who need to hear you. When you do that, everything becomes So.Much.Easier. As I write this article today, I have a picture in my head of a woman who has a business, who is committed, and passionate, who works for herself, mostly on her own, hopefully with a small team. This woman thrives on community and support — giving and receiving — with other women in business. Having this picture in my mind and heart makes it so much easier for me to let what I’m meant to say flow.

And are you in alignment with your business?

  • Do you work with your ideal clients in a way that lights you up every day? Or do fear and worry about the bottom line affect you to the point where you’re manifesting stress and drudgery more than you’re manifesting joy and gratitude?

    Here’s where you benefit from getting support for yourself so you don’t end up leaning heavily on your clients. Having a support system in place, and using it, gives you a safe place to process everything — the good and the scary — so that when you connect with your clients, you’re connecting from a centered and loving place. I have a mastermind group — The Possibility Posse — four other women solopreneurs. We check in with each other every week. I have a business coach — invaluable. And I’m active in a few very supportive Facebook business groups. Having these in place allows me to be fully and lovingly present for my clients.

  • How do you implement your sacred self-care so your business nourishes you rather than depletes you, so that you can then sustain your business in a way that sustains you? What a beautiful supportive circle of energy this can be!

    Maintaining balance is the key. How do you feed and water your business and your beautiful self? How do you take care of your body, and remain grounded, even as you show up for the changes in your biz?

I’d love to hear from you about how you weave your personal best life into your business. What’s working? What isn’t? Talk to me in the comments.


haircutMonday morning gratitude

  • I could sing this one (off-key, with gusto) from the rooftops: I am so so grateful for my improving health! So happy to be getting stronger every day.
  • I am so grateful that I will be paying taxes on my 2013 income. Last year I said I’d like to make enough money this year to pay some taxes. Well, I got my wish, doubled my income last year over the year before and I’ll be writing a couple of big checks in a few weeks.
  • I’m grateful for my new short-short haircut. And for fun in Photoshop with this selfie.

I love when you share your gratitude with me. Talk to me in the comments, please!


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Sue, as i sit here on the brink of making changes to focus my business so I can speak to the women I am being called to speak to (women looking for love) I am overwhelmed and moved by this..It’s like I needed a little nudge from the universe and here it is!! Thank you!!!

    • Terena, so glad to connect with you!

      I love it when magical timing happens. May there be huge spaciousness and no overwhelm. One action at a time, one breath at a time.

      Blessed be,

  2. Thanks so much for this post Sue! Such a great and gentle reminder to stay true to ourselves in both our lives and businesses.

    I find that it makes such a difference when I’m writing from a really authentic place, rather than writing for the sake of getting a blog piece out.

    Thanks again,
    Rachel X

    • Rachel, welcome! And thanks for stating things so simply. Authenticity is such a key piece.

      Love and blessings,

  3. This is so wonderful, Sue (as always)!

    I find there are so many opinions flying around out there, especially when you’re first starting out, that it’s really tough to stay aligned with your purpose. People tell you you MUST do this, and have to have that, and I ended up feeling like my website wasn’t really a reflection of me.

    After I took a good hard look at it and began to put more of me in it, I’ve been enjoying it waaaay more!

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder!
    Big Love <3

    • Jenny, thank you!

      I am so glad you let your heart and soul shine through your branding… Nice the way that opens the door to more joy.

      Glad you like the haircut. I love it!

      Grateful for you!

  4. Sue,
    I am grateful that I am launching my online business.
    I am grateful that I finally found a container in which i can pour all my gifts and talents into.
    I am grateful for learning to follow divine guidance and trusting my steps.
    I am grateful for creativity and flow in my every day life.
    Thank you. Thank you . Thank you.

    • Nadia, I’m so grateful to connect with you!

      Your gratitude is nothing but inspiring! Thanks for sharing it with me.

      Love and light,

  5. Reading this was positive reinforcement (and much needed advice) on moving forward connecting my mission and purpose with the message I am sending out via my online presence and other media. Thank you!

    • Deserie, welcome!

      So glad it’s useful for you.

      I love when healers just like you integrate the totality of their mission and purpose with their offers and brand.

      Way to go!

      Love and magic,

  6. Such great reminders! about having and living an authentic biz and life. What works for me is coming from a place of faith that my ideal clients will be there, and that there is more than enough for all. When I rebranded I put all of me into the website and brand, and it feels now like I’m proud of it – because it is authentic and me! What a difference from trying to please, to a certain extent, to just being me!

    • Teri, welcome, so glad to connect with you.

      Your “all of you” really comes across with so much love, authenticity and passion, way to go!!

      Are you noticing a difference in the clients who are coming to you? I know I did!

      Love and more love,

  7. Sue this was refreshing and quite timely for me. I really have not been finding balance in my daily activities as I have a full time job and is trying to set up a business on the side. I have not been able to put in the work I had hoped to have put into the business by now and so is trying to play catch up and not quite succeeding. I now know that I must keep my soul-centred focus and not lose heart.

    • Veronica, welcome here.

      May you be blessed with ease, grace, patience, lots and lots of self-love, and self-compassion as you go.

      Love and light,

  8. My brand evolved as I did – I didn’t dive in with a logo etc first as I knew I was growing and evolving personally. I still don’t have a logo but yes I feel my branding reflects me. Lovely post thanks!

    • Louise, welcome!

      I took a look at your website, and I sure can feel *you* all through… Good job!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I appreciate you!

  9. Bringing our true selves into our work is a life long endeavor, yet the path can be cloudy instead of crystal clear. Sue, you’ve outlined a great set of markers and guidelines to help stay in alignment all along the way.

    • Lorraine, thank you! I love describing these ideas as guideposts… that’s it exactly!

      Love and light,

  10. Yes! I hate when people are not genuinely themselves at work! I realised this many years ago, and really stood out in the my office environment. So many people were scared to be ‘real’ at work! I find it so much better now, though probably not everywhere.

    Getting to be exactly who I am is one of my fave things about running my own business.

    • Joanna, so glad you took the time to comment, thanks and welcome!

      I’m so glad you’re being exactly who you are and sharing your gifts with the world!

      Blessed be,

  11. Sue, LOVE your message! I’ve been living this truth since becoming an entrepreneur in 1992. I realized that I have NEVER set out to start a biz… What I’ve always done is follow the calling of my soul, birthed it to the world and it BECAME a biz…. my businesses are an extension of my heart and soul’s purpose. Loved your comment….

    “You have a business that reflects your heart’s mission and soul’s purpose.” Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    • Linda, thanks so much! It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we can hear, and listen to, and act on, the messages our inner voices are always whispering to us.

      So grateful to you!

    • Lorrie, welcome, and thanks for bringing your truth in your comment. I’d love to know what you found to be confronting… I meant to deliver my message with love.

      That’s a powerful service you’re providing in your business (I took a peek at your website)… good for you.

      Love and light,

  12. I love the subject of branding but at the same time it’s been the source of some of the most frustrating conversations of my life! I am an author so I not only spend time in author groups but mentor a few new authors. It never ceases to amaze me the level of resistance to the concept of branding among writers. In one discussion I will never forget a writer said he found the very idea of having to brand himself and his work offensive, and the term branding reminded him of cattle so he simply refused to have anything to do with it. Truly amazing!

    • Marquita, welcome, so glad you’re here!

      That’s so funny. Ouchy funny. I find that same resistance with other creatives and entrepreneurs… Did you writer guy ever come around?

      Grateful to connect with you.

      Love and blessings,

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