What’s “personal” have to do with “brand”?

My take on personal branding is a bit different from what you might see and hear from others.

It’s very simple really.


What if the way you show up for work, play, with your family, in your community, all matched? What would it feel like to live a life that integrated your best self in all its facets?

Ask yourself:
What is my mission?
What am I here to accomplish?
How can I best be of service?
What is the mark I am meant to make on my community? On the world?

Your answers to these questions are your core values (see more about that in the Personal Branding section of my Magnolias West website. When your behavior matches your core values, you are living into your greatness, your highest good, and being of maximum service and value to all whose lives you touch.

It’s quite a simple concept, and as I know well from my own development and the work I do with my clients, it’s not that easy to manifest.

In our culture, there’s not much support for living and working in a way that expresses our highest selves. It takes fierce determination to commit to living a positive, contributive life—to transform from what we were in the past to what we want to be today and in the future. It means releasing victim consciousness. It means recognizing and choosing not to dwell in self-pity, resentment and bitterness. It means developing the skills required to 1) recognize negative thinking and 2) change your thinking, on the spot, to something more useful.

If the questions you ask yourself in every situation are ones like:
How can I best be of service?
What’s the best outcome for all parties?
What’s the truth and how can I best express it?

Rather than questions like:
What’s in it for me?
Why am I not getting what I deserve?
How can manipulate this situation to get what I want?

Can you feel the difference? Hint: this should be easy.

How does personal branding apply to my business?

Since your business is a reflection of you (just like every other aspect of your life), this work of defining and developing your core values can be applied to making sure that your business expresses its mission clearly and engagingly. Not an entrepreneur? The same things apply to your career.

I love the way Liz Dennery Sanders, a brand strategist, marketing consultant and coach, has folded this concept right into her tagline. Her business is She Brand and her tagline is The Business of Being You. Brilliant!

This summer, Magnolias West (that’s me!) is offering a Branding Review Special. Here’s how it works: We have a kickoff meeting, where I will ask some very powerful and provocative questions. I will assign some homework targeted especially for you. In a series of emails, we will review your work and any questions that arise. We will conclude with a one-hour meeting to review conclusions and recommendations. The meetings can happen face-to-face within 25 miles of my office in Oakland, or by phone.

The Branding Review Special is $229 (a $799 value). It’s available until the Autumn Equinox on September 23rd, 2011.

Looking forward to working with you to develop your Personal Brand!


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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.

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