The scenic road of personal branding

The Personal Branding Compass
April 5, 2011

So many people are struggling to get "there," wherever that may be.  They want to be wealthier, happier, have better relationships, a better job and the list goes on.  When personal branding is done in a thoughtful, thorough way, "there" is "here."  It's not that you don't have goals, you certainly do, but the whole journey is aligned with your deepest values and desires, so each phase along has its own kind of satisfaction. 

It's like raising kids.  When they are babies you think it's the cutest phase and you'll be so sad when it ends, but then the next phase comes and the kids learn to talk and walk and have little personalities and you think, "This is the most fun."  Then they get older and can do all kinds of activities which you watch or participate in and you think it's great all over again.  Of course, there are times and phases when you think it's not so fun, like when your 4 year old daughter writes in red lipstick all over your white office carpet, but the big journey is deeply rewarding.   

Many years ago my husband and I went to Italy to hike the Cinque Terre, a trail connecting a set of 5 ancient coastal villages overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  The hike is about 4 hours long and extremely arduous in spots, going up steep cliffs on tiny stairs.  There were many times during the hike when we were huffing and puffing so hard we could not talk to each other.  However, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.  At the top of each peek was a sweeping view of the sea on one side and pink striped beach umbrellas of the village beaches below.  It wasn't just the view, however, that made the hike so memorable, it was the actual climb. Despite bumps and spills, skinned knees and bruised elbows, each new step, each new challenge felt deeply satisfying.  It didn't hurt to be in Italy on the sea with the one I love, knowing a huge bowl of pasta was on the menu for dinner. 

When you are on the path of your own true heart's desire, the journey is equally pleasurable even if stretches along the way are challenging.  The mundane tasks take on new feeling, if you know it is serving your greater purpose or goal.  This is the essence of personal branding.  You know who you are, what your goals are, where you are going and why you are going there. The journey along with all the ups and downs IS the reward. A huge bowl of pasta for dinner doesn't hurt either.