I felt out of sync with my image.

It’s been a crazy four months around here. I’ve been working hard, recruiting new clients, writing, writing, writing, learning to do a podcast, meeting new people, reading, reading, reading, and learning. While I was looking at my writing and my website, I figured out that they didn’t match the picture of me that I wanted to present to people reading my work and visiting my site.

I realized that I needed to pull back and re-assess where I was in my work, then change up the things that didn’t match my picture of me and my work. So, what did I do? I re-branded. It was a scary, intimidating, hard, annoying, and fun process. Of course, you might expect that re-calibrating both our picture of ourselves and the picture we create for others to be all of those things.

I found it mostly fun with a healthy helping of annoying. I kept ignoring the fun and getting tied up in thoughts like “Why didn’t I get this right the last time I re-branded?” and “Why can’t my profile pictures turn out exactly the way I want them?” and “Oh, man, I can’t believe I wrote that, what was I thinking! That’s not how I wanted that to sound at all.”

Squelch the negative voices.

How did I shut up the voices of ridicule and doom in my head? I focused on finding the right person to help me re-brand, and then focused on exactly who I wanted everyone to see when they interact with my business. To do this, I had to move fully into the space where I recognize and own my unique view of the world and my unique coaching style. I decided that I didn’t need to tone it down, or pretty it up. Instead, I needed to figure out how to show my energy and work style so I could convey it to potential clients.
How did I did do that? Funny story. Turns out I’m a career coach, so I turned my work with my clients back on me. At one point, I found myself going over a personality assessment with a client and it would hit me “Wait a sec! I’m not using the stuff I learned from my own assessments!!” And on and on.  I spent a lot of time thinking about the impression I was making with my writing, coaching, online presence.

Then it was time to write Step 5 of the Tune-Up Technique: Help People Understand You Better. Yes, really. And I wrote this sentence, “The number one way to help people understand you better is to communicate in a way that accurately and respectfully conveys your intentions.” And, boom! I had found the missing piece in my thought process. This is exactly what had been bothering me for months. My website, my blogs, my LinkedIn profile – while not terrible by any means – did not feel like me to me. And if they didn’t feel like me to me, how can they convey me to anyone else?

Claim Your Uniqueness.

So, I thought about how I wanted to look and sound and write and talk. I tried some things on for size. I bounced them off of my graphic designer. Kept some ideas, junked some, and kept refining it. Here’s the thing – and I’ll bet it’s true for you, too. I have always known the brand I want to put out there – empathetic, supportive, innovative, energetic, and eccentric – I was just scared to do it. I had to jump the hurdle of worrying about putting the authentic Becky out there. If you’ve read my “about me” or LinkedIn summary or client recommendations, you know I talk about helping clients jump the hurdle that has them stuck. So I did I it myself! I jumped the hurdle. And guess what? It feels really good on the other side.

Here’s the deal. When you feel like you’re out of synch with yourself and your own life, when you just know that the face you’re showing at work isn’t the real you, when you feel like you are not living up to your potential, that’s when you pull back. Re-assess where you are, change up the things you need to, learn to talk about yourself a new way, and go forth, re-branded with a more complete picture of yourself.

These are worth your time:

5 Tips for Building Your Brand on LinkedIn
8 Reasons You Need a Personal Brand
15 Ways Inexperienced College Grads Can Build Great Brands
5 EASY Steps to Create Your Personal Brand (video)