A few years back, I worked hard to develop my personal brand. I would be publishing a book, surrendering to a couple rounds of head shots and investing in an officially sleek website. Not only did the personal branding process strengthen my professional focus, but it gave me a creative outlet that I genuinely enjoyed. A key moment came when a friend and I hammered out this summary one fateful afternoon:
I’m passionate about making things better through strategic communications and collaboration. And I’m crazy about my family, sharing stories, big laughs and great food.
It was perfection in my eyes. Even as my experience and qualifications grew, this spoke to all of my real passions and blended together my professional goals with my personal loves. It was a whole reflection of Kristin.
But what happens when personal or professional growth outgrows what was there before?
In the past few months, there’s been a lot. And there’s been a new side business in network marketing. As I’ve grown, I’ve started to worry about how to incorporate a larger sense of myself into the existing brand. As I recently told a couple of girlfriends one late night, the worry isn’t that what I originally identified as my brand is no longer true because, in fact, it still is. The worry has been taking a broader calling or purpose and figuring out how it is congruent with who I’ve been before. I feel a little bit like the traffic engineer determining how best to widen a busy road from two lanes to three, so maybe I’m worried because my traffic engineering knowledge is limited. But then again so is my network marketing knowledge … yet here I am.
Network marketing, direct sales, multi-level marketing — take your pick. It’s a place I never expected to find myself, and certainly one that challenges my comfort zone daily. But it had been calling my name, soft and clear, for months. And in the time since, I’ve discovered that sharing plant-based health and wellness products that help my loved ones feel their very best — that fits who I am, too! This business readily connects my communications skills with my desire to directly help the people I love.
Crazy or not, it’s a perfect fit. It’s challenging and rewarding. It helps me contribute more to our family’s financial security. And, full disclosure: I’m kind of starting to love it.
The best thing is, the authentic Kristin remains at the intersection of the circles, even with the new addition. If I grow and change as a person, it only makes sense that my personal brand would need to adjust. And despite the peace I’ve had on my new journey, there still was quiet panic as I began to create new and different type of congruence. But that panic eventually revealed a simple answer. One word.
I’m passionate about making things better through service, strategic communications and collaboration. And I’m crazy about my family, sharing stories, big laughs and great food.
When I stumbled on such a simple solution — the mere addition of the word service — I realized it was, in fact, a more authentic version of Kristin than even the first. Service — to people in my profession, to people I know, to strangers who ask for help — has always been me. It took a few bends in the road this year for this calling to come in clear. And it took a risk of starting a new business to make the shift clear in my mind. But once these things came into focus, so did my authentic personal brand. It all still fits.