Your Deeper WHY: Where Your Personal Brand Starts

Most of the time, at YouGetBranded we talk about technical aspects of creating and managing your personal online brand. But it doesn’t start with search engine optimization or effective social media marketing on personal level. It starts deeply within, where you need to decide on your inner WHY before you get to HOW.

What kind of value do you provide to your future employer, business or romantic partner, to your subscribers and followers? How do you make their lives better?

Having answers to these questions will help you build your messaging, discover topics to write about, find pain points you can help deal with.
What is your WHY? Start your branding with that.

Where personal branding starts: create your personal mission statement
Working on your personal mission statement is the first step to establishing a personal brand

Start personal branding with mission statement

Personal mission statement is a written down definition of your personal brand. It is crafted from your reason of being, your deepest beliefs and aspirations, and your abilities to change other people’s lives to the better.

Crafting your statement will help you better communicate your personal value to those you work and interact with. Counter intuitively, having a solid mission statement for your personal brand will become more about other people than about yourself: all about help, support, and additional value you want to create for them.

How to create your Personal Mission Statement — the definition of your brand

How important is that to have a personal mission statement that reflects your deepest beliefs and intentions and aspirations in life in order to build a consistent personal brand?

That’s something you actually need to start with! And those are the questions you should ask yourself when working on it. I am citing them from a book “How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement” by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”:

  • What is truly important in my life?
  • What would I really like to be and do in my life?
  • What are my greatest strengths?
  • What are my talents, possibilities, and true potential?
  • If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I do?
  • What are my deepest priorities?
  • Which relationships do I wish to be lasting?
  • Who is the one person who has made the greatest positive impact in my life?
  • What must I do, and how must I manage my life, to constantly nurture these vital relationships?
  • What kind of person do I wish to become?
  • What are the principles I would like to live by?
  • What have been my happiest moments?
  • How do I want to be remembered?
  • And, finally, how can I serve others in a meaningful way throughout my life?

Grab your journal and write about these topics for some time. What hidden thoughts and emotions do they reveal? How do you visualize yourself when thinking about the answers?

Journaling: one of the techniques essential for personal brand creation
Journaling is a powerful technique to reveal your deepest emotions, motivations, and aspirations that will help create genuine personal mission statement

Highlight repeated patterns in your written answers. What kind of words, nouns, adjectives do you use most often? It tells a lot about yourself and about your attitude towards those around you.

In the end, you will have several lines of text that can describe your mission much better than any business card can:

To be a teacher who helps kids grow and develop in love and kindness.

To help people navigate through change and volatility in their professional lives with the most positive outcomes for them.

To help people understand digital world better and build their personal brand online in a way beneficial for their personal and professional success.

Those are the statements we came up with friends who are on their way to not only establish a notable online presence for their personal and professional brands, but also on their way to become better humans providing more value to those around them.

Resources to help you create your personal mission statement

Journaling

I first learned about the power of thought dumping also known as journaling from a great MIT edX course called u.Lab Leading From the Emerging Future.

u.Lab a course on Theory U by MIT at edX
u.Lab is a course offered by MIT at edX platform that teaches Theory U and its applications to leadership, management, and problem solving

Along other great techniques and concepts for leadership and problem solving such as presencing, generative listening, and co-creation, one of the first thing they recommended to embrace as a daily practice, was writing down your thoughts.

You don’t have to have a perfect notebook, write in perfect calligraphy, or worry about your grammar. The most important thing here is to let your thoughts and emotions out on a blank sheet of paper.

Though usually it is not required (unless you want to re-read what you have written), when you are working on understanding your main purpose and formulating your personal mission statement you will need to revisit what you wrote about your deepest desires, goals, and aspirations.

Underline in the text words and phrases that you spot repeatedly. Nouns, adjectives, verbs: they will give you a hint how to form your statement from the deepest place of your being, the one that will resonate with your mind and soul and keep you going under pressure when it’s needed.

Meditation

This might sound obvious, but meditating event for 5-6 minutes can give you clarity of mind and reveal your inner state needed to understand your aspiration and deeper motivators.

By starting and ending your day with a short sitting you will create huge benefit for brain (physically), mind, and psyche. You don’t need any equipment to start, just a quiet place to sit, and a timer. Set it to three or five minutes for a start, close your eyes, and simply count your breaths silently saying to yourself: breathing in… breathing out.

Calm is an all that allows to track your meditation sessions, and guides your practice.

My key to guided meditation is Calm app: I completed all of the programs they have in a year, and I am a big fan of Daily Calm they offer. After I felt that the basics were mastered, I gravitated to use only timed meditation section that plays a bell in five, ten, or fifteen minutes (or more, if you want more).

Where your personal brand starts: conclusion

No matter how important your digital presence is to your personal brand, you need to start working on it not from social media or blogging. Your inner WHY, greater purpose, and aspirations to help others in life — these are the things that are the most important part of your brand creation.

In order to realize your inner drive, set your goals, and project them to the world:

  • meditate: create peace of mind and clarity of thoughts;
  • journal: dump all your emotions and thoughts on paper trying to spot repeating patterns;
  • formulate your mission statement: how exactly are you going to change this world to the better.

Those simple steps will help you start your journey. With your personal mission statement ready, your personal and digital development strategy will easier fall into place.

Now that you know where to start, I suggest that you subscribe to our (almost) daily personal branding tips, and follow YouGetBranded on social media for advice and discussions.

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