Monday, May 18, 2009

Brand It!

I was putting on my white cotton sundress today for the first time this spring, and couldn’t help but think about last week’s post on “accessorizing” my life with creative ventures. And as I was looking at my dress, with it’s slightly vintage style, I wondered what type of “brand” would fit me. Fit me not so much in the fashion sense, but in the “whole person” sense (seriously--I do think about these things when I’m getting ready in the morning. I’ll have a doctor look into it momentarily.)

So Popular
Let me explain. Branding, of course, has gotten oh so popular these days, what with our flashy marketing tricks and clever sales hooks. And naturally with all of this marketing going on, it was bound to trickle down into our personal lives in a motivational, self-help kind of way eventually. And while I normally try to avoid all that proactive self-awareness, in the case of branding I have to confess that I’m intrigued.

My Own Personal Brand?
Intrigued because after leaving my 9-5 job, I found that I had to give myself a little branding makeover. I went from “career girl responsibly pursuing a future in finance” to...well...I wasn’t sure. Housewife? Small business owner? Writer? Perhaps a little bit of all of the above?

In essence, I needed to know Who exactly was I, and How was I going to share myself with others?

Our Public Selves
And so I bring up this subject of branding (which, since I haven’t said it already, is basically the process of figuring out how to present yourself to the public) because I’ve spent a lot of time during this Recessionista series writing about entrepreneurialism and resumes and leadership. And all of these activities involve us as women expressing our personalities and ambitions to the outside world. And frankly this task can get tricky.

For instance, how many of you readers are stay-at-home moms, and have struggled to articulate what you do to strangers in small talk? “I stay home,” isn’t a very satisfying "brand," but it often becomes the label anyway.
Or how about those of you who work full time, but don’t feel that your jobs fully express (or express at all!) your interests and personality? The “what do you do?” question bugs you because what you do from 9-5 isn’t who you are. Not even close.

So how do we, as women, find a way to communicate who we are in a way that is more accurate and satisfying than “I stay home,” or “My job is...”? The answers, perhaps, can be found with a little time spent branding.

Setting the Stage
Naturally there are a Ton of ways I can speak about this process, but frankly this post is already getting too long. So, rather than talk your ear off all morning, I will set the stage for a continuation of this subject in the days to come. Consider it my way to begin wrapping up Recessionistas, and tying everything together under a “Recessionista brand." Because before the summer is upon us, and we're too relaxed to give much care to our public presentation (outside of how we look in a bathing suit, of course), I thought we could spend a little time thinking about what it means to share our vibrant, multi-dimensional selves with others.

So, to get the ball rolling, I have some homework for you. Don't worry--nothing too serious. Just a small exerice, which is to:
think about your "introduction speech"? (You know--the one that you give to people when you are introducing yourself.) What do you say? More importantly, what do you omit? Are you pleased, or discontent, with it? Why?

I'll bring my answer, plus more, to tomorrow's post. Hope to see you then!

Previous Related Posts:
Express Yourself: entreprenuerialism as an accessory
Recessionista Resume
But I'm Not Crafty (and other misconceptions about being an entrepreneur)
Now is Our Time

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