In the social media world, we learn that your “brand” is what people say about you when you leave the room. 

We’re hearing A LOT about personal brand these days.  And for those of us in the Network Marketing and Direct Selling industries, all the gurus are teaching that you should brand yourself – not your company – so people can connect with you and get to know, like and trust you…no matter what your product is.  

Your brand is basically your set of guiding values…how you show up in the world (how you are seen by others).  This can be how you show up in your business, on social media, and even in relationships.

When we are living in alignment with our values and showing up the same way everywhere, we’re living in a place of peace.  When we are not living in alignment with our values, because we’re not sure what our values are or we’re trying to please others, we can feel guilt and shame, which brings our vibration down and even repels people.  Living in alignment with our values is important for so many reasons…a main one being that it helps us feel and look more confident. This applies to both our personal and professional lives, but in this discussion, we’re going to focus on the latter.

In her new book, The Way of Integrity, Martha Beck says: “Integrity is the cure for unhappiness, period.” 

So… Do you feel like you have a professional “brand” that aligns with your values? What are people saying about you when you leave the room? If you’re not sure, ask a few trusted friends or colleagues to give you an honest assessment of the way you are showing up to and with others. 

If so, is this the “brand” you want?  If not, have you ever thought about what you want to be known for? Have you identified the values you want to live and work by?  

Early last year, my coach challenged me to come up with three words that described how I wanted to be seen. I thought it would be easy…it wasn’t.  It’s actually a tricky exercise to come up with just three words to describe how you want to show up in the world. 

Could you? 

After quite a bit of deliberation, I chose Inspiring, Courageous, and Authentic.  I still feel good about those three qualities and try to show up as these as often as I possibly can. 

My friend Sarah Light makes Sol Planners for women entrepreneurs and a good portion of her planner users are women in Network Marketing and Direct Selling.  In the beginning pages of her 2021 planners, there is an exercise to clarify your values. She provides over 40 values and asks you to rate them each as Highly Important, Pretty Important and Less Important in the process of zoning in on “My Top 5 Guiding Values”. 

I went through the exercise and after going back and forth a few times, I narrowed it down to seven…still working on getting the list to five. 

Take a look at Sarah’s list of values below (or add some of your own!) and narrow down your top values to ten…and then five…and maybe even three.  I highly encourage you to take some time and go through this exercise at your first opportunity. 

Sol Planner List of Values

  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Authenticity
  • Beauty/Art
  • Compassion
  • Competition
  • Connection
  • Contentment/Peace
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Diversity
  • Expressiveness
  • Faith/Risk/Vision
  • Family
  • Flexibility
  • Freedom
  • Fun
  • Generosity
  • Goodness/Integrity
  • Gratitude
  • Growth/Improvement/Progress
  • Hard Work
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Hope
  • Humility
  • Humor
  • Independence/Autonomy
  • Influence/Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Mindfulness
  • Nature
  • Order
  • Persistence/Endurance
  • Productivity
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Care
  • Simplicity
  • Technology
  • Tradition
  • Truth/Wisdom

As you look at the short list of values that are important to you, ask yourself: “What would a person with these values (i.e this “brand”) be sharing? How would she be doing business?  What would she be posting? Etc.  

These answers can serve as a bar against which to measure the way you’re spending your time, the way you come across to others, the way you are choosing to show up in your business – both in-person and online.  

Of course, it’s not set in stone.  If you’re unhappy with the way you’re showing up, the brand you’re creating…you can make adjustments. I know people that revisit this values exercise every 3-6 months, just to make sure that they are showing up how they want to, and that their actions, their posts and how they’re doing business is still in alignment with what they want it to be.  This is also a great team exercise. 

And, of course, if you don’t feel like you have a personal brand, you can create one…step by step.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  But if you work at it consistently, you’ll be able to establish a brand that you can be proud of – one that aligns with your values.