Personal Branding: An Exercise in Self-Awareness

Last month my team had our annual offsite. We brought in expert facilitator Abbey Louie, and expected after two days to walk away with clarity on our 2019 priorities and feel bonded as a team.  We also wanted to gain insight into how to cultivate a personal brand on social media and advocate for the amazing work we do on a more personal level.

I like to have clear goals; so personally, I was most looking forward to the strategy-setting portion of the agenda.  What I didn’t expect was how profound it was to gain clarity around my personal brand and how the process would give me an opportunity to be authentic at work.

 We started with close to 100 beautiful, glossy pictures laid out on the conference table and floor.  Very simply, we were asked to pick up a few pictures that resonated with who we are and think about why.  I picked up a couple and put them back down, liking what the pictures could say about me, but not really feeling they reflected the real me.  Then my eyes caught this picture and without even having to think, I knew this was my picture.


Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

When I look at this picture I think of myself being the wheel, supporting and putting into motion a beautiful creation.  I think of myself as the clay, malleable and full of potential.  I see the hands being my hands, not afraid of getting dirty, working hard and creating.  Quickly I wrote in my journal “creating or enabling creation of unique, authentic beauty” and “getting in the muck with others and creating value”

Two weeks later this picture continues to provide me inspiration.  The feeling I get from it about me, my calling, and what I want my legacy to say about my life is profound.  I printed it out and it hangs on my picture board along side shots of my kids growing up and love notes from my husband. 

I realized that true personal branding isn’t about selling yourself, your business or product, but it’s finding a way to communicate who you are at your core, and what gifts you have to offer the world. 

These moments to realign to core values are present every day.  If we open our minds and hearts to these moments, I believe it will make living congruently much easier.  If you want to try this at home, go to and browse through some of the beautiful shots.  Find one that resonates with you and see where it takes you.  I hope it offers you an opportunity to live, work and lead authentically.