Flying Your Brand
(The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book: Life Well Spoken: Free Your Inner Voice & Prosper. I’m sharing this as I unveil my new brand at krisprochaska.com and I’m reminded how much I LOVE the process of self-growth and exploration that business and branding provides. It’s good soul medicine…)
Finding your VOICE in business is very much a process of ‘branding’ yourself. And it really is a process! I was having a conversation with my mastermind group over a year ago about how to get clear about what we do, how we do it and how oftentimes when we choose a brand (or it chooses us), we are not totally in alignment with it.
Immediately I got this picture in my mind of the movie Avatar when Jake Sully is taken to the floating rocks of Pandora and is going to find his ikran (flying dragon-creature). They travel and climb very far to reach this remote place and he is told that he will know which one is his because it will try to kill him.
He must move swiftly, tame the beast and make the connection as quickly as he can or else face certain death. He is flung of the cliff once, but does manage to pull himself up and make the connection with his ikran while being bucked and thrown about. At first he doesn’t know how to fly the beast and they go into a nose dive that threatens to kill them both, but he regains his composure and begins to communicate consciously and intuitively with the creature, and immediately they begin to soar freely with great joy. Business and branding is a lot like that. Finding your voice personally and professionally is a lot like that too.
I was teaching a group of therapists and grad students about marketing at Seattle University last night and I shared this Avatar analogy. A woman piped up and shared that she had put on her business card “life transitions” under her name. Shortly afterwards, she experienced a major life event that rocked her and her family to the core. Now she has that experience, now she OWNS that expertise and the compassion that is hers to share. She didn’t get that from her Master’s degree or the classes she took.
She got it from declaring this is what she’s about and living it. That’s credibility because it’s about who your BEING.
I recall the first session I ever had with my very first coach. I had just invested the most money I’d ever spent on myself at one time, and I was really hungry to figure out just what the heck I was doing as a business woman and how to market to my ideal clients. First I had to figure out who they were and what I had been doing, where I was already getting results with people–where I had already had some success and interest, and passion, and we’d go from there.
Heart & Soul Speaking was conceived that day. It came from a tiny seed, a mention of a woman who I loved working with, who was in many ways my ideal client at the time. I helped her overcome her fear of speaking so she could speak at networking events and go out to do presentations to potential customers. I thought, I can do this. I know how to help people overcome fears and that’s pretty easy for me, so I know I can help people get clear results, quickly. It seemed like a no-brainer and a topic in which I could develop my expertise quite easily.
Little did I know, that tiny seed would have huge repercussions throughout my life and business. My brand chose me as much as I chose it, and it’s tried to kill me emotionally more than once, and I’ve tried to change it more than once, thinking I was doing the wrong thing because there were so many areas of my life where I didn’t communicate confidently or ignored my intuition.
That’s the scary thing about stepping into possibility and owning something, you gotta make that leap of faith, get flung off the cliff a few times and keep trying to making the connection, because when you do–you get to soar.
As you connect with, engage with and learn to fly with your vision, your brand, the words will come. The experiences will come that support you in growing into the expert in that area. The words are in your notes from clients, in your conversations with potential clients, in your heart and very likely from your own experience as well. The experiences are at home with your kids and/or your partner, and the vision you have for yourself and your family, and the world at large.
It will get you out of bed in the morning, and while your are coming into integrity with it, may send you to bed with tears of frustration and confusion!
Really engage with your vision, for what’s possible in your brand. Play with it, explore it. Connect with your Inner Voice and create new possibilities for yourself and the clients who are waiting for you to lead them and serve them. Above all get out there and share it. As you do, even if you’re not totally clear yet, that is how you will become clear. That’s how you will get the feedback from others about what resonates with them and what doesn’t. That’s how you will gain insight and ideas and hone in on your who, what, how–and how best to express it. It’s also how you’ll attract experiences that will help you LIVE your brand and learn to fly harmoniously and in alignment with it.
Branding as a process of really stepping into who you are meant to become. It’s not about perfection, and obviously we outgrow our brands and expand – at least if we are evolving we will! Getting clear about our who, what, why, how in business as a conversation with our Inner Voice. It’s listening to our intuitive guidance about where we are headed, about what we are creating, not necessarily where we’ve been and who we have been in the past. It’s our soul’s way of enrolling us in the process, as well tapping into the collective unconscious of our client’s calling us forth, for support in the only way that we uniquely provide it.
So, stop trying to get the brand perfect. Just allow it to choose you, and willingly choose it
…and fly it like you mean it.
From My Heart To Yours,