I went against the advice of my mentors. As a family coach or parenting consultant, you build your brand by deciding who you want to be as a business person. Can you envision the person you will be in the future and make that your goal, while following your own heart?
In the process of developing a personal brand, most entrepreneurs set goals around time, or earnings, or marketing methods. Their profile or persona is the first step.
Decide who you want to be. When I founded the Academy for Coaching Parents International, both of my mentors told me up front to hire an assistant to handle email, answer queries, and keep up with the enrolled students. They explained the purpose for this was to give me a lot of free time. Wow! The advice was not what I expected.
In deciding who I wanted to be, I chose this description: A professional mentor with heart, who supports ACPI students through compassionate guidance and coaching to succeed in their business goals in becoming a certified parenting coach. Not only am I personally involved in my business, but I also answer phone calls, emails, and make personal queries to each student and support them through weekly phone calls.
When you build your brand, the best choice is to be yourself. There is only one, unique you, and the vision of who you are in business refers to who you want to be in the future.
- Where do you want to live?
- How do you see yourself?
- What do you see yourself doing?
- What are your goals?
Dream about different futures to choose from the possibilities. Try on potentialities to see which ones fit best. It's a necessary process. Decide through the dreaming to build your brand that's right for you and take affirmative steps to turn that dream into reality. The process involves a certain amount of decisionmaking, some mental toughness and the ability to look at your goals realistically.
- You see, there is a difference between a dream and a goal.
- The dream is tentative. The goal is firm.
- The dream is a possibility. The goal should be a probability.
- The dream is subject to change. The goal is not.
These are important differences. They are also differences that many people don't recognize or, even worse, choose to ignore. Take a cold, hard look at the dream that you've selected to be your goal. Look at the ins and outs. Don't avoid looking at the bad. If you don't weigh the good points against the bad, you're going to be in for either a rude awakening when you reach your goal or disappointment when you don't.
When you set firm goals as the final step, you have accomplished the first three steps to build your brand.
- Envision possibilities or your role or who you will be as a business owner.
- Choose your persona and write it out for reference when you lose focus.
- Accept that you are the brand and build your brand products and services on that foundation.
The confidence of knowing where you're going translates into personal stability. Your personal security, in turn, translates into higher acceptance of your brand over time. When your customers trust you, they also believe in your brand. After all, you are your brand.