Tonight, I am doing a presentation for Beachbody coaches on PERSONAL BRANDING. This should be a super-easy topic for me. I hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing and successfully branded myself as a frugal mommy blogger in my 30s. I’ve also had some great consulting gigs in blogging, web design and social media. So, on paper I look like a branding “expert”. But, I haven’t always felt like one.
The blog I created was called Mommysavers.com. It gained a lot of popularity around 2005 when I was asked to write a book based on the blog. After that, came two more books and national media attention. I really felt super-accomplished and was proud of everything I’d done. But, fast forward a few years. That’s where I hit a slump. Everyone knew me as the coupon-clipping garage-sale queen who scrimped and saved. That WAS me when I was 29, but not-so-much when I was 39. I no longer changed diapers, I really had grown to hate clipping coupons. What was I supposed to do? I had branded myself into a corner.
Lesson #1: Be open to change.
I actually spent a few years in that slump trying to figure out my next step. I tried social media consulting, food blogging, but was mostly left feeling like my best years were behind me. Sad to feel that way when you’re just in your early 40s. That’s when the Beachbody opportunity presented itself. It sounded like everything I wanted… the ability to focus on fitness, connect to people through social media, and still write (which I loved). Still, I had more doubts than assurance.
Lesson #2: Focus on what you can do well, not what you can’t.
I was drawn to the idea of doing a fitness blog, but really felt I had no authority. Who would listen to the girl who talked about clearance sales all the time?? Branding myself as a coach at age 42 would be, um… AWKWARD. However, I did see myself as a motivator, someone who could relate to the struggles of women who struggle to reclaim their own identity after focusing on family and kids for so long in mid-life.
Lesson #3: Never pigeonhole yourself.
YOU get to decide who you are. Write your own story, and allow there to be plot-twists. Don’t just be unafraid of change, embrace it with open arms. And NEVER be afraid to take risks!! Don’t let your own self-defeating thoughts define who you are. Follow your passion. Do what you love. Passion trumps experience ALL THE TIME. People will be drawn to your enthusiasm and willingness to help them, not your expertise. You can figure out the details later as you go.
Just a little fun viewing from 2011: