If you think you could help people with your story and a feel called to do something great with it, you can. But if you struggle with what part of your story to share, how to identify your ideal audience, knowing which social media platforms to dedicate your time to, and sometimes feel strange even saying the words “personal brand,” then you’re going to need some help.
Insecurity, impostor syndrome, and inaction due to the fear of failure prevent countless people from taking that first step. You have a story burning inside you to tell and it is the one thing that will always separate you from others in your field, because no two stories are alike. Your story is unique and it has power... you just need a guide.
In 2017, I had just released my first feature film, a documentary called Raise Up: The World is Our Gym. Making that film was an arduous 7 year journey that gave me some of my most treasured experiences and memories as well as some of the most stressed and depressed years of my life. But it had a happy ending as we won “Best of the Fest” at the Hip Hop Film Festival in New York City and sold the film to Red Bull for global distribution.
But then, I had a new problem: I didn’t know who I was without the film. So I needed something new. I tried several attempts at other shows and films with partners because I thought it would be easier. They all failed. I know that it was because they didn't originate from a place of purpose. My heart wasn’t in them. I was just grasping for an easy win to piggy-back off the success of my movie. What I needed was alignment. Not only so I could feel grounded and driven by a mission, but so that one project would naturally lead to the next.
It was at that point, I realized two things: 1) In order to find that alignment, I’d have to find the things that made me unique, and 2) in order make a living off of them, I’d have to tell people about them. That meant I had to create and cultivate a (gulp….) personal brand.
In the past, I hated the idea of having a personal brand. I didn’t want to be an influencer-type. They all felt too much like used car salesmen. But when I was working with a great business coach, he helped me understand that my unique intersections really gave me an opportunity to create and carve my own path. I could take my skills, passions, and experiences, and make a living with them, if I figured out how they all came together.
After spending years working on Raise Up, I realized that I had become really great at telling stories without a lot of resources because I focused on the art and science of storytelling and on the emotional stories that touched people's hearts. With all the new social media platforms demanding attention from marketers, I realized I could help entrepreneurs, small business owners, and personal brands leverage that power of storytelling in their marketing when they lacked resources. And now that’s exactly what I do -- as a keynote speaker, an instructor, an author, a host, and a coach.
I’ve found the thing that aligns all my work. It’s stories. And if you learn how to tell yours well, you’ll possess the power to build your brand, grow your communities, deepen your connections, and maximize your impact in minimal time.
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