Personality isn’t permanent, and neither is your Brand.
I am reading this book, gifted to my by the amazing Roxana Ghita–of Brudarac–entitled Personality Isn’t Permanent by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. While I have not yet finished, I am compelled to write about it. Even at only half way through, the author raises many interesting points and questions about personality. Without recounting everything (you can read the book for more), I want to express how much it is causing me to question many of my own beliefs and thought processes surrounding entrepreneurship and brand identity.
Make a CHOICE
First, his main point is (as the title so plainly puts it) Personality is not something finite and unchangeable. Many of us believe we are born with certain traits and this is all we have to work with. Some of us take this a step further and believe we are even pre-determined to be, produce or contribute a specific thing… “finding our purpose” is on the lips of many (including myself).
What if we —instead— choose our purpose? What if we consciously decide why we want to do something? In the act of setting out to do it, we develop skills, talents and personality traits that go along with that chosen PURPOSE and decisive WHY.
As I look back at my own journey, I realize when I was struggling the most is when I was waiting for the “bolt of lighting”; that AHA! moment we all fantasize about, containing all the answers—WHY we are here and the PURPOSE of our life. Seeking and seeking for that lightning strike only resulted in more unanswered questions.
This book helped me realize it was when I finally chose my purpose and articulated my why that I began walking, talking and behaving in a manner that moved me forward in my business—as well as my personal life.
Second, Dr. Hardy talks about Passions and how they actually evolve from these same choices. Many entrepreneurs and well meaning parents, friends, coaches, etc believe if you “find your passion” and center your work around it, this is the key to happiness. (My parents included.)
Passions change. Think about it. Are you passionate about the same thing today you were ten years ago? Five years ago? How about before the world changed? I know my passions are certainly different.
I started on a path 30 years ago to become an orchestral French Horn player. Music was my passion, and I had a talent for it. However, about half way through my college career my passions changed. I was more interested in history, sociology, psychology and spirituality. I thought about changing my major, but was talked out of it… repeatedly (“Don’t waste your talent!”).
It wasn’t clear at the time—after all hindsight is 20/20—but this is why I struggled with discipline and the will to practice. I was basing my life and career goals on something that was impermanent.
Needless to say, I didn’t become an orchestral horn player. I instead embarked on a winding road of seeking. Not only was I “Trying to FIND my purpose.” ; I was also chasing passion after passion. Sparkly new thing over here and shiny pretty thing over there caused me to perform intellectual and creative gymnastics.
[I wonder… if I chose my purpose in my twenties as “raising consciousness by bringing beauty into the world (through music)”—essentially my chosen purpose now (through design)—if I would have stuck with music and excelled more with it?]
In my work as a Brand Creator, we look closely at PURPOSE and WHY to arrive at an ideal, authentic brand. If you are in a space of seeking and uncertain of these two basic components to your business, we cannot connect to a brand identity (personality)—the essential next step before building any of the touch-points for your audience.
My (revised) advice?
- CHOOSE (not find) your PURPOSE
- DECIDE (not seek) your WHY
- DETERMINE (not look for) your VALUES
- CREATE (not discover) your BRAND ARCHETYPE
The lesson here? Much like PERSONALITY, BRANDS evolve.
Give yourself permission to grow, evolve and change!
Give your business permission to do the same.
I know, Re-branding can be a scary word. Many questions–mostly based in fear–likely come to the mind for you.
- What if my audience no longer recognizes me or resonates?
- Then, guess what? They aren’t your audience any more. AND new, more aligned people will flock to you.
- It is so much work to re-brand, I’d have to change everything.
- Trust me, it is worth the work. Stepping into purpose draws others to you, and it feels SO much better when you have an aligned brand at your side.
- What if it doesn’t work?
- The proof is in the pudding! Think back to any time you made a decision and stuck to it. In other words—defined your purpose, or goal. Chances are, you got the results you created.
- But all the brand rules say to be consistent.
- This is true. However, if your current brand is no longer representing your PURPOSE and WHY, it is time for a new fit.
Give yourself permission to grow, evolve and change! Give your business permission to do the same.
(Darn… now I have to go change a lot of copy! 😂)