Trusting Yourself & Your Brand

Hilary Hartling_Brand Photography_Brand Strategist

Beginning your business, growing your business and leveling up a business you’ve owned for years are all huge, sometimes nerve-racking, endeavors.  If you’re nervous in an EXCITED kind of way, though, you’re onto something.

In today’s world, there are so many external things to get distracted by: social media, online courses with new things to learn and apply, conferences and workshops and even looking around what everyone else in your industry and beyond are doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of these things are not worth your time, investment or energy.  What I’m saying and what I’ve recently been reminded of, is that no matter what’s going on externally and no matter what new strategies and tools you’ve learned, you must always come back to you.

What is your perspective on that new thing you learned?  Do you already have knowledge and experience you can pull from that can put a spin on something so you can share it in a whole new way?  The idea here is to not only learn from external sources, but to look internally for your own answers.

Hilary Hartling_Brand Strategist_Brand Photography_Workspace

When you trust yourself, your brand will flourish.  Take in the external things that make sense to YOUR path, YOUR mission, YOUR vision and make them your own.  Trust that you already have the answer for what’s next for your business and even if you seek guidance, trust what feels right.  Trust the ideas that come to you, and trust your inner knowingness.

This is a theme that has come up again and again recently.  First, trusting myself more in my own business was a one of five key takeaways from The Brand Stylist Retreat I went to in May in Mallorca.  I'll be writing another blog post soon called, “Five Key Takeaways from The Brand Stylist Retreat.”

This past weekend, I was a speaker at the DONA International Summit for doulas from around the world that took place at the gorgeous W Ft Lauderdale Hotel in Florida.  As a keynote speaker I loved kicking off the summit with 150 women who are so powerful and passionate in the work they do with other women, and who also have a business to run.  

I spoke about building your brand to captivate your clients and getting really intentional about the experience and feeling your brand promises and delivers.  That same afternoon, I led a breakout work session for 20-something women all about gaining more brand clarity to make mindful decisions for their businesses.  

Hilary Hartling_Brand Strategist_Brand Clarity Workshop_Brand Stylist

And it’s in that breakout session, that I was clearly reminded of being led by your own inner wisdom that is right there with you, always, if only you clear the cobwebs, open your eyes, and take a look.  

I was guiding the women through a process I like to do in branding to find and identify your 3-5 Key Brand Words.  These are the words that describe the uniqueness of your business and how you’d like your audience to perceive and experience your brand.  

Hilary Hartling_Brand Strategist_Brand Clarity Workshop_Empowered Women

As everyone was writing in their notebooks and really thinking this through, one of the women called me over and said she wanted to check in and be sure she was doing the exercise properly.    I had her read off the list of words she was considering as potential key brand words for the business she truly loves and believes in as a birth doula.  

Words like dedicated, empowering, supportive and caring were circling in her head and as I was listening to her describe what each of these words meant to her, I glance down and see her left forearm sitting on the table near her notebook.  

Hilary Hartling_Brand Strategist_Brand Clarity Workshop

As she was gesturing and explaining her words her arm flipped over a bit and I stopped her short and said, “you do realize that everything you just explained to me about the words you’ve chosen and what you inspire and deliver in your work is written in one word on your arm…right?”

She looked down at the large script tattooed on her forearm that read - trust. She stopped short.  She teared up.  She smiled and said, “wow, you’re completely right.”

Do you see how you can carry around your own answers and you often have visual reminders right in front of you that can help direct you to the path you know you’re meant to take?  That moment was not only a message for her in a key brand word that she can use for her business, but it was also so she understood she can trust herself to move her business forward and create a brand that resonates.

Hilary Hartling_Brand Strategist_Workspace_Brand Photography

For me, my job is listening.  Any good brand strategist will listen to you, listen to what you’re saying in between the words you’re actually using and will guide you to see what you already know.  This was also a great reminder for me to do the same for myself.  Trust in the knowledge and experience I have as I am constantly delivering it to my clients and they’re taking it and running with it.

Trust, and you will create momentum.