Soul meets body: a personal reflection on "brand you"
Written by Audrey Scharf
Reading time: 3 minutes
I don’t really think of myself as being a “brand” or having a personal brand, I thought of myself as a being, a soul with an identity and personality. However, once you come to consider it, our personal brand really is our identity, which shapes our personality, our ego, decision-making, what we believe in and how we perceive and view the world.
If I could choose a personality or a word that describes me, I would choose “simple”, because that is what I wish to be. However, generally it couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes I’m crazy and weird, with a fierce love of my life, my friends, my family, my workplaces; I love what I do. Yes there have been ugly and messy situations and I have overcome these through positivity and learning to work with others – and I couldn’t be happier.
It’s taken a while to get here. I’ve learnt how to work with others through collaboration, compassion, making and learning from mistakes – from these experiences I have been lucky to meet a diverse group of people.
There are a few values I love to live by; collectively they help me personally and professionally.
I believe that the most important thing is to be kind to yourself and others. Learning to be kind to other people is fundamental, especially in the workplace. I am a Fonder of a start-up, I’ve worked for start-ups and larger companies – no matter where you are, kindness always wins.
You must treat people with respect. I’ve been disrespected so many times and it’s ruined me; it made me feel worthless. Respecting people and being kind to others is my guiding light - the energy you put out is absolutely the energy you receive.
I always remind myself that I don’t know everyone’s story - what they’re going through and what they’ve been through. Sometimes colleagues and friends have brushed me off, acted rudely, and I had no idea what kind of day they may have had. If it’s the right time you can ask “is everything OK?”. Showing kindness and respect in the face of rudeness or abruptness has a name “love and light”. Keep being your best self; even though it can be tough at times, you got this!
Being carefree is a value that I believe contributes to a great personal brand; it gives colleagues room to breathe, room to be creative and room to revel in their own greatness!
Having a positive and inclusive “brand you” can help inspire others, bring people together and motivate action!
I believe these few personal values contribute to the bigger picture: great workplace culture. I always encourage colleagues to be vulnerable and ask questions. When you are vulnerable and open to someone it is likely they will feel more comfortable and confident with you. Let’s help everyone be fearless.
Come from wonder, ask questions, listen more and talk less.
Be real, be humble and be kind. Make others feel good about themselves.
I love to encourage colleagues to learn something new everyday, to learn to laugh at yourself, and know that making mistakes are great because you grow from them.
Create a positive team code that reflects upon everyone as an individual and acknowledge it.
My secret work tips (that have great impact!): Have polite manners, say please and thank you. Remember your co-workers birthdays, make it extra special.