Brand is rooted in authenticity. This means that before you can establish your personal brand you must be self-aware, and understand how you relate to the world and how the world relates to you.  You’ll know when you’re there because your level of self-acceptance will require no affirmation.  Your brand is your trademark.  Every interaction with you sends the message, “This is what you can expect from me.”

I recently met a young woman who is doing some amazing things professionally. “Her public” is responding positively to her brand, and she has clearly come to expect a particular response to her narrative. We interacted in a small group and I watched as she attempted to size up everyone and give them what she thought would provide an affirming response. As we parted she continued her attempts to connect with fawning that fell flat and felt disingenuous.  I wondered why she was trying so hard.

Brene Brown tells us that authenticity is the “daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are.” I look forward to talking with that young lady when she has established a personal brand that is consistent with the work she claims defines her passion and purpose. Authenticity is felt in your interactions with others. When your brand is authentic every experience with you feels genuine and leaves others looking forward to the next interaction. An authentic brand emanates self-confidence, trust, warmth, and sincerity.

How does your personal brand measure up?