The Dark Side of Personal Branding

branding Aug 02, 2017
What comes to mind when you think of personal branding? 

For most daring solopreneurs, it's fun things like:

  • Beautiful colors, graphics and logos.
  • Creative clothes, shoes, accessories and hair styles.
  • Authentic headshots that represent their true personality.
  • A gorgeous website they feel proud to share with potential clients.
But there's a dark side to personal branding that most solopreneurs don't consider until it suddenly slaps them across the face.

What is that dark side?

It's the fear that arises when it's time to become visible.

You see, personal branding is an extremely vulnerable process. It's about uncovering and unleashing the truth of who you are and what you stand for.


  • Story
  • Beliefs
  • Opinions
  • Values
  • Quirks

Putting your truth out to the world for everyone to see and judge can bring up a tidal wave of fear that stops many go-getters in their tracks.

But at the same time, if you don't get vulnerable and unleash your truth, there are detrimental consequences.

Your brand will...

  • fall flat 
  • get lost in the noise 
  • fail to attract your dream clients
  • never achieve its full impact on the world
  • stay small... and broke

So what are you going to choose to do? You know the fear is coming (if it hasn't already). It's unavoidable. I haven't met one person, including myself, who's gotten a "free pass". 

It shows up differently for different people, but the one thing it has in common for all of us, is that it threatens our chances of turning our vision into reality.

Your fear may show up as...

Perfection - spinning your wheels having to make everything "perfect" before you can get into action and share your brand with the world.

Anxiety - shortness of breath, knots in your stomach, clenching in your chest that prevent you from surrendering into the flow of your authentic brand.

Busy-ness - telling yourself "I don't have time" to put in the work it takes to uncover and unleash your personal brand.

Distraction - allowing all the little things that "need done" to take priority over the bigger task of building your personal brand.

Worry - you expect the worst even though you have no evidence that the worst will actually happen. It's like you're planning for failure before you even start.

Self doubt - thoughts like: "who would want to listen to my story?" or "who am I to claim I'm an expert at this stuff?" are taking over your mind.

Or maybe you've experienced all of the above? I know I have! 

But even if you experience these fears, you don't have to let them determine the fate of your personal brand. 

You see, awareness is key. 

Once you realize what's happening, you get to choose how you want to respond.

Think of it as your future "bold and brilliant business owner self" responding to your "small, scared and childish business owner self". Both exist within you, so ask yourself: "what would my future business owner self do?"

If the answer isn't clear, let me help you out.

The business owners who actually make it, all have personal brands that set them apart from the crowd. 

And to face the fear of uncovering and unleashing their personal brands to the world, they find a way to feel the fear and get visible anyway.

I know I have.

Recently, I received a compliment (or what I took as a compliment, lol) from my mentor. 

We were talking with a group of solopreneurs who were struggling in their businesses, and she said... "You know the thing that makes Jessie May successful, is that she still has all the mind shit going on like all of you, but she's out there taking consistent action, every day.... and that's why she sees results."

And it's true. 

To this day, I experience different degrees of perfection, anxiety, busy-ness, distraction, worry and self doubt. 

But I choose to stay in action. 
choose to stand in my truth. 
choose to be vulnerable in front of you. 
choose to be more committed to my "bold and brilliant business owner self" than to my "small, scared and childish business owner self". 
Everyday, I choose to get vulnerable and unleash my personal brand into the world!

What do you choose?


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