I have been thinking a lot about branding and how to brand myself since I started this new journey nine months ago. I have read a lot of books and articles about personal branding and how important it is, feeling as though I had to come up with a catchy, clever name, that would encompass everything I do and a subtitle to draw people in. I have played around with a lot of different names and concepts over the last nine months and couldn’t find something that acted as an umbrella for everything I do.
This nine month journey has been about integration and deciding what I wanted to do now that I had grown up in a new and transformed way. One of my challenges has been pulling all of my gifts and talents into one package that I could present to the world as my work. I have always felt like I was going in six directions at the same time and not really focusing on what I wanted to do. I have never fallen for the idea that we need to choose one career and do it exclusively, but a lot of society has, so I have never fit into the “mold”. I have always done several things at once, but they were always compartmentalized.
For a long time, I lived my life highly compartmentalized. I needed to do that to make it work and to be able to focus. I was one person when I was with my friends, a different person at work, and yet another person with family and acquaintances. For a long time, I didn’t realize that this was what I was doing. I didn’t do this as a way to be inauthentic but more as a way to stay focused, have boundaries and fit in. My goal in all of this search for ways to live an authentic life has been to de-compartmentalize all that I do. This is a natural function of integration and becoming authentic.
I started to see that some people identified me as one thing and others identified me as something else and that was frustrating. For example many people think that I sell It Works products but don’t realize I am a visionary artist. Others think I am the founder of Magnetic Business Women and don’t realize that I have a business as well. I used to be known for my artwork in many circles, but that is no longer true. Only a few people know that I am an intuitive reader, that I am a shaman and sound healer. There is also the fact that I am a writer. My 26 year career as a psychologist. I am a mother. You get the picture! It’s this kind of fragmentation that chokes the spirit. I was frustrated that people weren’t getting a complete picture of me and yet I was not sharing the complete picture because it seemed like so much work. I have often felt invisible and that was a lot of my own doing.
When I realized how frustrated I was that I wasn’t been seen, I decided I wanted to do something about it. That is when I realized my ultimate goal in life is to live from a place of authenticity. I want to be expansive and free. I want there to be no discernible difference between when I am working and when I am playing. No division between my purpose and my life path.
Yesterday as I was driving to the networking group that I started, I began thinking again about how to brand myself. What came to me in a flash of insight is, I don’t need a catchy name, or magnetic phrase to draw people in. I don’t need an umbrella that describes everything I do. Katelyn Mariah is my branding. Everything I do is a part of me. I need to brand Katelyn Mariah. I need to use my name as the umbrella for who I am and what I do and personally brand to that.
The image of the roundabout is a perfect metaphor for what I have been doing. A roundabout is a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island or the place where two or more things come together. I feel like I was that beautiful garden in the photo above and I was also circling around myself. I ended up taking a roundabout way to find what I was looking for, ME.