How to Delineate Between You & Your Business

If you’ve engaged in the all-consuming work of building or running a business, you’ve probably considered the line: where you end and the business begins—or vice versa. Or maybe you’ve tried to keep your identities totally separate (more on that in a minute).

People are not their companies. We contain multitudes, holding our own experiences, perspectives, beliefs, values, and interests. But our companies are an extension of us—a distillation of key parts of our identity. And when branding is done well, it provides clarity into your unique value, uncluttered by all the other stuff that makes you, you.

When you’re sharing content as the face of your organization, the goal is to convey your point of view, your promise, and the value you provide to the world.

How do you do that?

Think Succinct, not Separate

At Arcbound, we often meet business leaders at a crossroads. They’ve been building their domain experience and expertise over the course of their career, along with a clear point of view and serious credibility. They have a network that trusts them through their work.

But they’ve begun to feel they need to have more impact. Some wonder if the way to do that is to separate themselves entirely from their business. Just two weeks ago, we were speaking with a founder from one of the world’s largest online clothing retailers. Their story is absolutely remarkable. And, they told us, they were so much more than their business.

They thought that the next phase of their journey would require them to separate entirely from what they’d accomplished to date.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, building an effective personal brand can be about finding the core values inherent in you and your operation and making sure to share them with the world.

Find the Thread 

Most of the time, our businesses are a means of driving forward what matters to us personally. When you understand those pieces—the thread that ties together all your actions, and show up from that place—you’ll feel in alignment personally and professionally. Further, you’ll be able to use your brand to not only drive your business forward, but all your other endeavors.

Brand expert Rich Keller often talks about this on his platform and through his ‘One Word’ program. He believes that each of us has a key core value to offer the world: a unique trait that we can deploy to find personal success and help others win.

Don’t Sleep on Your Story

If your company brand is already strong, you may be wondering why a personal brand is necessary—particularly if you don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Think of it as leverage for today and tomorrow. A personal brand can help you communicate and package content about your company and about yourself, strengthening associations with what you’re selling today and tomorrow, even if you don’t know what that is yet.

With a strong personal brand, it’s easier to get in front of key decision-makers and convert from awareness to purchase. And if that band is a reflection of you, it will last beyond your current endeavor and serve the next opportunity and the one after that.

A personal brand changes perception. It opens doors. It unlocks opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have. It expands your reach, and awareness, and can serve as a tool to convert rented space (like social media) to owned property (like email lists). In short, it’s portable, equipping you for everything life has to throw your way.

So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s get into the homework. Begin by answering the following questions:

  • How is your identity infused into your company currently? Which outward-facing parts of your company are actually an expression of you? 
  • Why are you building what you’re building now, and what outcomes would you like to drive in the future? 
  • What unique insight or perspective do you have to share with the world?
  • What’s your ownable message and how does it connect to everything you do? 
  • Who is your audience and what do they care about? 
  • What impact do you want to have on their understanding of the world? 

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to take action. That may include: 

  • Building a website: a place to store everything about you and your message.
  • Your strategy: what do you want to accomplish? How will it influence your audience? Where are they, and where will you meet them?
  • What do you need to do next to begin bringing your brand to life?

How long will it take to work? 

Keep in mind that this is a long game. You may be putting in work and putting out content for months without seeing any real results. Trust the process, and maintain consistency. Work on honing your message and strategy, and don’t be afraid to iterate.

Eventually, you’ll see that you’re gaining traction for both your personal brand and your business. You may be offered new opportunities, asked to speak on your area of expertise, attract better talent, or see deals close faster. All of this is evidence that things are moving in the right direction. Keep going.

And if you need us, we’re here to help.

DILANeation at Its Finest 

I couldn’t possibly close out this newsletter without a shoutout to Dilan Gomih, founder of Dilagence, a company that leverages the power of well-being to fuel high performance. Dilagence is truly the embodiment and extension of so many of Dilan’s unique traits and strengths. As founder and CEO, Dilan works with organizations, teams, and individuals to facilitate incredible custom events built to get the best out of people and empower them with the strategies necessary to reach new heights. She has limited availability for the rest of the year, so if you’re interested in a workshop or coaching, please reach out and tell her I sent you.