The Integrated Life – Merging of Personal and Business

personal brand identity

Passion and Purpose Expressed Through Business

In today’s maze of options and noise, people everywhere are seeking an integrated life.

 

Table of Contents

 

From integration of personal and professional lives to integration of purpose, passion and work, creators especially, are seeking fulfillment more from meaning than money. But creators need money too to be free to pursue their purpose.

Audio Article – The Integrated Life:

A common challenge for people growing their business is how to manage your personal versus business lives, including your presence in the various online platforms such as social media and your website. For creatives and entrepreneurs, the lines between personal and business have become increasingly blurred, especially if you’re working from home.

Do you have more than one thing going on? More than one business or passion that you’re building simultaneously? Many creatives do.

Are You Struggling or Balanced?

Are you just in the conceptual stages of your business ideas, or already in business? Maybe you are seeking to synthesize and organize your various interests into a more cohesive vision with less chaos and struggle and more focus and progress?

If you’re doing well financially perhaps you aspire to imbue more creativity and purpose into your workdays. Or, for you, it could be that your days are filled with creativity and doing work you love, but not yet financially successful.

No matter where you are in your business goals, an integrated life is essential to a healthy and happy life. But take heart. By definition, a balanced life is an ongoing process of adjustments to achieve. So an integrated life includes the struggle, aspiration, balance and growth.

It has been said that walking is a process of being out of balance, and that running is a process of falling forward.

If we raise one foot to take a step, we will not long be stable before we begin to hobble out of balance. It’s the same thing for all growth for our entire lives. If we’re growing, we’re moving and if we’re moving, then striving for balance is a natural part of the process.

Don’t fret the struggle. Embrace it as part of the journey.

Creators need meaning over money, but we need money too to be free to pursue purpose.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

Creators need meaning over money, but we need money too to be free to pursue purpose. ~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily #lifegoals #Dreams #Motivation #BucketLists #Ideas #Quotes #Money #IWant #Happy #ThingsToDo #Inspiration #Thoughts #Travel #Adventure #Fun #Friends #Awesome #People #Families #Heavens #RoadTrips #Wanderlust #Mottos #icreatedaily

The Integrated Life of a Personal Brand

Today, you no longer need to separate your personal and professional interests. In fact, it’s often best not to. Obviously, if you’re employed in a job while working a side gig, then yes, you may need to build your side hustle quietly and separately, unless you work for an innovative company that encourages employees to pursue their passions.

For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume that you’re now free to pursue your dreams of building your own creative endeavors, or that you’re already in process of growing your business and your brand. But how do you synthesize your areas of interest, and how can you do it all?

We’ll delve into that in this article. First and foremost, realize that you don’t have to do it all perfectly and you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start. Just identify your goals, one at a time, and head in that direction daily and your way to a more integrated life will become more clear.

Step daily into your vision for your future, and then step into daily actions toward that vision.

Our mission is to help people be more free to pursue their dreams in their own way.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

Our mission is to help people be more free to pursue their dreams in their own way. ~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily #Quotes #Inspiration #Ideas #Art #Writing #Photography #Design #Projects #Drawings #Exercises #Business #Aesthetic #Lettering #Thinking #Journal #Gifts #Decor #Illustration #Home #icreatedaily #Poster #Images #Marketing #Portfolio #poetry

How Do I Integrate My Life and Work?

So how do you integrate multiple brands or businesses, and all that you have going on? These are some of the questions that may come up for you:

  1. How do I allocate the time and brand building to each area of importance?
  2. What if they are unrelated creative businesses?
  3. Do I make it work together, or do I do two different businesses and keep it separate?
  4. How do I do it and stay centered instead of flying off in all different directions?

We’ll break these down into Q&A below. Just remember, as we’ve indicated in other articles, the best way, is what’s best for you, so what we advise is what we’ve found to work for us and for others. There’s no one way and each way has numerous nuances you can personalize to your preferences.

If the idea of blending your personal and professional lives onto one platform doesn’t resonate with you, then you also have your answer based on what not to do for you. It’s definitely not for everyone. However, keep in mind that if you are thinking about integrating your personal and business lives, the amount and degree of sharing is always entirely up to you. The bottom line?

“Ha, well you see… this notion of a balanced life, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to have that… but I can have what I call an integrated life.”
~James (Jim) Collins, author, consultant and lecturer on business management

Your Personal Life: Private or Share it Out Loud?

Today we see reality TV to celebs who bare all, to fiercely private public figures who never discuss their personal lives, and everything in between. How you grow your brand should be based on your natural inclinations… on who you are and on what works best for your family and your personality.

Here are a few examples of people in the public light who’ve chosen to take a more private approach.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a.k.a. GaryVee – Extremely Public but also Private

One of the most popular and highly successful online entrepreneurs, is Gary Vaynerchuk. His cameras roll 5-7 days a week, sharing as much content as he can. He doesn’t share his family, though he does talk about them and shares everything else that he can. Gary is intent on growing his already mega success platform around himself, as the influencer.

You can read more about Gary in this article on personal brand examples.

Seth Keeps it Separate

Seth Godin is another prominent thought leader popular amongst creators, who never shares information about his personal life.

You can read more about Seth in this article.

From Expose-all Reality TV, to Extremely Private

Of course we’ve probably all heard of the Kardashians’, and whether or not we have ever tuned into their content, are probably aware that they are a family of entrepreneur creators living their personal lives largely in public.

There are extremes, such as the Kardashians—who live their private lives out loud, to Seth Godin, who does not share any personal and family info, to everything in between. Just as much as people are different, so too are the degrees of sharing, blending or separating personal and business. Not only for the entrepreneur’s preferences, but also for the audience.

Some in your audience may follow you for who you are personally, and others, for who you are professionally. You must do you… what feels good and right to you and your loved ones, no matter anyone else’s opinion.

If it feels right to you, then it is right for you and you will in turn, attract to you, those who are more like you.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

If it feels right to you, then it is right for you and you will in turn, attract to you, those who are more like you. ~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily #Quotes #Inspiration #Ideas #Art #Writing #Photography #Design #Projects #Drawings #Exercises #Business #Aesthetic #Lettering #Thinking #Journal #Gifts #Decor #Illustration #Home #icreatedaily #Poster #Images #Marketing #Portfolio #poetry

Creators with Integrated Personal and Business Lives

Here are 7 online entrepreneurs who blend their personal and business to varying degrees.

  • Pat Flynn – Always transparent and sharing of and with his family; now, c0-hosting a podcast with his son
  • John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson, of EOFire – sharing some personal anecdotes and background
  • Jeff Goins – shares about his life as a writer, husband, dad and Christian
  • Lewis Howes – shares personally about his struggles growing up and his journey from failure to success, and a little bit about his family and early life.
  • Tim Ferriss – shares moderately, about his family, and very rawly open about his personal struggles, habits and challenges
  • Jim and Jamie Sheils – share their entire family journey of homeschooling and growing from entrepreneurs into an entrepreneurial family serving other entrepreneur families.
  • LeAura and Devani Alderson – yep… that’s us!… mother/daughter team and cofounders of iCreateDaily and the iCreateDailyPodcast.com. We’re definitely a blend of personal and professional lives, where what we do is merged with who we are and vice versa.

Ultimately, your best fans will be those who like who you are and what you do.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

It’s Your Turn… Choose Yourself

This heading above is inspired by one of our many favorite books by Seth Godin, What to do When it’s Your Turn.

Part of our mission here and in general in our family and collection of brands is to help people be more free to pursue their dreams in their own way.

So as you read this you may want to take notes on what resonates for you and what doesn’t. Just don’t be so quick to rule out the “doesn’ts” though. First, consider where it’s coming from… your past or your future?

Sometimes we react positively or negatively, from our past programming. Sometimes we react out of fear, and sometimes because we don’t want to leave the comfort of the present for the struggle required to grow.

“We’re capable of creating work that matters only if we’re willing to be uncomfortable while we do it.”
~Seth Godin, in his masterpiece book: What to do When it’s Your Turn

Self Awareness

Self awareness is essential to your optimum growth. Don’t criticize, don’t judge, don’t fear. Don the eager curiosity of a child and the fearlessness of an explorer, then mine the depths of your soul.

What if you had no fear, no past, no struggle… just eager optimism? Because well… since this moment forward has never existed before, you do. You need not let your past define your future. In fact, best not to.

Sometimes our immediate reactions are as much or more a part of our past programming as it is our future success.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

The Benefit of Being Your Brand

It’s your platform… your brand… your art… your ideas… your business, so you should be in it.

Then wherever you go, whatever you do in your changing platforms, interests, businesses and partnerships, you can take your audience with you.

If creating an influencer platform around yourself feels weird, you may have to get over your shyness—and indoctrination—of self promoting being a negative. In today’s increasingly crowded online world… and the world where the “middle man” is disappearing from every industry, it’s essential to place yourself out there in order to be found.

Many baby boomers grew up in the era of indoctrination from their parents—The Silent Generation—around not bringing attention to yourself. Naturally, they then passed this onto their kids, mostly Gen Xers.

In the baby boomer generation and its precedents, instead of self promotion, you waited to be chosen. In every era, there’s a period of the old overlapping the new.

This past decade’s “American Idol” type obsession of seeking to be chosen, is still a strong player in the global psyche, and these shows are indeed wonderfully entertaining and usually life-changing for those who get on them. However those are few and far between compared to the swelling sea of creatives seeking to bring their dreams to live.

Today we see also, the rise of the individual artist making his or her name by virtue of growing their own fan base through sharing freely on social media. We’ve written examples of that in this article linked here.

The Age of Influencers and Artists

This is the age of influencers. Many who build social followings end up being sought out for paid sponsorships by companies of all sizes wanting access to their audience.

Don’t wait to be chosen… to be good enough… for permission or perfection. Rather than waiting to be chosen before building your dreams, start now, where you are with what you have. Choose yourself and proceed to bring your visions to life.

We’ve written about influencers who’ve made a name for themselves by virtue of building their own social profiles and putting their work out into the world, which we’ve linked above. We’ve also written about secrets of successful artists, which you can find here.

This is not the industrial age. It’s no longer the age of the cog in the wheel of the system. This is the age of creators.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

This is not the industrial age. It's no longer the age of the cog in the wheel of the system. This is the age of creators. ~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily #lifegoals #Dreams #Motivation #BucketLists #Ideas #Quotes #Money #IWant #Happy #ThingsToDo #Inspiration #Thoughts #Travel #Adventure #Fun #Friends #Awesome #People #Families #Heavens #RoadTrips #Wanderlust #Mottos #icreatedaily

 

Build Your Platform on the World Wide Web

Now—no matter your generation—if you want to bring your work to the world… if you want it to be seen, found and successful, not only in exposure but in ability to support yourself, you need to build your platform in the world.

Today’s biggest art gallery, stage, soapbox and megaphone is a digital device and social media. So grab your cell phone, pad or laptop and connect yourself and your work to the largest platform in the world.

Like Seth Godin, author James Altucher, also nails all of this in his book, Choose Yourself.

You don’t need permission to do your work the way you think best. You go do you.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

A common challenge for people growing their business is how to manage your personal versus business lives, including your presence in the various online platforms such as social media and your website. For creatives and entrepreneurs, the lines between personal and business have become increasingly blurred, and people are seeking ways to create balance through a more integrated life.

The Integrated Life

Q&A on How to Integrate Multiple Areas of Life and Business

Q1. How do you allocate the time and brand building to each area of importance?

A1. If you were working one full time and one part time job, you would show up and clock in when you were scheduled to do so. Now, it’s up to you to create the schedule for your own businesses, and then show up and do the work.

The good news is that you can create a schedule that suits you most. You will need to tweak it as time goes on to ebb and flow for an integrated life. But it’s important to commit to it and stick to it for it to work. Make it a priority in the same way you make your job and commitments to others a priority, and you will see it all grow.

 

Q2. What if I have two different and unrelated creative businesses?

A2. No problem. You are the commonality, therefore these are related businesses. If you have two different interests, chances are there will be others in your audience who are also interested in the other areas. Even if you’re a professional, such as a doctor, lawyer, professor, etc., and your side gig is a creative endeavor.

When you think about it, the aberration is to separate who we are from what we do.

The different aspects of your life and business are unified in you.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

The different aspects of your life and business are unified in you. ~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily #lifegoals #Dreams #Motivation #BucketLists #Ideas #Quotes #Money #IWant #Happy #ThingsToDo #Inspiration #Thoughts #Travel #Adventure #Fun #Friends #Awesome #People #Families #Heavens #RoadTrips #Wanderlust #Mottos #icreatedaily

 

EVEN DOCTORS

My dermatologist loves to travel. Whenever I’ve been to him for an appointment, from the first one over 15 years ago, he always asks, “Have you been on any trips lately?” I regale him on any recents and he does the same, all while inspecting me for sun damage (lots to keep him busy there, growing up in Hawaii and loving the outdoors!).

And this doctor is personable enough that travel is not the only area where he bonds with his patients. He’s also a dad, and in asking about my children, we discovered a shared commonality of kids with dyslexia and ADHD. Another point of connection.

Now we have two areas of interest in common, and it has provided an avenue for mutual appreciation and sharing over the years in a way that the subject itself—a medical appointment—could never do. It’s the same for your personal brand identity.

And yes… these examples were not a second business or side gig of my doctor, but they are a wonderful example of naturally weaving interests into your work, even when it’s unrelated.

Be you… share you.

AND ATTORNEYS

Angela Langlotz, whom we interviewed for the iCreateDaily Podcast, is a Trademark and Copyright attorney. While her site is branded to her business name of The Trademark Doc, she still makes it more personable by sharing personal info on her bio.

In today’s more relaxed business arena, people want to connect with people. So even in the legal world of typically stuffy suits and ties, we feel more connected to Angela by knowing that she likes wine, cooking Italian food and yoga.

If travel is one of your passions, even if it’s not related to your business, to have a section about it and write about your experiences provides an avenue of access and interest to you and your work. Your unique and varied interests give you an edge over stiff corporate websites that have a generic and sterile feel devoid of the humanity of a personality in all its facets. Your personality.

People connect with people, not companies.

Your unique and varied interests give you an edge over a sterile corporate website.
People want to connect with people, not companies, and people are multifaceted.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

 

Q3. Do I make it work together, or would I do two different businesses and keep it separate?

A3. It depends on the nature of your business and your plans and goals. However, the simple answer is that if you plan to remain a small and personal brand, then you can start with one website and have each of your areas represented on that site with its own page and sections.

How do you do it all? You integrate it… one thing at a time!

WEBSITE OR FACEBOOK PAGE

If you don’t already have a website, you may not need one right away. For now, if you don’t have a website, you can accomplish the same thing with a name branded business page on Facebook. Or, if Instagram is your preferred social site, then start there.

You can start growing your following there from all that you are doing and posting for free. For some, that may be all that you ever need for you can even sell your work and services from Facebook. We discuss whether you actually need a website in another article.

This article will help you in getting your Facebook for business page going. Even though it’s speaking to growers, it’s applicable to anyone starting their business on the Facebook platform.

If your vision is to grow a big business… perhaps even to grow it big enough to sell eventually, then you’ll want your personal brand identity on one site, and your business on another. Once again, they can crosslink between them.

You can have a business page for each of your endeavors on your personal brand site. Then each of those pages can link to the respective business website—and vice versa: Your business website ‘about’ page, can link to the homepage of your personal website.

If your passion lights you up, you must do it… and then share that light in the world.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

Q4. How do we do it and stay centered instead of flying off in all different directions?

A4. If you already have a business endeavor started and you plan to grow that, then start there.  If not, then start with your most viable and financially stable or promising business first. You’ll need to grow your capital to fund your business growth.

Exactly what you do, when and how, will change as you embark on your journey. If you need help deciding, this article may help.

Whether you’re taking a trip, building a house or starting a garden, the best laid plans always get tweaked and changed in the doing. So don’t worry about having the perfect plan before starting.

Remember, as Seth Godin advises, just “ship it“, and yes, it’s (almost) always before you’re ready. Don’t way for perfect. Get your work out into the world, so it can grow and evolve more quickly, and you with it.

Create the schedule that works for you… and stick to it!
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily

Exactly what you do, when and how will change as you embark on your journey. Whether your taking a trip, building a house or starting a garden, the best laid plans always get tweaked and changed in the doing, so don't worry about having the perfect plan before starting. Remember "ship it".

 

Focus on One Thing, They Say

To focus on one thing is sage advice from people who are proponents of doing one thing only and bringing that to completion or fruition before moving on. Of the entrepreneurs who’ve achieved significant success in their businesses, the majority will say it’s by focusing on the one thing.

Even most serial entrepreneurs focused on one thing first, brought it to success, and then sold it or replaced themselves in it before moving onto their next endeavor. Focusing on one thing works very well, and we’re big proponents of setting goals daily and weekly.

The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.
~Seth Godin, author, What to Do When it’s Your Turn

The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing. ~Seth Godin, author, What to Do When it's Your Turn #lifegoals #Dreams #Motivation #BucketLists #Ideas #Quotes #Money #IWant #Happy #ThingsToDo #Inspiration #Thoughts #Travel #Adventure #Fun #Friends #Awesome #People #Families #Heavens #RoadTrips #Wanderlust #Mottos #icreatedaily

The Multiple Projects Approach

Conversely, working on just one thing versus multiple projects or businesses doesn’t work equally for everyone, because what works should also take into account the passion of the creative. If you need variety to thrive, then you may be better off diversifying your efforts.

However, it’s even better for your sanity and business growth, if it your multiple interests are diversified within the same business or industry. Many are they who get burned out or even experience depression or a meltdown because they’re trying to do too many things and overwhelm catches up with them.

Integrating Projects as all Facets of You… of Art

Integrate your multiple projects, under one creative umbrella if you can. For instance, in our entrepreneurial family, we have way too many projects going on. However, 80 percent of it falls under the media publishing umbrella, such that within those multiple projects, some of each supports and expands the others.

Is it harder than doing one project at a time? Undoubtedly. However, creating new things also feeds our creative soul. So our rule is to focus on those things that are in the same stream of creative endeavor.

Some creatives thrive working on multiple projects, as Chase Jarvis describes in this video interview.

“Art is about intent and communication, not substances.”
~Seth Godin, author, thoughtleader, founder-AltMBA

An Artist is an Artist

For example, if you’re a painter, but you also write, then you can blend your writing passion with your art passion. Your blog can include writing that connects to your art and vice versa, which will help to serve both of your interests while contributing value and volume to your one business.

Diversifying efforts and expanding your content will expand your exposure and opportunities, and serve to grow your following. This multifaceted approach will also provide vastly more art options and products to create.

Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life, eventually discovers that there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it.
~The One Thing book, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

For example, if you're a painter, but you also write, then to blend your writing passion with your art passion will help to serve both of your interests while adding to your one business. A visual artist can create written word content around your work, you life and your niche to help grow that brand while diversifying efforts and expanding your content which will expand your exposure and opportunities, and serve to grow your following.

You. Your Life… You Art… Your Work. Integrated.

For many creatives, your life is your brand… the Brand of You. An artist is known to all as an artist. It’s understood that she creates art as a passion and as a business and that her life is about art. Yet it is also understood that art is not her entire life.

If you are an artist who is also a life coach, that should be a part of your artist site and profile. People who appreciate you as a coach, are far more likely to want to buy your art because they know you as a coach. Similarly, people who love your art will be intrigued to learn that you’re a coach.

Guess who they’re more likely to buy art or coaching from, as time goes by? That’s right… the one they already know and appreciate.

Knowing that you are an artist simply adds color and depth to the context of you.

“Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.”
~Seth Godin, author, thoughtleader, founder-AltMBA

Consistently You — the Brand of Your Life

Billionaire serial entrepreneur, Wayne Huizenga, said, “That’s what makes great brands: Consistency and uniformity.”1)https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2011/10/05/blockbuster-billionaire-wayne-huizenga-swisher/#510b1ea03445

In this case the consistency and uniformity is you. Synthesize the elements of your life into one whole, for that is the reality. Even if you’re doing seemingly disparate areas, the unifier is you… the piece that integrates it all.

You are the brand of your life.

Your life is the cover photo on the lid of the puzzle that is you. All the pieces of your life are a part of that total picture.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

You can peruse five personal branding examples in this article.

 

The Big Picture of You

Your brand integration is the big picture of you.

If we’re putting together a puzzle without the cover picture, we have no context for what it is to become. If we pick up a piece of a puzzle, and that piece is a dog, we might assume the puzzle is about dogs. We wouldn’t have any context for that dog without the big picture. That dog could be in a picture of a circus, a pet in a home, in a pet store waiting to be adopted, or in a s garden scene with its master. That dog image could be just one small piece of the entire puzzle.

It’s the same for you. To integrate your life and your work is to make your presence in the world more whole and more authentic. Your big picture is that you are a creator. All the other pieces of the puzzle—your various creative endeavors— go into making the big picture of your life.

Work life balance is yesteryear. Now, we are in the era of an integrated life, lived imperfectly, with passion and a delight in learning as we go through failure and triumph… through love and through connecting with others as who we really are.

“Any conversation which does not include the context of the journey of the heart is by definition untrue to who we are as human beings.”
~Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, author, lecturer

It's the same for you. To integrate your life and your work is to make your presence in the world more whole and more authentic. Work life balance is yesteryear. Now, we are in the era of an integrated life, lived imperfectly, with passion and a delight in learning as we go through failure and triumph... through love and through connecting with others as who we really are.

 

For some profound and elevating insight from a spiritual perspective, you may enjoy a visit to these quotes and video.

Integration is natural… it’s nature. Division and separation is the illusion.
~LeAura Alderson, author, entrepreneur, cofounder-iCreateDaily

Multi Passionate Entrepreneur, Marie Forleo with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory

To close with a wonderful treat, the delightful and phenomenal, Marie Forleo with the enigmatic, visionary Tom Bilyeu of Impact Theory. You’ll want to watch this entire episode, to rewind the the beginning when you can.

Meanwhile, this clip starts at the place where Marie begins to describe her own entrepreneurial journey as a multifaceted artist trying to do it all.

Create the life you want to live, one day at a time.

The Day is the Way.

iCreateDaily™




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