The Integrated Life – Merging of Personal and Business

personal brand identity

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 an integrated life for greater balance.

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 just in the conceptual stages of your business ideas, or already in business and seeking to synthesize and organize your various interests into a more cohesive vision? No matter where you are in your business goals, an integrated life is essential to a healthy and happy life, and this article should bring perspective and context that will help you find more of your own.

 

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 in most cases. 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.

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

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 life 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?

People connect with people, not companies.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

 

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, 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.

 

It’s Your Turn… Choose Yourself

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. But 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 our immediate reactions are as much or more a part of our past programming as it is our future success.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

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 will 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 passed this onto their kids, mostly Gen Xers. Instead of self promotion, you waited to be chosen. That’s the opposite approach of social influencers. That’s the age of the cog. This is the age of creators.

This is not the industrial age. It’s no longer the age of the cog. This is the age of creators.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

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 get connected to the world.

James Altucher nails it in his book, you need to Choose Yourself. Also, Seth Godin in his creative masterpiece, “What to do When it’s your Turn“.

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

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.

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

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. And bottom line? It’s all you.

The different aspects of your life and business are unified in you.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

PEOPLE CONNECT WITH PEOPLE

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.

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 personably 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 it’s facets. Your personality.

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, iCreateDaily.com

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.

 

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, and start growing your following there from all that you are doing and posting. 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.

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

 

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

Start where you are with what you have if you already have a business endeavor started and you plan to grow that.  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. 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, just “ship it“.

Create the schedule that works for you then show up and do the work.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

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

The sage advice from people who are proponents of doing one thing only and bringing that to completion or fruition before moving on, works. Focusing on one thing works very well.

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.

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

However, working on just one thing versus multiple 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. Even better though, if it diversifies within the same business.

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.

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. Yet even if they are not interested in art, knowing that you are an artist simply adds color and depth to the context of you.

The person who fails the most, wins.
~Seth Godin, What to do When it’s your Turn

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.

You are the brand of your life. 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.

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, iCreateDaily.com

You can peruse four 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 circus, in a home, in a pet store waiting to be adopted, or in a garden.

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.

“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

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.

(If you need a goals journal this should help).

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