LIFESTYLE BRANDING & A HINT
I'm completely fascinated right now with the concept of branding, not only because I'm in the process of building this business, EO Edits, but also because I believe that we can all brand ourselves personally and take a good, hard look at our lives, our actions, and how we present ourselves to the world. That's the hurdle, isn't it? Taking those goals and actions that you daydream about in private and having the courage and bravery to finally live them and be 100% authentically yourself. It's not just for the Entrepreneaur's of the world. It's for everyone.
Branding for me, goes beyond picking the fonts and colors you use on Instagram or putting together beautiful vision boards. Athough, that can certainly be a fun part of it, branding dives a lot deeper.
Lifestyle branding is a similar concept to that of designing a brand for a business to adhere to. Oftentimes companys have a vision or a brand profile that allows them to be cohesive, stick to their values, and look aesthetically please. Lifestyle branding, however, is personal to you and acts as a guideline for how you live your life outside of and including work. It's not all about looks, but it is how you present yourself to the world, so of course it does have some things to do with material items and the physical. While we're flooded with advertisements everyday we can easily become overwhelmed and buy things we actually don't want or need. A well designed lifestyle brand focuses only on what you truly want. Here's some other reasons why I love having a cohesive lifestyle brand in place:
It is a really indepth way to look at who you are now and who you want to be. You'll be able to recognize your goals easier.
It sets a standard for the things you do and holds you accountable to meet that standard.
It ensures that you live life on purpose, because you'll make decisions that work towards your goals. You won't do things because everyone else is doing them, you do them because it will move you along a path that you've deliberately chosen.
It can guide your choices in all aspects of life and make these choices easier.
It shows that you're passionate. It's how you present and portray your values, likes, and interests to the world and shows that you stand for something.
It is aesthetically pleasing. Altogether, your goals, style, hobbies, etc., combine to create a curated you. You'll look put together and more confident in who you are and what's more attractive than that?
To me it's Step #1. I know projects like decluttering your home and planning your capsule wardrobe are crazy popular right now, but you need to determine your lifestyle brand before you launch into each of these. Otherwise, they won't be as fufilling and life changing for you because you haven't figured out who you really are working towards yet.
So, I've come up with a couple of questions you can go through to work on your own Lifestyle Brand. It's a fantastic exercise to discover your deepest desires and dreams. Don't be afraid to be a bit silly even if what you write seems so far fetched to you at the moment. Think of every possible angle and really delve into it. Don't be afraid to dream!
Below, I've shared some of my own answers to the questions and the ideal lifestyle brand I've set for myself and my life.
1. How do you currently spend your time?
Self-explanatory. Make a list of all the things you do during the day. Think about your passions and the things that make you happy. If you find you don't have any time to do the things you love, write down what's occupying your time now. Include what you do for work and any side hustles you're working on.
EO Edits (Instagram posts and stories, blog writing, admin, designing, etc.)
Life Management Topics
Home design & maintenance (includes chores & cleaning),
Health & Wellness (Finding and cooking healthy recipes, Working Out & reading about health)
Playing The Sims
Taking care of Arlo
Quality time with my Husband
Feel free to take this a step further to note the things that are currently occupying your time that you no longer want to include in your life.
2. What do you want to make more time for?
For this question, make a list of all the things you don't currently do on a regular basis but know you'd love to do more often.
Yoga (At home and in classes)
Fitness in general
Finding and listening to good music
Decluttering & organization
Quality time with friends & family
3. What do you want to be known for?
Morbid I know, but think about when you die. How woud you want to be remembered? Consider how you make people feel, what you want to accomplish in life, as well as your passions and interests. How do you want to be perceived?
I want to be known as...
A confident person
Stylish & fashion forward - put together
Graceful & elegant
Someone who is always kind
A person who always inspires others to always strive for and achieve their goals, no excuses
A loving wife and (eventually) mom
A caring daughter and sister
4. What do you value?
For this one, start by playing a word association game. Get as detailed as possible. Think about what the person you want to become would eat, drink, say, do, wear, read, etc. It's like you're filling out a personality quiz. From your answers you'll be able to see what's important to you.
EATING: Healthy, delicious whole food
DRINKING: Lemon Water, Champagne, Wine, Gin & Tonic, Coffee
WEARING: Athleisure during the day, Stylish, classic, and slightly minimal outfits
SMELLING: Chanel Mademoiselle
READING: Motivational and inspirational books
WATCHING: Thought provoking movies and documentaries
DOING: Yoga, weekly work outs, owning a creative business, making lots of money, creating a lifestyle, designing, helping others, getting my nails done
SAYING: Kind, inspiring, encouraging words
LISTENING TO: Motivational podcasts, non-fiction audible books, good music
LIVING: In a minimal, glam, Restoration Hardware inspired home
From this exercise, I've determined that the following are my core values:
5. What is your character narrative?
Think of yourself as an author describing their protagonist. You're the main character of this novel. Write out your bio. Bear with me, it gets a bit cheesy but it lets you step out of your mind and look at yourself from the outside in.
I'm not going to share my narrative because it's got some very personal details, but it was a fun exercise to do. Try writing your own narrative in third person and really analyze yourself as though you're analyzing a character from a story. When you're writing your own narrative of your future branded self, think about the following:
where are you living?
describe yourself physically
do you have any distinguishing features?
what's your story? where do you come from?
what are you doing for work?
what are your hobbies?
how do you generally feel?
what are your goals and motives?
what are you working towards?
what's your motto?
what's your strength? weakness?
what are some of your favorite things?
what do you strongly believe?
what's a tradition you love?
what are your quirks?
what are your habits?
what's your favorite color?
what do you do when you're angry? sad? happy?
describe your personality
6. What does your daily routine look like?
This goes back to utilizing an ideal daily routine to make sure your day is intentional and you live your most perfect life. Think of each hour of the day, what would your perfect self be doing?
I've shared my ideal routine a few times in blog posts now so I won't bore you, but a few things I would want to incorporate in my routine in order to fit my brand is waking up earlier, and doing a Power Hour before I get into the office to work. The Power Hour, if you haven't heard of it before works in two ways: working on one thing that nourishes either the mind, body, and soul for an hour, or working on three tasks each for 20 mins that focus on each of these categories. I've come to realize that I absolutely love mornings and my time first thing in the day is very precious to me. I don't like jumping into work right away. I want to ease into it and focus on things that nourish me, but in order to get everything done in the day that means i'll need to wake up earlier.
7. Establish a set of rules
Rules or guidelines can be set in place to help remind and direct you to adhere to your brand. Overtime, it'll be like second nature and your brand will just become you.
These are just a few of the things you could consider when coming up with your rules:
Pick a color scheme and let this formulate your wardrobe, home decor, instagram, etc.
Come up with 3-5 words that perfectly describe you
Stick to one aesthetic/style and only buy things that fit that aesthetic (ex. minimal, pastel, classic, athletic, etc.). Apply this rule to literally everything you buy and you'll find yourself being a bit more minimal and intentional with your purchases
Work on a curated/capsule wardrobe that fits your aesthetic and stick to that. Avoid trends if they don't nourish your brand
Set a meal plan and fitness plan you'll stick to that fits your ideals
Think about what you would ideally read/watch for your brand to avoid wasting your time
Set rules for what you do in your down time
Understand your expectations for the day (chores, work, adult things, etc.)
Go as far as setting rules for how you'll communicate and interact with others
Go over some of the trendy lifestyle words at the moment and see if you fit into any of them (minimalism, hygge, etc.)
What types of grooming activities do you want to do? (nails, hair cuts or color, blowouts, eyebrows, eyelashes, waxing, facials, massages, or nothing at all)
HAVE THE COURAGE TO LIVE LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO
So, there we go. A couple questions that you can work through that will get you just a bit closer to discovering your brand, who you are currently, and who you want to become. Keep in mind that over time the answers to these questions will likely change. And that's okay. It should change. You should always be growing and changing. If not , you're likely not achieving the things you want to be achieving or challenging yourself enough.
I'm also a big believer in progress and not perfection. Your personal brand is a guideline or a point to which you can strive towards, but don't get too hung up on being perfect. Nothing is worthwhile if it becomes too extreme or confining. Like I said, your ideas might change, styles and trends come and go, and you don't want to restrict yourself to one way of being. It's good to try new things and change it up once in a while. To some, this may feel way too constricting, to other like myself, plans bring me peace. So, as always, do what's best for you.
This post will go hand in hand with an insert pack that will be released later this week! I can't wait to share the LIFESTYLE DESIGNER PACK with you!! Watch my Instagram for more announcements on the latest EO Edits release.