Let me set the record straight. Every article I read on personal branding preaches having a clear, consistent brand. Fine. There is nothing I disagree with in that statement. What boggles my mind is the idea that you have to be either this or that. No in-between. You’re either creative or analytical, either a do-er or shaker, visionary or executioner. Why?

This prescription can be terribly confusing for people like myself who are trying to find their way. What if I’m both? What if I can’t squeeze into a neat little box with a tidy label? What then? No wonder people have a hard time defining their own brand.

I personally hate opposing ideals and have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that characteristics at one end of the spectrum negate ones on the other end. This actually goes beyond branding. Extremism of any sort is bound to set you up for failure. Being so engrained into an idea limits us from seeing the full picture and acknowledging other valid points. I’ve learned that there is always a bigger picture. All you have to do is be open to it and listen.

After all, aren’t visionaries the ones who push boundaries and put normative limitations to the test? Sure, it’s easier to market yourself as one thing. There is nothing wrong with specialization or with being fantastic at one thing. I only urge you to keep an open mind about those of us who would rather be a fun bundle rather than one polished entity.   

At the end of the day, branding is all about characteristics – and personal characteristics are the qualities that make you who you are and set you apart from everyone else.

So I ask you this, dear stranger who happens to be reading my misguided thoughts: why can’t I be a magically sarcastic unicorn that also happens to be an enthusiastic professional communicator?

Better yet – why can’t you?

Stay tuned for next week’s riveting post. If you don’t see anything, you have my full permission to harass me on twitter.