My Intro Creating A Personal Brand

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MMy name’s Megan Bales, and I’m helping creative achievers on their journey of creating a personal brand. Classic rock lover & foodie with crazy curls and a Jesus glow. I smile a lot, but it’s mostly me laughing at my own jokes. I’m glad you’re here, and when I’m through, you’ll be too.

I help writers, freelancers and really anyone who’s the face of their own business live from their values and turn a profit just by being themselves & bringing the value.  

 

Not Just Fluff

I’m not just another random woman trying to sell. I’m someone on a passionate pursuit to find freedom. And I want to take you along with me. No matter what is going on at the end of the day, if I’m not making an impact in my life and the lives of those around me, I’m not happy.

Because I’m powerfully connected to purpose.

What does that really mean, anyhow? It means I want to look back and be content with the life I created without feeling like my life’s setting was on “default.”

 

It’s All About Self Awareness

Could I have known this without getting to know myself better? Absolutely not! And for a long time I allowed myself to be jealous of people who seem to have everything together. Yet, almost no one actually does. I didn’t always know what I wanted. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

The only thing I knew I wanted was to make a living by impacting other people: A business model that championed servanthood and community without compromising myself. But before we get too far ahead. . .

 

Hello!

“Delighted to meet you sir {or ma’am}. Overjoyed Enraptured. Entranced.

Are we ready?

Yes!”

This quote is from one of my favorite films (based on the classic novel) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Oooo, I’m so impressive with my literary prowess aren’t I?

Nope.

I don’t mention this to impress you, but because it represents something special. We’re about to enter new territory. You’ve come to a new place excited and filled with hope. And I’m inviting you in.

You’re about to enter the chocolate factory and I’m sure to show you a good time. “Little surprises along the way but nothing dangerous!” So *tips hat* are you ready?

And by hat I mean I’m cheers-ing you with my tea mug at home in my sweatpants, and I probably just dripped a little on my sparkly notebook.

Let’s dive into the framework that built this blog.

 

My Values

There’s a reason I put my brand’s values on the front page of my website. It’s incredibly important to me that my community understands the framework behind my thinking. Multiple page business plans for investors and pretentious mission vision statements really isn’t my thing. In plain english, this is what we’re looking at. . .

Core Ideologies (The Illumine Blog’s Brand Values)

Learning Control & Flexibility  

Responsibility:

I learned the hard way that waiting around for things to be solved is the best way for them not to be, and for you to go nowhere. No more waiting around for what you want! Focus your mindset on your ability to create your life. It’s about controlling what’s yours and letting the rest go.

Would happen if I embraced my power, pushing past the boundaries of fear?

Harnessing Imperfection

Authenticity:

Belief is more of the battle than I could have ever imagined. Confidence in what you are doing comes through self-awareness and the willingness to be imperfect & misunderstood and still thrive.

What if my story could make an impact?

Embracing The Power of the Mind

Intentionality:

Purposeful decisions towards more fulfilling outcomes will help you reach your goals by doing less and enjoying more. I had to take a hard look at the life I’d created on default and decide to move forward with what truly made a difference.

What does your future self want from you right now? & What is the return for your time and energy investment?

Accepting Perspective Shifts

Freedom:

Becoming humble, intentional learners allows us to leave behind the expectation of “should” and find contentment in the journey to “want.” I’m leaving behind other people’s’ expectations and opinions and moving forward with what I need.

What does more breathing room and fulfillment in your life look like?

 

Maybe you’ve never dared to ask any of these questions. Or maybe you’ve asked them in frustration with your fist in the air. Whichever one you are, I’m going to take you through those foundational ideas on the blog so that you feel better equipped on your creative odyssey.

Now that we’ve covered the important bases, let’s go back through a little bit of my story, so I can show you how I got here.

How Did My Story Lead Into Creating A Personal Brand?

One of the many reasons why this blogging business clicked for me was because of my background in communications. Try telling people you are going to study that as one of your majors. “Ha communications, whatever that means.” And yet, I learned deeply about people and how to understand people better.

But before then, I started in customer service, as many do. I felt on the right track because I wanted to be a problem solver and help people, but things weren’t quite right. And guess what? The customer is absolutely not always right.

*Pictures ashes of problem customers blowing in the wind*

With the death of my customer service career birthed my marketing experience. And what a hair pulling experience it started off to be. Maybe some of the hair pulling feelings never go away, but at least I have control of what direction I’d like things to go in now.

 

So What?

Because my business answers my life’s own “so what” question, everything is more fulfilling. There were many other experiences I was blessed with to equip background skills like web design and development, copywriting, and social media marketing as well.

Making everything a learning experience allows your story to flow together chapter by chapter.

But it was what I’d never dared to do that become the thing I ended up doing. Despite my romance with the idea of being a vet, or attorney, what I deeply wondered about was how to move people with my writing. Yet, I was never good enough to even give it a second thought: Not until I got familiar with the practice of recognizing and pushing past limiting beliefs.

 

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Ok, I don’t really know what you did last summer, but I do know the long list of fears that you may be facing on your own journey. Whether you are just starting out or have been doing this for a while, when you have an interest in expressing yourself creatively, there’s always an underlying hesitation or maybe just fear disguised through inaction.

Many are doing the same thing and sometimes a lot better. It is more than a little daunting to take your seat at the table. But you have to take it. First, you have to up your game, but then you have to take it.

And not in the lady like sit down kind of way, in the take-a-load-off kind of way, because your time is now.

 

Feels On Top Of Feels

On top of the uncertainty you feel taking that leap of faith, “Is this something I really want to do?” egged me on in the back of my head. And “where would it lead?” “What if the market is too saturated?” (It’s not btw). And what about haters?

Throughout the entrepreneurial roller coaster, you go through nearly every emotion there is: from self doubt to being embarrassingly overconfident, and back to feeling sorry for yourself. And that’s just before lunchtime.

Trust me, I’ve gone through #allthefeels too.

I actually paid for my domain and hosting close to a year before I had the courage to tell people I have a blog and started publishing content. Facebook even threatened to trash my business page because I wasn’t posting anything.

Trying to be everywhere all the time in my first real year had me wishing Facebook actually had trashed my business page, but more on that later.

 

Entering The Entrepreneurial Universe

Once my eyes were opened to the blogging, creative, entrepreneurial community, I found just how many people feel inadequate. The number is truly astonishing. That’s a huge reason why I started this blog: A Freedom-Focused blog to achieve despite fear, and to break free of all the normal boundaries holding us back in a tangible way.

Listen, there’s an online course for pretty much anything nowadays. I bet if you looked, you could find a course on how to braid your nose hair. That’s why I want to interrupt all of the noise (I almost typed nose accidently lol) and truly help you, long term.

When I first had the courage to start out, I thought, “why can’t I do this?” “Other people on the same playing field as me are accomplishing what they want left and right.” And so I took the leap of faith. But as many things do, it developed into so much more than that. If you let me, I’ll show you.

 

Hold Up One Sec,

But before you become enamored I want to crush any kind of rosy illusion that building a personal brand is easier than doing anything else. Unless we’re talking open heart surgery or literally rocket science, hidden figures style, it isn’t going to be easier. At all.

But will it be more rewarding in most cases? Sure it will. And I want to help you get there, and stay there.

 

There’s No Reason Why You Can’t But Many Why You Won’t

Many people don’t go after what they want because they have limiting beliefs. Those same limiting beliefs could be sabotaging other aspects of your life. I recognized countless that I held in order to effectively speak life into the quiet lies within my inner dialogue.

It’s on my checklist that you get comfortable with identifying what’s holding you back to be able to push through when you need to. “If you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t know where you are going.”

 

Despite what you’ve been told you have the power to bring change.

Personally, I was an unyielding child not because I had an unquenchable need to get what I want, but because no one could give me a good enough reason why I couldnt have the things that I wanted. It always had something to do with someone else’s affordability, opinion, or level of burnout.

Of course as a grown woman I understand the importance of telling a child no, but it’s my mission that my community doesn’t carry that same thinking into adulthood in that way. Don’t wait around for anyone to give you what you want. Create it as you see fit.

 

Cost Benefit Analysis

All life should be is a cost benefit analysis. The more practice you have with removing expectation and replace it with self awareness and grit, the more you’ll be able to realize what’s worth it to you.

 

After Graduating W/ Great Grades And A Double Bachelor’s Degree (Early) I Was Surprised At How Little It Got Me. This Was My C/B Analysis

I went to school for about 12 years of my life then paid large sums to go through higher education so that I could get a real job. After graduation and months of searching, I got a job that paid nearly as much as a manager at a fast food restaurant. And sadly, more young adults are finding just how far traditional methods don’t take them. Even with impressive recommendations and experience.

I worked everyday with time left to make dinner and go to bed. I had maybe a little bit of time to catch up on personal chores and relationships on the weekend.

This isn’t the life that I want.

I know what it feels like to be trapped into submission. I wondered what my life would look like if I chose what each day looked like? The ability to change my mind and go where I want whenever I want.   

The distractions become too much, and I needed to find purpose.

 

What could you do if you weren’t in panic mode, a constant state of distraction, and following the assembly line?

 

Have you given thought to living from your values?

Have you thought about what that even looks like?

How would you live your life if you weren’t too burnt out from following along?

 

When Doing Something “The Way It’s Always Been Done” Doesn’t Make Sense

A  STORY

A young woman is preparing dinner while her friend watches.  “Why do you cut off the ends?” her friend asks. “I don’t know”, she replies.  “My mom did it that way and I learned it from her.”

During the next visit home, she decided to ask her mother, “How do you cook a pot roast?”  Her mother explained, “You prepare it, cut off both ends, and put it in the oven.” “But Why do you cut off the ends?” the daughter asked.  Baffled, the mother said, “That’s just how my mother did it!”

Her daughter’s question made the mother curious about the pot roast preparation. On her next visit at the nursing home, she asked, “Mom, how do you cook a pot roast?” The mother answered, pausing to think between sentences.  “Well, you prepare it with spices, cut off both ends and put it in the pot, and then put the pot into the oven”. The mother asked, “But why do you cut off the ends?” “Well, I had to cut off the ends to fit it into the pot that I owned.”

This story exemplifies how we can get stuck in our routines without stopping to ask, “why?” Developing a healthy curiosity is a very useful tool that’s going to test any culture norms and personal limitations. So, the quicker you try, the quicker you’re going to be on the same page with what you want.

 

Creating A Personal Brand Is Not For Everyone

I’m not insinuating that everyone now needs to quit their 9 to 5 and go do something crazy, but I am challenging you. If what you’re investing in is not worth it in the long haul, maybe you should reconsider.

If you are going to invest your time, heart, and soul into something you had better make sure you understand why you are doing it. Because if you don’t, you could wake up one day feeling lost. And not just that, think about what opportunities could be out there for you if you’d only accessed the freedom to pursue them. Are you living up to your potential and becoming the person you want to be?

 

No Excuses

So just think; “why can’t I do this?” understanding that those before you were busy, had other jobs and responsibilities, had little to no money, and were scared half to death just the like. And they still did it. The more involved you become in your industry, the more you will realize the only thing holding you back is you.

The truth is you can have what you want— there’s a recipe for it somewhere. Let’s get the ingredients.

My Transformation

I honestly never thought I would be the one to cheer on the entrepreneur life, but constantly asking questions naturally led me there. Why are things this way?

What if I could focus on other things?  Although I said never more times than I’d like to admit, I always wondered what my life would look like if I didn’t spend my time going through the motions. And I learned that my personality actually favors what I’m doing. 

For a while, it was kind of like driving in a way. I complained when other people drove me, but was often too scared or lazy to drive myself.

Once I realized how much I crave taking responsibility for the things in my life; my skills, my money, my time, and my dreams I realized there was no way someone else was going to get me there.

Other people are incapable of giving you the life you need.

The journey depends on you. Everything worthwhile in life takes an immense amount of work but there are always helpful hints to work smarter! And a whole community of people waiting to encourage you along! Feel free to drop a line so I can get to know you!

And don’t forget to Subscribe for more!

______________________________

“Adieu, Adieu. Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. What a great blog intro. So inspiring. I’m so happy you took the first step into your new journey. May God use you to bless others with laughter, peace, silliness, and kindness along your way. I always enjoy your sporadic Friday posts. 🙂

    • Thank you Stephanie, I’m so glad to hear from you. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me.

      Happy reading 🙂

  2. Hi Megan, your blog is just GORGEOUS, as are you!
    I really enjoyed getting to know you and understand your purpose. Amazing to have such conviction and clarity as you start your entrepreneurial journey.
    Looking forward to working with you at Wealthy Affiliate. Thanks for joining me there.
    Much Love, Lauren

    • Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for stopping by and getting to know me (and the blog) a little better! I’m excited for what’s to come and to be apart of an amazing, creative community 🙂
      -Megan Bales

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