Personal Branding: A Help or Hindrance to Authenticity?

by | Jul 9, 2024 | 0 comments

Category: Business

Personal Branding: A Double-Edged Sword

We need to talk about something. Okay fine, I need to rant a bit about something. Humor me.

The Illusion of Personal Branding

Personal branding is kind of a racket.

For a while, I fell for it. Have you? I truly believed personal branding allowed us to control our narrative and present ourself authentically to the world. It differentiates us from others, showcasing our unique skills, experiences, and values. It also builds credibility and trust, making it “easier” for us to attract opportunities that align with your personal and professional goals.

Because when you own a micro business, it’s SO EASY to become enmeshed with the business that you think you’re selling YOURSELF. And the online marketing machine will tell you to do just that.

The Problem with Personal Branding

And that’s the problem.

Personal branding is often paraded around as the golden ticket to success, but let’s be real – it’s a double-edged sword.

The Pressure of Maintaining a Personal Brand

No one will tell you that it becomes relentless – there is always a pressure to maintain a polished and flawless image that aligns with the expectations of one’s audience. This can lead to an obsessive focus on appearance and perception, often at the expense of authenticity and genuineness.

The Impact on Mental Health

This constant performance can take a toll on mental health, as we struggle to live up to the often unrealistic standards set by our personal brands. And let’s not even go into the risk of a loss of personal privacy as every aspect of life becomes potential content for brand promotion.

The Restrictive Nature of Personal Branding

The creation of a personal brand can lead to an overly narrow focus, limiting our ability to explore new interests, roles, or opportunities that deviate from the established brand. In this way, a personal brand can become a restrictive box that stifles our personal growth and development.

The Pursuit of Authenticity

This pursuit of a strong personal brand – this pursuit of authenticity- comes from a desire for freedom. It comes from the real desire to meet those who resonate with our message. To break free from other ways we’ve been shuttered and held back. It always comes from a place of wanting to heal the wound of being perceived as something we are not.

The Paradox of Personal Branding

Instead it is creating the exact opposite. Instead of authentic, we show up as two dimensional caricatures of ourselves.

And we’re back to where we started, desperately yearning to be. To say, “I am just me! Why can’t I just be me?!”

“I am just me! Why can’t I just be me?!”

The Role of Branding

Oh my sweet love – you CAN be you. But your business’s brand can never fully explore you.

And here in lies the rub: Branding (even personal branding) isn’t really about us, even though it is us who may be influencing the brand.

Having a strong brand means that you aren’t worried about who and what you are not.

It’s about living out loud who you are so that the business you run has an opportunity to highlight the parts of you that the market needs.

The Limitations and Struggles of a Personal Brand

The good, the bad, the ugly, and the gorgeous.

We feel gross about our branding because we feel gross about not being able to express our full selves.

If we truly are our brand, and we can’t even show ourselves as people living in the real world, how can we live fully in our brand?

Understanding Your Branding

Branding isn’t about being smarter, more tech-savvy, having better lighting, or having a prettier studio. It’s not even about what colors or fonts you use on your website.

If we don’t know our full selves apart and separate from our brand, we cannot make space to be accepted by others’ seeing only a sliver of our full selves.

There is a weird sort of aha moment we all need to have to really understand our branding.

Rather, your business’s brand. (You amazing hunk of fabulousness.)

Being willing to be misunderstood is the greatest freedom there is.

We all have aspects of ourselves that will polarize. From a branding of the business perspective, THIS IS GOOD.

Peace, Authenticity, and Generosity

When we are at peace with who we are we don’t go around asshatting people out of our woundedness and our deep need for acceptance.

When we are at peace with the fact that our marketing and brand is inherently limited, THAT is when we are at peace, and we are open. Authentic. Generous.

When we are at peace with the fact that our marketing and brand is inherently limited, THAT is when we are at peace, and we are open. Authentic. Generous.

Those who are inspired by our limited story will join us in expanding our story… and that is the glory of strong business branding.

A Favor

Will you do me a favor over the next few weeks? Will you take the time to make a note of who you are when you are most alive? Reflect on all the parts you feel compelled to hide? And the things you want to hide, because the world isn’t entitled to all of you.

An Invitation

And then, would you invite those indicators that directly point back to what your business offers back into your biz? I can’t wait to meet you, again for the first time.

All My BeastyBoss,

Michelle Markwart Deveaux blog signature

A Note on Mental Health

P.S. May is Mental Health Awareness month, so I’d like to add that reviewing our relationship to our businesses is essential to maintain mental health.


Look what AI did for us! 🤩

Q: What is personal branding?

A: Personal branding is a marketing strategy where individuals promote themselves and their careers as brands.

Q: How does personal branding affect authenticity?

A: Personal branding can sometimes lead to a loss of authenticity as individuals may feel pressured to maintain a certain image or persona that aligns with their brand.

Q: What are the drawbacks of personal branding?

A: Drawbacks include the constant pressure to maintain a certain image, risk of losing personal privacy, and the potential restriction of personal growth and exploration of new interests.

Q: Can personal branding impact mental health?

A: Yes, the constant pressure and performance of personal branding can potentially take a toll on mental health.

Q: How should one approach personal branding?

A: It is recommended to focus on highlighting the unique aspects of a business, rather than trying to fully represent the individual behind it.

Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Michelle Markwart Deveaux (126)

As CEO of FaithCultureKiss Studios, LLC, I lead underestimated humans through the personal and professional development needed to create successful solo and team-based businesses.

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