After the spring and the summer that we’ve had it’s little surprise that I feel a little bit like I’ve lost myself.
I’ve been mom, caregiver, wife, friend, shrink, coach, cook, chauffeur, cleaner, and played a million other roles including social media marketer and professional blogger. I’ve divided up my time and my energy among the people who needed me and the people who were paying me.
All you have to do is look back through two months worth of blog archives to see the effect of all that division.
Sponsored post after sponsored post. Posts that say “I don’t know what to say.” And silence, long stretches of silence.
I kinda lost my voice in the chaos.
Worse, I think I lost my focus.
Back in April I was so sure of where I was going and what I wanted to do. Then, life intervened as it is wont to do. And I rallied. I really, really did.
But back then my goal was survival. Pure and simple. Get through the days, the weeks, the months. Pick up my head and keep moving forward.
I did it, we did it. Survival happened.
So now what?
Do I go back to what I thought I wanted to do? Do I consider other prospects that have surfaced?
What do I want?
Which leads me to the question: Who am I? Who am I now?
Because some days I have to admit I no longer know.
A few weeks ago I think I saw the light at the end of the tunnel grow a bit brighter and I started to feel the need to clear my plate. I’m pretty sure my subconscious knew that I’d be facing this dilemma sooner rather than later.
I set myself one goal for September: finish the edits to the book.
And then I forgot how atrociously boring editing can be. Yes, I could probably get through the whole book in a couple of days, but my focus is so fried that I’ve only been able to get through an hour or two every day this week. Then I get bored and let myself get sidetracked.
So new goal for September:
Finish editing the book and figure out again who I am.
(Just remind me every so often that I’m not going to figure it out on Facebook. K? Thanks.)
On Tuesday I attended a great session on personal branding given by Laura Lowell. She covered the usual truism about how your personal brand is you and how it carries over wherever you go, be it online or off. But then she rocked my socks by explaining the best way to actually define what that brand should be.
1) What do you do?
2) What is important to you that you care about?
3) What do your customers need from you?
Answer those three questions. You’ll find your personal brand at the intersection of the answers.
Things change. That’s the only constant in life. I know I can’t answer any of those questions in a way that will be true forever. But for now, I can work on figuring out who I am and how I turn that into what’s next.
At least I think I can. Facebook and Pinterest are pretty distracting.