How to Build a Purpose-Driven Brand

Aug 18, 2020

Have you ever wondered: “What does my personal story have anything to do with how I run my business?” It may feel weird to be vulnerable and bring yourself into your brand while you market it, but I’m telling you, it matters more than you think.

My story of pivoting my business and my life

Being the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrants, I held myself to a certain standard. Because my parents (and grandparents) had sacrificed so much to build a life for us in America, I wanted to prove that their hard work was worth it. I wanted them to be proud of me.

So I hustled hard. Started working as early as I could (despite some setbacks), while earning my Bachelors and TWO Masters degrees. By the time I was 30, I was making six figures as a Marketer for a Fortune 500 insurance company.

But I wasn’t happy. I looked at my life and, sure, I got everything I wanted on paper, but something was missing, something needed to change.

I started by transforming my physical self. I went on a whole fitness journey with P90X and managed to lose 42 pounds. I liked how taking care of my body made me love myself a little more, and with that I gained the courage to transform other areas of my life, too. I ended an unhealthy 13-year relationship. I moved to San Diego. I was a little happier, but something was missing still.

During a conversation with a friend, I said: “I know this sounds crazy… but I kind of want to quit my job and travel around Europe.”

And so I did. I quit my 6-figure Fortune 500 marketing job, sold everything, and set off on a European adventure. I even scored a gig as an underground hip hop journalist along the way! I met my daughter’s dad, fell in love, and ended up settling in London, where I got a job as a Marketing Director for a recruitment company.

Fast forward five years later, I am now a business and leadership coach helping high-achieving women break glass ceilings in their online businesses and in their careers. It’s allowed me, as a single mother, to surpass my corporate salary and move to Portland, Oregon to build a beautiful life for myself and my daughter. And this week, I was named one of the top 10 leadership coaches by Yahoo Finance. It's all a bit surreal, but it's the result of years of learning how to trust myself.

It’s never too late to pivot

My point is that it’s never too late; I didn’t pivot my life until my 30s. And I make sure to tell my story often. It’s social proof that it works, whether it’s in your life or your business. I’ve let go of money and titles - all the things people think they need to be happy - and created a life and business that works for me. And now, I help other women do the same.

If you can integrate your story and who you are into your business, it automatically differentiates you from the rest. Authenticity and integrity matter. People can sense it, and those who really matter - I’m talking friends, partners AND clients - will gravitate towards you.

Who you are and what makes you stand out needs to be woven into your business, your products and your services. It’s how you connect your purpose to your brand, because what differentiates you from the rest will ultimately help your clients.

That’s how I’ve pivoted my story into my values and my purpose into a profitable business.

So, how do I pivot my story into a successful brand?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What is your mission?
  • What are your 3 core brand values?
  • What are 3 things you want your ideal clients or customers to feel when they consume your content?
  • What are 3-4 stories you can tell that either evoke those emotions, or authenticate your core values?

It’s especially important to identify those key stories behind your brand. Because the more you tell them (in various ways, don’t just copy and paste), the more your audience gets to know you for those stories. Then, they start telling other people those stories for you.

Telling stories is different than just reciting your values or your taglines. Telling your stories in various ways allows you to connect with people in different ways, and eventually, get them to market your business for you.

And I’m not the only person who does this.

Tony Robbins often tells the story about selling his car and becoming a janitor to be able to afford going to a Jim Rohn conference. Oprah has lost count of how many times she tells her story about how she was fired from her job as a news anchor at 23 because “she wasn’t made for television.”

These are all stories told by people who are prevalent in our society for their legendary brands.

The biggest game-changer for me in my business was realizing that there was so much of me that I wasn’t bringing to the table. I was afraid of being rejected or that I wasn’t good enough. However: the lines between yourself, your personal brand and your business brand are grey.

Everybody loves a great hero story. If you think about the plot to almost every movie, there is adversity, and the reason people love it is because they see themselves in the hero’s story. So I’m telling you now: be the hero in your ideal clients’ story.

You are the expert in what you do. Believe in yourself and what you do, and the right people will follow.