From the time you first hear it as a child, few nuggets of universal wisdom ring as true as the simple observation, “Actions speak louder than words.

You see it in others.

You see it in yourself.

Large or small, intentional or accidental, actions define who we are. And who we are defines our personal brand.

When we decide where to go to school, where to work, where to shop, or where to hang out with our friends, we are constantly taking action in ways that define us.

When I was getting ready to graduate from college and started looking for a job, I had one criterion: the job I had would allow me to “help make the world a better place.” Sound familiar? This mentality, goal, mission, is very common amongst our generation—which is what makes us great! I want my personal brand to be about helping people…about something greater than myself.

So when I started working at a financial services company right after school, I wasn’t exactly convinced that I was “sticking to my brand standards,” so to speak. Afterall, financial services companies are after my money, aren’t to be trusted, and are for old people…not me.

Money has always meant “in-action” in my world. I’ll just put it on auto-pilot and not think about it. I assume my dad will tell me when I need to make big money decisions—and how to make them, too. I assume things will just fall into place, and with a little hard work I’ll get to where I want to be, some way, somehow.

But as I started working and learning about the money issues my friends and family members face or could face, I started to think. What would happen to me if I lost my job and wasn’t getting a paycheck every month? Would I be like the 25% of Americans who wouldn’t make it one week without financial problems if they lost their paycheck (Life Foundation, 2009)? What would I do in retirement if I actually ran straight out of money?

“Actions speak louder than words,” started ringing in my ear.

It wasn’t enough to say:
“I’ll handle it later.”
“This is for old people.”
“Money is not my mission.”

That’s when I found myself starting to create a different definition of money for myself…one that fit better with my personal brand.

For me, money is about my ability to give; to give to my community in times of need, to give to my kids’ education far down the line, and to give to myself so that I can really live life to the fullest right now, and during the last years of my life.

Money requires action, just like your personal brand. It requires a first step. It requires a commitment to yourself, and your community, and your loved ones now and in the future. And that is how I’ve made money part of my mission and part of my personal brand.

Is money part of your personal brand? How does it fit?


Kayla Johnson is a marketing lead at brightpeak financial, a new organization dedicated to helping young Christian adults and families start taking action on their finances now, and for the future. To learn more about how brightpeak’s mission inspired Kayla to incorporate money into her own personal brand, take a look at this video, and follow @brightpeakSpeak for daily updates and tips.