When I start the personal branding process with a new client, I spend a lot of time uncovering, discovering, and probing their values, beliefs, skills, goals, and feelings. This ensures we build and promote an authentic and sustainable reputation for my clients that helps them drive success in their career, and in their life.

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Of all the lists we make when I work with clients, three are critical to anchor their personal brand to a plan that can provide a filter, or set of criteria, through which they can make decisions going forward. My clients use these lists to make business decisions – Should I partner with that person? Is that a good place for me to present my ideas? How should my customers perceive me to find me compelling? – and personal choices as well.

Today, why not take some time and answer these questions for yourself? What you learn might surprise you!

For each of these questions, consider your answers in five categories: Emotional, Financial, Professional, Physical, and Spiritual:

  1. What do I need?

Emotional: Do you need validation, affirmation and praise to be emotionally whole?

Financial: How much money do you need to feel safe and able to be authentic in your choices?

Professional: What do you need to achieve or accomplish to feel professional or professionally solid?

Physical: How much activity or exercise do you need to feel fit?

Spiritual: What do you need to feel grounded?

  1. What do I want?

Emotional: What do you want, to feel complete in your emotional state? Do you want a mate or partner?

Financial: What would you love to see in your financial picture? How do you define financial happiness?

Professional: What would you do for a living if money were no object?

Physical: How would you like to feel in your body? Do you wish you had more energy?

Spiritual: How would you like your spiritual life to look? What would feed your soul, if you didn’t put any restrictions on your passion?

  1. What do I value?

Emotional: What is at the core of your moral compass?

Financial: Is financial success playing a disproportionately important role in your life? Do you feel you have a healthy relationship with money?

Professional: How far would you go to achieve professional success? What choices have you made that impact your professional values?

Physical: Are you willing to work hard to achieve the physical feelings you desire?

Spiritual: How do you live your truest life?

Next Steps

These are, no doubt, very tough questions to answer with a coach, let alone by yourself. While you might not get through all the questions in one sitting, I encourage you to keep at it. Once you have your answers written down, take a moment and step back from your lists. Ask yourself:

  • What patterns emerge?
  • Is there a consistency of words, phrases, or examples?
  • Does anything on the lists seem out of character or inconsistent?
  • Do the lists reveal new opportunities?

As you build your personal brand, these lists can serve as a check-in to remind yourself what you need, want, and value. Personal branding is about creating a sustainable and authentic reputation that delivers opportunities, clarity and results. The closer these lists and goals grow, the more successful your personal brand becomes!