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Your Personal Brand Defines the Best of You

Your Personal Brand Defines the Best of You

Mindful personal branding starts with knowing who you are, why you exist and how you have been called to serve others.

That is how author, speaker and coach Tru Pettigrew approaches what he considers the essence of “consistently showing up delivering on those components in actions, words and deeds across every facet of life.

“Clarity is shown through consistency across all areas and platforms in how people have shown up,” said the community bridge builder.

Pettigrew joined Winnie Sun, Ryan Foland, Wendi Weiner and Chelsea Krost to talk about mindfulness and personal branding on Krost’s #MillennialTalk Twitter chat.

Sun is a renown “wealth whisperer” who contributes regularly to CNBC, Forbes and Good Day LA. Foland has made his mark as a speaker, author and artist. Weiner writes about personal branding in career and business, LinkedIn, and how she used her law degree to get out of law. Krost is a millennial expert, marketing and branding strategist, global speaker and LinkedIn instructor.

“When I think of ‘mindful personal branding,’ I think of thoughtful, present sharing to your ideal audience of your true, authentic self,” Sun said. “Two words to live by are authentic and consistent. I sense that your brand simply amplifies who you already are.”

Forethought is baked into the definition.

“It’s understanding that you are what you tweet,” Foland said. “Therefore, you must think before you tweet.

“We live in a time where your online footprint is a reflection of who you are,” he said. “Being mindful of what content you post makes what you post intentional.”


Focus through intent


Weiner sees two aspects about building an intentional brand:

  • It takes into account current situations impacting your world.
  • It focuses on your awareness of those in your target audience.

“Having a clear focus on your values helps build the core around your personal brand,” she said. “Think about your why, the who, the what and the how. Remember, brands evolve as climates evolve.”

Krost’s branding keeps her aware of her voice, language, message, community and content.

“Mindful personal branding is everything that I say, represent and believe online and offline,” she said.

“While mindfulness is something we are talking about now more than ever, it is clear who has been mindful, diverse and inclusive from the foundation of building their digital footprint,” Krost said. “Being more mindful with your personal brand — and in life — will only help you connect with like-minded people that much more organically.”

With multiple crises and sensitivities, people must be ever more alert not to be casual in their messages.

“The pandemic has made me more mindful both personally and professionally by realizing the importance of resilience, socialization and prioritization,” Pettigrew said. “This is true in my personal and professional life.

“I’ve realized there are things that can be shaken and things that cannot be shaken,” he said. “The things that can be shaken are not the things that should consume us, but invest in the eternal things of legacy and longevity that cannot be shaken.”

Pettigrew added that everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to affect change.

“Make it personal, and start local,” he said. “Start where you are with what you have.”

Personal and business associates play a greater role in Foland’s mindfulness.

“That has also made me prioritize a healthy work-life balance,” he said. “The Black Lives Matter movement has made me more mindful of my words and actions to support equal opportunity. I’m more mindful of how to support under-represented communities.”

The group went on to discuss changing and difficult conversations, backlash on social media and other related topics as they looked deeper into mindful personal branding.


Here are a few #Millennialtalk tweet highlights:


 Q1. How would you define, “Mindful Personal Branding” in your own words? #MillennialTalk

Wendi Weiner– Mindful personal branding is about building an intentional brand that (1) takes into account current situations impacting your world and (2) focuses on your awareness of those in your target audience.

Also, having a clear focus on your values helps build the core around your personal brand. Think about YOUR WHY, the WHO, the WHAT, and the HOW. Remember, brands evolve as climates evolve.


 Q2. How has the #COVID19 era & #Blacklivesmatter movement made you more mindful personally and professionally? #MillennialTalk

Ryan Foland- Covid-19 has made me more mindful of the people who I surround myself with both personally and in business. It has also made me prioritize a healthy work-life balance.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement has made me more mindful of my words and actions to support equal opportunity and be more mindful of how to support under-represented communities.


Q3. How are you approaching building your #personalbrand differently today? #MillennialTalk

Chelsea Krost- Stop, drop, and think! We tend to always be racing against this invisible clock to get this and that done. NO MORE. Today we must allow ourselves the time and space to be mindful within our personal branding efforts.


Every person who sends a tweet, deletes it, apologizes, and pledges to do better truly did not, REALLY take enough time to, “think before they posted.”

Wendi Weiner- We can’t change our world if we remain silent. 2020 is the year of the activist, the ally, and the advocate.


 Q4. How are you considering what “diversity” and “inclusivity” means to you, your brand, and your online presence? #MillennialTalk

 Winnie Sun- I’m proud to say that I’ve tried to always be mindful of diversity and inclusivity. I remember being labeled a “double minority” for the first time and how that felt. I remember being bullied for being this race and gender. It’s knowing it and then taking the steps that are most comfortable to you to act on it in a positive way.


 Tru Pettigrew-  Diversity is “the state of being different” while #inclusion” is “the act of making someone feel a part of”. Diversity alone doesn’t do anything on its own, as it is a state of being. To enjoy the gift of Diversity, we must leverage the act of #Inclusion.

Diversity is a gift that is available tons all. #Inclusion is the battery that powers that gift!

My #personalbrand as a #BridgeBuilder requires that I educate others on understanding how #Diversity and #Inclusion are linked, but still very distinct. Helping others understand how to embrace the diversity that is available to their organization in an effort to help build healthy cultures of inclusion. It is also important that I help organizations understand the different forms of #Diversity and how they can and should be leveraged. That includes #NeuroDiversity #IdentityDiversity and #ExperientialDiversity.


Q5. What actions are you taking to create a more diverse and inclusive culture, message, and community today?  #MillennialTalk

Wendi Weiner- I am having those difficult conversations with friends, colleagues, clients, and peers who need an advocate and ally, but they fear speaking up. I am seeking to be more educated and empowered for clients on tough workplace topics.


Winnie Sun- I think we all have to be very honest with ourselves. Everyone has a role in this world, this life, and only you should be the one to decide on what that role is. I let my actions speak for my work and integrity. But I do think being more mindful of everything you do and participate in today is more important than ever. I’ll continue to try to be better.


Q6 How are you currently voicing your opinion while being mindful of others who may have different opinions?  #MillennialTalk

Tru Pettigrew- I lead and facilitate #CourageousConversations to encourage others to hear diverse perspectives in an effort to leverage the collective intelligence & life experiences to co-create thoughts, ideas, and solutions that contribute to the greater good of us all.

I’ve created dedicated DEI Trainings for Law Enforcement, for Educators, and for Students. Those properties are called COHORT, COHEART, and STARTERS respectively.

Another property I’ve created is called Barbershop Rap Sessions.


Ryan Foland- I’ve been able to use my stick figures as a way for me to voice my opinion while being mindful to others. It’s art and people can interpret it how they want. I’m also super excited to launch my stick figure store on Aug 13 for charity!


Q7. WORDS MATTER: How are you responding to comments that are spewing hatred, racism, antisemitism, anti-LGBTQIA…?

Chelsea Krost- I have always had a strong ZERO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to any and all offensive comments here on #Millennialtalk and across all channels. Some comments are so disgusting that no reply and blocking is better than fueling the fire.

HAPPY people DO NOT feel the need or desire to spew hateful comments or judgment about others no matter their skin color, religion, gender, or sexual preference.


Tru Pettigrew- I respond to comments that spew hatred, racism, antisemitism, anti-LGBTQIA, or any group with questions of genuine curiosity.

I want to understand why a person feels the way they do. I then do my best to discern if its rooted in ignorance, based on a mistake, or flat out malicious intent. And then I follow the process of educating ignorance, correcting mistakes, and condemning hate.


RYAN Foland- Oh my gosh I love this question because words do matter and fact I have a hat with those words on it. Words are so important, and we must Choose Wisely. I prefer to use words for good and positivity. #MillennialTalk

I think the best way to deal with trolls is to not feed into their hatred or racism. It just feeds the fire. Sometimes I will contact them through direct messages and explain to them how hurtful their words are. Sometimes it helps them realize and they apologize.


About Jim Katzman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.




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