you are your brand

How do I juggle building both my business and my personal brand?

For over a year I’ve struggled with this question and would discuss it with anyone who’d listen.

Everyone I asked agreed that I did indeed need to build my personal brand. But when I’d ask how I was to create consistent content for and properly promote both I was met with shoulder shrugs.

You see, I do A LOT. In addition to being the founder of See Jane Write, I’m a full-time teacher and a part-time freelance writer. And save for the occasional intern and event volunteers (and my incredibly supportive husband), the See Jane Write team is made of me, myself, and I. So how can I find time to build two brands on top of all of that?!

Then some conversations with a few friends got me thinking. “You are Jane,” they said.

I never thought about it that way. See Jane Write started as a writing group for women that eventually became an award-winning membership organization and business. I don’t see myself as Jane. The women who rock with me are all Jane.

“But you built this. See Jane Write, as it is now, wouldn’t and couldn’t exist without you,” they insisted.

And that’s when I began to realize that See Jane Write is my personal brand, or at least it could be if I got personal.

And so after more than 12 months of mulling this over I made a decision to treat the See Jane Write brand as my personal brand, to share more personal stories of trials and triumphs on the See Jane Write blog, and to give my followers a behind-the-scenes look into my professional and personal life on the @seejavaciawrite channels on all social platforms including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I made a decision to get real while also remaining relevant.

Jane’s New Look

You’ll notice a few changes on the site. Instead of a static homepage, the homepage now features blog posts to signify my focus on sharing my story. The slider at the top of the homepage now includes pictures of me as a reminder that Jane is Javacia. And the tagline now reads” A LIFESTYLE BLOG FOR WOMEN WHO WRITE” because while I will continue to offer information and inspiration to help you with your writing, blogging, and branding, I will do so primarily by sharing personal stories from every aspect of my life.

It’s time to be more than Jane. It’s time to show the world Javacia, too.

This could be as temporary as my straight hair.

my mini-makeover

After giving Jane a mini-makeover, I figured Javacia needed a mini-makeover, too.

I got my hair and makeup done as a little celebration of the fact that I had finally made a decision. (Don’t worry about the straight hair. I’m still #TeamNatural. I just spent some quality time with a flat iron. The curls will be back soon, as will be my usual bare-face look.)

But this decision could be as temporary as my straight hair and fancy makeup.

I could decide I hate this. I could decide that I can’t get personal on the site where I also get down to business. But I will try this for 90 days, at least, as my business coach recommended.

The point was to just choose something and to keep moving. Clarity only comes through action. I had been paralyzed by indecision.

If you feel indecision is holding you back, too, just pick something. If it doesn’t work out, just try something else. Failure is impossible if you keep trying until you win.

Some people may not like the new content on the blog. They may not care for me talking fashion, fitness, faith or feminism. They may not care for the personal essays I plan to occasionally post. They might not like that, depending on the topic, I may sometimes write the way I talk — and not the way I talk when I’m teaching, but the way I talk when I’m with my girls.

But I’ve got to believe that being myself isn’t bad for business. When I think back, the content that has always garnered the most comments was personal. The more vulnerable I am, the more people seem to respond. I believe my story will resonate with the people I’m meant to help, and it will push away those I have no business working with in the first place.

I hope you’ll ride with me through this journey.