So this year, I had a plan. I wanted to release “In This Life“ in January, stop writing, focus on my real job and work on strengthening my brand.As you know by now, the stop writing part was a bust. Eight Goodbyes is finished, and will be in the hands of Jim Thomas (my editor) right after Labor Day. I have to say, this was the least strenuous writing approach I have ever taken. Except for a handful of late nights, I wrote only when I found the time. There’s much to be said about the fact that since the last book, I’ve shed so much of the things that have weighed me down. I found time to enjoy the summer with my family, invested in them so that the give and take was fair. They understood the time I needed to take for writing and work, because they knew I wouldn’t disappear this time.
There’s also something to be said about all the time you save by not going outside for a smoke break. Add that up and you probably gain half a day to do other things! Ha.
I’ve been working on major career moves over the summer that look promising… Let me tell you. All you need is a boss and mentor who believes in you and you are golden. And if you have that experience, you become a boss who believes in your people too. And you take them with you wherever you go.
And now, about the brand thing.
I spent so much time trying to figure out what this meant to me. Did it mean promoting my books or promoting myself? Both? Or none of the two? And then I started looking around to see what others were doing. On Instagram, for example, there are many different genres of posters – the photography people had their photographs of course, and models and different scenery. The authors had their books, their quotes, their writing journeys and changes. The corporate trainers had these corporate quotes and events all over their feeds. The “Like it to Know It” posts were all about clothes. I still haven’t figured out how to find the cute outfits I’ve liked over the past few months!
I was impressed by all of them. Still am, and still following them every single day.
But when I tried to post pictures of my work, I got bored. And then when I tried to post pictures of my books, I only had four. I didn’t want a format. I wanted to bring out the reasons why I wrote in the first place – to show women from all walks of life that they’re not alone AND that they can do everything they want if they put their hearts and souls into it. And of course, this brings on all the hurt, pain, love and loss that has come into our lives.
I wanted to carry on the message that IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
And so, I chose to do something that may not be the right format. I chose to be ME.
Who am I?
I’m a wife and a mother with a very loving and supportive family.
I’m a career executive who migrated here from another country and found success through hard work.
I’m a woman who has fallen a few times, loved and lost, gone through a midlife crisis, acted like an idiot. I’m unapologetic about most of my actions. I’m at peace with myself.
I’m a shopper. A fashion addict.
I’m a traveler, a free spirit, a lover of different cultures and languages.
I’m a networker, a people person. I make friends and connections for life.
Oh, and by the way, I’ve written four books. For me.
And mind you, what’s with the followers? I keep getting unfollowed when I post about my family. And then I get followed again when it’s a picture of me and awesome people. And then unfollowed again. And then followed when It’s just me in silly poses. That’s the fickle world of social media. I’m understanding it now.
(Christine Brae PSA: I NEVER unfollow people. Once I follow you, you have me for life. I just think it feels very disappointing when people do that to you. I never want you to feel that way.)
It’s important that you believe in your brand. Because if you support it, then who cares if others don’t?
There’s nothing better than being YOU. Because you’re a good brand. People want to be you because you’re awesome. And you’re beautiful and exciting and soulful. Even if you stay home all day to take care of your family. There’s something about you that no one else does or has. You’re one in a million.
Build your brand the way you build your life.
There’s no better way.