Please, don’t believe in your brand.


“Believe in Your Brand” strikes me as horrible advice. Of course, this message is meant to be empowering – as in you should believe in the most flattering, bold, and brilliant version of yourself.

And you should!


Believe in Your Genius

You should believe in your genius. I believe in your genius, even if we haven’t met. I can say this with certainty, because I know people have capacities hidden in their hearts and minds that are well beyond what we share most of the time. So, please do believe in your genius and share it!

However, I worry about this “Believe in Your Brand” stuff.

What is your brand, exactly? How did you define it? Is it reflecting the core of you? Even if you did great work in generating a brand that communicates your values and the essence of who you are, can it ever communicate all that is you?

The answer is no. It’s not possible.

You are more than your brand


The truth is you are so much more than your brand. Your brand is only one expression of you, no matter how skilled your branding is. So, please don’t believe in your brand. Believe in you, in your goodness, and that it is good that you are alive on this planet, in this time and place where you are.


And allow the parts of you that don’t fit nicely into your brand message to also exist, not as anomalies, but as essential parts of you. We are all larger than our brands. We are more complex, more human, more dynamic, interesting, and varied than our brands. We are intricate and flawed. We don’t make sense all of the time. We are walking contradictions, even if we don’t want to admit it.

And that is good.

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Song of Myself, Walt Whitman



Allow in all that you are

We need our questions and messiness as engines of creation, our own primordial soup.  We need this not just to create more compelling brand messages and business possibilities (though that is true), but to create a life we want to live and a world we want to live in. 

We are gloriously bigger and more complex than the roles we play, the jobs we do, or the images we project. We are large and contain multitudes. And that is good. That is something to believe in.

Branding Advice

So, when you are working on your brand, tell the story of you as a business person with care for what is true in you. Ground your “brand story” in the truest expression of yourself, but don’t believe in it. Your brand is only a story, which is secondary to the true you, which cannot be contained in the most brilliant Instagram feed. Believe in your wholeness, largeness, and multitudes.