I recently had the opportunity to listen to Kristin Stith speak to my personal branding class about her success with personal branding. Her presence and ability to command the attention of the room was inspiring and she has a powerful message to share. Her speech was incredibly enlightening for me as I am just beginning to navigate the path of my future and I really haven’t been able to determine what exactly that path looks like. Since I have not been able to stop thinking about what I heard that day, I wanted to share with you!
Not only were her speaking skills something to be admired, but she also has a great story to tell. While it is a truly an inspirational story, it is also so relatable! She once sat in the same MBA classrooms and endured the same struggles of trying to work and complete the MBA program as the current students. It can often be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when enduring the struggles of managing both a work-life and student-life balance but hearing such a great success story can help provide the extra jolt of motivation you need mid-semester.
Kristen was able to provide invaluable lessons and perspectives on the employee/employer relationship from her experiences. For instance, while building your career, it is important to remember that your employment is simply an agreement for the exchange of services between employer and employee. You may love your job and you may even love the people you work with, but your employer does not have any responsibility to you other than fulfilling their end of the agreement. It is important to keep that in perspective as you are truly in charge of your own future. It is not up to your employer to guarantee your success or help you achieve your next step in life. Take ownership of your future!
Additionally, Kristen was able to provide insight into her experiences as an entrepreneur and business owner. While it can be great to be self-employed, it is important to remember that the success of your business depends solely on you and the work and dedication you are willing to put in for its success. The personal brand you have created and the relationships you have developed over the years can drastically affect the course of your business. Make sure you are doing what it takes to maintain a well-respected brand name and continue to build relationships while nurturing your current relationships. You must understand the amount of work it takes to sustain and build a business and be prepared to make your business and your brand your life. Your personal brand must be an authentic extension of who you are and what value you have to offer.
While we received invaluable insight and perspective on both employment and entrepreneurship, what really resonated with me was that achieving happiness is an ongoing process. Taking personal responsibility for your decisions and being proactive to create the life you want to lead are choices you have to make. You must assess your life’s path to ensure it is moving in the direction you want while establishing a work-life balance. Most importantly, take control of who you are and don’t allow others to tell you who you are or what you stand for.
As I continue this journey of personal growth, these words have really helped me to assess who I am and what I value. While your career is important, it cannot define who you are as a person. However, your personal brand is an authentic representation of you as a person which will sustain and allow you to showcase your value to the world. Take ownership of your life. Don’t create burnout and make sure to pursue happiness for yourself.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to hear Kristin’s story and gain some insight from her perspective and experiences.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below!