As I sit and prepare for a few upcoming events that I will speak at next week, I am reminded by some great lessons that I learned from my first speaking experience, when I spoke at a convention and represented my brand Pink Crown Creative for the very first time in public last Fall.
The event I spoke at, was filled with 98% males and 2% females. It was intimating to walk into an event with a dress, pink logo, and a pink presentation. My booth was decorated in fuzzy fur, flowers, a #girlbooss sign and sparkles that surrounded my pink business cards. As I prepared for this event, I hesitated as I planned my presentation and my booth. Would people take me seriously? Would they laugh at me? Think I was unintelligent, an amateur or a joke?
Some of my favourite idols, entrepreneurs and business owners who wear dresses, have pink brands, show their true colours, personalities and beliefs within their brands are incredibly successful, inspiring, and influential to me. Why couldn't I be successful showcasing myself in this light too?
As I continued to have all of these doubts in my mind, I surrounded my social media feed and researched tons of brands that were successful, influential and looked just like mine. I decided I needed to stay true to my brand and let go of the imposter syndrome and let go of the way I assumed people would view myself and my brand. If I came up with a killer presentation, given valuable advice and presented myself as an influencer and professional in my industry, people would be forced to see nothing but that.
After all of that, I was pleasantly surprised that sticking with my brand and my beliefs was a huge benefit and a huge reason why I was successful at that event.
What are some of the lessons that I learned while going through this "identity crisis"?
1. Take the challenge
If something scares the crap out of you, it probably is a good thing. Take the challenge, jump in, and go for it! I would have never known what I would have missed out on if I didn't take the challenge and get out of my comfort zone
2. Be yourself
Creating my own company and my own brand image to reflect who I am and what I do has been a huge part of growing my business. There were many times that I have questioned my own brand colours, themes and wording but I always stop myself and my insecurities to remember that this is who I am. I didn't create this brand for anyone else but myself. If I am proud to flash my pink, sparkles and girly brand, then no one else’s opinion or view of me should matter. This really solidified my views at this convention. Sure, I had comments from attendees, but none of them made me want to change my branding or my company. It made me feel much more confident to stand up for a brand and image that I truly believe in and that is truly me. Never change yourself for what you think others think you should be.
3. Believe in yourself
As I mentioned, I tried so hard to make presentation sound "smart”, but I failed to recognize that I already was smart and already was knowledgeable on this topic. I live and breathe social media marketing every single day, so why did I question my knowledge and value so much? Once I realized that I was in fact the expert in the room on the topic. I got such a sense of confidence and pride and got a thrill out of sharing something new and of value to the audience.
I was blown away by the comments and feedback I received after the event and was really humbled by the trust and belief the attendees already had in me after getting so much value from what I shared with them.
4. Listen to your audience
My "why" was solidified when the two females that were in the group of 100 men in the audience, came up to my booth and praised me for my bravery, and inspiration on showing up to this event with my colourful brand and feminine presence in the room. It 100% reassured me that I am making an impact and a difference in the world of business and making a stand and a lasting impression on women in the workplace. Those comments and words of encouragement are the reasons why I have built the brand that I have created, and why I am unapologetic towards my brand, my mission and my values.
I am thrilled that I didn't change who I was and that I have continued to feel confident, empowered and motivated by my brand choices and that I have stuck to my true self and beliefs. I still get comments about how much people love my pink brand and admire me for being so confident in having a strong voice for women in the workplace and for feeling proud to showcase my real personality and vision. I hope that you too can feel confident in your "brand identity" and that you truly feel like your brand and your business represents who you are and what you want your brand to represent in the world.
To read more about my first speaking engagement and my experience read it more here: https://www.pinkcrowncreative.com/blog/my-first-speaking-engagement-as-pink-crown-creative