Who Are You?

What’s your brand?

In my former job I spent the majority of my time developing brand identities for artists.  I worked hard to determine the unique characteristics of the individual musician/band/singer and then figured out how to market that to set them apart from the rest of their competitors.  It was a fascinating, sometimes frustrating and yet, a very rewarding experience… especially when I felt like I captured the heart of the individual and got to share that with the world.

As much as the word “branding” sounds all-business, cold and impersonal, I really believe in the power of a brandMore importantly I believe in the power of understanding your unique brand.

My personal definition of branding is: authentically being who you are and portraying that consistently.

Each one of us has been uniquely gifted by God with certain strengths, talents, gifts, passions, etc.  And this unique combination makes up your personal brand.

I believe there is great power in understanding who you are and who God has uniquely made you to be.  Some of us have learned this well.  Others of us have allowed life/people/circumstances to shadow our innate interests and desires… sometimes to such a degree that it takes years for us to dig up what’s been buried so deep.

So, who are you?

What makes you uniquely you?

How would others describe you?

Better yet, how would you describe the real you?

What’s your brand and are you living it with passion?

If these questions stump you, frustrate you or paralyze you, I would challenge you to go on a journey to understand who God has created you to be.  Here are a few things I would recommend to get you started:

  1. Take a spiritual gifts assessment. This is a great tool to begin to help you unpack spiritual gifts as they are outlined in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4.  Here are a couple of free online tests: Church Growth.org and First Baptist Huntsville
  2. Understand your strengths. Read Now, Discover Your Strengths or Strengths Finder 2.0 and take the Strengths Finder assessment.
  3. Develop a relationship with a mentor who can provide candid feedback, offer encouragement and coach you in your growth.
  4. Journal your thoughts and feelings… especially the moments where you feel alive and thriving.
  5. Pray for God to give you clarity, insight and passion for the purpose He has for your life.

One of my favorite passages of scripture is in Galatians 6 from The Message:

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Be uniquely you!!

Are you ready to get started?

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  • Kayla December 1, 2009  

    Jenni-I love this. Thanks for the challenge!

  • Lindsay December 1, 2009  

    LOVE this … thankful I found this … Blessings ~

  • Hilda December 1, 2009  

    Love this! I have no clue who I am anymore and I hate that.

    • Jenni Catron December 1, 2009  

      @Hilda – I know who you are: beautiful, successful, strong, generous… I could keep going… You’re amazing!

  • allyberg December 1, 2009  

    Wow, Jenni…needed this today! Thanks girl!

  • Marla Saunders December 1, 2009  

    Great post, Jenni. Thought I would pop over an see what was new! The concept of focusing on your strengths and working within your area of giftedness is SO important, and yet we more often focus on our weaknesses, don’t we. Thanks for the attitude check!

    • Jenni Catron December 1, 2009  

      @Marla – so glad you stopped by. Hope you are well!

  • JJ December 1, 2009  

    Loved it thank you!! A timely blog. Passing it on! God Bless!

  • Jenni Catron December 1, 2009  

    Thanks for your comments everyone. Seems like I have to remind myself of this stuff too frequently.

  • Jason December 1, 2009  

    Wow…this just slammed me because I’ve been wrestling with all these issues for months now. I’ve taken all kinds of assessment tests and gotten different results on each one and I usually end up with scores within 3-4 points of each other.

    For example, the churchgrowth.org test had Teaching, Showing Mercy, Pastor, Exhortation within 3 points of each other while the First Baptist test had Prophecy, Music, Wisdom and Exhortation within 3 points of each other. It’s so frustrating at times.

    I guess maybe I just don’t know the real me. For years I’ve felt (to use a baseball term) like the utility infielder that comes in and fills needed slots but knows if given the right team would be able to be an all day player.

    Anyway…thanks for helping me in my road to finding out what God has planned for me.

  • Carlos Mandelbaum December 1, 2009  

    It’s all about Personal Branding:


  • Sunny Cain December 1, 2009  

    Jenni..so I have been a blog “stalker” for almost a year now….reading constantly, but never commenting…but today’s post touched me so deeply that I HAD to say something:) This has been something I have been asking the Lord to reveal to me lately. I had a few setbacks (haven’t we all), a few attacks on my character, and some deep wounds that I allowed the enemy to use to disengage me, to put me in a place where I never felt safe being me…always painting a facade for people to see…. In the midst of that I lost myself…my branding…my “uniqueness”…so I have been digging in, searching for that again….thank you for giving me some things to ponder in my quest for the “me” God created me to be! Blessings

    • Jenni Catron December 2, 2009  

      @Sunny, so glad you finally commented! I’ll be praying for you as you continue this journey. I hope I gave you some helpful suggestions, but feel free to email me if I can support or encourage you in any way. Praying that God heals the wounds and helps you see exactly his purpose and plan for you!

  • mandy perry December 2, 2009  

    What a great post..wow, God’s timing is amazing. Such insight that I so needed to hear this morning..can’t wait to share it!


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  • Blake Bergstrom December 2, 2009  

    Jenni..this was a fantastic post! Since you’re my boss, and this is what you do..I want to give you permission to speak into this in my life. I’d love it if you would help me make sure that I am staying true to myself and not trying to be like anyone around me.

  • jan owen December 2, 2009  

    Jenni, I’d love to discuss this over tea one day. I have a few questions…..and observations!

  • Lindsey Nobles December 2, 2009  

    This post is so you…

    I got the first two covered because I love tests that tell me about me, the last three are a little more work and so they are where I slack.

  • Darcy December 3, 2009  

    Found you thru Lindsay (above)….thank you for this post. What a wonderful way to start someone’s day!

    • Jenni Catron December 4, 2009  

      @Darcy – glad to connect with you!

  • mandythompson December 3, 2009  

    Chewing on these words, Jenni… I’ve been uncomfortable with the thought of “branding” because of the connotations, namely commercialization of personality.

    But … the way you say it. Makes it sound different. Makes it sound more acceptable, and even good. Be me. Be the best me I can be. And always be me no matter who I’m in front of.

    Thank you for your perspective.

    • Jenni Catron December 4, 2009  

      @Mandy – I totally agree. Branding tends to have a negative connotation, especially when we are bombarded by media messages trying to get us jump on board with the latest ‘whatever’. Often times those messages are the very thing that draw us away from our personal brand – who I’m uniquely created to be.

  • Christopher Hopper December 5, 2009  

    I love how you are able to marry your years of experience with a very down-to-earth approach to explaining what many people make a very elaborate (and hard to follow) concept…especially "professionals." While fear, bad past experiences, or corporate stereotypes can often keep people from branding themselves, I've been having a lot of fun this year. Fun. Fun because I'm discovering in new ways just who the Lord made me to be, and excited to see more opportunities than ever before to be that person. Everyday. Thanks for a great post, Jenni! ch:

  • Daniel White December 11, 2009  

    I love this post and way of thinking Jenni.

    I couldn't agree more that the true form of marketing/branding is "complete authenticity!" I've seen too many artists in my day that feel like they're walking around in someone else's skin because they've been told to be a certain way in order to sell records. This too has potential to be more apparent in your average person, as social networking tools grow and grow and become more of our everyday life. It sets the average person up to have a voice and strong influence to better society and those around them, but also has potential to open the door for many to gather alter egos, also known as being "synthetic," which is the opposite of "authentic." This is something that I've just tried to be more aware of the more involved I get in the social networking world.

    I love Blake's post above. It's the true heart of those who strive for authenticity, when you open the door to others you respect around you to keep you accountable in your actions, to ensure that you're portraying the true self of who God has created you to be, without watering down the message that you have inside of you.

    I got a bit deep on that comment. I hope that's alright for my first comment on your blog. 🙂

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