Branding is Not a Dirty Word. ~ Michelle Ghilotti Mandel

Via elephant journal
on May 1, 2012
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Branding is not a dirty word.

But what we say to ourselves, or worse, repeat, may be. “Dirty” are the things that we say to ourselves that get us off track, that make us shrink versus shine and stop when success is just around the corner. “Branding” is merely a reflection of how much we believe (drum roll please) we’re enough. In other words, the act of creating our mark in the business world starts and ends with how deeply we’re in bed with our monkey mind.

Through our thoughts we are making laws for ourselves. If they’re fruitful, we build the business of our dreams. If they’re not, we build something much different.

The success of your brand (cha-ching and just general happiness in business) is directly related to what you think and say to yourself most of the time.

We are what we think about most of the time.

How visible and transparent do you believe you can be without hurting business—without it being too much? How often do you repeat “Can I really say that? Is that professional? Will I turn potential clients off?” How much strength do you tell yourself you have to keep going, to keep jumping (no net)?

(Note: the keep jumping part of entrepreneurship never goes away. If you’re not on that skinny branch, you’re not playing big enough, you’re not thinking big enough of yourself.)

How are the mantras (or Momtras for the Moms out there) you repeat working for you? Do they make you feel like an up, crap or a down dog? Are they moving mountains to the level of success you want or are they strapping Kilimanjaro-sized mountains to your back? Hello, Sherpas!

Be honest with yourself, is what you say from 9-5 dirty?

(We’re all ambassadors of the truth here at elephant journal, it’s ok.)

How will you change them to experience greater success and contentment in business and in your body? Here is the deepest secret that nobody knows (thank you E.E. Cummings), “Where branding starts and ends is mindset.”

Our mindset determines our mojo. Mojo determines our marketing. Everything we say to ourselves is branding our next move and molding our next communication.

And unless you have a coach, a loving, sage partner or heart-based marketing guru on your shoulder pushing you to mold the communication differently (as in “inject more you, please!”), it’s a long road, as in the not-so-fun kind. We all want to be more ourselves and it doesn’t have to stop at the door of our business. Our business is us.

We must learn new mantras or evolve them to evolve our business.

We must repeat the mantras of “I’m enough” and “the only real proven strategy to success is being me” and allow these to inspire and move the way we share, create and publish under our businesses umbrella.

If entrepreneurship success is based on less than 20% of our technical ability (as in your trade or area of expertise), it’s in our very best interest to Mr. Clean our dirty self-thoughts and create an authentic relationship with our branding. It’s the only sustainable thing. And like I said the only real, sure-fire strategy to success.

Branding is not a dirty word if we start having different conversations with ourselves. We don’t have to be anyone else or follow anyone else’s model.

Branding that you’ll understand is the kind where you let yourself shine.

With 10 years in the business with brands such as got milk?, Starbucks and Nike as well as 10 more years doing branding on my own, I say, “That’s branding in a nutshell, no smoke or mirrors, no fitting ourselves within a box of any size because you make the box! There is nothing technical about branding. It’s taking what you already have and shining a light on it, grit, glory and all.”

Put more skin in—do this consistently and see connections and ideal clients magnetize their way into your living room.

So, how to do work on the mindset so the branding works?

The tantalizing three:

1.  Remember that everything we repeat, our mantras/Momtras, is cementing a belief we take with us to everything we communicate, in life and business. What will I do to make this happen (repeat 1000x). This just isn’t going to happen, I just don’t see a way (repeat very little).

We are what we think about most of the time. The second we think then repeat something we’ve put in our order to the universe.

2. Think of your wise self 10 years down the line having accomplished what you set out to do in business. What would she/her tell you to do more of because it not only worked to skyrocket business but skyrocket your joy?

3. Make this your new mantra/Momtra: more you, more sales.

There is only one guru: you.

Read more: Freedom of Choice: Truth or Illusion?

Michelle is a writer, yoga instructor, branding guru, designer and coach with her own branding company for over 10 years. She is the creator of Haute, Heartful & Magnetic: A branding program for women entrepreneurs and business-owners. She is currently launching a free branding call series you can be a part to create your own sizzling, haute, heartful and magnetic brand (to hop on the free and juicy branding call series sign-up here). Michelle is also writing the How to Be a Walking Momtra book and guest blogs on the, the National Association of Balanced Moms and She’s been an ex-pat four times in 18 years and is now (kind of) rooted in Los Angeles with her husband (44) and son (6.5). Connect with Michelle (also known as Walking Momtra) on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about Michelle, LA’s branding guru, designer and coach, the creator of Business Yoga™ and the free “Learn how to create your own Haute, Heartful & Magnetic Brand” call series, sign-up here before May 10. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.



Editor: Tanya L. Markul


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12 Responses to “Branding is Not a Dirty Word. ~ Michelle Ghilotti Mandel”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posted to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  2. Michelle Ghilotti says:

    What do you all think of branding?

    What's your biggest frustration in branding or marketing yourself? Happy to give y'all some tips!

    -Michelle (author)

  3. Andréa Balt says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, Michelle. I completely agree with the way you put it. I don't think we can separate business from life, we're one person for everything. We can choose to focus on different tasks at different times, but no matter what we do (and especially by being constantly connected — online, cellphones, media, etc.) we're always selling something, even if just an idea. So I think that learning how to brand ourselves (and our message) is an absolute must — especially in our day & time.

    Posted to "Featured Today" on elephant culture.

    Andréa Balt, editor elephant culture.
    "Like" elephant culture on Facebook.
    Heart ele culture on Pinterest
    Follow @MindfulCulture on Twitter.

  4. howtobeawalkingmomtra says:

    Thank you Bob! I've passed this around everyday. I love what came out of me since you and I virtually had coffee 😉

  5. howtobeawalkingmomtra says:

    Andrea, it's so true…it's all always connected and even when our businesses have company names WE are still behind it all. What we "brand" is ourselves and it all starts with uncovering what's underneath the "brand"…we can only succeed if we come to terms with how truly powerful we are. Branding THAT is the key. That's our special sauce!

    Much love! Success and happiness to you.


  6. It's great for us, too, Michelle. Tomorrow I'll post it to our embryonic but ambitious elephant work & money magazine:

    Looking forward to much more from you here. Let's build you a following on elephant. You are one of a small but very strong and growing team of work & money writers.

    Bob W. Associate Publisher
    facebook, twitter, linkedIn
    Yoga Demystified, Gita in a Nutshell

  7. howtobeawalkingmomtra says:


  8. […] out the MGI “Branding is not a dirty word” article under Work & Money section on Elephant Journal). In other words, let mindset be your […]

  9. […] (check out the MGI “Branding is not a dirty word” article under Work & Money section on Elephant Journal). In other words, let mindset be your […]