I am always telling y’all to stop comparing yourselves to others. I truly believe that, but it’s so hard, right?? I struggle with it too sometimes. It’s especially difficult on social media. The purpose of social media is to follow and look at other people’s lives. We are just asking ourselves to compare. No matter what anyone else is doing or saying, you have to follow your passion. Don’t let others distract you from following your dreams!! Your passions and ideas are yours and that’s what makes them unique and special.
Jessica Zweig is here to share an essay all about showing up with your own authentically online. She is the founder and CEO of the personal branding firm, SimplyBe. Through her work at SimplyBe., Jessica has learned that the key to success is unapologetic authenticity. Named a Personal Branding Expert by Forbes and a Top Digital Marketer To Watch by INC, Jessica facilitates sold-out workshops and speaks on the power of personal branding to international corporations. With her upcoming book Be.: A No Bullsh*t Guide to Increasing Your Self Worth and Net Worth by Simply Being Yourself (releasing 2/16/21), her lessons on marketing and branding are interwoven with spiritual inspiration, and her own journey from a struggling business owner to a leading voice on feminine leadership and empowerment.
This is such a great read and I hope you enjoy it!!
Owning Your Flavor: 3 Steps to Show up Authentically Online
by Jessica Zweig
When women ask me about authenticity, I think they forget or are unaware that it’s not a destination. It’s the ultimate journey. Authenticity is a continuous process. Women are dynamic, strong, and ever-evolving. So, our understanding and practice of authenticity changes as we do.
The other day I was on Instagram and came across one of my favorite entrepreneurial women and a former actress, Mel Wells, who was talking about rejection. Believe it or not, I was an actress at one point in my life. It’s a pretty well known fact of the trade that you get rejected way more than you get accepted. I’ve got the thick skin to prove it. Mel made this great analogy between acting and ice cream. Just because you don’t get the part, doesn’t mean your flavor isn’t good. It’s just not what they were looking for.
Personally, if I had to describe myself in an ice cream flavor, I’d be pineapple-honey: sweet, sunny, with a touch of tart. But, I know my flavor isn’t for everyone. When you live in a world that has constantly forced you, as a woman, to care about everyone’s opinion more than your own—harnessing your authenticity requires a complete revolution of yourself. Stepping into my authenticity (AKA: owning my flavor) has been one of the hardest things I’ve done. Simultaneously, it has been one of the most fulfilling transformations I’ve ever had.
Here are 3 steps for you to show up more authentically, in your life and online, and rock your flavor.
Cultivate a profound sense of self love
As women, we often play the comparison game. It’s how we are subconsciously trained to define our worth. When I started out as an entrepreneur, I constantly asking myself, “Am I good enough? Is this idea strong enough?” I was always at a deficit and counting myself out of the race before it started. Fuck that. The revolution of self starts with one simple truth: you are enough. Just because everyone isn’t buying your flavor of ice cream yet, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. Some people don’t like pineapple-honey. That doesn’t mean I’m bad at what I do. Maybe, they just want cookie dough.
You have to stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks and what everyone else is doing. This doesn’t make you defiant. It makes you more confident in your own magic and unique gifts. A quote from my upcoming book is, “Self worth is the cause, net worth is the effect.” You have to believe you’re worthy to be powerful, to be seen, to be known—because you are. When you believe it, everyone else around you will too and they’ll buy into it. It’s up to you.
Uncover your purpose
What makes you come alive? When I founded my first company, I was young in the industry and looking to break into the entrepreneurial space. I knew that I loved digital marketing and I wanted to empower women. So, I co-founded a digital lifestyle magazine for Chicago women. It became the premier digital magazine for women in the city. The experience stretched me and pulled me closer to my why. It was a crucial stepping stone on my journey, personally and professionally.
By leaning into my passions, I was able to uncover my purpose. Through my first business, I discovered I had a love for branding. I wanted to help companies, entrepreneurs, and organizations powerfully tell their stories and create true impact in the world. This led me to founding my second company, SimplyBe., a personal branding agency. This is probably the clearest my understanding of my purpose has ever been in my life. Understanding my passions helped me create a lane for myself to execute my purpose.
Formulate the #1 & #2 into into a strategic, unique online presence
Early in my own journey into authenticity I was all over the place. I was blogging, posting on every social platform, and talking about everything. A mentor of mine basically told me, “I have no idea what you’re about, because you have no idea what you’re about.” This was a huge wake up call. It forced me to put a mirror to myself. I had to figure out who I was, authentically. Then, I had to get clear on what my mission was and toss anything that wasn’t aligning. Your message should equal your mission. Don’t just make noise.
When you are building an online presence, it’s crucial that you understand the intrinsic value you can bring to your community and the purpose of your message. When you do, it amplifies the impact you’re able to have in your sphere of influence. When we’re clear and unapologetic about our mission, our tribe is able to find us and connect with us easily. When we build a brand bigger than ourselves and egos, that’s when magic happens. People can feel that shit. This doesn’t just grow your confidence in yourself and the work you’re doing—it grows your business.
Authenticity is a value of my company and my life. It’s something I encourage my clients to step into and own. With that being said, I know how uncomfortable, how vulnerable it can be. It’s not an easy process, but you are so much more than the projections—fear, shame, self-doubt—that might be limiting you. Stop apologizing for who you are, because the world needs your gifts. Do everything in your power to protect them, harness them, own them and shine them.
So… what’s your flavor?