Branding is a lot like music. Music is said to be the universal language. It is said to transcend all boundaries and speak words often unspoken. However, it is the beat that speaks to the soul, the very heart of the person listening. You can feel the beat before any word is said or any hook comes on and it resonates with you. It can be a simple “ooooh that’s my song”, a hand in the air or a clap of your hands. So, the question is how do you take the feeling a favorite song gives you and make your life feel the same way? It’s simple you find your beat! Your beat is unique to you it is a sound that only comes from you. There are 3 simple steps to finding your beat:
” Branding is like music, it gives connection.”
1. Test your rhythm: When you are faced with a decision do you immediately seek outside help before ever pondering the idea yourself? Do you act first and consult later or do you come to an understanding then reference people or materials before finalizing your decision?
2. Lay your vocals: When you speak do you hear your voice first, is it drowned out by others or does it appear to be silent or non-existent?
3. Bring the beat in: When you hear the beat does it complement your sound, overpower your vocals or manipulate the vibe you were initially trying to achieve?
These steps translate into a method of understanding who we are and who we are not. Let’s look at “Test Your Rhythm” when you are pondering over a decision or evaluating an outcome you should look at the process that got you there. When you were first faced with a decision did you turn inward or outward? If you immediately checked with yourself first, you have a basic handle on understanding your beat. Meaning you value your own opinion or view first, not searching for someone to tell you what to think, feel or say. If you immediately went to a person or resource (book) you are in the seeking phase of finding your beat. You are unsure of your personal power, this is clear from the lack of self-reflection first. You value your opinion secondary to that of someone or something you respect. In order to find your beat, you have to dig inside and pull up all the self-doubt, fear, labels, uncertainty, love, inspiration and any other emotion you feel to the surface. In this process, you begin to “Lay Your Vocals.
During the process of laying your vocals you hone in on your true authentic voice, what it sounds like, when, where and how you project it. All the emotions you have drudged up become noise and it is your job to put it into words. Take your pad and pen and write down everything that is bothering you, everything that brings you joy, what you value and what weighs you down. Once you have all four list go line by line, word by word and ask yourself two questions 1. Is this my voice I hear or it that of someone who has poured into me (doesn’t matter if you feel it’s good or bad)? 2. How much of my life am I owning and how are my actions being translated to others?
The first question is designed to make you confront the things in your life that you bring to the table and those that have been self-imposed due to someone or something else. Through this question, you should be able to identify if your voice is the main feature or the background vocals.
If it’s the main feature you have two major things to address power and balance. When you have a pretty good handle on your voice you might be closed off to hearing others opinions, this is not to be confused with searching for validation. Being able to filter what others pour into your life and balance that with your own personal power is necessary for the vocal portions of your track. The ability to give and receive creates crisp vocals without a lot of reverb or feedback, ensuring that you are always the main feature on your track.
If you are the background vocals on your track the two major things you need to address are confidence and fear. Background vocals are often said to be the secret star, but they fear the spotlight shining directly on them, so they “play the background”. In your life, “playing the background” is not an option. You have to take the reigns of the things that you did not invite and fall in love with the confidence that resides among the sound barriers that you have placed on yourself. You have look fear in the face and release yourself from this factious thing that causes you to squeak by in the track of your life. The first step to moving from the background vocalist to the main feature is confidence, once you are confident that your voice can carry across the message you intend the more empowered you are to step out of the safe zone.
The second question is simply self-reflection. How are you impacting your life and are you owning it without excuses. No one is responsible for your life, but you. If you are owning your life, make sure you own the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet so that you can truly get to the depths of your soul. As you do that you are able to create an environment where you can translate your actions to other without imposing your voice on the track. If you are not owning your life, two words come to mind “get busy”. It is your responsibility to do the work necessary to manifest your own greatness. If you do not understand what your voice sounds like your life will be consumed with the sounds of other and you will never get to “Bring The Beat In”.
After testing your rhythm and laying your vocals you have to complete the track by bringing the beat in. The beat is all the other stuff that goes with your life. It’s the instability of things that you have no control over, the unexpected things happen in spite of pre-planned safety nets or self-reverting back to the familiar. When you put the track of your life to a beat, make sure it enhances what you already bring to the table and amplifies your voice while mixing in the elements that make finding your beat worth the wait.