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I Quit My Job 3 Years Ago Today and Built a Badass Brand…in 5 Steps!

Today I’m loving on me! 

Today, I’m stopping to do the one thing we all fail to do; pat myself on the back and toot my own damn horn!

Today marks exactly 3 years to the day that I walked off my job as a TV anchor to become a full-time blogger and entrepreneur.

It’s even taken me that long to be able to clearly define what it is that I do, because for the longest time I struggled with this whole entrepreneurship thing. To be honest, I hated being called a blogger until this year… year 3, when everything seemed legit and it all sunk in.

It wasn’t until this year that the work I’d been pumping in all this time, finally transformed my freelance “gigs” into the badass brand I knew it could be.

If you’ve been following me since 2013, then you know the story.

I was just sick and tired.

Sick and tired of waking up at 6 am and working on the man’s job until 6pm.

I was sick and tired of my head banging on the proverbial ceiling, because there was no more room for growth at the company.

I was sick and tired of being reminded that no more raises, promotions nor advancements would come because…they didn’t exist.

I was sick and tired of being told when I could and couldn’t travel; when I could and couldn’t spend quality time with my family; sometimes when I could sleep and when I couldn’t.

Over the past two years, I’ve recorded the anniversaries of “quit day” in very candid blog posts.

“A Year Ago Today I Quit my Job…” chronicles year one of being on my own and the harsh, but surprising realities that came with it.

“I Quit My Job Two Years Ago Today…Here’s How That Worked Out” was more of a check-up on all I had accomplished in those first two years and how I was making this girl boss thing work.

CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE TO READ THOSE BLOGS! 

Year three for me is all about reflection and realization.

I’ve come to the realization that my brand is valuable. I’ve built something that I’m proud of and can show off to anyone who asks. I’ve built something that is authentically me and highly respected. My brand has gotten the attention of so many people at home and around the world, that now, I want to help you build your brand by sharing some of the things that worked for me as I pieced together my own.

HOW TO BUILD A BRAND

5 Steps to Building Your Badass Brand

1. Define it – This was one of the hardest things for me to do, but I had to do it rather quickly. Defining what your brand looks like, sounds like, feels like, how it comes across to others is crucial and critical in the early days. This sets the tone and creates the basis from which everything else emerges. What is it that you’ll be doing, who is your audience, what does your brand voice sound like? Figuring out (and sticking to) these things is  important to finding the roadmap to brand building. It helps to build trust, credibility and authority.

2. Pick, choose and refuse – Everything and everyone will not be for you! I repeat…EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE WILL NOT BE FOR YOU! I had to literally sift through the gigs, invitations, events and even people I involved myself with. If it didn’t look like, walk like, talk like the brand I was building it had to go! TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT! In building my brand, I learned real quickly that everything I did either helped or hindered it. I learned the hard way, that there was no separating me from my brand, there were no off days, no personal days and that I was my brand 24/7; so everything I did was reflective of that. Ever wondered why you don’t see Beyonce at certain events, or see Aunty Oprah in selfies with any and everybody? They’re super aware of their brands and know what works and what doesn’t work for it.

3. Build your tribe – What’s Beyonce without the Beehive? What’s Rihanna without her Navy? What’s your brand without your tribe? It isn’t a coincidence that many celebrities have christened their fans with a pet name that endears them closer to the star; Lady Gaga with her Monsters, Toni Braxton and her Tigers. What these singers did is that they were successful in building their tribes, not just amassing fans. A fan or follower knows you, sees your work and might engage. A member of your tribe shares common goals, interests, a bond, helps develop a community, they are engaged, loyal, interactive, invested, they trust you and you influence them. Find out who your tribe is and consistently speak to them through your work.

4. Now maintain your tribe – Once you’ve identified your tribe, it could be a tricky thing keeping them entertained and involved. This is where your tribe becomes your family! Engaging with members of your tribe is super important as it further tightens an already strong bond. Answering questions, replying to comments, liking, leaving a kind word or “yaaaasss girl” on their posts as well, avoids the relationship from becoming one sided. As tribe leader you have to show interest in your tribe as well; show that you support they’re work and follow their moves. Your tribe members want to feel special, they want to know they matter and not feel like a regular schmegular fan, because they’re not.

5. Keep it real – This, perhaps, is my favorite step! Throughout this journey I’ve taken, I’m super proud that everything I did remained true to who I am and what I stand for. Everyone who knows me, knows that aint a damn thing changed! Being authentically you is the only way to be successful at anything, and since a personal brand is solely based on who you are, there’s no way to ace it if you’re being someone else. Keep your accent, don’t change your tone of voice, dress how you always dressed, DON’T SWITCH ON YOUR FRIENDS, remember your family, seek out work you want to do, don’t try to be someone else, remain consistent, share the good times, teach lessons about the bad times, share the struggles and triumphs, tests and testimonies…and don’t lie to yourself. If something isn’t your cup of tea, don’t drink it because the “successful” person did. If a gig aint for you, don’t sign up because “well, she did it!” People aren’t stupid and they can see right through a fraud! Be authentically you and keep it all the way real!

I can’t believe I’m in year three already! Un-frickin-believable! I plan to make my brand bigger, better and more valuable in the days and years to come…oh and eat some cake to celebrate!

RELATED: Thinking about quitting your job? Here’s why you probably should!

How far along are you in building your brand? What are you doing well at; what struggles are you having? Let’s chat in the comments! 

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33 Responses
  • Kino
    December 14, 2017

    Brilliantly spoken and very encouraging for the creatives.

  • Jaime Mackey
    December 8, 2017

    This was very inspiring, I just happened to pick up the Tribune and saw your story in The Weekend section. I started a blog about three months ago and am at a total stand still. So first off, where can I get a copy of your book. Secondly, who made that gorgeous dress for you, luv it. I will continue to follow you because you are a successful Bahamian woman who I aspire to be like some day.

    • ianthia
      December 11, 2017

      Thank you so much for the support! Don’t let blogging get you down, you can totally do it. You can download my eBook right on my website. go to the home page and look to the right for the link. enter your email address and name and click the download button when it pops up!

  • BoringBlackGirl
    November 30, 2017

    Absolutely inspiring! I just started blogging in August, and this just amped me up to #buildmyownbrand. yessss girl! Thank you for the inspiration, advice and indirect support!

    • ianthia
      December 11, 2017

      Awesome! go for gold!

  • Sophia
    November 29, 2017

    This is some good stuff congratulations!

    • ianthia
      November 30, 2017

      Thank you so much! blessings!

  • Ko
    November 29, 2017

    I love this! It’s beyond inspirational… it’s so authentic! I call it being unapologetically you and being more than okay with who you are. I feel what you felt on a daily basis and I’m still in the phase of determining how to turn my passion into priority. But I’m so glad to see the fundamental parts of entrepreneurship… thank you !

    • Erica
      November 30, 2017

      I love this.. It’s showing me that no matter what it can be done…

      • Erica
        November 30, 2017

        Congrats Lady!! I love reading things like this, especially from my own people.. You will always shine bright 🌟🌟 Keep up the good work

        • ianthia
          November 30, 2017

          Thanks so much for the kind words!

    • ianthia
      November 30, 2017

      Yes, this is me, authentically!!! Thank you for seeing that, I appreciate. So happy I could inspire you!

  • Shamara
    November 28, 2017

    Congrats!!! Truly inspiring and a wealth of great tips. Will be sure to download the eBook Thanks!!

  • Laroona Anderson
    November 28, 2017

    Congratulations gurl… I am now creating my brand and very excited.. I was made redundant from my job and I feel this is the best thing happened. As this has pushed me into doing what I feel is necessary at this Tim in my life.. I applaud you for quitting your job and stepping into your purpose.. continue to reach for the Stars.. you are an inspiration to many

    • ianthia
      November 30, 2017

      Thank you so much! And best of luck to you in your new journey. Just remember to have patience, give yourself time to adjust, start planning your next move and network, network, network!

  • Avion Anderson
    November 28, 2017

    I quit my job on Monday 13th November 2017 and started my blog Breakfast With Peach – (www.breafastwithpeach.wordpress.com) which is a tea and lifestyle blog, which chronicles my personal style, life, projects and everything in between, where I express my ideas, life situations, projects, breakfast and afternoon tea recipes and so much more. I have been blogging since 2015 and had two failed blogs the first one Just Write Peach, I sold and the new owner and author changed the name, and the second one Tea Parties By Avionne – (www.teapartiesbyavionnesite.wordpress.com) was hacked, but I got it back and I have not posted any blog on it in a while, when I could not get into my second blog, I created Breakfast With Peach. I am trying to see if I can bring over as much of the blog posts, which I had on Tea Parties By Avionne, to my new blog, just change it up a little with each post.

    • ianthia
      November 30, 2017

      Yasssss! I love how you stuck it out with your blog, despite the mishaps! Keep writing!

  • Jalei
    November 28, 2017

    Congrats on year three!! This was very helpful and very inspiring. I’ve jusy started on this journey, but reading this has helped in more ways than one.

  • Tashi
    November 28, 2017

    Congratulations! Your journey is so inspiring to me. I also am looking to create a personal brand. I’m in the very beginning stages so I appreciate the tips you’ve shared. I wish you continued success!

  • Keithra
    November 28, 2017

    First off congrats Ianthia on finding the courage to follow your dreams here in the Bahamas. You have inspired me greatly you just don’t know. I hope one day I find the courage to do the same.

  • Kay Elle
    November 27, 2017

    Congratulation on year 3 and thank you so much for sharing!!! This is so timely for me and I will be working on defining my brand ASAP!

    xo,
    Kay Elle

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see what you’re working on!

  • Vernita
    November 27, 2017

    Wow!!! Congrats lady for following your dreams and allowing the gift God birthed in you to make room for you. I pray continued Favor, Blessings and Success in every area of your life. Enjoy!!!!!

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      Thank you!!!! It was great seeing you on the weekend!

  • Rogan Smith
    November 27, 2017

    Lord, I nearly fell out when you said, “keep your accent.” I have seen, or rather, heard too many people who were Bahamian for 30 years all of a sudden sound like they were raised in North Yorkshire.

    Congratulations, Ianthia. You have always been a hustler. You are inspiring so many people and you don’t even know it. I appreciate you for keeping it real. Authenticity is key and people can smell a fake from a mile away.

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      lol yes! Keep yinna dia-leck! lol! Thanks for reading, I sooooo appreciate the support!

  • Brittany
    November 27, 2017

    So inspiring!

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      Thank you!

  • Shelby Cummings
    November 27, 2017

    Great and encouring story! I really needed to read and see this post. So happy and thrilled to see you flourishing and HAPPY with your brand! Keep it up and keep shining love. 😁

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      Thank you! All the best in your endeavours!

  • Sherelle Wallace
    November 27, 2017

    CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve done awesome! This blog is so informative and a wealth of knowledge. After almost a decade as an entrepreneur I’m confirming what I suspected from the beginning: My strength/passion is with one-on-one relationships. I care about the ONE customer getting my undivided attention, and building on that, spreading globally. The other thing is: I don’t want to be the face of my brand! Yes, I want sales because that means financial success….but I want to put in the hard work and create and build in solitude. I need a PR person!

    • ianthia
      November 27, 2017

      Thanks Sherelle! Yes, people don’t realise that you can be a girl boss and not be the face of your company, it is possible! Hoping you find your PR person soon!

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