For the past few years my alter ego has been Southern Fried Gal. That ol’ gal served me well in the beginning but as the years have passed my identification with her has waned. For the past year (probably more) I have fretted over whether I should continue as Southern Fried Gal or if I should start anew.
In September I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference. There were lots of great session options. The two I was destined to attend were, “Who Are You On and Offline –Brand YOU” Parts I and II by Jacqueline Wolven. The descriptions were…
Part I – Your brand is not just your logo or tagline; it is who you are in work and life. As bloggers you are developing a presence online and off. This session will cover the elements of your brand, from business cards to taglines and everything in between. You will be surprised at how much developing and deepening your connection to the essence of YOU in your business and your life will help attract the right readers and the right opportunities.
Part II – This session will take the practical of what you learned in the first session and make it real for you. We will be identifying and defining your personal brand, learning how to blend your personal and professional self, and how you share your brand on and offline.
OMG! It was almost as if Jacqueline had been inside my head – which is SUPER scary – for her!
I sat in the front row and soaked up every ounce of information she had to share. Some of her points I knew all so well from the support I have provided clients over the years. Why is it so hard to apply what we know as business professionals to our own situations? Duh! At any rate, I left the conference still perplexed about what to do but much better equipped to make the right decision.
I have been struggling to complete posts as Southern Fried Gal for quite a while. There are several partially written drafts in my dashboard. I couldn’t quite figure out why I couldn’t complete them – until the conference. Jacqueline hit the nail on the head at the very beginning of the first session – the content and tone of those drafts just doesn’t fit Southern Fried Gal. I guess subconsciously I knew I would be breaking my brand promise.
Southern Fried Gal was a great fit for where I WAS in my journey. I had unexpectedly left my career to stay home with my child. To supplement our income, I was growing a direct sales business. She provided a way to connect with fellow stay-at-home moms and folks looking for creative ideas for living, served as a creative outlet, helped me grow my home business and much more.
When I decided to say goodbye to my direct sales business and return to corporate life, I kept blogging under the Southern Fried Gal moniker sharing mostly creative projects and a few personal tidbits. This is when I first started to feel disconnected.
Since then my journey has been and will continue to be a meandering one. I’ve come to accept this truth (and many others about myself). I tried to tell myself that Southern Fried Gal is me and she can morph as I morph. I tried really hard to roll with that concept, but just never felt comfortable. I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and with each hammer swing I was splintering off tiny pieces of creativity and self-confidence.
After much consideration (and as you’ve probably already guessed from the title), I have decided to say goodbye to Southern Fried Gal. Once I decided to say goodbye and start anew the peace came instantly. This is the right decision.
Goodbye, Southern Fried Gal. May you rest in internet peace.
Now on to the fresh start! I am excited to officially launch Uncommonly Connected, a little knockabout place to bring together people and ideas.
I hope you will join me on the next bend of my journey.