Life is not easy, and sure, I might as well be saying that water is wet, but the fact remains that as we are thrust into this world and have to contend with it’s many challenges, there are moments where we may have to rely on professional health.
For some, these challenges wind up involving our personal identities and who we decide to love, and it is for these people that our guest for today built her entire personal brand.
Melissa da Silva describes herself as a “Queer Career Coach” helping members of the LGBTQ+ community to decide on their future and start their own business, she also wrote a book on the subject and hosts her own website.
On this episode of the Personal Branding Exposed podcast, we got hear the story of how Melissa found her vocation. Here’s how that went:
Following the Steps
The earliest memory Melissa has of what she wanted to as a grown up was to be a “Singing Psychologist”, but as she grew to admire all the surrounding women in her life, this quickly evolved into desires of becoming a teacher, and then a social worker.
“Highschool? No. I always think of my high school my social worker as the person that helped save me, I was very depressed, super anxious introvert, at some points I was struggling with a eating disorder, so it was very difficult.”
Seeking to follow the steps of the social worker that had helped her in her moment of need, Melissa decided to become one herself, but as fate would have it, that would not be her calling, and there were plenty of signs telling her where to go.
But before she could realize this, Melissa spent a good part of her career working at carter schools much like her role-model.
Now, just because Melissa found that social work was not her thing that doesn’t really mean that her time working as a school social worker was wasted, and it was while she was still there that things started to make sense, as she explains:
“ When I was in the schools, we had a student that was transitioning from female to male, and I could not find any good resources for that student, and so when I went out on my own, I wanted to help people just like that student.”
This is something that I have actually mentioned before, but even though picking a niche is extremely important, you can’t actually start niching before you found out what you like and what you hate to do.
It was while trying out something that was not her cup of tea that Melissa found her true passion, and the same is very likely to happen to you.
Who Needs It Most
Driving this point even further, Melissa talked about how queerness and the LGBTQ+ community were central themes in her from the very start, and it was in the simplest things that this theme showed:
“The interesting thing was that at the carter school I was working at, the principle was openly gay and at my interview he said that because I told him my college thesis was about gay and straight alliances, so this has always been a theme in my life.”
So, if you are also on the journey of trying to find your brand identity and discover what you and your business by extent are all about, it may be a good idea to take a look back and find out if there was any central theme that has been following you throughout your life.
Sure, this is easier to do in retrospect, but still, you never know what you are going to find
Having The Conversation
Now, just because Melissa found that helping the LGBTQ+ community was her destiny, that doesn’t mean she was born with a compass that pointed towards the nearest therapy practice course, this was a slow, gradual process that included its own set of obstacles.
As Melissa herself tells us, one of such obstacles was finding out what homosexuality was in the first place:
“ I didn’t even realize that homosexuality was a thing that had been around since forever, even in health class we didn’t talk about that, so I had no idea until late in high school, like what was going on, it wasn’t a new thing.
And, starting to go into college it was like ‘oh this is very open and understanding’ and realizing it’s okay for me to like women and men too, like I thought I just really appreciated women’s bodies, I had no idea.”
The reason why I found her answer to be awesome (and kind of funny in many ways is the fact that it shows how the journey to find your brand is also a journey to find yourself.
Melissa started out as we all do, knowing very little about the world, but as she explored it, the world gave her clues about herself, and through it she managed to understand who she was and what she truly wanted.
Building your personal brand can sometimes mean going on a journey of self discovery, a journey that can take you to distant lands (it took me to australia, after all), but also to the depths of your own mind and heart.
Now if this journey doesn’t sound tiring and scary enough, you also have to worry with networking, business and career management, taking good photos and so much more stuff that it would take an entirely different article just to make the checklist.
So, if you would like to make personal branding simple and, most importantly, easy, then why not start by doing a full workshop with me? All you have to do is contact me either through this website or through any of my social media so we can get started.
Book a Discovery Call with me and let me help you build your brand while you sleep!