Introduce yourself and profession to our readers:
Every now and then I like to acknowledge the little girl in me. So I'll start off with saying that I'm a gap toothed brown girl from the steps of South Philly with big dreams and bold desires. I was 9 years old when I knew that I wanted to use my voice to help change the world.
My previous statement sets the stage for everything else I will say to introduce who I am and the undercurrent of passion that lies beneath it all. As a multi-passionate woman, I have learned how to embrace the myriad of passions that make my soul sing. There are so many parts of my journey that makes up the whole of who I am. From my 22-year career as a corporate Human Resources professional to my onstage stints as an actress and singer, even being shot when I was 9 years old to at 12 years old being told that I was adopted and that my two younger siblings lived next door. To being a pastor's wife for 14 years and to having it come crashing down in a very public way. It's all of these high and low experiences that contribute to the woman I have become.
I could start off with rattling my credentials, but I find it more inspiring when someone gives you a glimpse into who they are, not what they do. Yes, I'm a Brand Strategist and Business Success Mentor for multi-passionate women entrepreneurs, but the value I bring is not wrapped up in those titles. The truth of who I am is reflected in how I show up in the world as a servant. One who fully embodies her mission of empowering women to own their brilliance. The most important thing you should know about me is that I use my brilliance to help you own your brilliance and win!
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
When it comes to how I execute on my mission, I leverage branding as my vehicle of choice. While the word "branding" has become a huge buzz word in the couple years, it's from my personal experience that I found branding to be one of the most effective, yet overlooked strategies available to entrepreneurs.
I started my entrepreneurial journey as the founder and editor-in-chief of a women's magazine. Let me tell you, that was 4 years of some of the most challenging work I had ever done, and I loved it, but it became a big deal and I just didn't know how to manage it all. I didn't start the magazine to be mainstream. I thought it was cool! So it was pretty much a hobby. From there I became a certified life coach, then a mentor to women entrepreneurs. But that wasn't fulfilling enough for the left side of my brain. Then I landed in branding heaven.
About 4 years ago, I discovered the power of branding. That year I spent almost the entire year working on my brand. That means I focused on clarifying messaging, understanding my brand's personality, delving into the mind of my ideal client, and a whole list of other things. The things we typically don't think about when starting a business. But not only did the branding experience catapult my business, it changed my life. I was so inspired by the results my business started getting that I made a decision that as a service offering, branding was a strategy I could believe in, stand behind, and sell.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit?
To be honest, the biggest lesson I have learned from my entrepreneurial endeavors is to pursue what interests you. You may not realize it's something that you're passionate about until you try it out. It's like food. How do you know whether or not you're going to really love the taste of banana pudding if you never eat it. I discovered my passion for branding and learned how to use that particular skill as the headliner to everything else I offer.
Secondly, don't shun away from your passions. There are those who will tell you to only do one thing at a time. That's not a philosophy I buy into. For me, it's limiting and goes against who I am as a multi-passionate woman. Denying my passions is like denying parts of me that fuel my soul. If you get nothing else from what I share here, please walk away with the freedom to embrace all of your passions. But be sure to learn how to leverage them into a pivotable brand.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
This year has been very interesting for me. I spent most of the year dealing with me and my mindset. It's like I had hit a wall. What I discovered is that I had plateaued on the level of where I was in my business. The market demanded more of me and I didn't value what I brought to the market enough to deliver. So I kind of shut down, in my own way. Visible enough to be seen, but hidden enough to be comfortable. If that makes sense.
During this time, I questioned my value. I questioned if I was really making a difference. I questioned whether or not I should return to corporate America. I questioned if I really mattered. I mean, my mental minions were raking me over the coals! I recall attending an event a few months back while dealing with all this mind trash. I wanted to attend. That's it. I didn't want to be Cheryl Pullins "the brand." At this event I just wanted to be Cheryl.
Things went a little different. I got called out by one of the event hosts. She asked why I had been so quiet. I kinda froze. Then she brought me to the front and before I knew it I had a meltdown in front of a room full of people, most whom I didn't know. It was in that moment that I publicly acknowledged that I didn't feel I was "worthy enough" for the things I desired.
That was my breaking point.
After that happened, I had a come to Jesus with me and Jesus! Since then I have spent time revamping my business a bit to help me get over the plateau and position myself on a higher level. I am embracing who I am and what I really love which is becoming the highest version of me so that I can help multi-passionate women entrepreneurs own their brilliance and build memorable brands that matter.
How did I overcome where I was?
Confronting my mindset issues head on. No pun intended! Mindset is a huge part of developing your brand and it's the main reason people prefer not to brand themselves. That's a whole other topic. But the truth is, the more expansive your brand becomes or you desire it to become, the more you have to deal with your mindset. It's actually a part of the brand strategy for entrepreneurs and don't let anyone tell you any different. You can plan all the tactical pieces you want, but you've got to have the proper mindset to implement, sustain, and innovate.
What is next for your brand/business in 2017?
Well, on the heels of my last answer, lots! I've done a soft launch of my movement for multi-passionate women called Iconic Women Who Mean Business. I am currently hosting local events in the Tampa Bay, FL area where I live. I am hosting my first conference this fall. I have plans to launch a podcast of the same name as the movement. One of the biggest things for the last quarter of this year is the naming of my brand strategy services under the Iconic Brand Atelier brand. This is huge for me.
There is lots happening and I am delighted to share all the yummy with the women of Glambitious!
How can readers connect with you online and through social media.
I consider myself a social media darling! I am loyal to Facebook so you can join me in the Iconic Women Who Mean Business group at http://bit.ly/25TJrro
I am on Instagram @cherylpullins and Twitter @cherylapullins