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Episode #83 5 Steps To Your Clear Brand Vision with Lisa Guillot

This week’s guest is personal branding expert Lisa Guillot. You’ve probably heard about personal branding a million different times before, but Lisa takes a different approach. She has a signature framework called the Clear Vision Approach, where she helps her clients Imagine creating a future vision where your personal brand shines because it’s aligned with the authentic way of being you. Your clear vision gives you agency over your personal and professional growth on your terms. That is the work that Lisa is doing with her clients, and what she’s sharing with us today. If you are looking to transform your mindset, connect to your most vibrant self, and discover your personal brand with style, confidence, and ease, then check this episode out!


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Nicole Laino 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the limitless entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Nicole Laino. And I’m here with a special guest. Today, we’re going to be talking about personal branding. But we’re going to be doing it from a different angle today, we’re actually going to talk about it from the standpoint of having a real creative process around it, which is actually very much in line with some of the thoughts that have been kicking around for me around this topic. So I’m excited to come at branding from a new angle, to come at it with a new perspective, where, obviously, we’ve talked about it’s not about your colors and your fonts, although that’s part of it. That’s part of the expression of what comes out in the process, we’re going to be talking about the who you are, and how you actually get there. How can you actually and I know this stumps a lot of people from a lot of what I’ve talked about with a lot of people, even people who have established businesses, they end up feeling like their brand is disjointed. So today, we’re actually going to give you we’re gonna give you a new angle, if you’ve tried a lot of the other techniques, if you’ve tried a lot of if you filled out a lot of PDF forms with questions on it that were supposed to lead you to a brand. We are going to take you on a new journey today. And I’m going to be doing that I’m very excited to do that with my guest today, which is Lisa Guillot. She is here with us. She is a creative, certified creative mindset Coach and Personal branding expert. She works with executive vice presidents and creative directors at Fortune 500 entertainment and media companies and leaders in marketing and Texas. She has this this beautiful breadth of of of a client base. And she’s an entrepreneur at heart. So Lisa, welcome to the show. Tell everybody a little bit more about you that wasn’t captured in those couple of seconds there.

Lisa Guillot 

Yes, Nicole, thank you so much. I’m excited to talk about personal branding, not in PDF format. Right. Um, let’s see, yes, I live in Chicago, two little kids, two step kids, my husband’s an architect, I, in my previous life, I was a graphic designer, and had a brand strategy studio, I worked with companies like Crate and Barrel and Paper Source and an architecture firm in their marketing department. So I’ve been on the creative side on the strategy side, then agencies and studios before I started my own brand strategy studio. And then I think like many people who then transition into full time coaching, I had my own personal breakdown and breakthrough that led me into transformational leadership coaching. And when I started that process that was 2015 2016, I became certified in life and leadership coaching, but what I really loved about it was the blend of taking some of the brand strategy tools that I use to help brands really solidify their personality, their character who they were. And now working with human beings to solidify, who do you want to become? And where do you want to go? And what conversations do you want to be in, in the future, and then let’s start creating a roadmap so you can start sharing that version of you now. So you can in essence, create your Future by Design. So the overlap between the two is just a really fun place to play. And, and that is what I love doing. Those are the types of conversations that I love to be in.

Nicole Laino 

I love I love all of that. Because you’re you’re really your future casting your yourself, which is just a fun and somewhat daunting process. It’s really funny like you think that it would just be awesome to think about where you’re going. But truthfully, that’s that’s usually the first place that shows up how why you’re stuck, or where you’re stuck is the inability to be able to see something beyond what you have already. Or see it going really well. You know, beyond your expectations, which is such a weird thing that I don’t think many people expect. I think it’s a surprise for most people so much to the point where you know, when I find with a lot of people, and I’m curious if this happens with you, where they avoid seeing the future where it’s almost something they’re resistant to it, Have you have you had that come up in your work at all

Lisa Guillot 

100% 100% people who are actually afraid of well, what’s on the other side of that for me? So I work with a lot of, you know, type a super ambitious individuals, whether they’re entrepreneurs or they’re in more of a career or corporate setting, but people who are very driven and what often happens is they’re just kind of bumping along in life they get promoted, promoted again. You know, business grows, whatever it may be. And then they get to a point when they look around and they’re like, Wait, why am I even in this industry? Why am I even here? What is? And then they realize if this is all there is, This really sucks. And they start to think, the big questions, well, what’s my life purpose? What’s my personal brand? What can I create thought leadership around looking for there, what’s next. And at that point, when you’re ready for the new thing in your life, whatever it may be, oftentimes, we throw, you know, our ego is gonna throw up barriers or throw up walls to keep us quote, unquote, safe, or what I call like, inside of your Dropbox, and inside of your Dropbox is where everything is safe and comfortable. And people keep giving you promotions or new jobs, because you’re really good at what you do. But you’re actually ready for more. But then there’s that division between, am I willing to get out of my comfort zone, to expand, and grow, and pop into, you know, a creative mindset, for example? Or am I just gonna stay safe and comfy down here and continue to argue with people about why it’s actually better for me not to change?

Nicole Laino 

Yeah, no, I and that’s, that’s the game, right? And that’s why coaches are valuable. When people wonder why really successful people have coaches, it’s because you can’t see how you’re keeping yourself stuck. That’s often something that someone else needs to point out TDC that you’re doing this? Do you see how you’re doing this? Do you see that we’ve been here before. So talk to me a little bit about your perspective of coming at this for personal branding. But also you do work with a lot of executives, you do work with people outside of the entrepreneurial circle. So I think it’s valuable for people to hear a little bit. I’m curious about it, how do you approach it with them? How are you working on personal branding? And the work that you do with people who work within a corporation? Or maybe they don’t see that they have a personal brand? And you’re coming at it from a different different perspective? Right?

Lisa Guillot 

Yes, I think, you know, even the term personal brand can rub people the wrong way. Sometimes, you know, is it is it my ego out there that’s talking to the world? And why who am I and why am I important? And etc, etc, all the reasons why somebody might stay in the drop box where it’s safe to kind of stay hidden, or maybe not show your true self. So whether it’s personal branding, or thought leadership, or your purpose, your reputation, it is the thing that makes you different and unique and standout. And yes, absolutely, everybody has that within themselves, we just have to uncover it. And I do the I use the creative process to do that. And so that moment then translates to what I call your outer platform, your inner platform, which is really based on your clear vision, that future vision, inner trust, you have to want 100% Trust yourself, self awareness, you have to be aware of the thoughts that you’re having that lead to the feelings that lead to the action you take. And then how do you expand your energy. So you can be in a space where you may not be the expert in the room anymore? Or you may not know all the answers right away. So working on that inner platform, doing the inner work. And then you move to your outer platform, which is how it shows up through personal branding, articles, collaborations, whatever it may be. And basically creating that Future by Design by showing up in a way that you’re fully connected to your inner platform.

Nicole Laino 

And do you have Is there a separate path for someone who says I want a personal brand or I want a thought I want to be a thought leader? Are there two separate paths for that, or it’s the same process? You’re just maybe the actions you’re taking are a little bit different on the end of it?

Lisa Guillot 

Yeah, it’s for me, it’s the same process. And so I take people through finding their clear vision, using the creative process, which is actually like a six point process. I take them through, and it really does weave in a lot of my strategy and creative branding work, and then moves it through to their outer platform. However, it shows up, you’re still you everywhere you go, whether you’re an entrepreneur, an executive, stay at home mom, my daughter, you know, whatever it may be, and it may show up in the out our platform in being a Forbes contributor, or building a website, or even being somebody who is now speaking at your local chamber of commerce. But that that inner platform has to be, I don’t want to say rock solid, because we’ll never get to that rock solid point, because you’re always growing and changing and evolving. But trusting yourself that you can be that way and do that big thing. And be okay. On the other side. That’s where the mindset work really comes into play with the creative process.

Nicole Laino 

Now, can we talk about the creative process a little bit? I think that’s a great segue into what does that look like? What is the process that you’re actually taking people through? When they sit down with you? They’re like, okay, Lisa, let’s let’s build this out. What is that? What does that process look like?

Lisa Guillot 

Well, it is totally similar to a process I would take a business through when creating their brand, whether it’s for a retail store, or online commerce, whatever it may be even developing an identity or a book, a website, but there’s six points to it. And I’ll run through those points. And then we could dive into to each and every one. But the first one is to release judgment, you cannot enter into the creative process, carrying the weight of, oh, how is this going to go? This isn’t gonna work for me, who am I, right? You’ve got to do that releasing, even if that is through a short meditation, through some deep forgiveness work. It’s it’s mindset work. But every single creative comes into, let’s say, client brief, and you have to come in fresh. And you have to come in to a space that you are open in order to move into step number two, which is to brainstorm. And so this is where in the creative process, I believe, everybody is creative, whether you think, oh my god, I haven’t picked up a paintbrush since I was in third grade. Or you actually somebody who writes poetry or sings or dances, whatever it may be. But creatives are in essence, individuals who have an idea. And then they make it real. And so whether you’re doing that through, you know, again, a poem, or you have an idea of that future vision, your life by design, and then working with a coach, you make it real, you are indeed a creative person. So here in phase two, is the brainstorming phase where it does get super messy, come up with lots of ideas. You know, wouldn’t it be cool if? Or maybe I should? Or who’s done this before? Maybe it goes this way, that way, am I in a new industry, have I become an entrepreneur, we throw up all the ideas, and then see what sticks. And as things start to stick, we move into Phase Three, which is creating your clear vision. So I have a distinct process. Clear is actually an acronym, your clear concept, legit and long lasting, expanded energy. A is for aspirational success. And our is for rooted in celebration. Because I really believe like, if we’re not having fun, if we’re not doing it through joy, then it’s certainly not gonna feel very good. And I spent a lot of time not doing things that brought me a lot of joy. And, and that’s not the life I’m choosing to lead now. So gotta be rooted in celebration. So I take everyone through that clear vision process. At the end of this phase three of the creative process, we have a distinct direction we are going, we know what success looks like, we know the first step, we’ve got milestones in place in order to get there. Now we’re ready to laser focus. So the first three steps of the creative process go really, really wide, right, we hold a really big vision for ourselves. And then when we get to step four, we start to laser focus. So we have got to have our inner platform, that mindset, that inner trust in a at a point that we can be flexible, and that we can move forward and do so in a way that isn’t going to drain us of our energy. So we focus at this point is when we could be like okay, if you want to be have your personal brand, like say you’re a founder for a company or you are the entrepreneur Are the leader behind your company? Then? Where is your target audience having conversations, we laser focus in and start to create a roadmap in getting you in front of those people. We start creating messages, how are you going to connect with your target audience? What are you going to say? What are your four brand pillars. So now we’re starting to get into some more traditional branding work. If you are a thought leader, for example, and you are wanting to elevate your expertise within your organization, same thing, we develop messaging, a roadmap of the types of conversations you want to be having in the future. And then we move you in that direction. And at this point, we are kind of moving from the coaching into more of a consulting role. And so this is like an really cool blend, because at this point, the client has the creative mindset in place, they’ve got that inner trust, self awareness, the thought feeling and action, thought work behind who they are. So they feel really confident. And now we just start practicing. And then the final phase of this creative process is to share. Because that’s the thing, oftentimes, people want to develop a personal brand or thought leadership. But if you only have thoughts, and you don’t actually go out and lead and share and be willing to stand up and be like, Hey, this is who I am, this is what I believe in, then you’re really just a philosopher, for example. So sharing and being held accountable to showing up in your fullest, most vibrant self is the final phase in this creative process. So it’s a lot of fun and moves through. If a client, again, is super dedicated, and ambitious, you can move through the process in six months working with me one on one every single week, when people first hear that they’re like, Oh, my God, that’s like, that seems like a lot of time. But to be honest, it’s not. It’s not at all. Because you are changing and evolving and growing. I work with a lot of clients for a year, two years plus, because we’re always leveling up, especially as we’re moving through our career. It’s a lot of fun.

Nicole Laino 

No, and I hate when you said that I’m like, doesn’t seem like a long time at all to have like the type of evolution that we’re talking about to build the type of brand that not only do you know what it is, do you have you internalized it, where you know who you are, what you stand for what you want to put out there, and you’re in, you’re consistently showing up as that person. So in quantity and in quality in substance, and in frequency, that all of these you know the frequency of time and the amount and then the frequency of you, and how you are showing up, that that’s a full evolution, that’s something that we’re you know, depending on where you’re starting, I would think someone would have to be pretty far along to have six months be like, and I’m done. It’s such a continual process of evolution that we’re at, you know, because what usually happens is we get to the end of the six months we we’ve achieved something and then we go, now I’m feeling called to this Yes. And you know, you’re either on a quest for growth, or you’re kind of not, which is why I think people are either like, they’re, they’re in this for the long haul, they show up and they’re like, Okay, what’s next? Where do we go next? Where do we go next. And I find that with a lot of my clients, too, is where they’re like, I’m not ready to let this relationship go, I’m kind of I’m into this growth, there’s, there’s so much happening, I don’t want it to stop, I want to keep going, I want to continue to evolve. So So I love that I wanted to go back to in the brainstorming session in the brainstorming section, you were saying that everybody’s creative. And what I wrote down in my in my notes, I was just kind of put a little star next to it because I think creative can be a trigger word for a lot of people. Because we have stories associated with where we creative where we told we were creative, where we not told we were creative. Did we sit then someone tell us that our drawing sucked as a kid? And so what does creative mean to you? And then And then also, did you ever see yourself as good at it or not good at it or not as good as somebody else? And are you finding Do you find that I kind of wanted to bring that up just for the listener who’s sitting there and maybe had a funny sensation in their body when you said okay, now we get creative now we talk about it right? And do you find that people squirm at that spot. Do you do any do do any work with with getting them to recognize hold on to and and own the fact that they are a creative being no matter what Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. What what’s so interesting is I, you know, if you looked at my website or a handful of the clients I work with, they are in the quote unquote, creative industry, in strategy or marketing, creative directors, etc. But, and the other side of that is half of my client base are lawyers, financial advisors, strategic operating officers, you know, folks that aren’t, quote unquote, traditionally creative. But when you’re craving something new or different, you know, the brain loves novelty. And I think someone is creative, simply by how they choose to get dressed. The colors, they put on the color of lipstick, they choose what they choose to eat in the morning. And if we put thought into those moments, like even if you just enliven your five senses, at the beginning of every new year, people want to create a vision board, which I think is so interesting, because you pull out, you know, your Pinterest, or magazine, or whatever it is, and you put your inspirational thoughts onto a board, and then you look at it. And, you know, do you take steps towards it, hopefully. But honestly, I remember doing this back in like fourth grade, or whatever it may be, and nothing came of it. And there’s a distinct moment there, when you are visioning something, you are only using one of your five senses. So if you start to think, Oh, I’m not creative, start to think of all the things that bring you joy. Using your other senses, like playlists you may create, or again, the things that you choose to nourish and put into your body, how you choose to work out, the clothings, the touch the textures that you love. If you start to just build that self awareness around who you are, you are a unique and creative being, whether you admit it or not, like I could point somebody out and call out every single characteristic about them, that is creative. So then from that point, if you’re willing to play in holding the idea that you’re creative, then we can start to pop I caught, right I’ve got the differentiation between you’re in the Dropbox refusing to admit you’re creative. Or you can pop out of your Dropbox. And when you’re in the pop is when you’re able to be like, Hmm, maybe I am. And you could just start to play there a little bit more and hold space for yourself as a creative person, or you choose the word right, maybe it’s fun, athletic, playful, silly, ridiculous. All those words are going to just open up a little more space, between the thoughts you typically have by default, and a new thought. And the moment you have a new thought, that’s a creative moment. And there you go, boom, you’re a creative person. Yeah, I love that. And for anybody who’s who’s listening to this, and you’re maybe branding or rebranding, because that’s a, that’s a very big thing. I know a lot of people who are very successful, who are still like who are very good at what they do, they’re experts in their field, but their brand doesn’t reflect who they are, they can’t put words to it, feel very stuck in that space. And one of the things that needs to be done there is to start telling yourself a different story. And so particularly if you were a therapist, and now you’re trying to brand yourself as a coach, and you’re you’re stepping into this new territory, where maybe you don’t see yourself as necessarily creative. You see solutions that other people can’t see you help people see things in a new way. Like that is a creative process in and of itself. Problem solving is creative. When it’s done. Well, when you are an expert problem solver. You are creative in a way that no it’s not. It’s not paint on a canvas. But it’s a creative expression of you are given something and you made it something different. You saw it differently. So I think that that’s such an important way. So you don’t end up with a brand that looks like everybody else’s and sounds like everybody else’s. And you wonder how you stand out you stand out by being you. You stand out by letting yourself shine and and really stepping out into the spotlight and owning it. So I love all of this. I love this whole conversation. And thank you for taking us through all of those steps because I think that that’s a different process than most people have gone through before. Usually, it’s very linear questions. I like that this is a much more mind map, he sort of flowy process of like, let’s take it all in, let’s really envision this, let’s blow it up. And then we’ll take it down to some details. And then we’ll get down to what feels really good. And if it doesn’t feel right, we have all of this work that we could go back to, we can always expand back and go back up to that higher level and drill down again. So I love this process. I think it’s a it’s a really interesting way to look at it in a different perspective. So thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Lisa Guillot 

Yes, yeah, I think you really touched on a interesting point there that I have a client who is the CEO of a large company, an online company, and she can create a mad Excel file, like an Excel file like nobody’s business. And that is her gift. And all I know how to do in Excel is like how to make something add together and an equals a sum. So for for me to see that in her and that she, like you said, can envision that and create it and see it in a different way, and save her company, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, boom, that’s a creative problem solving moment. And when you also made a point there about oftentimes when we think of personal branding and thought leadership, whatever you want to call it, in a linear fashion, we end up with a very dull, corporate-y, vanilla brand, which is forgettable. And I would hate that to be for anybody because every single unique person is a memorable person in and of themselves. So holding space for that brainstorm, releasing judgment, being able to play bigger than you ever thought possible. Build your inner platform from that awareness, then you move to your outer platform, and share and share and share and get all your templates and your social media all up and running. But if you jump up into getting those social media templates up and running, and the website because often times people think I need a brand, that’s what I need, you’re gonna end up vanilla. And while some people might like vanilla, I think there’s you know, 31 other flavors you can choose from,

Nicole Laino 

for sure. And what happens with a lot of that is you’re going to spend a lot of money on a website and on copy and you’re going to get it and you’re going to be underwhelmed by it, you’re going to feel like you wasted money, it’s not really going to work, nobody’s really going to be drawn in by it. Because it’s not true. Usually what’s happening is, we’re not at the truth, we’re not you there’s something you’re holding back, there’s something that you don’t feel comfortable sharing, there is something that you haven’t owned within yourself. And that thing that you are turning your back on that thing that whatever you feel won’t be accepted won’t be enough, won’t be what people are looking for. That’s your special sauce. Man so often is the thing, the flavor that sets you apart, that makes you look and feel and be different than everyone else. And it’s embracing that. And that’s that’s, that’s the fun shadow work we all get to do. We get to see our our dirty little secrets as gifts, and to start embracing them. And once you start doing that, so much happens it not only effect affects your brand, but you now are energetically not funky, any more about people seeing you and it’s easier to do everything the resistance goes away. So this was such a, this was such a great conversation. I thank you for, for going through all of this in such great detail and really laying out the whole process for everybody. I think it’s really helpful for people to see how you move through things. So thank you so much. Where can people stay in touch with you? How can people get to know more about you? Where should they go to find you?

Lisa Guillot 

Yes, thank you for having me on. You can find me at be bright lisa.com. And you can also check out find your clear vision podcast wherever you find podcasts.

Nicole Laino 

Lovely. And we will link all of that up in the show notes for you. So don’t worry, you can just be magically transported over to those sites. If you didn’t have a chance to write those down. We’ve got you covered. So thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you to the listener who made it all the way to the end of this episode. We thank you we love you. We appreciate you. Thank you for being a part of this conversation. And remember, you are only limited by the limitations that you accept. And when you stop accepting those limitations. Since that is when you become limitless so go out there and be limitless everyone until next time

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