A while ago we held a challenge about creating a branded lifestyle. It’s not about creating a lifestyle you’re portraying with your brand saying, “You should have this lifestyle” like many modern brands do—it’s actually the opposite: It’s about creating a lifestyle that truly represents what you personally stand for.
It’s about creating a lifestyle that fits with who you want to become, what you believe, what things matter to you, and then presenting those things through your brand. It’s what is also called having a values-driven or a mission-driven business. Because this way your brand and your personal goals are aligned, and your purposes are aligned. And your business becomes a tool that helps you achieve the life you want and fulfill your goals.
The layers of a Branded Lifestyle
The first prompt of the challenge was about planning our dream life because that’s really how you start. It’s not about having goals like “I want to be pretty and have a nice house, I want a lot of dogs that are super cute”. It’s good to have goals about ourselves, but that’s not what a dream future looks like. There are more elements to it than just that, and I like to explain those through three layers:
- Plan for yourself
What do you want to have? What do you want to be surrounded with? What are the first things you think about when dreaming about what you want your future to look like?
- How do you feel inside
What skills do you have? What do you think about yourself? What could you do better? How do you get where you want to be? Most importantly, do you accept yourself and who you are?
- Everything else around you
What kind of places are you living in? How has your town improved? What kind of future will you leave for future generations? What will be your legacy? What have you been able to help improve in aspects of yours or another person’s life?
Want to learn more about journaling for your business? Check out our free course Journaling for Entrepreneurs for an introduction to this type of journaling, along with different prompts for different scenarios!
Values for our Brands
Once we have an idea of what we want our future to look like, we start looking at brand values, which is what we want at the core of a branded lifestyle. There are many important values every company should have such as responsibility and respect, but there are other values that are unique and personal to us. In our case, we dropped a lot of the general values because we view them as a basic standard that every company should have. Here are a couple of the values we have, and they are not your typical values.
Family – This is our first value because we decided that we will be a family-first business. Everything we do in our business is because we want to create a better future for our family. We also decided to connect this value beyond just us. We want to help other people and their families as well.
Work to Live – We heard this a while ago when someone asked in a webinar, “Are you working to live, or are you living to work?” We found a lot of the things we were doing fell under the “living to work” category. We realized that work is not the end goal, but the tool we can use to achieve our real goals. A lot of our branding is now focused around this phrase, because it is so important to everything we do. Are we putting work as our #1 priority, or are we putting living as our #1 priority? There is nothing wrong with work being a priority, but it should not be the #1 priority.
If you want more inspiration for values, you can read our Company Culture page where we break down ours and explain why they are important to us, and how they apply to our business. We created this page last year to share with our collaborators and clients to provide full transparency on our beliefs and the things we work towards.
Hopefully these examples give you an idea of what we mean when we talk about creating brand values. It should be something that has importance and meaning to you, your team, and why you started your business.
Creating your own branded lifestyle
With all these questions in mind, think about the branded lifestyle you want. The person you want to portray and the person you want to be should be the same person. This is all what aligning your brand with your life is about. It’s not about creating a lifestyle that just looks awesome, but one that you think is awesome.
Brainstorm how your brand lifestyle looks like by asking yourself some questions:
- What do you not like about your lifestyle right now? What do you feel is missing? What is something that needs to change?
- What are things that are important to you now, but you know you could be giving more attention to. We often say things like, “I know this is important and I should probably work on it more, but there is so much I need to do.” Think about things that you feel you should care about and how to find time to work on them.
- What is your life-work balance? We like to say life-work instead of work-life balance, because life should come before work.
- Where do you feel a disconnect between what your brand portrays and what it really looks like behind the scenes? Who is the face behind your brand? Is it you or a persona you created based on what you think your followers want to see? We often see all the branded, curated, perfect photos on social media thinking that everybody wants to see that. Many of us try to fit that mold, but is it real? Is it really you?
We encourage you to reflect on these questions. Write them down and make a plan, make a Pinterest board, journal about it—just something to map out how you want your life to look like. We hope this has been helpful and want you to take action now. Start making those changes to align your brand with your lifestyle. Make your life awesome.
Want to watch a video version of this? Check out our Instagram Live on Branded Lifestyle from March 2021, when we first taught this approach.
We didn’t dive into our real values and motivations until the midst of 2020, when we didn’t only have the chaos of illness, uncertainty, and social turmoil, but on top we also had a lot of personal challenges as regarding mental health, moving far away, financial trouble, and more. So many things fell on us at once, we realized we would not move forward until we prioritized. Work had become a coping mechanism to disconnect and go through the motions, but it wasn’t helping at all.
Analyzing our lives and the things that mattered to us helped us created what Stargazed Studio is now: a small business out to change lives!
It supports our dreams of making the world a better place.
It supports our clients, in the wellness and self-development industries, in connecting to more people that need their services to improve their own lives.
It supports our students in their own journeys of creating an online presence for their businesses, which will support their lives and their families.
It support the causes we care about by donating time and money to them.
We might be a small company, but all we need are small steps in the right direction so that overtime we can reach our goals! And we are achieving those through our branded lifestyle.
If you want an online presence that reflects your values, purpose, and expertise—work with us! We’d be honored to push you closer to your goals.