Why A Strong Personal Brand Is Essential for Business

by Shana Lynn Yao
Brand Vision Strategist
Total Genius™

#totalgenius #personalbranding

Have you ever tried to go on a diet, and you felt like you were doing all of the “right” things – only to end up losing a few pounds, starving, and struggling to stay on it?

Or how about in your business – you know you need to build your list, have a blog, post on Facebook, have a great website, have a sales page that sells…  so you do all of those things and you’re still hearing crickets?

You’re doing all of the “right” things – what’s going on?  Why isn’t it working?


Ok – so let’s review the situation and start at the beginning:
“So you’re doing all of the “right” things and it’s still not working.”

Did you see what happened there?  Let’s review just in case.

So you’re doing all of the “RIGHT” things and it’s still NOT working.

Hmmmmm – what do you think is the problem there?

Here’s the root of the problem – when is “right” really right?  Just because it’s worked for other people – is that really the way you should be going?


I discovered “right” isn’t really right a few years ago.  I’m Asian and while stereotypical, Asian people for the most part raise their kids to very strict standards.  My dad was a college professor and he was “Mr. Right and Proper”.  He obeyed the rules, and taught us to do the same.

I on the other hand was a rebel. I didn’t want to play by the rules.  So while I went on to live a successful professional life, make 6 figures, I made my big achievements by bucking the system.  Talking my bosses into letting me do unprecedented things and winning awards for it. I was known for innovated marketing strategies and programs and had a reputation for success. I stood in my value and did what I felt to be true - for me. 

But years later after my parents died and I was laid off and couldn’t find a job during the economic decline, I suddenly lost my “right” and normal identity.  And so I went on doing the “right” things – applying for jobs, living life as I thought it was supposed to be.  I felt a victim to "the system", and just followed along what other people told me to do. But when my health declined and I was still doing the “right” things, life wasn’t working out right.  I was depressed and losing hope.

It wasn’t until someone came into my life and said “Shana, you’re doing it all wrong.”

Huh? But I’m doing it all right? How can that be wrong?

He pointed out exactly what I see people do everyday.  They let life live them.  They buy the packaged food despite recent research that diseases like Alzheimers are now being called the 3rd diabetes due to increased insulin from starchy carbs and packaged food. But people just follow the crowds. They see what everyone else is doing and do that. They watch the TV shows everyone else is watching and live a life that is very ordinary.

And don’t get me wrong – that’s great if it’s working for you.  But it wasn’t working for me and I’ve noticed, it isn’t working for a lot of other entrepreneurs.  Your working on growing your email list – but no one is buying.  You have a blog – but no one is buying.  You post your programs – and no one is buying.

What is going on???


Have you ever had a time in your life where things went RIGHT? When it seemed to just flow, you worked out a system, you decided to "do your own thing", only to be surprised when it actually worked?

As an entrepreneur, you literally are forced to do things you have never done before. To have to learn by trial and error and from following what others have done to create their success. You learn strategies and tactics that supposedly will lead to your business success. 

And if you are like most entrepreneurs, you fall into the "learning trap".  The endless loop of trying to learn everything you can to get what you want. It seems logical, right?

WRONG. Actually, a Stanford study found out that the more we, as humans learn, the more we start to feel like a FRAUD! Worse yet, feeling like a fraud causes you to lose your self esteem, feel like you need to learn more, and the cycle continues.


Let's go back and answer this question:

Have you ever had a time in your life where things went RIGHT? When it seemed to just flow, you worked out a system, you decided to "do your own thing", only to be surprised when it actually worked?

It’s time to take a stand and forget the rules.  You see, when my friend and mentor that told me I was doing everything wrong - by following what I thought was “right" - HE in fact was right.  Because  what I really was doing was doing it all AVERAGE. I was following what other people were doing, what the job hunting websites told me, and what was engrained in my brain – go to school, get a job, live your life, then you retire, etc. etc.  Where was my rebel side? Why had a I lost that?

The reality is - WRITE THIS DOWN - DIFFERENT IS BETTER. Yes, in fact, if you are doing what everyone else is doing, you want to "be like someone else", achieve "their success" - the problem (and actually the solution!) is that YOU ARE NOT THEM.

Therefore, every time you try to copy what they are doing - you are going against who you actually are. Don't get me wrong - learning TACTICS - like email strategies, funnels, operations - those are business tactics and they DO WORK - but they may to work for you. And if you are not standing in your value, BEING YOU in the way you do those tacticsor even doing the RIGHT marketing for your brand, your ideal clients, and your personality - it WILL NOT work. 

If you tried to learn a sales script but you are a shy, introverted person - there is a DIFFERENT strategy you need to apply. STRATEGY is how you (or if you) implement certain TACTICS. It's the KEY to ensuring your business success.

So how does this apply to you?

The key to getting your business, your marketing, and your bank account to work, is to first develop your personal brand. Your personal brand is what you will be known for. Jeff Bezos, the CEO and Founder of Amazon says,

"Your Personal Brand is what people say about you when you leave the room."  (Tweet it!)



It's the "buzz" you create by (drumroll please)... BEING YOU!!! 

Yes, all of that knowledge you know, your life, your internal guidance system - it creates your strong personal brand. In order to STAND OUT from your competition, you need to STAND OUT. It's about being self aware of what makes you tick, what your strengths, talents, and life experience is, and then infusing that into your business.

Your personal brand establishes your positioning which is essential to help you stand out from your competition, to get the attention of your ideal clients (and actually know who your ideal clients are), and what marketing strategies you will implement which dictates which tactics you should use.


Your personal brand is, in actuality, based on your DNA. Some call it your "purpose".  I call it your E2 Personal Blueprint.  Your E2 Personal Blueprint is based on a scientific phenomenon called epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression – how outside environmental factors affect the way your genes express themselves – which impacts not only your health, but it actually impacts who you are. Research shows that depression, happiness, and even success is found in the ways your genes express themselves.  And today, they have found that you can actually change the way your genes have been programmed – you actually can change your future.

According to Bruce Lipton, author of “The Biology of Belief” and research scientist , states that “95 percent of the human population arrives on this planet with a perfectly functional set of gene blueprints.”

That’s incredible. Then why is there so much disease? Why is there so much depression?  What they have found out is that most people are born perfect.  With a perfect genetic makeup.  You were born to succeed.  To be healthy.  To win.  But outside factors, your parents, your diet, your environment have changed that.

So how does that play into you?  That is what your E2 Personal Blueprint is. The discovery of who you really are and what you are really meant to be doing. It creates your solid business foundation and is what your personal brand is then based off of. 

When your business aligns with who you are - your internal guidance system - from the thoughts you think, the words you write, the activities you do to create your business success become easier. Instead of fighting yourself, beating yourself up from not knowing enough - you start to understand how what you thought was your disadvantage - being different - is now your ADvantage.


So now back to you and being average, trying to be "right", and feeling bad that you don't know enough.  It’s time to take a stand and be the person you were meant to be. To stand up and cheer – for yourself – and know that everything you need is already inside of you. Sometimes it just takes awareness and insight to unlock it.

You have always been an incredible person, and somewhere along the lines, average became acceptable. And the reality is, it’s not for people that choose to have a life they love. Not a life of average.

Stand up for yourself and decide that average is not good enough.  TRUST YOUR DNA.  STOP following what other people are doing and decide you are more than average and you were born for the highest form of personal success.  Build your business and personal brand the way it should be - off of the solid foundation of YOU.  

And the reality is, if you don't tell a story - your story - that creates an image and impression in people's minds, they will tell themselves their own story.



If you are a holistic business leader, it's time for you to profit from your personal brand. Your genius - the combination of your expertise and life experience - have given you a purpose - to make a difference in the world.  DIFFERENT IS BETTER THAN BETTER. It's time to celebrate you and your personal brand and Master Your Money Code.

A business that is positioned correctly means:
√ You sell what your ideal clients need
√ You have an evergreen marketing tool that can be your client attraction magnet
√ You know the exact words your ideal clients need to hear because you're so clear on them you speak their language
√ You are reaching your target audience all around the world because you're not relying on standard marketing tactics
√ You have a personalized marketing and positioning strategy that makes you STAND OUT as THE answer for your ideal clients

In business, It’s not about being better than the competition. It's not about trying to be everywhere. And it's not about being on Facebook and trying to get more "likes".

It’s about having a business that is positioned correctly, with a strategic marketing plan of action. A business that is based on your expertise and life experience, that supports what you STAND FOR, and ATTRACTS your ideal clients based on a purposeful strategy and system that works.


Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to use their genius - the combination of their greatest strengths, talents, and life experience - to create a profit generating business that fulfills their life and makes an impact on the world for a greater good. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 25 years of business and marketing experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive, Shana has a unique perspective on developing profit-generating strategies ffor diverse and divergent entities. 

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neuro linguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering their purpose, their message, building their profit-generating signature program and putting their words into action on their website and in their customized marketing strategy.