Do You Have a Brand -OR- Are You the Brand?

A few nights ago, a friend issued me a challenge:

“Meditate on what you take for granted; question your assumptions.”

Turns out, this mindset is pretty much a bottomless well for self-assessment.

Because — I don’t know about you — but I’ve developed a lot of assumptions over the years … many of which are long past their expiration date for needing revisiting.

For example, at the beginning of my career, I accepted the argument that:

It is an author’s job to write to a branded experience;
if an author wants to switch audiences or ratings, a pen name is appropriate.

Since that day, I have never challenged the assumption that this was a requirement of me.

But what if I was wrong? 😲

What if I can write anything I want under my own name? 🤯

It seems like such a silly question to type on the screen in front of me because, of course, I can write whatever I want under my own name.


In fact, I should!

So I’m going to do something different this year: I’m going to challenge my assumption that I’m supposed to create branded experiences and simply create.

Stop trying to be a brand, and simply be.

This may sound simple to some of you from the younger generations, but I’m Gen X — we were raised to find purpose in performing well in a role and got in trouble if we made things uncomfortable for anyone with seniority.

So it’s no wonder that the idea of splitting myself up into branded experiences made sense across the years. I was simply being considerate to the comfort of an audience’s experience … while coming across as completely schizophrenic in the process.


If you’ve been watching me these past two weeks, you’ve seen how I’ve struggled to turn myself into a predictable, branded experience.

I’ve given you 5 headers in 2 weeks as I tested different visions on people around me.

On January 1, 2022, I was the Coach of Champions:

But then I decided I needed to CREATE a character for my coaching and billed myself as the $5 Storyteller.

Then there was the $5 Bard — similar concept, but with an even-more targeted experience.

Then there was Z Bard for a few beats.

Sheralyn Pratt is Z Bard in 2022

No lies, ALL of these tested horribly.

Response the concepts were universally flat. And that was because I was not understanding my own assignment.

All because I had an assumption.

This was the assumption:

I am not a model, but I have the skillsets to build models.

I have believed this for actual decades.

But what if I was wrong this whole time?

So that’s what I will be exploring in 2022 as part of the Main Character Energy journey I am sharing with you.

I’m just going to be me … even if I end up doing things that surprise you.

Because surprising you just might be my brand. And who would ever want to trade that in for a predictable experience?

So … the new header is this:

I am the model and this is my storytime.

And I’m going to follow my heart from here.

And Jesus Wept [Day 8/365]

These are the first words that played in my mind when I woke up this morning, and I wanted to document them.

I know these phrases don’t go together in scripture. I also know I’m taking a few liberties with the phrasing, but I think the story of how Jesus wept for Lazarus before he raised him — knowing he would raise him — is a wonderful dynamic to reflect on because it shows how Jesus acknowledged a reality before he changed it.

Jesus didn’t walk into town, see everyone crying, and tell them to stop because everything would shortly be fine. He didn’t discount their sorrow because there was a miracle on the horizon.

First, he acknowledged the current reality first. He bore record of his feelings for the untimely loss of Lazarus by mourning his friend’s death with his entire being. And I’ll be so bold as to say that one of the reasons he did this because there is a time for all things and a purpose under heaven.

And, sometimes, there’s a time to truly mourn a loss even if you have faith that the sun will come out tomorrow or there’s a miracle on the horizon.

Even if you have faith things will be better down the road, there is a time to acknowledge the present and release its anguish out of your body, rather than tell yourself things will be better in the future and you need to be strong now — thereby, internalizing the sorrow and carrying it with you as an unprocessed weight to be dealt with ( or not dealt with ) in the future.

Allow yourself to process things as they come and bear witness to how the circumstances are impacting you.

Because there is a time and season for all things, and a purpose under heaven. A time to weep and a time to rejoice, and for each moment to be unabashedly pure, based on the reality of your circumstances. For this is how we are able to live presently in the now, and authentically across time.

That was my morning thought this morning and I didn’t want it to disappear like a dream. So I share it with you and hope it serves you as well.

New Beginnings: 9-13-2020

9-13-2020 could just be another beautiful, autumn day, but I’m choosing to make it something more in my personal world.

Like the trees all around me, it’s time to shed the foliage of days gone by to pave the way for new growth. That’s why I’m making today a birthday of sorts for a year-long adventure where I explore everything under the sun as I build something new.

If you’ve known me for years and wondered when I would really step on the gas on showing up publicly: This is it.

The time for dabbling is done.

The time has come for the world and I to dance publicly … which is pretty unnerving for me because metaphorical dance-offs are not my specialty. But it’s time to get over that and dance out the metaphors anyway.

It’s game-time and I’m letting myself be drafted to a new team. It’s the same one my grandma played for before me, and this was her creed:

One thing I’ll never say at death’s door is
“I wish I would have …”
for I will have done everything.

Later on in her life, when I was a teen, my grandma pulled me aside and affirmed this same mindset to me. She said, “Sheralyn, when I die, I don’t want you to be sad for me. Dying is the only thing I haven’t done yet, and I’m quite excited to see how it plays out. It will be my biggest adventure yet.”

Of course, I mourned her when she passed. I bawled — wishing I could re-do so many moments with second chances. But I also smiled, knowing she was on the other side of a great adventure where she left everything on the table. She was proud of who she became and what she’d done, and that was what mattered.

Now, after decades of living life in more conservative ways of being, I think it’s time to take a page from my grandma in removing the phrase “I wish I would have…” from my vocabulary until I live life so fully that I get to the one thing I haven’t done yet.

That sounds like a life well-lived to me.

But it also means I need to hit the ground running and pick up my pace from there because I’m late to the game of betting on myself and building a reputation on purpose.

After years of building other companies, I’m finally going to put that same effort into myself to build a vision of my own. It might take a bit or it might happen quickly, but — starting today — you will watch a lifestyle brand of ethically sourced products grow before your very eyes. And you will be excited to buy my products because they will inspire you to show up in life more fully.

It’s going to be amazing. And I hope some of the people reading this right now become the future partners who help me grow the brand.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. One step at a time.

First, I need to shed the clinging leaves/habits of days gone by to make room for the new growth. Then, I need to grow — building new skills and attracting talented partners into win-win business relationships.

I need to show up with the same vision and tenacity my grandma did until the word impossible simply means “something someone hasn’t accomplished yet” while building something that didn’t exist before me but is passed like a torch by those who wish to keep it going after me.

After all, my grandma didn’t trailblaze the way she did through the entirety of the 20th century so I could sit on my laurels in the comforts of modern society and say, “Gee, wasn’t she great? They just don’t make ’em like they used to! Too bad because the world is really going to hell and could use someone like her right about now.”

Nope, it’s time to show up. And I’m writing this post to both kick off my venture and hold myself accountable. NO OPTING OUT this time — which is something I have a history of doing.

Old Me would look at any future lack of engagement as a reason not to broadcast what I’m doing and hold off on sharing until I have something final and perfect.

New Me is just going to get louder in the silence. #youvebeenwarned

So welcome to Sheralyn Pratt’s Vision of the World Roller Coaster Ride!

Please, do ANYTHING BUT keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Please, sprawl out like a blissed-out starfish, make involuntary noises, or flail like a random air-puffed mascot trying to sell you a used car. Because you’re about to witness ADHD on full-throttle, which is best experienced in a non-locked position.

Many find it dizzying. That is a normal side-effect of vicarious ADHD, so best practice is to embrace the sensation and go with it!

Some days, it might get a little crazy. This means I’m doing something right and it’s where the fun starts.

My hope is that you’ll join the fun with me on the journey to the gift shop on the other side. Because it may look like I’m doodling randomness or posting things that lead nowhere, but I will DEFINITELY be building a brand, a vision, and a company out of this.

I have the URL ready to go (and have had it for a while). I have the logo. I have the tagline, values, voice, and promise — all of which I’ll reveal to you in phases as I build something with the potential of outliving me and enriching lives to come.

My grandma did it during her time on this earth; now it’s my turn.

And today is the kick-off of getting down to the business: 9-13-2020.

It’s official.

Established September 13, 2020.

Let’s see what we can build in a year, shall we?