I've been thinking about my personal brand lately: the "me" I want to project to the world. The reputation I want to build online. Should I offer a safe, sanitised version of myself? Or should I tell people: This is who I am, take it or leave it?
In Malaysia, where a wrong word in any medium on social media could result in harsh punishment from the powers that be (whether it be from our bosses or from the government), Malaysians have learned to censor ourselves.
I've always believed that this website, which bears my professional name, will only showcase my portfolio and contain useful content to showcase my expertise - as many personal branding/blog gurus will tell you. One's faith or spirituality - a lava-hot button topic in Malaysia - should be left out, shut in an attic somewhere.
But I'm starting to think that this is the wrong approach. I think weaving your spirituality or faith in your personal brand could be beneficial because:
1. Your faith in God is a big part of how you make decisions, live and work. Removing that significant part of you life from your personal brand would be doing your audience a disservice. At worst, it is dishonest.
2. Talking about your faith in a constructive, non-judgemental and affirming manner could demonstrate your integrity and honesty to potential clients, employers and customers.
3. Talking about your faith makes you vulnerable, yes, but it also makes you more interesting.
There are many writers and entrepreneurs who wear their faiths on their sleeves: Jeff Goins, Michael Hyatt, Mike Duran and Donald Miller. They weave their faith and worldview into their posts about productivity, entrepreneurship and creativity without being over bearing.