The Book

Personal Branding Through “On-Purpose” Living

The Dream Big, Brand Smart Guide To Blazing A Trail In Your Life

By Courtney R. Rhodes, @thebrandista




Recently it became apparent that today’s emotionally charged, politically divided, and often chaotic social climate birthed a surge of people who crave more meaning in their everyday existence and noteworthy influence over their own destinies. Inspired by the drive to make to their positive mark in the world, people want their voices heard, talents shared, stories told and communities supported. If you’re yearning to live in a way that nurtures and feeds your own deeply rooted desires; and is committed to supporting and serving things that matter to you, drive your motivation and expose your purpose-this book is for you.

I took interesting commonalities I’ve observed through two decades of working with profitable, socially conscious corporate brands and broke down those key factors that support the discovery and promotion of your best brand: a by product of dreaming big, branding smart, and blazing a trail in your own life.


“Brilliant! Courtney’s model for translating the multifaceted principles of corporate branding into a relevant platform for personal brands is genius.”

-Steve Ewing, President & CEO, Wade Ford


“For years I’ve told Courtney if she package her branding and marketing expertise to teach entrepreneurs it would be game-changing. In this timely branding and marketing guide she’s done just that. I jump at every opportunity for a one-on one with her. She’s a brand marketing rockstar!”

-Anthony Liggins, Artist and Entrepreneur, Gallery 88



A how-to guide to seize control of your life, accomplish your lifelong dreams, and make new career goals through the power of personal marketing and establishing your brand. Life can be a struggle toward greater achievement, and too often we let our hopes and dreams fall to the wayside in the interest of ease and comfort. Avoiding this fate is a matter of self-discovery, discipline…and marketing.

By embracing your authenticity, cultivating a branding foundation, and committing to the work, you will find yourself realizing your dreams. Then, dream bigger. Rework the vision, tweak your plan, implement the work, and create more. What if you are a creative being? When you’re not creating or working towards things you care about- you disconnect. On the flip side, when you work in tandem with the things you value, that creative energy guides you into your zone. A place where your dreams are fueled by inspiration, connection, and passion. You know the kind of unstoppable drive that turns dreams into reality. In this book, I  break down those key factors that allow the discovery and promotion of your best self. In uncovering your authentic, passion-driven self, you will find the means and energy to chase new opportunities, complete those tasks you’ve long put off, find new career options or clients, and ultimately realize your fullest potential.

You have an idea where your life is headed. You understand your life’s story. You know the people and causes you would most love to serve. Streamline your capabilities, identify your strengths, embrace your ideals, and allow those things to guide your life. The book is about honoring what motivates and drives you. Then unleashing the confidence, honing the courage, and doing the work to pursue your most realized self. Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Through “On-Purpose” Living will serve as your accountability partner in your endeavors, providing best practices culled from corporate branding, marketing communications, and advertising principles to help you grow your brand and guide you towards your ideal self.

An Excerpt…    Chapter 2: How Personal Branding Works

Personal branding works because it’s both the foundation that allows you to communicate distinguishing points of value and what makes you different from the competition. It defines the vehicle that guides you to deliver on your unique promise of value over and over again. That brand promise and the value it provides becomes the commitment of your brand to the people you’ll serve. How well you deliver on your brand promise, coupled with everything you do over time, builds trust and competency—or contradiction for your one-of-a kind promise. Personal branding only works successfully when you do. Therefore, it’s critical to choose a promise that feels second nature for you: exemplifying your commitment to the people you’ve identified you want to serve, while supporting the mission, goals, and dreams you’ve identified for your life.

In guiding and educating others about your brand, your goal is to live up to your brand’s promise every time people connect with you. Keep in mind it doesn’t matter whether the connection you’re making is in person, through your personal website, newsletter, social media, a web search, advertising, word of mouth, or other forms of communication. It’s all shaping your brand. Every single encounter influences the perceptions forming your brand, fortifying or defying the brand promise you’ve made.

Branding requires you to intentionally communicate messages and provide experiences that influence what people believe, or more precisely, what your brand inspires others to think. Throughout the branding process, there are numerous psychological influences at play, each firing at the highest emotional and intellectual levels of our brains. We’re wired to make assessments based on a combination of emotional factors that steer our attention and influence our thinking. These aspects include things like brand identification, brand affiliations, the receiver’s own internal state, and their social contexts around the impressions they process. We weigh the impressions we receive about others against our own value systems, beliefs, needs, preferences, and religious and social biases. Never assume that because you send clear messages to others, they’re certain to be translated in the way you’d hoped for. Nevertheless, as you interact on- and offline with others, signals are sent to the brains of those you’re communicating with. Ultimately, how those signals trigger a response in their brains form their position on your brand.