EXAMPLE PERSONAL BRAND

As we said earlier in our article about story creation, the personal brand is a very powerful tool of content marketing and highly effective. So here we wish to give you an example of a personal brand.

In Example Personal brandthe earlier article which you can find here, we explain what it takes to produce and tell a story.

But we didn’t want it to become endless, so we decided to give an example of a personal brand in this second article.

 

Enjoy my own story, as an example to a personal brand which led to the creation of Duo Fantasie!

Example Personal Brand – Duo Fantasie Story


Flash forward to doubts and delays in the living of my dream

It is September 2017 and I am in a school building. A lot of noise around, from talking students and musical instruments playing. I don’t feel I belong, it is too noisy, too chaotic and I can’t seem to find a
proper teaching room. Everything echos when speaking, I do not wish to play or teach in rooms with the acoustics of bathrooms.

(in the middle of the struggle, before the catalyst moment, part before creating your personal brand)

Flash back to the double loss I had suffered, musically and family wise

And suddenly I was back in October 2012. Warm air is moving the leaves on the trees gently and the sun now and then comes through and caresses my face. But the surrounding people are wearing black and are not happy, some even crying. Together with my sister I am on a cemetery, it is our mothers funeral.

People keep their voices low. You can hear the leaves on the ground being moved by the wind. A weird feeling of a parallel world takes possession of me and my sister. The gravestone was just like we had imagined, her name, her smiling face and a flute attached to it.

We both still heard her voice saying funny things to us and laughing all together. So we smiled and one of us pronounced those words, so both of us started giggling. Not the best timing, at the funeral, they probably thought we were crazy. But we were dealing with saying good bye on our own terms, hearing her play the flute and laugh. There was plenty of time to miss and mourn her later on.

(my big loss as an example to a personal brand)

First steps on overcoming the loss – toward your personal brand

My way of honoring her was to play the flute again, I had studied it and graduated 3 years earlier, but her illness had taken away my hope and passion. I didn’t want to train and train, study and study, just to
live close to poverty. This is why I had decided to just continue the tourist guide thing I had done to pay for my studies. It was fun and paid well. But the price was giving up on my dream and on part of my
identity.

Now I felt the double loss, my mother was gone, my dream was gone and what I was doing felt senseless. So I started playing on a professional basis again. Furthermore, I went back to the Conservatory and took a Master in teaching and another in performing.

How I got from the loss to a state of trying and doubt

First transition in my example of the creation of a personal brand: Whenever I played, the academic world said it was too much. Too personal, too free, too me. I thought then it was a negative thing then and tried desperately to fit in. Which I eventually did.

I had won a teaching position for life in a musical high school after trying for three years. But now this big dream all of a sudden seemed worthless and ridiculous. The first colleagues I met were not very
interested in teaching music, much more in gaining power in the city and the school. A deep fear of having failed my dream again overcame me.

Even the orchestral position connected to the position was eventually part of a provincial power game that had little to do with offering music to the public and much more with gaining influence. I told myself that I was exaggerating and should be happy and thankful. This was my dream and
close to the sea as well.

But was it?

So full of doubts I went to school every day, trying to teach passionately and with good practice. But every day, I was interrupted by mediocre power games that too often used an overwhelming amount of
bureaucracy to stop. And all this while earning close to nothing. As a result, I felt like a missionary and tried to do my best. After all, I was in my trial year. My students saw it coming, they realized much sooner than me, that I was sadder every day, with less energy and less hope.

How was I going to teach and install hope in those young minds, when I couldn’t find a reason for that myself? In desperate attempts I drove them anywhere to play, even on the streets and organized concerts for them. Every time I encountered more bureaucratic burden to overcome to do just that.

But I stuck with the teachings of my mother and my passion for flute playing and teaching. The sound my mother was able to create on the flute was still unforgotten and even though she had died I could
still hear her. This guided and soothed my struggled mind.

(the doubts and delays are going to be overcome soon! Example personal brand final)

Catalyst meeting

Second transition in my example of a personal brand: Then, one of the talkative colleagues of mine started to continuosly interrupt my lessons (which I was wearing ear plugs to be able to do in
the facilities I was appointed…) At first, I was annoyed. I sent her away many times, even without a greeting or a smile. Luckily, she insisted. This little Latin Lady kept popping up, smiling and talking.

Always busy, but I couldn’t find out with what. In the end, she asked me to play with her. Her little brown fingers played the air all day long and I guessed it was piano that she was teaching.

Finally, I accepted.

And what a surprise! Her sounds fit with mine perfectly, timing, articulation, phrasing, dynamics, she followed every one of my impulses and developed my ideas.

It was fantastic! I felt free again, me, personal and understood.

Little bumps on the way to freedom – Example Personal Brand

I felt alive again and had hope.

We started to play together on a daily basis and found out that we loved the Italian Opera Repertoire and Chamber Music Works of Composers like Donizetti.

Many fantasies were written on lyric themes and arias, mainly in the same period as the Opera itself.

This is how we created our first concert “Concerto Italiano”.

It was an all Italian concert program, including fantasies on famous operas and intermezzos that we ourselves adapted for flute and piano.

Moreover, as a bis I wrote a medley of the most beautiful parts. It became a little concert piece in itself and a friend of ours directed the following beautiful video with sea view on Elba on its music.

It is supposed to evoke an ideal Italian saturday afternoon:

 

 

Of course, we heard comments like “Cuban and German” playing Italian music? Well, that was exactly so! We overheard them and listened to those who told us how they could not make out anymore which instrument the notes came from. We had really merged as a Duo. Adversities come and go, but we became friends.

Winning back your passion – little victories in my example personal brand

Moreover, I was able to win my passion and dream back. Still being part of the orchestra, but a
free musician now.

No bureaucracy holding me back, just me developing my talent and connecting with those who resonate and receive it as a gift.

 

 

Now, Monica and I have created many more concert programs speaking of
our identity and passion.

The Italiano Opera Trio Project for our love of Opera and friendship with the wonderful Roman Soprano Federica Raja.

 

 

Thus honoring the country we live in.

In addition, we created a Fantasy Program with Fantasies from different European Countries and composers. (Fauré, Doppler, Borne on Bizet, Taffanel on Weber, Galli on Verdi, Genin on Verdi…) to honor our personal brand name.

Most recently we decided to honor our own origins as well and created a
Hispanic Concert and a German Program.

Our different characters and cultures have caused more than one internal struggle, but the musical understanding and friendship, as well as being both foreigners in our country of choice, have brought us even closer together.

So now we celebrate our differences as strengths.

The Spanish medley speaks about colors, tasts, pride and the power of their combination.

The bis to “Alma Espanola” has been turned into a little video as well, by the same fantastic director, Alain Redaelli.

Please like our videos and subscribe to our channel!

 

 

We actually inspired

a composer to write a Double Concert flute piano and orchestra for us:

“Two souls”!

You can read more about it in the article about musicians during lock down.

Enjoy our videos, subscribe to our channel, like and share them and spread the passion!

Stay safe and sound,

Janie

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8 thoughts on “EXAMPLE PERSONAL BRAND”

  1. Janie,

    This is a very inspiring and heartwarming story. Especially, as I can relate to the trials of working for another person’s dream and not listening to my heart. Instead of going for what I know is right for me. There is a feeling of euphoria when you are doing what makes your heart sing. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing more of your story. By the way you are really good!

    Good luck and good day,

    ~Sir Wilbert

    Reply
    • Thank you, I am happy you can relate and hope that you too found your way by following your heart. The rest will fall into place. It is a matter of luck, too. But when you are open, anything and anyone can catalyse your progress and help you rise to the next level.
      Best wishes,
      Topflute

      Reply
  2. What a talent you have. I am sure your mother would be very proud.
    It was quite a tear jerking story but left me uplifted at the end and good for you for being so open. I guessed you were being very honest in what you spoke about. The music was very uplifting and left me happy to have read and listened to the fabulous musical abilty you have. Very good luck to all of you and with the future of your brand.

    Reply
    • Your comment is so very heartwarming. Thank you! It is hard to play classical music your own way and build out a space for that. But luckily I found a wonderful pianist and friend to build it with. We sincerely hope to inspire others to play what fulfills them and live from it.
      Best wishes,
      Janie

      Reply
  3. This is lovely. I loved hearing your story… Isn’t this the truth for almost everyone who is trying to find a voice in any setting… Being forced to make your gift conform to a defined world when you want to fly with it. I am glad you found your “musical second half”. You two make amazing music. I could stay on this post all day listening to your music… Wishing you the very best in your career.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! Your comment from the heart is very much appreciated. We hope to be able to speak to many hearts to come, by our music and our story. Inspire and give hope and joy, this is what we aim for. Thank you again for sharing your comment and helping us feel that we are on track,
      Stay safe and sound,
      Janie

      Reply
  4. If more people in the world had a passion in life that they followed instead of always chasing after the money, I think we would all live in a better society.

    Reply

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