Welcome to our next post in our series of interviews on personal brand transformation! Meet Vicki Baumann, who, after a life changing injury, brilliantly expanded her personal brand to include yoga teacher.
Tell us a bit about who you were before the change? What was your personal brand (i.e. how other people perceived you)?
Before ‘my change’ I was DigiPrintVicki. I have worked in print for many years now and that was what
people knew me as. “Talk to Vicki, she’s the one that gets things printed quickly and never lets you down”.
I was always very confident at my job, quick to learn and eager to do well and progress in my career from when I very first started working. But, I had no self-belief that I was academic or could success in any exams. So, whenever opportunities arose that may put me in a position of having to sit a final exam for anything I would not put myself forward.
I was a person that always learnt on-the-job. Worked my way through life, learning from great bosses and colleagues and challenging myself along the way.
My personal brand has always been confident, knowledgeable, hardworking and never wanting to let anyone down. And, unknown to me – I was also viewed as the orange girl! Orange, I love! My Orange jacket I really love! And when at a personal branding workshop more than one person in the audience commented that they had always thought of orange when they thought of me. I had no idea! But from a colour perspective that was what I was. Orange scarf, orange jacket.
But my business-brand – that defined me on a daily basis was –“Vicki’s DigiPrintVicki – she can get your print done quickly and never lets you down”.
I wasn’t unhappy with that. I still am not unhappy with that. I am just changing form a little. Still the orange remains – orange logo for my new YogaWithVickiB.
How would you compare today’s version of you to the one before?
Today’s version of me?
More bendy .. Yup!
Calmer .. Definitely.
Different .. Yes.
Stronger. And stronger in more ways than just physically, but also mentally. I have finally broken the spell of believing I can’t learn. I will always fail at exams.
I now believe that I can achieve whatever I set as my goals. Finally accepting that I can “Just do it” and excel.
How has my brand changed? I’m still the same. I’m still DigiPrintVicki – but I am also YogaWithVickiB.
I am a calmer, less volatile version of who I was.
I don’t accept negativity around me.
I smile more.
I am more confident of my abilities.
I am less body conscious.
I still have my wonderful print clients that I really enjoy working with. Helping and guiding them get the best job possible. But I also have my yoga students that I teach. I love seeing them develop, gain confidence, enjoy their ‘breakthroughs’ when they finally achieve a pose that they thought would defy them.
This combination of my brand – of myself – is wonderful for me to see.
I am proud.
What made you think you needed to change?
2012 was a monumental year. 1stAugust was the first week of the Olympics. I was hit by a car in Oxford Street.
“Life changing injury” is a frightening thing to be told by a Doctor.
But I was in great hands! I had ended up in Kingston Hospital ‘week 2’ expecting the temporary cast to be removed and full cast put on my leg to repair what had been thought to have been a simple fracture to the foot. But no… I wasn’t going home, I was going to have an operation. Hopefully the swelling would have gone down sufficiently so the Op could be done before it was too late and it wouldn’t be repaired and I would suffer ‘drop foot’.
One day you are ‘normal’ the next you are contemplating perhaps not being able to walk properly again. It is a time-stands-still moment. A shift in my life. Never to be the same again. “Now I’ve got to dig deep and get through this”.
From that moment on I had changed.
Then came a year and half of rehabilitation – physio, exercise, stretching. Two operations. Two metal plates & screws fitted and then removed six months later to try and get more movement in the foot.
Not able to run any more – I went back to my yoga, to my mat, big time! It was fantastic for my rehabilitation and helped keep me calm.
How did you set things into motion?
Four years later my Yoga Teacher provided me with the opportunity to train to become a yoga teacher. With my previous history of total disbelief of my abilities in learning and exams I was finally persuaded after a few months of can I can’t I and being told by my teacher, other yogis that I trained with and family, of course you can do it. I took a leap of faith and with lots of second thoughts took the plunge.
Six months. 200 hours learning and 200 hours training on the mat, studying, homework, exams plus a full time job – I did it! I passed!
Did you leap in or make the change in increments?
My main brand is still DigiPrintVicki but I am loving the balance of my day job and my evening and weekend teaching ‘job’. The two work hand-in-hand for me. The wonderful world of print can be a stressful place – deadlines every day – achieving sales – managing multiple accounts – but when I come to my mat, it is a different story. I am calm. I am home.
I have discovered I love to teach and my students love my classes:
“She is a great teacher, the class is challenging but very supportive”
“Vicki is a fabulous teacher: warm and patient, great at explaining how to do all the poses and moves and not afraid to push you to your limber limits!”
What was the reaction of others? Did they support you or did they resist the change?
Family were surprised, delighted and proud of what I have achieved. My yoga teacher and fellow students with whom I train could turn around and say ‘I told you so’ – they could see me more clearly than I could see myself. Everyone said go for I, even those who usually would have given a catty remarks said “good for you”. I had no negativity at all.
I had such support from my family. We literally had six months of no life other than yoga. I was either at work full time, studying evenings & Saturday afternoons, practicing on the mat, or in class all day every Sunday. No social life and if we did ever venture out it was with the premise of “I can’t drink and I need to be in bed by 10”.
I am so proud of how proud I have made them feel. They knew I had it in me and encouraged me to take the plunge.
What was your most valuable resource/what kept you going?
Not wanting to let others down. My Teacher was investing so much into the training, I wanted to make him proud. My family and friends for encouraging me; accepting that it was my sole focus and keeping me going when I thought I didn’t have it in me.
How do you feel now that you’ve made the change?
It is nearly a year since I graduated now. I have been teaching since July 2017. I have regular students. This year I ran my first Yoga Retreat with two more planned for next year. I feel so proud of what I have achieved. I have faced my exam-demons and proven to myself that I had it in me all the time.
What’s your advice to anyone contemplating something similar?
Do It! Have belief in yourself. Listen to others – they are probably seeing something in you that you can’t yourself. It is never too late.
I thought I was done with exams when I was 16. Forty years later, I exceeded my expectations and have retrained. I am now a co-brand of DigiPrintVicki and YogaWithVickiB – it’s amazing what we can do when we set our mind to it.
What the future holds I am excited to see. I know whatever it does, I will allow myself to go with it and enjoy the journey.
Thanks for the inspiring interview, Vicki!