Here’s my kindergarten yearbook photo. We were supposed to say what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I had no idea. I remember turning to my BFF in line for this yearbook photo and asking her “wait, so what ARE we going to be when we grow up?”
Now, I focus on helping you build the brand + confidence that allows you to get paid to do the thing you would do for free.
I can say that confidently this because… code-switching, people-pleasing, self-sacrificing, getting all the right jobs and degrees, and working myself to the point of exhaustion because I thought, like many of us, that those were all of the right things.
I had all the things – externally.
The salary, the benefits, the creative career, and oh yeah…the total loss of my identity.
I burned-out so bad, I woke up one morning and had to quit all of it.
Quitting your job may sound like the start of some “Eat Pray Love” fantasy, but as a first-generation college student, it was the last thing I ever imagined doing. This is partly what made it so hard. Let me peel back the curtain and give you the real tea.
There were plenty of toxic narratives I grew up with that made it nearly impossible to get support. Growing up as a low-income immigrant meant that I believed things like:
- You have to work twice as hard; You can never be seen as lazy.
- You must make money and contribute to the family.
- You can’t become too Americanized.
- But don’t need to be too Ecuadorian. You have to blend in. People noticing you is unsafe.
- Everyone wants to take advantage of you.
- And above all, don’t ask for help. You have to make it on your own.
And then there were the unspoken expectations, the unspoken rules.
Your parents sacrificed everything for you, so you have to sacrifice everything too. You have to work 3x harder than everyone else to prove that you deserve the job, the degree, the salary, etc. You have to overwork and please everyone to be “worth it,” to be of value to your family, your employer, your peers, your somebody.
Your worth is determined by everyone else – but you.
The more I tried to “get it right,” the worse I felt inside.
At its peak, I felt like I was a different me everywhere – one person at home and another at work.
I felt like my job didn’t understand or respect my culture, and my family didn’t understand or respect my professional world.
I felt alone like I couldn’t fully be myself anywhere.
I felt misunderstood and I had no idea who I even was anymore.
I started looking for answers in the entrepreneurial and women’s empowerment spaces for advice, only to feel like they got the cheat code to level 10, while I was still battling on level 2.
Every book, podcast, or resource was made for people who just started out differently.
They had actual savings accounts or the connections to push them through.
I had neither.
I had nobody to relate to, information I could barely use, and communities that preached empowerment but only to the select few. All I had was me, and my story.
I knew I had to share my story if I wanted to move forward. I knew I had to literally speak up to find my way. So I did, and in the process my story helped me find the people and places that served me. My story helped me start Vamos Ladies, which helped me feel less alone by meeting and supporting women in business-facing my same challenges.
My story forced me to practice presenting myself as one whole person, one whole story, one whole brand. Every time I said, “hey my name is Pamela and I _______,” I had a fresh start at filling in my own blanks and taking a chance on showing my true self.
My dry humor, my natural talents, my grungy teenage edge that never left – I brought it all back! And the more I did, the more I attracted new clients, new speaking engagements, new friends. The more I leaned into my wholeness, the more I became myself again and grew my brilliant brand.
These three years of trial, error, and practice have led me to AMAZING opportunities. It got me featured in Forbes. It started me up on a paid speaking career. I was able to co-curate art galleries. I even became a Lululemon Luminary!
I had nothing, but I learned how to trust myself by showing up time and time again.
I had nothing, but I learned to communicate strategically and reach my goals.
I had nothing, but I learned to use my voice and be vulnerable.
I had nothing, but I had my story.
If I can build a brand that allows me to be me, you can too.
And I would love to support you on your journey…
You’ve heard all about how I was isolated, unsure, and had so many unknowns.
You heard how I was scared as shit, and learned how to use my story to grow into myself.
You heard how my self-talk sucked and how much negative societal messaging I lived with.
And if you’re anything like me – you get it.
I’ve been there, and you might be there as we speak.
So let’s overcome it, together.
There’s no magic formula, no gurus, and no perfect system you need to subscribe to.
My process is all about helping you build self-trust and self-confidence so you can build your own process, communicate your own truth, and live off your brilliant shit.
I blend skill-building with the necessary mindset work for a jam-packed combo of external and internal shifts that’ll take you from code-switching to embodying the brightest, most brilliant you!
You Got You, AND I Got You Too.
And together we’ll work on your foundation and that trust fall boo.
But before you say yes to anything, it’s important for you to know what we will and won’t do.
Develop our Skills and Mindset Work
Hold Space for the Messy Internal Work
Be who we are because we have everything we need
Build: Clarity, Consistency, Community, and Confidence
Abandon our brilliance to some guru.
Shame ourselves for not being perfect.
Get caught in the craze of the self-help loop.
Be alone in the process of building and creating.
Buy into the belief that we need more to compensate for something we think we lack within.
My framework blends equal parts practical and magic, meaning you get to be a BRILLIANT you, while also gaining the skills that will help you build a brand.
brilliant branding takes you from doing sh*t you don’t care about to getting paid to do the thing you would do for free – now, are you ready to join me?
Pamela Barba, founder of the Brilliant Brand Club, takes you from doing sh*t you don’t care about to getting paid to do the thing you would do for free.
Her process, which has been described as being “equal parts magical and practical” combines personal branding + mindset techniques.
Her grounded advice has been featured on Forbes and on stages nationwide.