Putting Life Back Into Your Personal Brand: Lessons From Jenna Rink

Remember that iconic scene from 13 Going on 30 where Jenna Rink, portrayed by the lovely Jennifer Garner, delivers her show-stopping pitch to the magazine? It’s forever etched in my brain. 

But just before her pitch, Jenna’s so-called friend (more like frenemy) delivers her own pitch dripping with high-fashion glitz and glamour, filled with women who look seemingly perfect, untouchable, modelesque, and soooo unrelatable. By the end of the pitch, you can tell that the people in the room are not too impressed—it’s almost like they expected it. Like they’ve seen this pitch before. Time and time again, with the same women, the same vibes, the same direction, etc. 

But then there is Jenna’s pitch…and here’s where she shines. She brings authenticity to the table. She speaks to the real, everyday woman. Her pitch isn’t about perfection, it’s about connection.

Jenna says…

“I know this is different I mean from anything we’ve ever done and I know you might hate it and think I’m completely crazy but I won’t care…Who are these women? Does anyone know? I don’t recognize any of them…I want to see my best friend’s big sister and the girls from the soccer team…my next-door neighbor.

Real women who are smart and pretty and happy to be who they are—these are the women to look up to. Let’s put life back into the magazine…and fun, and laughter, and silliness!

I think all of us want to feel something that we’ve forgotten or turned our backs on. Because maybe we didn’t realize how much we were leaving behind. We need to remember what used to be good. If we don’t, we won’t recognize it even if it hits us between the eyes.”

In a world where glossy perfection often takes center stage, Jenna reminds us that imperfection is not only okay but also BEAUTIFUL. Because let’s face it, life isn’t about being flawless, it’s about being REAL. 

That’s exactly how I feel about personal branding. 

With the whole faceless brand trend on the rise, heavily filtered images, AI everything, and photo shoots that look like they are straight from a movie set, it’s more important than ever to stand out in your personal brand.

Sometimes it feels like we’re all just chasing this idea of being “cool”, trying to fit into this specific, perfectly curated aesthetic—you know, perfectly applied make-up, manicured nails, green juice-drinking, blazer-wearing, sporting Lulu lemon, beige everything, clean-girl aesthetic.

Okay, admittedly, I also love some of those things, buuuut you get what I mean, right?

The fact that “clean girl aesthetic” is trending big-time just shows how massive this trend has become. We all want to be THAT cool girlie. And don’t get me wrong, it’s visually appealing—I mean, who doesn’t love a good green juice and a hot girl walk?

But forcing yourself into a certain aesthetic just because it’s “cool” and everyone else is doing it? That’s the opposite of authenticity, ya know?

And let’s be honest, most of these brands blend right into one another, and have zero personality—BOOOORING 🥱 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some neutrals and minimal vibes are totally my thing. But just because you lean towards a more understated style, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your true self.

In fact, it’s your personality, your life experiences, and your unique perspective that truly sets your brand apart from the rest. 

But sometimes, showing those parts of yourself can be scary, or maybe you hold back because you think that no one will be interested in them. I’m here to tell you that is completely false. 

In fact, if Jenna were a brand designer, I think she would say, I WANT TO SEE… 

  • Your morning routine ☀️
  • What you’re currently reading 📚
  • Your favorite TV show 📺
  • What you’re currently listening to 🎧
  • Where you’re traveling on your next vacation ✈️
  • The way that you get dressed every day 🧥
  • How you do your makeup 💄
  • Cute cuddles with your dog 🐶
  • Your favorite hobby 👩‍🎨
  • How you organize your calendar 🗓
  • Your favorite emojis 🤸‍♀️

Real BRANDS who are happy to be who they are—these are the brands to look up to. Let’s put life back into your PERSONAL BRAND…and fun, and laughter, and silliness!

Because after all, personal branding is just that—PERSONAL! 

Your personal brand is YOU, and your clients want to see who you are, not some idealized Pinterest fantasy self. They want you. 

Trying to mimic the “cool” factor of other brands in your industry might seem like the way to go, but it’s actually a giant step in the wrong direction. Just like the people at the magazine during Jenna’s pitch, your clients long to feel connected to the real you and your personal brand. 

But when we get caught up in trying to fit into someone else’s brand or what we think a brand should be, we end up losing ourselves in the process. That feeling of uncertainty or reluctance to show up as your true self is a result of that misalignment. 

Thankfully, the solution to a brand misalignment is often easier than you might think. Usually, with a smidge of perspective, a hefty dose of honesty, and a few other tweaks is all it takes to get back on track and align your brand with your true self.

In the words of Jenna Rink, “We need to remember what used to be good…” 

And you know what, YOU are good! 

You need to remember that you already have everything within you to have a standout personal brand; you just might not know how to express it yet. 

Aren’t you tired of the boring beige brands with zero personality? I sure am.

How To Put Life Back Into Your Personal Brand

Jenna was right—we all want to feel something. We crave connection and at the end of the day, that’s the essence of personal branding. Your clients want to trust you, to feel like they know you, to be inspired—and above all, to feel like working with you is the best choice out there.

So how can you make people feel something? 

Great question!

Lucky for you,  I’ve actually written a whole blog post on how to create a memorable personal brand. It breaks down nine key ways to make sure your brand resonates with people and leaves a lasting impression. 

And hey, if you’re still feeling a bit lost, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d LOVE to help bring life back into your personal brand, so you can feel as confident as Jenna did after she nailed her pitch.



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