Inspiring (Personal) Brand Love

Inspiring (Personal) Brand Love 04 14 2014My husband LOVES Disneyland.

We live an hour away, so we’ve gone many times since moving to Southern California. But this visit was extra-special.

We stopped in the store on the way in to buy him a Mickey shirt and the clerk asked “Are you celebrating a special occasion?”

We walked out with a giant button that said “Happy Birthday Harvey”, which my 5-year old wrapped in an adult body was pleased to wear with pride. Continue reading

Earning The Right To Ask

Earning The Right To Ask 04 07 2014My friend “Kate” asked me to a business lunch to meet her friend “Molly”, who had just started a venture capital fund and was looking to grow.

Kate is one of the savviest people I know and has a great track record for making connections—and Molly sounded like a powerhouse—so of course I agreed.

We were nearing the end of the lunch when it happened. Continue reading

You Finished Your Big Project. Now What?

Your Big Project Is Done. Now What? 03 31 2014There is something about finishing what we start that feeds us.

It’s a lifecycle—with a beginning, middle and end. If you work on projects, this is a natural way of life.

This week, I’m awash in the glow that comes from completing a loooong client project. One that started with a germ of an idea and is now launching fully formed (and may I say visually and strategically stunning?)

When I was in a big firm and we completed a months-long project, it always came with huge relief (“Hey, we pulled this off—woo hoo”).  And then, usually by Day 2, anxiety would creep in. Because the aftermath of a big project was always—silence. And in the silence comes the fear. Continue reading

Taking It Over The Edge

How do you take your work to a new place—not just up a notch, but to a whole new galaxy?

There is a thing that brilliant creatives do—they push their work not just to the edge, but over the edge. And then they pull it back. Here’s how you can do it too… Continue reading

Cleaning Up (And Out) For Spring

Cleaning Up (And Out) For Spring 03 24 2014This article extolling the virtues of a 40-hanger closet spoke to me and I’ve hung onto it.

I haven’t quite pared down to a 40-hanger closet, but keeping just the timeless essentials resonates. With the notable exceptions of my shoes and kitchen gadgets, I live pretty lightly (on purpose). When each object is essential—and much loved—it takes on importance and meaning.

Which brings me to Spring.

Glorious, alive, sparkling Spring. When we refresh and renew, paring down to what really matters. Why restrict it to houses and gardens? It’s the perfect time to hit the REFRESH button on our work lives… Continue reading

10 Books That Changed My Work (And Me)

10 Books That Changed My Work (And Me) 03 17 2014The right books at the right time change you.

They make you think—or stop thinking and start feeling. They take you places you didn’t know were on your itinerary.

There is no over-estimating the power of a perfectly-timed read.

So here are my Top 10 all-time business-ey books—each hit me over the head at exactly the right time and my hope is they may do the same for you. Continue reading

Sucking The Personality Out Of Your Brand (Not)

Has your personality been sucked out of your brand?

That would be a damned shame because personality—when it’s real and genuine and serves your clients—is going to draw the right people to you like lightning. Here’s how to get it back… Continue reading

The Battles Worth Fighting For Your Brand

The Battles Worth Fighting 03 10 2014There is a dirty little secret nobody tells you when you start your own business.

You have to fight for your brand.

You are the chief warrior—the hero—for the promises you make.

Which means you decide when to lead, when to fight and when to rest for a new day. The sage chooses his/her battles carefully… Continue reading

A Swipe Of Lipstick

A Swipe Of Lipstick 03 03 2014It was a casual Saturday and I was wearing one of my go-to errand outfits. The only thing I’d done differently was to grab a tube of hot pink lipstick.

All day long I raked in the compliments. Seriously? Over a swipe of new lipstick?

Hmmm.

That lipstick was a lift:  a small and inexpensive—yet highly visible—refresh.

And isn’t that exactly what our brands—personal and otherwise—need from time to time? Continue reading

Charging What You’re Worth

Charging What You're Worth 02 24 2014“I think you value things based on what they cost you…” Kelly Clark, Olympic snow boarder

Don’t we all value what costs us most dear?

Take the time (Malcolm Gladwell would say it’s a minimum of 10,000 hours) you’ve invested in becoming an expert. Some of it—if you’re exceptionally lucky—passed in a nanosecond because you were deeply in the flow. Other parts of your learning were hard-won and remain emblazoned on your psyche forever.

And there’s your monetary commitment. School loans, internships, apprentice time.

You have paid your dues. You have made significant investments. You have built value. Shouldn’t you be charging for it? Continue reading