Inspiration

5 Tips to Rock Your Personal Brand

How to Rock Your Personal Brand

A brand is defined as “the promise of what your biz says it can deliver”. I learned this lesson early on from an unlikely branding expert, my Mom. Born in 1938, Barbara Joy Garrity rocked her personal brand way before Jackie O created her signature style and personal branding became a buzzword. Her secret? At the age of 13, Barbara edged out the competition for a job at the new ice cream spot, the Margate Dairy Bar, by arriving for the interview in her pink boucle suit. The owner hired her on the spot. She got the job by over-delivering on her promise. I heard the Dairy Bar story many times growing up, along with other Mom-ism’s that included, “Always invest in quality shoes and a good watch; they’re the first things people notice about you,” and, “Be true to who you are, there’s only one you.”

Along with my Mom’s advice, here are 5 branding secrets to help you ROCK your personal brand:

1. Be Consistent: Show up as your brand on all platforms, including social media. That means if your message is to empower or inspire, your Facebook posts on your biz and personal pages should be empowering and inspiring. Post, comment, share and tweet with a purpose.

2. Network With Intention: Have you ever watched someone walk into a networking event looking like a hot mess? Whatever they have to say about their biz becomes irrelevant, because you’ve already made a decision about them, and it’s probably not that you want to do business with them. When you arrive at a networking event, take a minute before you walk in the door to breathe, and set an intention to make one or two valuable connections. If you’re not quite there in the confidence department (yet), find a theme song that gets your mojo going. Katy Perry’s Firework, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire are all on my mental playlist.

3. Play Big, On A Budget: As a small business owner or direct seller, you might not have a big budget to invest in branded graphics for flyers and marketing materials. Thankfully, there are websites that can make you look like a big brand, while saving your budget. My top picks are fiverr.com and canva.com.

4. Be You: Everything from your clothes to your hairstyle to the photos on your social media profiles communicate who you are and what you do. Embrace what makes you unique and you’ll have no competition. A great example is tennis pro Serena Williams, whose unique personal style created a branded fashion empire.

5. Get Happy: The viral response to Pharrell’s Happy song says it all; at the end of the day, we just want to be happy. The easiest way to spread happiness, and your brand, is to make your customers smile. I experienced this first hand at a recent conference I spoke at in Walt Disney World. The security guard (at the gate) broke into his own version of a happy dance when he confirmed my name was on the list. His unexpected happy greeting was the most memorable experience I’ve ever had checking into a hotel, leaving me with a lasting smile. Imagine doing that for your customers.


Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

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Kristen Lucas Starts a Movement for Women Entrepreneurs: #respectHERHustle

Respect Her Hustle Movement

The Respect HER Hustle movement, founded by Chief AmbassadHER of Hustle Kristen Lucas, is a game changer. It means women can stop apologizing for working their butt off and, instead, admire and celebrate women who are making sh*t happen. Respect HER Hustle means let’s honor women who have the courage to take a stand and are not afraid to put themselves “out there”.

Kristen says it best on the Respect HER Hustle website:

We’re about women.  About self-made moguls and single moms, stars on the soccer field and in the science lab.

Women of all ages who are not content to just dream, but must DO.

We’re about hustling. Passion. Dedication.

Living for long hours, savoring hard work. We’re about women who jump when there is no net, who laugh at the “shoulds” and “should nots”, who won’t apologize for chasing their dreams.

Women who break the mold and don’t look back.

My hustle story began 30 years ago, when I was the only woman to land a job in the male-dominated field of business form sales. Hustling was not an option. It wasn’t long before I noticed a stark difference between male and female clients. Men decorated their offices with awards and honors, like a peacock showing off their brightly colored feathers. Women, on the other hand, decorated their offices with pictures of their kids, frequently apologizing for saying or doing anything that might come across as “bragging”. Apologizing is something women do a lot. We’re sorry when our work takes us away from our family, sorry the laundry is piling up, sorry we don’t have perfect bodies that never age and we’re sorry for sharing our success stories. Not much has changed since then. When I network with women entrepreneurs, I will frequently hear, “You’re so busy”.  And they don’t mean it as a compliment. Instead of defending my work ethic I simply say, “Thanks, I’m blessed to live an abundant life”. Maybe I should just say, “Yeah, I’m a HustlHer”.

Kristen Lucas is a true Visionista, which I define in my book as “Women that know who they are, where they are going, and guide their tribe of leading ladies to the top”.  The term is about women helping women, and not being afraid to step into their power (hence the woman trampling NYC in a hot pink pencil skirt on my book cover). In other words, Visionistas Respect HER Hustle.

Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt. 

Respect Lynn's Hustle

What does Respect Her Hustle mean to you? Share in the comments below and do some biz bragging.


Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook  and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

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Women Entrepreneurs, Honor Thy Freedom

Women Entrepreneurs Honor Thy Freedom!

Freedom: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Independence Day takes on new meaning for women entrepreneurs who, like the line in Katy Perry’s Firework, “show ‘em what you’re worth", are shattering the glass ceiling by starting a business. According to a recent Forbes article, The World’s Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs of 2014, which includes Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Sofia Vergara, “ …female entrepreneurs are feeling better than ever about their business outlook". Statistics also show that women are dominating social media, which fuels their ability to expand their network, find start-up resources and build relationships. Popular hashtags, including #womenentrepreneur, #WAHM, #Mompreneur, #HomeBiz and #InvestInWomen, are socially connecting women to the modern version of a “Braveheart speech”, curating conversations that empower women business owners to fly their freedom flag.

Freedom was the catalyst that drove me to take the entrepreneurial leap, leaving a successful corporate career in 1990 to start a direct selling biz. Back then, I was earning what would be equivalent to a six-figure income today, so it wasn’t about the money. I wanted to be free to leave the good ‘ol boys club (along with their sexist remarks), free to raise my two daughters and free to define success on my terms.

In honor of our nation’s birthday, I reached out to 3 successful women entrepreneurs to find out what freedom means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Larae Quy

LaRae Quy @LaRaeQuy

Secrets of a Strong Mind

Former counterintelligence FBI agent, A Leader's Roadmap to Mental Toughness, speaker, trainer, author
Read LaRae’s book, Secrets of a Strong Mind

"Freedom is not just loving what I do; it’s also about finding meaning and value in it as well. I work more hours but find it so fulfilling that I don’t keep track of time. Freedom is having a choice in how I make a contribution to others and have a ball doing it.”

 

Darnyelle Jervey

Darnyelle A. Jervey @darnyellejervey

Chief Executive Officer at Incredible One Enterprises, LLC , Business Optimization Strategist, Speaker, Host of Incredible Factor TV

“It was 2005 when I stepped out on faith and sought my independence from my then Corporate Career; I still can’t believe it’s been nearly 10 years.  Being free to live my dream, serve those I’m called to serve and spend time with family is very important to me.  I love that my business allows me to experience financial and spiritual abundance (and independence too :))  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’m so glad I had the courage to step out on faith and step in to who I was created to be!”

 

Gina Hussar

Gina Hussar @ginahussar

Inner Peace and Transformation Coach. Shift from Stressed to Blessed! Join the movement at 30SecondstoPeace.com

“For me, true freedom is finally owning your truth, heeding those whispers that come from within, those nudges that say, "THIS is who you are and what you are meant to do!" If you can learn to hear your source, and not only hear it, but follow its advice, true freedom and all that comes with it– joy, abundance, purpose– naturally flow to you. It's about connecting to your unique story, embracing it, sharing it, casting out your gifts with faith, enthusiasm and gratitude. Time freedom and financial freedom are a natural result of finding and living your truth!”

Find your entrepreneur anthem with these 25 empowering theme songs for women, and share what freedom means to you in the comments below. 

Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook  and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

 

 

 

 

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How Rejection Helped Katie Couric to Succeed

Katie Couric keynotes the Woman of the Week Luncheon

Katie Couric keynotes the Woman of the Week Luncheon

The last time I saw Katie Couric up front and in person was in NYC in 2011. Katie was on The View to promote her book The Best Advice I Ever Got and I was sitting in the audience. Since then, Katie’s moved on from evening news anchor to daytime talk show host to a new interview show on Yahoo. She's also a Mom, philanthropist and planning a wedding (in her spare time). Let's just say she's keeping wikipedia very busy.

Our reunion took place at the BenFM Woman of the Week luncheon outside of Philadelphia, almost three years to the day from our The View encounter (does a wave count?). I was again sitting in the audience and Katie was center stage as the keynote speaker.  I wore red, thinking for sure she'd recognize me in the crowd. Of 400 women.

Inspired by her many achievements, I looked forward to hearing her message. Katie did not disappoint, opening her keynote speech with one of my favorite quotes, from another trailblazer, Madeleine Albright.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.”

"Hell yeah!," I said to myself. The quote won the crowd. Katie continued on to share a few nuggets about success, which included stories about rejection, moxie and honing her on-air persona by practicing in the mirror. Here are some of the highlights:

Rejection: This is not a word you typically hear when people share success secrets, especially women. Women don’t like not to be liked. Turns out rejection was a huge motivator for Katie. “Keep in mind," she shared, "getting the broads out of broadcasting was a message I heard loud and clear in my early days.” With a bring-it-on attitude, rejection was the fuel that motivated Katie to break the glass ceiling, becoming the first solo woman news anchor. She’s doing it again in her new venture with Yahoo, leading the way for internet shows.  As Katie says, embracing new challenges keeps you vibrant.  I think every woman has had a naysayer (or two) motivate us to take on a new challenge and show ‘em how it’s done.

Moxie: Katie first learned about moxie from her Dad, who told her she had “it”, a combination of spirit, determination and persistence. She went on to say she got her first job as a desk assistant at ABC by showing up in the lobby and calling the head of the News Bureau. Katie dropped a few names of mutual acquaintances that went something like, “my neighbors sister’s cousin is….” and announced that she wanted to come up and say, "Hi". He was so taken off-guard he said yes, and personally introduced her to the person she had sent her résumé to. The résumé promptly went to the top of the pile. Yeah, that’s moxie.

Practice: Katie practiced in front of a mirror, with a hair brush as her microphone, going from a squeaky-voiced reporter who was told she would never deliver the news on camera (can you imagine?), to a confident in-control journalist. When she got the call for the Today show, hours and hours of practice helped her land the job. Turns out your hair brush works on the inside of your head too.

My key takeaway? Fuggedabout (that’s my Jersey coming out) success or failure, all that over-thinking is just going to hold you back. Instead, embrace change, blaze new trails and throw in a little moxie. Challenge the status quo and you'll not only change your life, you may just change history. 

 

Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook  and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

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Why Are Women Entrepreneurs Happy?

Sharing a happy moment with my Sister

Sharing a happy moment with my Sister

In case you haven't heard, the United Nations has declared March 20 International Happiness Day. #HappyDay

In April 2012 the first ever UN conference on Happiness took place in New York and in July 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a further resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness was to be observed every year on 20 March. It was celebrated for the first time in 2013. –  actionforhappiness.org

Many of the women entrepreneurs I know (including me) declared their happiness the day they left their “real jobs” to define life, and fulfillment, on their own terms. I discovered that six of the 10 keys to happiness listed on the Action for Happiness website are traits that women entrepreneurs embrace every day:

  • Connect with people
  • Keep learning new things
  • Have goals to look forward to
  • Find ways to bounce back
  • Be part of something bigger
  • Take a positive approach

Based on my unscientifc research, it would seem that women who take risks and accept change have figured out how to be happy. I dug deeper, reaching out to women entrepreneurs who are leading the way as CEOs, mentors and community advocates to ask them what being happy means to them. They all shared similar stories of connecting with people, making a difference and being true to themselves. Maybe the UN should have consulted with women entrepreneurs first!

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