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February 2010
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April 2010

Make A Global Impact In One Hour

By Ferrell Marshall

“I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly, Ah! I didn’t know, I held opportunity.”   Hazel Lee

Earth Hour Logo

Today the world is coming together to help our planet by doing one simple thing… turning the lights off for one hour at 8:30pm.   This  da y symbolizes that by working together with a common goal, we can each make a positive impact on our future.

Earth Hour was launched in Sydney, Australia, in 2007.  I remember seeing pictures on the news of the city skyline going dark and was so impressed and inspired.

The founders of this effort had a global vision and after proving it could be done, have each year invited more cities around the world to participate.  “Since its inception, Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon.”  Last year, nearly one billion people, 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents participated.   In the United Sates, I’m proud to share that 80 million Americans and 318 cities pledged to flip the switch.  Just imagine iconic landmarks around the world going dark… the Las Vegas strip, the Empire State Building and Golden State Bridge, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London and St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to name just of few.  Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?! Watch the official Earth Hour video:

Victoria Harbour during Earth Hour 2010

The first time I signed up and pledged to turn the lights off was the second year of this movement.  I loved the concept and it gave me a lovely excuse to bring together friends for a lovely candlelight dinner.  My husband, George, and I put tape on all the light switches to remind us not to use them because it is such an automatic action and we tied a bow around the handles of our refrigerator preventing us from opening it.  We lit over 70 eco-friendly candles around our home and garden, prepared a green themed dinner and found such joy in sitting at our table with good friends, drinking wine and sharing stories in the glow of the soft light.  Our music that evening was conversation and laughter.  Our reward was knowing that we were part of something very special and with a simple action, we were making a difference.

Tonight, at 8:30pm, I will be on stage performing in a play, The Diviners, at The Chandler Studio Theatre, and will not be able to officially participate as the lights will need to remain on so the audience can see the show!  However, at the welcome speech our producer will announce that the theatre marquee will be turned off and he will invite them to join the effort by considering spending a candle-lit hour at home after the theatre.   At our home, George has pledged to turn off all our lights and will practice his piano for an hour by candlelight ala Liberace!

What will you do?


The Inspiration Room -  a global effort designed to influence, affect and involve creative communities in the development of a world standard for inspiration.

Earth Hour Lights Off Video – just do it!

Earth Hour Global’s Photostream – stunning images!

Earth Hour Action Video – love this video! raises awareness about important causes and empowers people to take action.

Earth HourVideo from Brazil – you don’t have to speak the language to understand the message.

HOW TO: Support Earth Hour With Social Media – spread the word to your network!

Twitter -  get ongoing updates on this inspiring day on our planet.

"Do not disturb" signs created for placement on the street lamps as a part of Earth Hour ads campaign in Ukraine

Contributing Author:


Ferrell Marshall embodies a magic combination that gives her a unique voice in the world of social responsibility.  She is a voice-over artist and actress and was the SoCal/PH Marketing, Alumni and Community Relations Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers where she worked for the past 20 years.  Ferrell is a member of the board of LA Works, a nonprofit, volunteer action center that creates and implements hands-on community service projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area.  In all she does, she brings her personal passions and sensibilities along with her vast knowledge of community to get you thinking more broadly about, how you can make a difference in this world as a volunteer, donor and advocate.


Create a "Blind Side" Vision for Your Career & Life


“You’re changing that boy’s life.”   
“No, he’s changing mine.”
from a scene in the film, “THE BLIND SIDE”   

I recently watched the movie again (and again), and was once again entranced not only by the transformational journey of football great Michael Oher, but equally by the how helping him also changed the lives of his adoptive family, Sean and Leanne Tuohy and their two kids.  And, while the film focused primarily on Michael’s story and Leanne’s crusade to give him a leg up on life, on closer examination much of the real-life story began with Sean Tuohy’s personal vision to help poor Memphis kids when they needed it.  And, although they went the whole ten yards with Michael Oher, he was not the first, nor the last who received an outstretched hand from Sean Tuohy.  

It got me thinking once again about how having a clear vision brings so much more meaning Blind_side_true_story1 to our careers, and lives for that matter.   What do I mean by “Blind Side” vision?  Simply put, it is a vision where your central focus is making an impact or a difference on others or society.  Or to put in the movie’s terms, you have their back.  And, then the reciprocal benefit is the in-kind impact felt in your own life.  Unselfishly helping others helps you, enriching your life beyond measure.   

The objective for creating a vision that will sustain you and effect literally every area of your life is to let go of the “how.”  But, rather to focus on the “what,” the “who,” and the “why.”   Sean Tuohy could not possibly have known years earlier, when he adopted the mindset of his vision to help the underserved, how he would have an impact or that Michael Oher would show up in his family’s path.  

So, how do you get a “Blind Side” Vision for yourself?  This is one of my favorite subjects; I write and talk about it in different forms and often, but it’s important to continue the conversation.  

  • What – what kind of impact do you want to make?  It doesn’t have to be some big vision with a global scope.  Look at the difference you make to your company now, or the impact you currently have on people in your life, directly and indirectly.  Don’t belittle the significance you have in your world already.  Now look at the talents behind the impact you’re making, the skills that you bring to the table.   

For Sean Tuohy, he came from a background where, according to Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side, “he had the experience of being the poor kid in the rich school when he was growing up.”  So he kept tabs on those kids at his children’s school; he offered meals and help for any needs they had.  He wanted to make an impact to the betterment of their lives.  

  • Who – on whom do you want to make an impact?  Get clear on the segment of society you want to help, or the type of people you want to impact.  Are they seekers of knowledge or education, or underprivileged/underserved, or those effected by a cause or condition that you’re personally connected to, or are they people who look to be inspired?   
  • Why – why and how will lives or companies or society change because of your vision?   Think specifically about the result of your vision becoming a reality for those it helps.   

For Sean Tuohy, those he impacts go on to live more productive and successful lives, but most importantly they realize possibility and that it’s there for them when in many cases the notion of possibility is seemingly an impossibility.   

I believe we’re all here for a greater good.  Why not incorporate that into your career and life vision?  Why not make it part of what you do every day?  

Can you imagine how quickly the collective consciousness of the world would rise to a higher, nobler level with this kind of thinking, followed by action? 

"I got away from my core values" - Coulda told ya Tiger


That's what Tiger said in one of his five minute interviews this week when asked how he could have done what he did.  "I got away from my core values."  To me that says everything.

I believe when you live your core values the results take care of themselves.  What I mean by that is when you are connected to, stick to and live by your simple truths, otherwise known as your core values, your life sets itself correctly on your right path. 

To Tiger Woods, his core values connect to his Buddhist principles, which at the heart of it are simple truths we can likely all relate to, whether you're a Buddhist or not, they are common sense core values.  They are:

  1. view reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.
  2. intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness.
  3. speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way
  4. acting in a non-harmful way
  5. a non-harmful livelihood
  6. making an effort to improve
  7. see things for what they are with clear consciousness, being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion
  8. correct meditation or concentration

I was teaching a seminar on personal branding at the time the news first broke about Tiger and I discussed his separation from his core values with the class, so to hear him actually use tCore_values_r3_c1hose words this week really struck a chord with how vital a value-based life and career really are.  Without a clear knowledge and awareness of your own core values - what drives you - it's not hard to fathom how you can get off course, or never really get on track to begin with. 

Successful brands know and operate by their core values and simple truths.  Your core values then become the lens through which you look at every opportunity and the barometer with you measure every decision.  When you connect to these simple truths, your life and career make sense.

Here are some things for you to do to help clarify and solidify your core values:

  • Pay attention to your own physical reactions as you say yes or no to an opportunity or suggestion.  When you learn to truly trust your gut you become clear on what drives you.  Make note of the actual words you use to describe these reactions.
  • What words of wisdom have you been speaking all of your life?  Those, many times, come from simple, core truths.
  • What's most important to you: Recognition, Respect, Fame, Wealth or Love?  Take your top response and write in 3 simple sentences about what that word means to you.  Out of that, your core values and simple truths come to the surface.
  • Write a definition of your own moral code.  It has to be based on your sense of truth and out of that your core values emerge.

Remember that truth is empowerment; empowerment is truth.  Once you clarify and solidify your truth, your right course of action, in nearly all circumstances, organically starts to take shape.

50 Seriously Great Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand


I love connecting with extraordinary people; it's part of my amazing journey in this life.  And, in my current stead of helping people build meaningful and successful careers I have had the esteemed pleasure of running across remarkable folks who are really out there DOING IT, people who have exploded their personal brands!

Ladder to success  Your personal brand is the most important factor when laying out an effective career blueprint and then building and executing that blueprint into an targeted action plan. 

So, I have gathered 50 Seriously Greats Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand in 2010 from people who are certainly doing it themselves and who were very quick to come forward, offering help to you.  Many of them will be thought and game changers for you in your career and business.

It took me thrice as long to ink this blog post because I kept visiting the sites of my fearless contributors.  I invite you to do the same.

This truly is a keeper so you may want to print it and include it in your business plan, your career blueprint and your marketing plans as a guideline to keep coming a back to.  And, feel free to share!

1.  Be an expert

"Position yourself as an expert and be willing to take up public speaking opportunities in your business community. Many associations, organizations and companies are consistently looking for slots to fill at monthly meetings and annual conferences. Target speaking opportunities that will position you in front of your target audience. This exposure leads to increased visibility and when delivered right, increases your credibility. It's estimated the less than 2% of the American population enjoys public speaking, so it's usually a great way to get a leg up on your competition."  Amy Jantzer,

2. Make the most of a great business card

"Break the Business Card Malaise.  I'm working on new business cards, but as opposed to the same old same old with a new design I'm doing a whole different format - doing them as trading cards.  I have an artist friend do comic-style artwork, build the card myself in a simple graphics program, and print it via Zazzle.  You instantly have a business card that stands out from the crowd in design, shape, and creativity.  There are trading cards for comic characters, games, sports figures, and so on - pick the style that fits your brand!"  Steven Savage,

3. Have instantly recognizable brand elements

"Make sure everything you do is consistent with the personality you've established for your brand and appropriate for your product. If you're an authority, your tone should always be expert. If you're an entertainer, well, your tone should be entertaining. Everything should be consistent, from your appearance, your language, your logo, even your fonts and colors for your website, blog and print materials. They should be instantly recognizable as Your Brand. In a noisy marketplace, those who stand out as consistently delivering the same experience or product, from the initial encounter to the very end, will win!  Celia Milton,

4. Be a networking group leader

"Join an appropriate networking group and become a leader and thought changer.  If there are opportunities to become a leader and show the community how much you know about your field of expertise, that can bring more awareness to your company and propel your brand forward."  Sarah Shaw,

5. Gain insight by surveying your peeps

"Go out there and see what messages people are sharing about you. Google, Yahoo and Bing yourself. Where do you show up...what messages are out there...what's the gap between what you want and where you are now?  You can also survey customers, colleagues, family and friends...what
do they think about your brand, how do they feel when they see, hear, read info from the brand, etc.  Use the insight from each area of research to build the brand you really want."  Jennifer Davidson,

6. Keep your name in the press

"Use sites like HARO to find creative ways to keep your name in the press. The other is blogs, by using your blog correctly, articles you write come out looking like news items."  Judy Misbin May

7.  Set yourself apart with your knowledge

"Often, too many people try to build their brand without enough substance. Your associates, clients, audience, and/or customers should see you as an expert in your field. Their expectations should be that you are up to date with the latest industry news, current trends, and useful information. So, what do you do now? Set aside a small portion of each day to build your expertise. Subscribe to trade magazines, newsletters and other publications that can help to make you an informed expert. Of course, Internet sites and consumer publications that effect your industry can be very helpful with stories on latest styles and current trends. Set yourself apart from others in your industry with your knowledge, and willingness to share it with clients. Not gossip, but useful and helpful information. The more that you become an important resource to others, the easier it will be to promote your own personal brand.  Jhan Dolphin,

8.  Reconcile your public perception

"Take a moment to get feedback on your brand and how you currently show up in the world. Many times the brand we believe we have and the perception of us in the outside world need to be reconciled. It's hard to take a look at ourselves, and well worth it to improve."  Monic Cost,

9.  Increase your "human factor" online

Increasing your personal brand is about consistency, transparency, and the "human" factor when you are trying to elevate online.  Encourage your "offline" contacts and fans to interact with you online to elevate your brand to larger markets.  They know you personally and know your brand very well.  By coming to your site and engaging you online they bring that "human" factor to the page, they peel back the internet veil and provide credibility because readers who do not know you get a sense for what you are "really like".  When they allude or directly talk about the offline interactions they had with you in a very natural and normal way in the online setting they display how your offline life is consistent with your online brand and how you are a real person, with real interactions."   Coach Reed,

10.  Consistency is key

"Maintain consistency online and offline.  Consistency helps to reinforce the mature brand that one is trying to display. One should always display his or her personal brand statement on social networks, and reinforce this statement with professional profile photos, content, and in-person."  LaTron Brown,

11.  Get yourself on the morning news shows!

"Call your local television news stations (plural!) and ask for the person who books the morning news. Ask if you can send this person an e-mail introducing yourself. If you get that opportunity, BRIEFLY (two sentences at most!) tell them what you're capable of talking about, and let them know you'd be happy to be available at the drop of a hat. Morning news shows have interview slots for members of the community--make sure that's you by communicating how you can be of service to them.  Be available too; nobody is perfect, and sometimes a booked guest has to cancel. Be the person they call to fill the spot and you'll be doing a lot to make their life easier.

Pro-tip: send the planner or producer brief notes about the most popular questions people want to know about what you'll be talking about. Example: If you're a pet store owner, and your interview is on pets, list the top 10 questions you get asked, AND, type out your general answers. This gives the producer an idea of how to make the interview interesting, AND gives them an idea of how you'll answer those types of questions. If you hit the nail on the head for what the producer is looking for, you may just hear your questions being asked, verbatim!" Fritz Chaleff (Communications Director | U.S. Congressman Brian P. Bilbray)

12.  Have your own unique name online

"Be sure the name you're using is consistent across sites, especially if using social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Your name is part of your brand leverage it. For example, the first step in your own branding is to Google/Bing/Yahoo yourself and look at results. If your name is fairly common, can you create a more unique identity by using your full name / middle initial, etc.?  Be cautious about using nicknames. Also, as part of researching what's already out there on the web about you, leverage the tools like recruiters use ( or or to conduct an even more comprehensive search and explore your online presence. Posting and building an online presence can help boost your image/brand."  Danielle Beauparlant Moser,

13.  Control your tweet messages

"I love scheduling many of my Twitter messages each week in Hootsuite. It allows me to spend an hour or so each week setting up my regular tweets and Hootsuite lets me see the Stats on each tweet, and has provided hootlet which lets me tweet any web page easily. I love it!"  Wanda Jewell,

14.  It's all about the company you keep

"Have you ever heard of "guilt by association?"  Well, it works in the other direction too. One of the best ways to elevate your personal brand is by creating genuine relationship with other well-respected individuals in your industry and niche. By cultivating relationships (and emailing a person once doesn't count as a relationship), you gain a sense of credibility from the company you keep. Plus, you can also gain access to those people's fans- folks that likely overlap your target market.  This is a strategy that takes time, but is worthwhile over the long haul and will not only give you the most bang for your buck, but also the most long-term credibility.  Carol Roth,

15. Be bold and valuable

"Do something big, outrageous and valuable to your target market ."  Carma Spence-Pothitt

16.  Focus on where you're going

"Focus less on where you are now, and more on where you want to be a year from now, and start positioning yourself that way."  Alexandra Golaszewska,

17.  Create an event where you're the center of attention

"In February I created the 'Song Bomb' recruiting 32 songwriters to each write a song, record it and post it on my website. I wrote, recorded and posted 32 songs myself.  The rewards from this venture?  All the fans of those songwriters who visited my site to hear their songs got to find out about me too.  My site traffic for the month at least tripled and I have a project that I can use to bring new fans to my site for months to come.  More over I strengthened my relationship with every songwriter who I brought on for the project; everyone was grateful for an catalyst to write new songs and get them out into the world." Timmy Riordan,

18.  Write an advice booklet

"If you're a small biz owner or solo entrepreneur, you're an expert and can write advice booklets or brochures for your target market. Small booklets are easy to produce on office copiers. Design a cover and you have a wonderful, unique and valuable branding and marketing piece to pass out at conferences or mail to prospective clients. Tammy Brackett

19.  Update regularly to build your reputation

"1) Use a professional resume writer and update your resume regularly. There are degrees of professional certification -- use the best you can afford -- and repurpose their content for Linkedin and other professional profiles.   2) Ask for new recommendations for your online profile quarterly. Pull language from the quotes, "e.g. creative, thought-leader, skillful manager, etc. and create an intro paragraph for yourself that leverages the same language. Consistency in a brand builds strength.   3) Make a vow that if you offer to do something for someone else (e.g. create an introduction) do it within 24 hours after the ask. This builds a reputation for speedy, reliable assistance."  Karen Howe

20.  BE PERSONAL with your blog

"Obviously, if you are not maintaining a blog, you should. Too many people writing niche blogs think they cannot inject their personality into their blog. They also think that every post must be laser-targeted to their niche. Don't be a robot -write in a way that let's people get to know you - that's how you elevate your personal brand."  Chris Reimer,


21. Write and self-publish your own book

"As an author my tip would be SELF-PUBLISH! The big companies want to eat up your potential profits so print your own book.  And don't advertise on Amazon or use a distributor who will steal your profits - create a site and push it hard.  Start small, make your initial money back, and reinvest in advertisement to gain sales momentum on your product(s), keeping in mind that is not the book that is selling, its the author!"  Romaine Williams,


22.  Be visible speaking in public

"I've planned to engage in at least three public speaking events in my business area because it puts me face-to-face with people I want to meet."  Ford Kanzler,

23.  Keep it simple & unforgettable

"It's basic, but important. Keep it simple, make it unforgettable, insure it tells your story.  As 'The Timeshare Crusader' and my tagline, 'Never Fear A Timeshare Salesperson Again', my brand does that."
Lisa Ann Schreier,

24.  Keep it clean

"Clean up, and use proper wording, in all of your social media. It's a great way to boost natural search traffic."   Charlie Riley,

25.  Connect in a genuine way

"Arguably the most significant way to take your personal branding to the next level is to be genuine and participate in a thoughtful way.  Self-promotion and personal brand development is always about connecting with people in a meaningful way. In the new world of social media, personal/professional transparency and real time information you simply cannot afford to be anything but genuine. Being genuine and thoughtful increases the return on all of your branding activities and without a doubt will add to personal brand value."  Morgan Christian,

26.  Live it!

" Live it and have passion for it.  Establish yourself as an expert at SOMETHING. That means you, not your company or work. And get as much press in your expertise area as you can. This will make you relevant, credible and findable. You can do this by writing something others will find helpful and pointing to it, then look for ways to guest blog it, post about it in relevant communities and network yourself with like experts. You can also respond to HARO when you're qualified to speak to it. Find as many ways as you can to be part of it.  Brent Shelton,

27.  Be true to YOU

"When it comes to elevating your personal brand, so many people seem to fall short. The number one tip to elevating your personal brand to the next level is to be true to yourself. When you are not genuine and truly passionate about your life, career and business, it shows. Decide what values in your life are most important to you, and be sure that your whole life is centered around living those values. The best way to be successful in life and business is to be genuine to your core values."  Megan Kline,

28.  Be truly accessible

"Surprise people by being overly accessible.  I created the SNAC system to help kids and parents learn how to eat correctly in a way that speaks to kids. By doing this sometimes parents may have questions about a certain situation and when I call them personally, they are really surprised and thankful."     Carrie Chacon,

29.  Have a crystal clear vision

"Elevating my personal brand has been a top focus of mine this year. The one thing that has really been most beneficial is having a crystal clear vision of what I want my brand to be and positively reaffirming it to myself daily. I have to believe in myself and believe in me as a brand before others will. This has allowed me to really be my brand."  Laina Turner-Molaski,

30.  Get a Facebook Fan Page

"Get a unique URL and then point all of your offline branding to this URL. So, if you do direct mail, radio, tv advertise this new URL and point people to your Facebook page - this way you can capture your audience and have the chance to market your brand to them over and over!"  Lisa Johnson,

31.  Forget competition; forge relationships

"Those offering similar value in a similar niche or field are not competitors because no one can offer exactly what you do, the way you do. Instead of fearing, fretting over, (or worse) ignoring or undermining these birds of a feather, turn them into allies and advocates for your own brand.  They can sharpen your focus, they can push you toward your best, they can show you what you are lacking, their success is not your downfall but a catalyst and a sign that your niche is prospering. Show them good will (acknowledge what they do well, encourage their efforts, and even share their work with your readers/clients/supporters). You will earn the respect and admiration of your colleagues but also your supporters because you've increased their knowledge and resources. The good will youve shown and spread in these directions will come back to you."   Nichelle Strzepek,

32.  Be a Collector & Connector

"Cultivate relationships, for yourself and for others.  Those who are able to increase their personal brand are those who see the value in surrounding themselves with people who are diverse in their skills and ambitions and then connecting those persons with others, for their mutual benefit. By cultivating these relationships and helping to connect like-minded and complimentary people you increase your reputation (brand) as a person who "knows everyone" and "gets things done". People want to be around those who make them feel good about themselves and help them accomplish their goals. Can you make people see their own worth and bring them together with others who can help them meet their goals? If yes, then you will increase your own personal brand."  Nadine Owens Burton,

33.  Take time to stay centered

"Spend at least 2 minutes per day in silence - "meditating" or just sitting, and breathing in more inspiration and breathing out any stress. Assigning meaning to the breath makes it more powerful and gets you more centered!"  Stephanie Mansour,

34.   Protect your time by delegating

"I have hired a high school and a college intern over the next 6 months to do online research and pitching for me. I don't have the time and they can do it at a very low cost rate."  Abby Marks Beale,

35.  Broadcast your message daily

"One way to elevate your personal brand at very little or no expense is consistent and daily messaging to the audience you want to reach. Ensure your web site messaging is consistent with your blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter messaging. The key here is to communicate often and with a clear and direct message." Daryl Wizelman,

36.  Enhance your digital presence

"There are 2 ways to do this easily, without having a lot of knowledge in the field. 
1. Subscribe to blogs that interest you and comment often.  When you take the initiative to add your thoughts to an ongoing discussion, ensure that you have something insightful to say. The more you add, the more attention you receive. The more attention you receive, the more people are interested in what you have to say. This eventually leads them to your blog. *Be sure to always take the option to leave your website URL as well as your name and email address.
2.  Offer to guest post.  Social networking is currency in the digital world.  The only way to gain "digital cred" is to make sure that you are very visible and adding something to the medium.  If you are launching a business or are a niche blogger, be sure to reach out to folks in your field. Write a post and send it over with your credentials. More often than not, bloggers and professionals are all to happy to introduce you to their communities if you have something useful to say."  Tiffany Hill Thompson

37.  Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy and who inspire you.

"I'm particularly drawn to other people who love their work and are ambitious enough to keep moving forward in life. Choose those with ethical codes similar to yours, for example: emphasizing quality in their work, aiming for sustainability, and looking to improve the industry rather than to make a quick buck before getting out."  Colin Wright,

38.  Engage ferociously

"Embrace, be fiercely active, engage on social media & build genuine relationships with successful entrepreneurs."  Ros Guerrero,

39.  Determine how you want to be perceived.

"Figure out how you want other people to think of you. Then consistently and constantly act in a manner that will get them to think that way."  Bud Bilanich,

40.  Expand your visibility everywhere you can

"I am elevating my brand in 2010 by subscribing to HARO and and pitching every appropriate request that is presented. Taking just 15-20 minutes/day to carefully review the listings and responding wherever there is a good fit. I've been doing this for just one month and have already gotten 4 responses (1) Included in a St. Patricks Day Gift guide on a website with millions of visitors per month (2) Radio Interview scheduled for April 5th (3) Radio and Weblog - gift guide plug all of May and (4) Tying in a custom song with a double date for another Radio show. I fully believe if I continue doing this religiously day after day, week after week my brand will increase greatly in popularity and value."   Vincent James,

41.  Know your stakeholders

"Know who your stakeholders are, what they need, what they're interested in, and how you can make a difference. Genuinely engage your stakeholders in conversation. Ask questions that matter. Offer insight that is fresh by doing your homework. Dont be phony. Participate in conversations. Read blogs. Write a blog. Follow people and organizations who you think are interesting; maybe theyll follow you back. Comment on their work. Make a contribution that will add value to your brand."             Christopher R. Groscurth, Ph.D.,

42.  Be strategic in getting attention

"I exploded my personal brand into a Resume Magazine called SEEKERS. I printed a bunch and have circulated them among employers. They loved it.  I also created personal bookmarkers, tassel and all, to have employers bookmark my website and invited them to go visit. I also developed a postcard as a direct mail piece and sent it to employers. The resume is dead. My strategy is getting attention."  Gina Marie Mangiamele,

43.  Create a video resume

"We created a video resume to help marketing professionals elevate their personal brand. This is a compelling and engaging way to reach targeted audiences - prospective employers, clients or partners. The response has been tremendous!"  Tara Greco,

44.  Do great work

"Do a really great job on a client's case, so you can truly believe in what you do.  It gives you the confidence to elevate your brand."  Jay Weinberg, Esq.,

45.  Seriously use video online!

"To personalize your brand, include a different You-Tube video on each page of your website.    WHY:  In order for potential clients to connect with us personally, we put a U-Tube video on each page of our website. Since doing that, our website has come to life and has cemented us at the center of the brand. This use of three-dimensional media not only enables audiences to listen to information about Success Trek, but it also allows them to tap into the energy, voice and look of the presenter who someday might be leading their focus groups, retreats or trainings."  Theresa Valade, SUCCESS-TREK.COM

46.  Really do things differently than anyone else

"We have elevated our business through cafes.  We started our business as a group of freelancers in cafes... a lot of our business came from the people we would meet in the cafes. Now we are a full-service agency and cafe agency with our own studio in chicago. We attract several clients since the front half of our studio is a Doejo cafe.  Doing things different than the average business and standing out is the key to elevating our business."  Karley Hall,

47.  Hone in on your core values

I recommend sitting down and thinking through your core values. Too many of us know the values we were brought up with ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," "Money doesn't grow on trees" etc) but few of us have thought through what we really stand for.  Company's have mission statements that include their core values-- each of us must as well.  Do you prize responsiveness? reliability? flexibility? creativity? attention to detail? punctuality? clarity? brevity? Spell it out for yourself, then embody it in all you do, say, write."  Frances Cole Jones,

48.  Be REALLY effective on Twitter!

"Google’s real time search has changed the way the search engine finds tweets.  Now, tweets must include keywords that your clients, prospects and press use to find information about products, services and businesses.  For these reasons make sure you:  run a Google keyword report on search trends and use these keywords in your tweets; use – A Twitter application that allows you to search for what’s trending on Twitter; review Twitter trends daily and incorporate these trending keywords and phrases into your Tweets as long as they are relevant to your target audience, otherwise it’s spam! Use #hashtags to #SEO your message via Twitter so you can be discovered; use simple language that offers advice, how to’s and important information that is Google-friendly to real time search."  Valerie Jennings,

49.  Talk about the benefit you provide instead of what you DO

"Is what you do for a living perceived by potential customers as being a mere commodity; more or less the same as others in your profession? The good news is you can change customer perceptions by changing the way you describe what you do.  Rather than describing yourself in terms of a generic label, you can instead refer to the ultimate benefit that you deliver, inviting them into the conversation.  Bottom line: next time you need to set yourself apart from the competition – beyond just lowering prices – try changing the way you talk about what you do for a living."  Jeff Mowatt,

And, last but equally as important...

50.  Observe your A, B, C's!

"You are your own best walking advertisement, your own walking billboard. When you “show up” anywhere, you are both the message and the messenger for your brand. Align your physical image with your brand image and you’ll see -- people will hear you, see you and “buy” you much more quickly, more easily. Accentuate your best assets,Balance your message from the inside out and head-to-toe, and Camouflage anything your adoring public does not need to know. It’s as easy as A, B, C!"  Lauren Solomon,

Thank you to the inspiring people who contributed here!

By applying these principles, utilizing these tips and incorporating these techniques into your branding blueprint and marketing plan, it would be close to impossible NOT to succeed in 2010.


Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator.  Cindy is a Career Architect, helping people build careers they love.  She guides clients through personal branding, career reinvention, leadership & executive coaching and how to own the room.  Cindy is also a writer for hire, screenwriter & author.

Turn fear into Fearlessness


By Sarah Shaw

So I have been thinking about fearlessness all week since sending my 26 month old twins off to daycare/preschool this week and how they just love it and seem to be thriving - total fearlessness.  Deepak Chopra says there are no coincidences so I take that to heart!  Everything happens for a reason – which leads me to this story.

A friend of a friend called last summer and asked if we’d be open to housing and feeding a 17-year-old French girl named Marion, in exchange for some babysitting for two weeks.   She wanted to experience America and work on her English – which I must say is quite impressive for an 11th grader.  Her father has given me strict instructions to ONLY speak to her in English – I speak fluent French.  Anyhow, Marion arrived, tired after a long flight, but cheerful and adorable all the same.  I was amazed at her confidence and ability to be relaxed with total strangers in a new country.  She appeared to be fearless and I admired that in her. She saw an opportunity and jumped on it.   

As I offered her a late dinner and we started talking, I was reminded of my own similar experience at 16.   I was bored with my High School and I think my mom knew she needed to save me from myself – or perhaps what might be waiting for me around the corner - or that is my interpretation at least.  During the summer following 10th grade, my mom asked if I wanted to go study in France for my junior year.  She had explored some options and through some friends had found a family for me to stay with in the small town of Carcassonne in southern France.  I immediately accepted and found myself on a plane to Paris on my 16th birthday.  I had studied French for years but really couldn’t put a sentence together.   Here I was, suddenly living with a strange family and trying to communicate while my nose was buried in a dictionary.  I ended up loving my new family and my life there. I had a real transformation from a naive child, into a young woman who had a purpose in life. 

Before leaving for France I had never done anything in my life that I considered to be fearless. This moment changed my life forever.  While I wasn’t aware of the fearlessness at the time, because I was terrified, I came to understand later on what the significance of just getting on the plane meant.   I felt very lonely for the first few months as I really couldn’t communicate with anyone.  Being essentially alone really forced me to look my fear in the face and decide that I was bigger. I wanted to succeed for the first time in my life and was prepared to do what ever it took to get there.  This was my first entrepreneurial moment and I didn’t even realize it.

I have often drawn on the strengths that I discovered in myself while living in France.    I know that when I want to make something happen that I just have to acknowledge the fear and accept it.  Once you do that you are unstoppable.

Are you ready to be fearless?

Write them down, acknowledge them, and accept them as part of your process.

What is holding you back from moving forward?

  • Are you procrastinating? Cleaning your desk again?
  • Are you afraid to share your idea?
  • Are you afraid to take the first step?
  • What would happen if you just did it?
  • Are you wondering where the money will come from?
  • Are you afraid to call a buyer?
  • Are you afraid to pitch an editor?
  • Are you afraid to be famous?
  • Are you afraid to need help?

These are all natural fears, but fears that can stop you from realizing your dreams and living the life you want to live.

Be fearless this week and take a bold step forward.


Sarah Shaw is the founder of, a consulting company that works with entrepreneurs in bringing their product to market.  Sarah grew her own million dollar company with her famous “Pinked” handbag and has applied her expertise and knowledge to her consulting practice.  Sarah has been featured in the LA Times, WWD, Oprah Magazine, as well as on Access Hollywood and regularly speaks to inventors and entrepreneurs nationally.

Two Great Ways to Dissolve Fear

“The key to change…is to let go of fear.” ~ Rosanne Cash  

I posted this quote on my social media this week and this question came back: How do you  do that?  

It got mScared monkeye thinking about fear and how just the very mention of the word can stop us in our tracks sometimes.


It can stop us from making decisions, or from taking advantage of an opportunity that puts us out of our comfort zone. The very notion of fear can cause inertia which is not helping you, or anyone for that matter.  

It’s helpful to re-define scary terms, to think about them in a new way. Some people define fear as False Evidence Appearing Real, in other words fear isn’t real. And, there is truth to that sentiment. But, when you’re in the middle of a fear it feels pretty darn real. 

Here are two new ways to define and dissolve the notion of fear:  

Fear as expectation – Think of a fear as a set of expectations.  In a fearful moment, ask yourself: What are my expectations if I do this? Then, make a list of all of those expectations. 

  • Do you expect that you’re not good enough? 
  • Do expect that you won’t be liked? 
  • Do you expect that you’re going to lose your job if you step out like that? 
  • Do you expect that people won’t think you’re smart if you say that? 

Write them down. When you see them in black and white, sometimes simply acknowledging them helps to bring a light to the non-reality of your expectations.   

So what do you do? Now, you have a chance to re-write your expectations surrounding the event or decision, making them positive rather than negative. Literally create a set of expectations that allow you to move forward: 

  • I expect that they will recognize me as the expert that I am on this subject, that's why I'm there.   
  • I expect that if it’s meant to be I will make a connection that will move this project forward. 
  • I expect that I will be hired for this job if I’m right for this job, and I decide I’m right for this job.
  • I expect that they want me to nail this interview/pitch/audition. It will make their job easier. 

Then, what happens is fear is replaced by a stronger sense of courage and ownership of self.  

Fear as resistance - What is resistance exactly?

The definition of the word is conflict, struggle and opposition. It shows up just at the time when you’re about to learn something, or you’re about to make a change or advancement to your current situation. Personal resistances are created in the mind.

They’re not real. They’re not in the present.

Resistance takes place in the subconscious mind and it invades or stops the new thought or idea in the forefront of your mind. 

How does it show up for you?  Resistance can show up in little behaviors or obstacles that our minds create in order to avoid and mask fears. Resistance can be a pesky little devil! And, we can get really creative in our resistances. Maybe you just haven’t had time to get to it; or perhaps you get tired or create a headache which makes you put it off again.  Mind chatter is another form of resistance. Maybe you tell yourself that things really aren’t that bad where you are. 

To get through a fear or resistance, let’s take a look at the notion of polar opposites and how what you want many times is directly on the other side of what’s stopping you. For centuries the Chinese taught that what's on the other side, or opposite side, of chaos is order. It’s the same principle here when it comes to resistance. 

The antonym, or opposite, of resistance is SURRENDER. I don’t mean give up or give in or throw in the towel. By surrender I mean to trust what you can’t see in front of you yet. Trust that the answers will come to you. Trust in the quieting of the mind. And,  surrender to compassion for your fears and mind chatter. Tell your fear that it’s okay. You acknowledge it, but you’re moving forward anyway. Surrender to just doing your best, your best in that moment.  

So, give yourself permission to surrender & change your expectations.  If you do this on a consistent basis you’ll see the fears begin to dissolve.  We get fixed into a certain way of thinking.   

Yes, it’s uncomfortable.  So, I invite you to live in the uncomfortable.  Then, it’s about becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. 

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Grace Under Fire - Tools to Lead Through Trying Times

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” ~ John Gardner, Author

2 cats jumping


During trying times sometimes troublesome situations at work do seem mountainous and insurmountable: shrinking budgets, staffs, client lists, time, etc.  As a leader you're likely facing the daily charge of producing more with less.


A key leadership attribute is demonstrating “Grace Under Fire”.  And, here are a few tools for helping you get there.



  • Utilize Filter Statements – A filter statement, like “it is what it is”, “this too shall pass”, or “it's a moment in time", filters the largess of the situation and immediately accomplishes two things.   


  1. It brings people into the present moment narrowing the lens through which you look at the circumstance, so they don’t compound it into something it isn’t  
  2. It centers the conversation, putting a calming prospective to things and allows you to get back to focusing on the problem rather than any ancillary side effects that you have no control over 


  • Control Emotions – This is where the notion of Emotional Intelligence comes into play.  Author Daniel Goleman wrote in his still relevant book, "Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ."  It’s a controversial subject debated by scientists and academics alike, but thematically EI creates strong leaders.  So, take time to recognize and manage your own emotions.  


  1. Understand your own emotions through self-awareness – slow down and check in with yourself before you react.  Learn your own touchstones.  
  2. Study the emotions of those around you – read the room and those in itManage the way you handle emotions – it enables you to handle conflict and to be the most effective with peers and subordinates.
Margaret Thatcher said, “To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.”  

In other words, utilize your emotions in a positive way.


Practicing grace in a grizzly situation is a brilliant way to control it and will position you as a go-to person when it comes to problem solving and dealing with conflict.  Not a bad position to be in!

Featured Thought Changer - Leo Tolstoy

“Abandon yourself entirely to everything you undertake.” Leo Tolstoy  Tolstoy

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.” Leo Tolstoy  

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy led a controversial movement of people who questioned beliefs and provoked change in thought.  He led the way for future Thought Changers.  Whether you agree with his philosophies or not, there's no denying he changed the thought paradigm of his day. 


Do Rules Keep You Back or Move Your Forward?

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.” ~ Leo Tolstoy  

Today I saw the riveting film, “THE LAST STATION” chronicling the final chapter of Leo Tolstoy’s storied life.  Simply put, what I find so fascinating about Count Tolstoy is that he lived his life by a very strict set of rules, yet later in his life he was considered a prophet by those who considered themselves freethinkers.  As a celebrated novelist and essayist known for his theories on pacifism, he eventually walked away from his previous set of rules and developed a devout group of followers of his theories on freethinking, thus creating a Rules whole new set of rules.   

It got me thinking about rules.  Do they help us or hinder us from expanding and being our best selves?   It depends on how you define rules.  I think of rules as being confining.  However, I do live my life by a set of core values and philosophies.  And, I run by business  with a plan, a blueprint and a set of guidelines.  Guidelines are more fluid than rules and leave space for creativity and movement.  Guidelines give direction and focus; rules are narrow-minded and militant.   

So, what to do?  

  • Throw out your rule book and replace it with a list of values.  
  • Make some of your own guidelines.  Give yourself permission to color outside the lines.   
  • Create a checklist by which to guide decisions – it keeps you focused on what’s important to you: 
  1. WHAT is the specific action?
  2. WHO is it for, WHO will be impacted, and WHO can help me?
  3. WHEN and how long is the time frame or WHEN is the deadline?
  4. WHERE does this fit into my short and long-range career goals?
  5. WHY do I want to do this?
  6. HOW will this raise the value of my brand?
  7. IF I do or don’t move forward with this action what are the risks involved?  


Trust in your own mind and in your ability to set your own rules, guidelines and values.  It’s up to you to set them in motion.

Do You Matter? 5 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Career


Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”  I take that to mean that how you contribute and make a difference each day puts the “life in your years.” 

It got me thinking.  To have a meaningful career means being driven by a vision or purposeful goal that is connected to making an impact, making a difference.  And when you come from the truth of your vision and from a place of positive influence, people and opportunities will be  drawn to you.

Purpose stones Many times when we think about career, it’s about setting goals in terms of what we want to achieve, how we can climb the ladder, make more money.  That’s all good. We all need goals.  But to have true sense of accomplishment and purpose, if your overall vision is tied into how you make a difference or how you can make an impact, then it really does give your life and career a lot more meaning.   And, here’s the surprising bonus: this type of vision mindset helps you to think about ways in moving forward with opportunities that maybe you wouldn't have thought of before. Then, the difference or impact that you make becomes part of your legacy.  

Your vision will to continue to be refined as your career progresses, as you become clearer about what’s truly important to you. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself so you get clear on your career and life vision.  And, free yourself up here. Your vision is fluid.  Let yourself really dream with this exercise.  Let go of barriers including time and environment and money to think about where you want to go in your life.

  • What kind of impact do you want to make and on whom?
  • What kind of difference do you want to make and with whom?
  • Your legacy IS the impact that you leave behind. What do you want to be remembered for?
  • Start small – you can incorporate small changes toward your vision before you take any giant leaps or make any big changes to your current circumstances.  
  • Describe what your dream job looks like as you’re making the kind of difference you want to make.  And really get detailed here.  Do some ‘creative visualization’ where you put yourself in the space of doing what you want to do. What does your typical day look like? Include the environment, include the sights and smells and sounds, what your responsibilities are, your time, the impact that you're making, the kind of money you're making, where it is in the world, who you have working for you or with you or partnering with you.  Try to paint a typical day.  Take one day because it makes it more specific, take one day and paint what that looks like.   And then what will your life look like if you have the career of your dreams? What kind of relationships will you have? Where would you live in terms of what kind of home you would live in?  How would you spend your spare time?  

Simply put, when determining your career vision, ask yourself what kind of impact you want to make and on whom.  Clearly stated, your vision becomes real.