Pay cuts and lay-offs affecting you?

If you are one of the thousands of Americans that has been laid off due to the recession, don’t fret! Your personal brand can handle it.

You may view this as shameful, but it’s just part of life. Simply move on. Here’s how. First, don’t take it personally; this is business. Companies around the country are laying off employees, and thousands of people are having to pick up and dust themselves off. Just shake it off and start gathering as many references as possible—and take samples of your work with you. Next, stay positive and focused, and don’t waste time. Then, enter each interview with confidence, being quick and honest about your termination with potential employers.

Remember, being fired may seem like the end of the world when it happens, but it can also turn into an opportunity to move onto something bigger and better.

Now is not the time to hide!

Ok, so it's winter. And the economy is well, bleaker than the next storm headed our way. Your first instinct these days may be to just give up. Whether it's your dream of starting a business, or changing the course of your career, it can be a daunting time. And it's especially so if you allow negative self-talk to stand in your way.

BUT, if you don't have faith in your personal brand, how can anyone else? Seriously.

So now is not the time to hide - it's time to shine. If you're out there in the world, in your power, there is no stopping you. Especially now. People are drawn to authentic, unique, visible and passionate people. It's the 101 of marketing and personal branding. Read about Karin Crawford and how she builds her flower business through the power of connecting. As Karin says, a lot of business owners think they don't have time to leave their businesses and head out into the world; she knows her business wouldn't have grown without it.

So, get out of your own way and get out there. Go to that networking event, even if it's snowing or pouring down rain. Go talk to the people in the office you never talk to and leave them all with a smile.

Do it today. And, keep moving!

Connect with me on Twitter!

How to build your personal brand

Defining your personal brand can be overwhelming. We are complex individuals with so many passions and aspects to our lives. So where do you start?

Begin by taking a look in your rear-view mirror. By that I mean step back and take some time to think about where you are in your career—and where you want to be. The process of introspection is so necessary and so helpful when it comes to defining your goals and setting your course.

Next, define your passions. I like to refer to passions as the things in life that make your heart sing. My advice is to keep your list to four or five. Then, find the real people in your life. That means separating yourself from negative influencers (aka snarks). Next, follow your instincts. Use your intuition to your advantage. All of these elements working together help to build a brand that truly represents you.

And remember, don’t go it alone. This is so important because none of us can do it alone. The world is changing too quickly, and there’s no way you can be an expert in all facets of your business. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength and confidence.

Want to learn more about your personal brand? Sign up for my tip of the week!

Everyone has a story. What's yours?

In my book I talk about telling your story and I have gotten various questions regarding this topic. Most asking “why tell your story?” And to that I respond…

Because it’s unique! It’s yours and you own it. The important part of defining your personal brand is to understand how to bring it to life as a competitive advantage. Without that, you’re just another entrepreneur. With your story, you are fully formed.

Within your story you find perspective. I tell people to look in their rear-view mirror. Why? Because that’s where you’ll find perspective. That’s where you’ll find answers. Define your personal brand. Make it real. Then, put the real you in your business.

What is your story? I’d love to hear and be inspired.

If you lose your job, don't look at it as a setback

When women are fired, they feel ashamed. Men, on the other hand, take it as part of life. Let’s learn a lesson from the other sex just this once.

First, don’t take being fired personally. It’s all about business, and your personal brand can handle it. Get out of your personal funk and move on—to bigger and better things. Start gathering references; take samples of your work; and keep your head up high. This is the beginning of great things for you—and your personal brand.

Have you had experiences that have helped shape your personal brand? Tell us about them! To learn more about developing and communicating your personal brand, check out Real You Incorporated.

Jump-start your personal brand today

Whether you like gardening, ballroom dancing, pushing the envelope or flying under the radar, your innermost traits should be exhibited in your own personal brand. This being said, I challenge those of you who haven’t used a glue stick in awhile to create a brand board that displays your personality and passions.

What’s a brand board? It’s a poster board that you transform into a montage of pictures and images that accurately represent your personality. Are you calm and green; fresh and blue; or vibrant and red? My board is predominantly red and full of things that make me happy, like daisies (hence the cover of my book). I also took parts of my personal brand to my business brand. At Real Living, we’re red, round and real. You can read more about that on page 84 of Real You Incorporated.

Grab some magazines and start clipping images that exemplify your personal brand. Put it on paper and display it for the world to see. At my company, we make an effort to post our brand boards in our workspaces.

So put your apprehensions aside and give yourself permission to enjoy some arts and crafts. You may be surprised what you discover about yourself.

Need an example? Visit for brand boards that some of our readers have sent in.

If you’ve completed your brand board, share it with others! Send a picture of your board to, and we’ll post it on the RYI flickr page.

Personal Branding - it's all in what it means to you

I'm president of a residential real estate franchise, Real Living. In the real estate industry, it has been common practice to use a photo as the centerpiece of an agent's personal brand. That's just the way it is. In most other businesses, the visualization of your personal brand is your name and title on the company's business card. The company's name and logo has been the visualization of both the corporate brand and yours.

Times are changing though. Today's employees come to the workplace expecting the ability to more thoroughly express their personal brands. That's because they've been doing it online since middle school through the social networking sites. It's truly part of who they are. To expect them to come into your workplace and inhabit a sterile cubicle is crazy. Allowing enough room for personal expression not only makes for a happier employer - but a more creative, productive work environment. Get some inspiration.

So embrace creativity in your office. Celebrate when an employee pins a special photo on her wall. Taking the time to know the personal side of the people you work with makes working together all the more worthwhile.