4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. RALPH WALDO EMERSON In today’s fiercely competitive and hyper-connected digital age, your success no longer depends on fitting in with others. Your success depends on who you are and your points of distinction and power – on what you bring to the table that no one else can. But how well does other people really understand who we are – our aspirations, experiences, skills set and the value we provide? The answer is that most people don’t. Most people have us in a big file with a number of other people. They’ve a vague idea of what we do or what we’re good at. As years pass, and we continue to gain more experience and expand our skills set, others perceptions and knowledge of us may become out of date. With the growing information overload we’re all facing today, coupled with our fast growing number of connections, others do not only struggle to keep up with us, but it is increasingly difficult for them to retain what little they know about us. This means that we can no longer rely on just being great at what we do and hope that people will remember us, keep up with us and recommend or hire us for great projects. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of other talented and hardworking people. Thankfully, having control of your brand means that you can make sure that other’s perceptions and knowledge of you is consistent with who you are by proactively and strategically highlighting, leveraging...
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your brand is the truth about you, well told. OLD ADVERTISING SLOGAN Your personal brand is simply your reputation. It is not your name, your website, your logo or what you look like. These are how you tell the story of your brand. Your personal brand is what people think, know, feel and say about you, when you’re not in front of them. It is the sum of who you are, what you stand for, what you promise, your ability and commitment to keeping this promise and how you uniquely add value to your world. So your brand is a lot more than what’s going on visually and it matters a great deal whether you’re young or older. Every action you take and some actions that you don’t take shapes it. Your appearance, the way you enter a room, your body language, your handshake, the way you communicate and interact with others, your website, your online profiles and conversations, your blog posts, your tweets and more, all add up to define your personal brand – how people see you. On that note, you can see that whether you’ve thought of it or not, you already have a personal brand. Every one, from the Prime Minister David Cameron, the artist Sam Smith, to your grandmother or father, we all have one. Even your dog or cat has a personal brand. So the first question to ask yourself is, What is your personal brand currently saying about you? Is it clear, positive and compelling? What does it promise? What value does it represent? Is it working effectively for your vision? Do...
MY BEST SKINCARE STRATEGIES

MY BEST SKINCARE STRATEGIES

Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to ageing, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs. DR. GEORGIANA DONADIO Your skin is a vital and the most looked at organ on your body and should be treated with care. Every twenty years your skin reveals your treatment of it, the environment’s treatment of it and it’s chronological age. It prominently shows any signs of ageing; wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone, etcetera, for every one to see. The good news is that a healthy diet, the right skin care regime and lifestyle choices can improve the appearance of your skin. The greater news is that you can actually repair some of the damage that has already been done with a good skin care regime. Please see below my best strategies for caring, protecting and rejuvenating your skin, especially your face – that most exposed part of your skin. My best skincare strategies include the following: 1. Eat a nutritionally rich diet that will nourish and rejuvenate your skin: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate your skin – about eight to twelve glasses. Water carries nutrients to your cells and flushes out toxins from your vital organs. Hydration supports your energy levels, gives your skin a fresh, radiant glow and is essential for the overall health of your skin. Reduce your intake of sugar and avoid food that can cause chronic inflammation in your body. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated sugary or sweetened drinks and snacks. Increase your daily intake...
THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD: RENZO PIANO’S GLISTENING CIVIC MASTERPIECE BY MONALISA CHUKWUMA

THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD: RENZO PIANO’S GLISTENING CIVIC MASTERPIECE BY MONALISA CHUKWUMA

London is a city of inspiration and imagination. … The Shard was about the “intensification” of the city. I wanted to create a public space where people could visit the building to experience London in a different way and to feel that they have discovered the spirit of the building. … The higher up you go, so the functions change, and you need less floor space, until you get to the very top, and there, I just wanted the building to kind of mingle in the air. It’s important that it breathes up there – that it breathes in the clouds. RENZO PIANO, Pritzer Prize-winning Architect and The Shard Architect The Shard is Renzo Piano’s glistening masterpiece at London Bridge. The View from the Shard is breathtaking, spectacular and addictive. At 310 metres, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe and the second tallest building in Europe – Moscow Mercury City is the tallest at 338 metres. My first photographs of the Shard were taken at the nearby Great tower Street on my way to meet my photography student, Elizabeth, who chose the Shard for her third photography lesson with me. From the moment you enter the ground floor of the Shard, you know that you are in for a sensational experience. There are no time restrictions, so you can stay as long as you like. Our lesson was for three hours, so we had plenty of time to explore. External Portrait of the Shard: Photographed from Great Tower Street, London The corridor to the first of the super fast lifts is illuminated with televisual galleries featuring...
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be. ROBERT BROWNING What ever your love brings you today, We, You and I, know that love does not exist in items of fine jewellery, fine wine or flowers. Love exists inside your beating heart, inside the deep look in your eyes, in your kisses and touch, in the pauses between your words, in your laughter, even in your tears. Trust me, You are the only gift that really counts. You are the main part of this incredible equation. So today, give yourself and speak the language of love; silently or as loud as you voice can carry. But speak it, please. Oh, and before I forget, I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love thee – I love thee, ‘Tis all that I can say It is my vision in the night, My dreaming in the day.  THOMAS HOOD BE A STORY WORTH...
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. WINSTON CHURCHILL Yes, we all have an enemy. Naming and facing your enemy is important. Why? Because it will help your growth and success and may even eliminate that enemy. James Arthur Baldwin, the American novelist, essayist and playwright said, that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” You have to confront what or who frightens you; what holds you back from growth.  You cannot afford to play the ostrich and bury your head in the sand hoping that they will miraculously disappear. And there is no magic wand that you can waive to get rid of your enemies. You have to face them down. If you don’t, their hold on you will get stronger and stronger. So you really have no choice but to fight. My observation is that it is far more powerful and fruitful to become a person with a cause than a person with a grievance.  When you are face to face with an enemy, you are up against a discovery about your true strength. Because until you’ve faced and fought your enemy with every thing you’ve got, you’d never discover how strong you are. What frightens me most is how quickly many people settle to what they call their lot. A bullying boss or partner who frequently undermines your existence, racism, corporate slavery … What ever is yours; you’ve got to face and fight it. You’ve got to fight it with every thing you’ve got, even if you think you’d loose and...
JOURNALING HELPS YOU TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER

JOURNALING HELPS YOU TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER

In the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today, when we may be wiser because we are able to look back upon our former condition, and for that very reason have got to admit the courage of our earlier striving in which we persisted even in sheer ignorance. FRANZ KAFKA As you may already know, many successful people kept a journal or diary. People like Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, and more recently Barack Obama, recorded their thoughts and observations. They recorded their impressions of the people they meet, places they’ve been and the issues that mattered to them.  Journaling is a great way to get to know yourself. Your journal or diary is the only place you can be completely or cruelly honest about your self; your fears and your dreams. It is the ideal place to record your thoughts, accomplishments and the lessons learned from your failures and from life in general. Ten years ago I started a journal. Though I do not write in it daily, I have clung to it in moments of unbearable loss and emotional crisis. It helps me remember changes in my life that hurt like hell, moments that mattered so to me, days that I was just going through the motions of living, etc. On receiving the news of my mother’s death a few years back, I locked myself away for days, with my journal as my only companion. As tears pumped through my eyes for days, I noted my...
THE POWER OF COLOUR

THE POWER OF COLOUR

I want to know one thing. What is colour? PABLO PICASSO. Colour is one of the most essential and least costly element in dressing yourself appropriately and attractively. It is one of the essential tools for choosing the right make-up for your face, building a flattering and effective wardrobe and for managing the impression you make on others. Colour is contagious. The colour you’re wearing has an immediate and powerful affect on you and the eyes of the beholder.  It has an impact on your: natural colouring – your skin, hair and eyes; figure; mood or perspective on life; and others’ perception of you. Fine Artists understand the power of colour and have mastered how to use it as a precision tool to make their masterpieces more pleasing. Whether you’re Asian, Black, Caucasian or Hispanic, learning how to use colour effectively in your makeup, hair and wardrobe will transform your appearance and other’s perception of you. Each of us has a unique skin tone. Discovering and wearing the colours that best compliment your skin tone and overall colouring will delight the eyes of the beholder, energise you and make you look healthier, slimmer, younger, smarter and more radiant. Your skin will look smoother, your hair will glow and your eyes will appear brighter and more youthful. You will seem confident and be better able to manage the impression you make. People will notice you, not what you’re wearing. Conversely, wearing the wrong colours, will make you look pale, fatter and older. Your skin and hair will look dull or sallow, your eyes will look tired, any lines on your face will be...
THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS OVER, DON’T FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS OVER, DON’T FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD As the holiday season ends, don’t forget to say thank you to all those who made this time precious and memorable. By Thank you, I don’t mean a half-hearted text or email. It is more thoughtful and stylish to handwrite thank you notes to friends and family for gifts received and time-shared over the holiday. And before you start worrying about time to do this, it takes me about two minutes per card and forty-seconds to address the envelope. Our nearest and dearest have spent their hard earned money on gifts, food and entertainment and given us their time to cheer, encourage and to show us that we are loved. A Thank you note shows that you took the time to acknowledge and appreciate their kindness and efforts. This needs to be done now that normal postal service has resumed and by the end of 14 January. A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. CICERO BE A STORY WORTH...
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO SUCCESS

THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO SUCCESS

It takes twenty years to become an overnight success. EDDIE CANTOR We live in a want it now, quick-fix society. Our expectations have been moulded for our needs and desires to be met almost instantly. There is a constant temptation of quick fixes; instant makeovers, diet pills, fillers, botox, fast food, speed dating, etcetera. The modern credo is, Time waits for no man or more accurately, Man waits for nothing. It’s more short-term gain and instant gratification rather than building for long-term success. Many of us move from one quick fix to the next, but no matter how many of these quickies we invest in, the image and the life we desire continue to elude us.  The expectation for a greater life will always be there, but it is not going to be fulfilled by quick fixes. For example, we all know that the only sustainable method for losing weight and keeping it off over the long-term is to eat sensibly and to exercise regularly and sufficiently. Still, many opt for the quick fix route of diet pills. Often, the only weight they loose as a result, is in their wallet. I understand that it is natural to want to achieve results quickly. We want to avoid wasting time. However, my observation is that life is a marathon, not a sprint. What makes us thrive and great requires a long-term focus on what matters most for our wellbeing and a compelling vision. To achieve life lasting benefits, we must first accept that there are no quick fixes. Quick fixes or instant makeovers often focus on our external image. Image building...
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50. COCO CHANEL. Your face is key to expressing your individuality. It is your signature, your brand and what people visualise when they think of you, so take good care of it. Start by scheduling a facial to deep cleanse and revive your complexion after the Christmas and New Year’s stress and excesses. How to Give Yourself a Quick Facial Wash your face using the right cleanser or face wash for your skin type Use an exfoliating scrub in a circular motion on your face and neck, avoiding your eye area. Rinse off the scrub thoroughly with warm water. Pat face dry with a clean towel. Apply a lip moisturiser on your lips and and eye gel around your eyes. Apply the right face mask for your skin type on the rest of your face and neck. Leave on for ten to fifteen minutes. Wash off the mask thoroughly with warm water. Apply an alcohol free toner to a moist cotton ball and wipe over your face. Massage in the right face cream or gel for your skin type into your skin in a circular motion. You may repeat this facial weekly. BE A STORY WORTH...

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