Your "self-worth" should not depend on the success of your business!

Sometimes you don't know when the biggest epiphanies of your life will happen.   As a supreme optimist (as I am) Sometimes it's easy to think of the positives in your life and block out negative self-talk.  The truth is and maybe some of your faults are glaringly obvious to everyone else but you!

This life-changing experience happened to me at a conference called "Thrive" that I went to this last October. 

I signed up thinking it was just going to be yet another marketing conference. Little did I know that Thrive was going to be all about connecting your business to a FOR-PURPOSE cause. Little did I know that there were going to be so much on self-development. 

Here's a picture of me with the amazing Luis Ortiz (from MIllion Dollar Listing - New York!)  I actually had met him in Positano Italy over the summer. "I lo' it! I lo' it! I lo' it!"  (But he's not what we're talking about here today!)  But this entry needed a little eye candy, don't you think?

Here's where the shift happened... I went to the VIP dinner with the speakers, and I sat at a table with Philip McKernan.  I had no idea who he was, all I knew is that he was from Ireland and some sort of coach.

Apparently, he's known for helping people experience breakthroughs. To be honest, he completely rubbed me the wrong way.  He also completely changed my life for the better.

For some reason, at this particular event, I had decided to hand out flyers for my business. Now this is something that I generally NEVER do.  But as you know my branding is fairly visual and I thought "Well, I am paying $1,000 for this conference, if someone asks for a card, I should be prepared."

I had accidentally not gotten regular postcard size but a HALF page flyer with both The Course Launcher and Launch Your Brand on both. It actually looks really cool but they're sort of huge.

Anyway, we do this mastermind thing at dinner and the question is "What are you struggling with right now?"  Each person goes around the table to talk about their challenge.  

We introduce ourselves.  I start off with showing my huge-ass flyer and stating what an amazing triple six figure year I've had. My questions was around finding a way to not feel guilty about all the things I wasn't getting done.

Philip's question to me "How would you rate from 1-10 your self-worth?"...  

"My self-worth? In regards to business definitely a 10!"...

 "That's not what I asked you..."  He replied.

"Personally? I would say probably an 8?" (sheeplishly)...

"I don't believe you." he said.

My heart sank into my shoes.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like someone has discovered something about you, that deep down you didn't even know that you knew, but you knew for damn sure you didn't want anyone else to know it?  

Like eating 20 cookies in bed. Or secretly internet stalking an ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend might not be the healthiest thing in the world to be doing?

I felt like Philip had uncovered a dirty little secret, and I also felt like if he could identify that of me with only knowing me for 10 minutes, my next thought is... Oh my goodness EVERYONE knows this, and I didn't.

So I said to him "What should I do?"

"Go sit with it and you'll figure it out." he said.

 "Should I pray about it?  Should I meditate? Give me something here."

"Go be with it, you'll figure out what to do." he said.

I was heartbroken. I felt like he sledgehammered my existence, shattered my ego, and unveiled my dirty little secret to a table of strangers.  But of course this is all my perspective, the reality is everyone was listening and supporting me lovingly.

I sat there stewing on the bomb that was dropped, the entire dinner. He asked me if I was okay.  And I told him I just didn't know what to do!

Then I ran into him in the elevator about an hour later... and he's like "Are you still mad at me?" I replied "No but I wish you would tell me what to do..." he walked off the elevator and I jokingly (not-so-jokingly said "THANKS FOR NOTHING!!!!")

I went upstairs to my room and meditated on this. I took a bath and cried for FIVE HOURS. I felt this deep mourning of having this PROBLEM, that I didn't know how to solve.  Here I felt so confident in everything happening in my business, yet I've been single now for 4 years, and just so broken.

Then it hit me. "OH. MY. GOD. HE IS RIGHT! Nooooo!"

"I seriously tie my entire existence, my entire VALUE on the success of my business."  

I couldn't believe it.  

"Who am I without my business?" I asked myself...I couldn't think of an answer. I felt like if my business didn't exist. This thing that gives me COPIOUS amounts of pleasure, of money, of freedom of excitement, of joy of love... without my business, I might as well not exist."

WOAH.  This is not good.

It appears as if I have a bit of a co-dependent relationship on my business.

This sort of insight is the biggest shift I've had in years.  And I knew instantly after sharing this sentiment with others, that I was not alone in this.

I also had this epiphany that you can have self-confidence AND have a self-worth issue.

I got to get up in front of 1500 people the next day and thank him for this insight.  He said something along the lines that he was impressed that I actually did something since sometimes he makes people mad at him and they do nothing.

What is interesting about all of this is I've now made the decision to really focus on finding value in my worth, through other things than my business. I've decided to dive deep into spiritual practices through my higher power to find value.  It seems to be working.

The best part of this is that I know if I continue getting self-worth outside of my business, my business were to fail tomorrow that my self-worth would not disappear with it.

So now it's your turn... Do you associate your worth with the success of your business?   Answer this question?  WHO ARE YOU WITHOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

Let's talk about it in the comments below!  I will respond!

 

The Secrets to a $64K Launch in Europe & the Cure to Post Launch Blues

The Secrets to a $64K Launch in Europe & the Cure to Post Launch Blues

In today's blog, I'm going to share some launching secrets that I learned from this big launch, along with discovering some ways to combat these blues (if you're suffering from them.)  The epiphanies I had from this were quite surprising... read on!

How to Create Color Schemes & Get Inspiration from Magazine Covers

Last week,  I went to a cabin in Whistler BC this last week to work and play! One of my amazing design students, Cindy, let me stay in her cabin!  (Ahem, Brag Alert:  it was more like a: A 3 story mansion with hot tub!!!) to write and work on updating the Launch Your Brand Program (to be released this week)  Keep your eyes peeled for tons of fun goodies coming your way this week!

Can I get a high five!?  Nothing like getting biz done, in style!

I seriously have the best relationships with my students... we really do become branding besties! Thank you again, Cindy!!!! 

How to Find Color Inspiration to Use in Your Brand

I found an issue of Cosmo UK Edition and fell in love with the color scheme.  So I bought the magazine to see what I could grab from it, decided to throw together a quick tutorial for you!

I thought it would be a PERFECT opportunity to show you how to get inspired by colors (and headlines for blog entries or lead magnets) you see in the world and then use them for your business!

First I take you through the steps of finding inspiration, then you photograph the inspiration with your phone, or with a scanner and you pull this into Adobe Color to pull a color scheme.  It's quite awesome to start to find color schemes in the world and be able to use them.

Now, you want to be careful here not to create brand confusion, I am definitely not recommending stealing the brand colors of a competitor, creating a brand or website that looks like theirs and confusing the crap out of everyone.  That would be wrong.  

But you can find the color scheme of a beautiful photograph you find, a magazine cover, a photo you take, stock images or illustrations you find, etc.  Just make sure they aren't brand color combinations.  This cover of Cosmo did not use their brand colors.  

Remember color + fonts + image style do make up the feel of a brand, so it also is related to a combination of those things for it to really create confusion.  If you don't use the exact combination and make things VERY contrasted (very different), then you'll be fine!

In the book, "Stealing like an artist" By Austin Kleon (which is a really great book by the way) mentions in the book about "remixing" and the idea here is to take an idea already out in the world and make it better.  

You want your own unique perspective, and you want to mix 2 + things to make something new, instead of stealing ALL of the things from one source.  

Stealing from one source is plagiarism, stealing from multiple is research! - Wilson Mizner

Take Action!

Create a unique color scheme from something you find on Pinterest, or out in the world, and use Adobe Color to create a color scheme following the video tutorial from above.  Then post a screen shot of this color scheme and explain what you'd be using it for in the Free Facebook Community!

Did you love this lesson?  

download.png

 

 

Google Keep - The Most Beautiful "To-Do" List EVER to get shit done!

Google Keep - The Most Beautiful "To-Do" List EVER to get shit done!

It's called Google Keep, and it's FREE, it's been around for a while, and and now my life is totally transformed in ONE day! HAHA!  I actually have gotten more done in the last 24 hours, than I have in a really long time.  Why? Because it's everything on my brain in front of me. 

"How to Get What You Want From a Designer"

A few days ago, we covered the beginning of the story of how I launched Gabrielle Carsala's brand "Badass Bliss," this last month, who was a super amaze-balls dream client that I worked with over the past few months.   If you missed it, part one is here.

How to get what you want from a designer...

Design clients usually fall into 3 categories: the ones that know EXACTLY what they want (the "smarty-pants"), the ones that have NO FLIPPING IDEA, and the dream client (which Gabrielle falls into, and we'll get into that in a minute).

The "smarty-pants" and the "no-flipping-idea" category of clients can create major problems for the designer. The first kind will show up with the fun stuff done, colors and fonts picked out, look at someone else's website and say I WANT THAT...before they even meet with a designer or have a proper brand strategy.  

These clients come to a designer almost as an art director with a "do this, do that" approach... without any real knowledge of why certain fonts and colors, style might not work...or why copycatting someone else's design style might not be the best idea.  Their inflexibility generally gets them what they want, but is that really going to be the best thing?

This approach is sort of putting the cart before the horse, and not always the best way to get a best brand identity, nor one that feels like you (especially if they are copycatting someone else.)   

What the "smarty-pants" client needs is someone to get to know them, understand their vision, their industry, and create a vision WITH them, and talk them out of all their bad ideas.

Then there is the second group of design clients, who don't know what they want at all, and they expect the designer to be a mindreader. They can't find anything they like because they just don't know.  They say things like "I don't know-- just make it pop!" 

A good designer, will take them through a guided process to help them figure out what they want, and justify to them why certain decisions should be made regarding things on trend, industry, and communication of adjectives that their ideal clients will resonate with.

A dream client, like Gabrielle, (falls into neither of these categories and the has best attributes of both) had an idea of how she wanted her brand to "feel", but flowed through the process with me to figure out what was going to work, with my lead.

A good way to not fall into the previous two traps, is to have a clear idea of how you want your brand to "feel" let your designer guide you through a process with mood boards so that you both can get on the same page.  Mood boards become a necessary (and fun) part of the process!  This is because it's a way to communicate with your designer visually, and your designer visually with you.

WHY COMMUNICATING VERBALLY WITH A DESIGNER, DOESN'T WORK...

The problem with communicating verbally versus visually with a designer, is that for example, the definition or idea of luxury to a designer might be different than your idea of luxury (which might be traditional, classic, and the designers might be modern.) Hence why mood boards are SO important, so that you are communicating to each other with visual examples instead of verbal ones.

Before getting any photography done, designing a logo, or picking out colors, there is a very systematic process you should follow...

Before you do any design, these must be decided:

  1. Concept - What is the message you are communicating for this parent brand (this many times turns into the name of a biz or a tagline)
  2. Theme - What possible visual themes could support that message (designer will generally come up with some, and you should too with designer guidance)
  3. Mood Boards - They refine your ideas in a visual way.  Seeing this can help you eliminate ideas before you invest in a designer, or any time designing anything.

To have a super strong brand you NEED to have a strong concept (message) and a variety of visual options via mood boards (visual theme) to decide the best route to go.  

Concept (The Message) : Badass Bliss

Theme Ideas:  Badass Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), Badass Lifestyle, Badass Luxury, Badass Vintage Neon Dorothy

 

Mood Board #1: Badass Dorothy from Wizard of Oz

Notice Dorothy with the machine guns, spikes, etc.  The badass part is being communicated with those items.  The bliss part is the end of the yellow brick road.  Every single image either says Dorothy or Badass.

Mood Board #2: Badass Vintage Neon Dorothy

Same philosophy as above, but this one integrates vintage and neon elements for a different spin on the badass element!

 

Mood Board #3: Badass Lifestyle: (THE CHOSEN ONE)

This one was the chosen concept because it was most closely aligned with the realistic vision that Gabrielle had for her clients, which was to live their best lives through having fun, being confident, adventurous, stylish, care-free, and being able to get over shit and get things done!  So girlfriends, sparkles, cotton candy, private jets, all became the inspiration for the photography shoot.

Now what do we do with these mood boards to use for the brand photography.....  Whelp, that's in the next part of this series coming next week!

In the comments below, share which of the three client categories you fall into, and what your biggest take-away from this blog entry was!

 

Extra HELPFUL CRITERIA FOR FINDING A DESIGNER:  When trying to find a designer-- find one that has a distinct branding process, go through that process with them, and be as flexible as possible. It's a team effort, you need to be guided out of your bad ideas and into the best version of your vision.  Also keep in mind, a designer will NEVER hit it right the first time, and sometimes it takes quite a few times before you are speaking the same language, so be patient. I call this "Failing Fast!" -- gotta get to the bad ideas first before the good ones emerge.  Same thing for those who are DIY'ing their brand.

...If you want to start design your brand, check out:

 

 

How I launched this BADASS Brand -- Part 1

How I launched this BADASS Brand -- Part 1

Gabrielle Carsala, who has a dream to bring happiness to women in the world....and I knew that this would be the perfect kind of client for me.

She had a dream, and I helped make it come true.... with my art direction, my photographer, her ideas and dream put with my technical power and creative prowess and BAM her, dream website was born..

Hawaiian Brands & Free Vintage Style Stock Photos of My Trip!

Hawaiian Brands &  Free Vintage Style Stock Photos of My Trip!

As promised, I have reviewed some Hawaiian marketing materials that I found on my vacation, that needed to be analyzed for strengths and weaknesses. Are you ready for some Hawaiian brand & design learning fun?

Live Your Brand. Live to Break Records! - Part 5

Lesson 9 - "The World Will Be Saved By the Western Woman" - Dali Lama

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 of the series, click on the links to catch up!

After roadtripping with some of the strongest, most independent, fabulous entrepreneurial women, it has become apparent to me that we are in a serious transition happening in the world.  Women entrepreneurs are stepping into their power, living the lives they want, and not apologizing for it.

We are truly becoming the leaders in our communities, and in our families we are becoming more of the bread winners.  We are in a time where women have more possibilities and opportunities than ever before.  We still have a ways to go, but the message to get here is if you want anything in this life you can have it, (not even if you are a woman, but ESPECIALLY because you are a woman.)

I feel so blessed to have met Nicole Marietta (one of my most brilliant LYB students) on this road trip, because her positivity and talent in writing and design, is so inspiring to me.  I feel so excited that I inspired her to start designing, and she has inspired me to keep teaching women like her on how to live their "bliss" through doing things that thrill them.

I feel so thankful for people like Angelica, for introducing me to her amazing family and reminding me to let loose a little bit (like any 21 year old should!), and she taught me that you can get upgraded to the Presidential Suite of any hotel if you just are willing to ask firmly for something you deserve.

The camaraderie of your tribe / followers, the people who love and support you help make you your best self!  I am so thankful!.

One of our amazing breakfasts at Sweedeedee.  These girls are seriously "Golden Sauce"  hahahaha!

One of our amazing breakfasts at Sweedeedee.  These girls are seriously "Golden Sauce"  hahahaha!

Lesson 10 - Let's Break a World Record at The World Domination Summit

Not even one day after my sweet new lady friends went back home, one of my favorite people in the world Gary Ware, who was a close friend from San Diego, came for a visit to Portland for five days for The World Domination Summit, put on by the famous writer / blogger Chris Guillebeau.

Gary is such a sweet, kind-hearted, and thoughtful person... He is mid-process of launching his own info product called Breakthrough Cocktail, for youth who are just graduating from college and who need soft skills to get a great job, utilizing their degree. He builds confidence, and guides them to achieving greatness first through preparation versus learning by failing first.

Because I was allowing him to stay with me the entire trip, he booked a bunch of fun things for us to do during his stay. one of them being breaking a world record of the world's largest yoga chain.

Gary and I, getting ready to get our YOGA on!

Gary and I, getting ready to get our YOGA on!

The World Domination Summit was unbelievable, the speakers were fabulous.  If you have ever thought about going, the best way to describe it is like a perfect mashup of This American Life podcast with a Ted Talk.  We heard some of the most inspirational speakers in the world share their stories of struggle and triumph.  Every part of it was fascinating and incredibly inspiring.

Back to San Diego to Close Out My SD Life....

So after five glorious days of breaking records with one of my besties, eating my way through Portland and playing hostess with the mostestess, I had to fly back down to San Diego and pack up all my things to ship them.

Picasso's Birthday Picture.  He's so embarrassed he's even covering his puppy bits.

Picasso's Birthday Picture.  He's so embarrassed he's even covering his puppy bits.

I did a five day juice cleanse, and got SUPER clear about what I want out of this little thing called "Life."  I got myself some Pinup bangs,  I had a birthday party for Picasso, (he just turned 1) and prepared myself.

I then flew back to Portland to start my new life and start writing this blog series.  And you'll never guess what the first full day as a Portland resident was...

Amelia Earhart's Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End. (Well actually it's the beginning...but you know!)

 

Don't be a stranger!  Big things are coming this way....

We are at the end of this five part series... but of course just the beginning of our journey together.  Whether it's related to me helping you learn graphic design and branding through my Launch Your Brand Program... or following my dating adventures through the soon to be released WanderLover.com (you can sign up for notifications if you click on this link)

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to follow, support, learn, laugh and love with me.  I feel your energy and it keeps me so excited to keep going and building bigger and better things. I also hope it inspires you to do the same!

Launch Your Brand in 30 Days or Less Starts Aug. 4 -- Prices are going up after this session!  Registration is cut off as of Sunday Aug 3, 4pm PST.  Space is limited and has sold out twice before.  I have a few spots open!

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.56.24 PM.png

I'm taking less students for this Aug 4 session, (so space is super limited) because I am also working on a beta program called Launch Your Design Biz.  This is because 15% of the people who have taken LYB Program, put their businesses aside and have started freelance design careers.  I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!  SO EXCITING!

I'm then taking those aspiring designers and have started giving them leads the come through my company.  This is soon to be released and it's called The Student Design Agency.

Sometimes I get to art direct with them, and it's amazing because I am giving my students business, and also generating revenues doing more of what I love which is working with aspiring designers to develop amazing brands.

It's amazing seeing people who have never touched Photoshop or Illustrator before, end up leaving my program and getting clients.  Nothing thrills me more than this!  When I created the program to help entrepreneurs DIY their brand and design, I had no idea this was going to happen and it's thrilling to see them start to surpass even my own abilities. (albeit a bit humbling too!) 

Here is one student's Before and After shots!

AFTER

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.58.37 PM.png

Post the class, here is what she did on her own!  EMPOWERMENT!


Live Your Brand. Live Your Boy Craziness! Part 4

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 of the series, click on the links to catch up!

Lesson 7. When You Figure Out What You Want in Life, You Want Your Life to Start as Soon as Possible

We picked up Nicole Marietta in San Francisco, and jetted off on 10 hour drive we did in one shot on Sunday afternoon.  We made it into Portland about 1am.  We spent this very long car ride telling stories and listening to This American Life podcast, and Radio Lab. (If you have never heard of either of them, check them out at once!!)

The next day, was Angelica and Nicole's first true Portland brunch experience and we went to Slappy Cakes for breakfast.  Slappy cakes is yet another brilliant concept for a business.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 1.02.53 PM.png

The graphic design / branding / interior design of this chain of "Make your own pancakes" place is quite amazing.  It has the fun factor for people with kids, but it has fancy cocktails, a super cute retro modern 70's vibe for the adults.  In the Portland location, the staff is very hip.  

The host at the restaurant kept smiling and giving me oogly eyes, and I was SHOCKED.  It had occurred to me, that I hadn't had a guy inadvertently check me out randomly, in the entire 2 years I lived in San Diego.   

Then we sat down with Portland's weekly free magazine, and I looked at the listings for concert after concert of some of the best indie bands you could think of, fun art shows, street fairs, and while San Diego has some of these things, there was this whole vibe that was focused for the 25-45 year old creative that was really speaking to me.  I had lived in Portland for almost a decade before my two year stint in San Diego, but I had this whole new appreciation as Angelica and Nicole were saying --- WOAH Portland is amazing!!!

And I thought to myself, yes, this place is incredibly cool, why am I denying myself to come back here and start my life?!  The design work here is incredible.  You have Wieden + Kennedy one of the most creative ad agencies in the world.  Nike and Adidas headquarters are here.  The competition might be fierce for graphic design, but I've never had problems finding work here.

My biggest revelation is how can I collaborate with some amazing graphic designers and illustrators to improve my Launch Your Brand Program (Starts Aug 4.) because there are so many that live here!  Look at the cover of the weekly magazine for crying out loud, good design is EVERYWHERE here, and is so important for finding examples to blog about!

 It was becoming PAINFULLY obvious to me that I needed to move here.  To make things even more amazing, we went to some free concerts that night, and a very cute hilarious guy bought me a drink.  Also something that never happened in the entire 2 years in San Diego.

 I was sold.  Portland wants me back!

I called my mom, the next day "I'm moving back to Portland" -- She was like "WHAT?!?! NOOOOO!!!!!"  And I proceeded to break her heart. I think she thought I was going to live with her forever, or at least secretly hoped, and here I was having to put her through empty nest syndrome all over again.

That's when I realized the only reason why I was staying in San Diego was to be closer to her.  This really isn't the right reason to live somewhere, when you end up sacrificing your own inspiration and dating life just to make your mom happy.  (I just love her so much!)

We had a wonderful 8 months of living together, it was time for me to go, so I literally got an apartment in the Mississippi Ave neighborhood the very next day.  I could afford the fanciest apartment, in the hippest neighborhood because Portland prices were so much cheaper than SD.

I moved in 5 days later, had the entire apartment furnished in 48 hours.  Shit was happening fast and I couldn't have been more excited.  The place that I moved into was like a fancy dorm for 35 year old entrepreneurs with exceptionally cute dogs.  I thought that I had died and gone to heaven.  

I am still in heaven. I am home.

Lesson 8. Putting Together Ikea Furniture on First Dates is a Great Way to See If Your Compatible

After living in San Diego for two years, and one of those years being single was probably the worst year I've had in my life, regarding love and dating.  Just to give you an idea of the type of men Portland vs. San Diego, I did a quick snapshot so you can see the difference.

San Diego Men

Sandiego.jpg

Portland Men

This is literally a random sample.  This doesn't mean that there aren't great men in San Diego, this just means the style of men that live in San Diego aren't the kind of men that I'm generally attracted to, nor are they attracted to me.  There are more conservative points of view, I'm fiercely liberal.  There are more military men, or guys who have normal jobs, I want to date an entrepreneur.

Let's face it, I've got more curves than a circle, and a great majority of these men they want a blonde marathon runner.  And I want an artistic, entrepreneurial nerd, who thinks my body is fantastic. Potato....POTATOE.

So I moved into my amazing apartment on July 5th.  I furnished in 48 hours, and started to get asked on dates.  So what did I do?  I bribed men to put together Ikea furniture for me, by cooking them steak dinners for a first date.  It's the single best social experiment, I've ever done to find out compatibility.  

WanderLover.com

If you have enjoyed this series so far, and want more fun stories.....(YouCanBrand.com really isn't the place to talk about this dating stuff)

I'm launching a new site called WanderLover.com to talk about dating, traveling, food, and social experiments. It hasn't been released yet, but enter your email below if you want to find out about what happened with the Ikea experiments! The site is set to launch in the next few weeks!! 

One of the upcoming experiments is to fly to San Francisco to hire a "ManServant" for the day.  This has got to be one of the best business ideas I've ever seen!!!!  I will have him feed me grapes, sing to me with a guitar while I take a bath, and dote on me all day. Cannot wait for this fantasy (it's not a gigolo service, but instead a G-Rated pool boy / errand boy/ sort of experience and I cannot wait!)

 

Have you ever discovered that where you were living was affecting your inspiration for work?  Did you find the men to not be fitting?  Share your story in the comments below!

Or visit Part 5, The Series Finale "LIve Your Brand. Live to Break Records"

Live Your Brand. Live Your Beauty! Part 3

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, click on the links to catch up!

Today is the best day of my life.  Okay, maybe that is a tiny bit of an exaggeration, but I am so happy I could cry. MY POLE HAS ARRIVED!!!! Fast forward into the story a bit here, I am now living in Portland, in a bad ass apartment, and my pole has been delivered.  Here is a video of me sharing my pole joy!  

This is my form of stress relief and rejuvenation on my crazy work days.  I do power hours of work, and then replenish doing something that I love.  This is the only way I can have a well-balanced work and life, and how I can create awesome things like my Launch Your Brand Program (which starts Aug. 4)

By the way, I am sharing this with you because it's such a huge part of who I am, and very much living my brand by showing you this piece of my life.  It's not overtly sexual, but it is sexy,  what I would like to think one of the greatest forms of self expression, beauty, female empowerment, and self love for my body, and stress relief for my life.  I hope that this inspires you to find whatever is your pole dancing to keep moving through life (and not be chained to a desk all the time!)

Pardon for the late posting, I have been dancing all day.  Now let's get more deeply into this journey of self discovery, now shall we!??

On Our Way to San Francisco.

Before we get into my big move to Portland.. we are at the part of the story where Angelica and I were on our way to San Francisco.   Our plan was to drive up Highway 1, but it was wayyyy too foggy, which was a huge disappointment for us.   But we kept our spirits high, by meeting up with another b-schooler, the lovely rodeo tech queen Lisa Burger for lunch and  then making it to San Fran around 8pm.

One of the craziest revelations that I had on this drive up to San Francisco, was that it was literally exactly one year ago to the day, that I had broken up with my ex, and  I had driven up to San Francisco to house site for a friend of a friend, and here the same week, one later, and I was going up to San Francisco to house sit for a friend of a friend. WHAT A KAWINKY DINK!!!!!

How is it, that I was doing exactly the same thing, exactly one year before without planning things that way.  Synchronicity.  There was a tiny little whisper that was telling me I was on the right path, and that the reason why I had been so miserable, was that I had gone off that path.  Now, I don't regret anything, and lessons are learned for a reason.  But there was something about this that told me, this is where you were going before and where you are going now is exactly how things should be.

After I had broken things off with my fiance ( a year ago) , I wanted to go to San Francisco to see if I would enjoy it more than San Diego.  I realized in the first five minutes of being there, there was no way I would ever want to live there.   It's a bit too much for me, too much crime, too much dirt, too many hills, too expensive.  I want to live some place that is easy.  San Francisco is the opposite of easy, it is however filled with culture and fun things to do.  This time I was coming not to shop for a living space in SF, but really just to enjoy everything the beautiful city has to offer.  Starting off with the Pride Festival!

Lesson 5. To Be Happy, You Must Be Free to Be Yourself -- Gay Pride Festival = Happy People Being Themselves

Angelica introduced me to her long lost cousin who lives in San Fran, he was one of the most amazing men I've ever met.  Experienced a kidney transplant, had a near death experience, went from never being able to walk again, to being able to not only walk but do ANYTHING.  This man is a force to be reckoned with... and was just one of the most joyful people ever.  

At the Gay Pride festival, everyone was so free to express themselves.  People walked around naked, or in tutus, and everyone danced and had a great time.   

Picasso was a huge hit!  Everyone wanted to pet him and snuggle with him. I had to carry him a lot of the time, but I balanced him often on my Picasso handbag.  Look at the little Boston's on my purse!!  

Somehow when I had gone to SF the previous year, I had missed the gay pride festival and this year I am SO happy that I went because it was truly enlightening to see so many people really living their truth and finding happiness while doing it!

Lesson 6. When you LOOK GOOD, you FEEL GOOD.  

This is the best concept and theme I've ever seen for a business, and it's constantly sold out, so take NOTE.....

 

"Dry Bar" -- It's a salon that does NOTHING but blowouts.  Now I am not talking about Brazilian Blowouts, I'm talking about just styling hair.  No cuts. No color.  Just styling.  For $40 you can have salon ready hair.  They wash your hair, they massage your head, and then they either blow it out and straighten it, or they curl it up with a curling iron.

Above you can see you can order your "hair-tini" in the form of a clever named after a beverage hair style.  This is a PERFECT example of a memorable, catchy, concept and theme for your brand.   The concept being "Dry Bar -- A salon/bar for blowouts" The theme being "Modern Hair Cocktails" --- it's so catchy, it's no wonder that they sell out every day.  They will even come to your house and do your hair!

Want to learn more about how to come up with incredible concept / theme for your business!  Come check out my Launch Your Brand Program!  (Starts Aug 4)

Getting my hair did.

Getting my hair did.


So I went from frumpy in glasses as you saw, when I was at Pride, to this:

Hello Barbarella!

Hello Barbarella!

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 5.37.20 PM.png

When you look good, you feel good, and just taking the time and effort to get my hair done made me feel like a new woman.  Self care is so important to feeling good so that you can love your life!

Angelica and her cousin invited me to go to dinner and go dancing with them.  This sort of opening up their lives to spend time with me, and have fun with me while in SF was a really nice treat!

I fell in love with San Francisco, and realized, I may not want to live there, but it's one of my favorite places to go and be free...and eat, drink, dance and be merry!!  

Angelica and her cousin were wonderful and we had a blast!

 

Next Up, We head to Portland with Miss Nicole Marietta, and the adventure REALLY gets exciting!  In the comments below, tell me about an adventure you went on where you discovered things about yourself?!

Also if you haven't check it out yet, make sure to take a lookie look at the program that I have that is starting next Monday Aug 4.  My students said it's more than just a branding and design course, it changes the way you think.  Pretty powerful stuff!  Launch Your Brand Program (which starts Aug. 4)

CLICK THIS LINK TO GO TO "LIVE YOUR BRAND. LIVE YOUR BOY CRAZINESS" - Part 4

Live Your Brand. Live your BOOM! - Part 2

If you have just tuned in, make sure to read Part 1 of this series here.

Yesterday in the story, we left off at the point where I had all this great success, figured out I was miserable, and that I wanted to find my bliss, via living my brand.  

A road trip was scheduled with two strangers, one was my student from my Launch Your Brand Program (Starts Aug 4)  and another a follower via my blog.  Here we jump back into it....

Since yesterday, I've decided that the term "Living My Bliss" just makes my teeth hurt, and my fingers numb, and I get this incessant urge to poke out my eyeballs when I hear it.  The woo-woo-ness of it makes me WOO-WOO-ZY!  

In fact, I might not be "on brand" by using the term bliss.   Yet I have felt compelled to use it because, I just feel so amazingly happy and inspired right now, and I mean it's sort of an onomatopoeia don't you think?  But the adverse side to this is just makes me feel a little cliché, and quite honestly, that is one of the worst feelings in the world!! 

So my new reaction to the word bliss is:

A little graphic design humor for you.  Don't ever use Papyrus, or we can't be friends.

A little graphic design humor for you.  Don't ever use Papyrus, or we can't be friends.

Let's come up with something better shall we?

Someone pointed out yesterday in the comments of my blog that Amelia Earhart probably wouldn't have used the term "Bliss" cause it is too woo-woo....(and she CERTAINLY would never be as cliché to use Papyrus as a font.

Perhaps the term "Boom!" or something... "Living Your Boom!"  ---  The tagline for my design studio Create Thunder is "Brands that Boom!" so this fits... (Sidenote: I also have a student named Amy, who is developing an amazing financial program with the term BOOM...) perhaps this is trending... So for today, we will be talking about Living Your Boom! 

Lesson 3. Splurge on a fancy hotel room because you deserve it, but don't act like a pig.

I drove myself straight up to Santa Barbara, after I had strategically jammed my car full of stuff. I noshed on dried fruit and bubble water, and hopes for the summer.  The excitement of being alone on the road with so much possibility, and so much great music on Spotify.  I was feeling really good.  I was choreographing pole dancing songs in my head and Picasso was TOO SCARED to look out the window.   

He is such a baby, sometimes.

So this was the first vacation I had, had in several months...and I rarely ever splurge for the sake of splurging.  I don't splurge often because there is a part of me, like so many people out there, that feels like I don't deserve to.  

Now this doesn't mean you need to go off splurging on everything all the time.  That would be unwise financial planning.  But this does mean on occasion you should just go all out -- fancy hotel, fancy dinner, get a massage (hell----get a massage with a happy ending if you want-----you are splurging..... HAHA JUST KIDDING, that's gross.  Well unless your massage therapist just so happens to be a Ryan Gosling, and then I say SPLURGE AWAY, GIRL!!!!!)

The point is, splurging is amazing.  We only live once, and sometimes having a good nights rest on 10,000 thread count sheets, celebrating your success with a butler to bring you a wine opener at 2am and share your pizza with, is just what you need to feel alive.  

(Just don't eat too much pizza and wine! More about that in a sec...)

Say Hello to Hotel Indigo... The most quaint and beautiful little boutique hotel, I've ever had the pleasure of staying at.  They even gave Picasso a gift bag with poop bags and milk bones.

 He looked at me and said "Hey Mom, this place isn't so ruff!"  

(Sorry that is a terrible joke)

The rooms here end up being about $375 a night with taxes and dog fees.  SHEESH.  I deserve it. I deserve it. I had to keep telling myself this.

Hotel Indiogo

Hotel Indiogo

My room (or at least a stock picture of it -- it had a veranda and a huge shower, the bed was to die for!)

My room (or at least a stock picture of it -- it had a veranda and a huge shower, the bed was to die for!)

After we checked in we were starved.  So we took a jaunt around the neighborhood until I found a wine bar to have an appetizer and a flight of wines.  Picasso and I had our first lady and the tramp moment.   This is perfect, because he has a super feminine energy, and I'm such a tramp!!  (I'm totally kidding...mmm hmm... kidding.)

Our Date.  Everyone loved him.

Our Date.  Everyone loved him.

We went from place to place.  I ate too much.  I drank too much.  I got a pizza and shared it with the front desk guy, and he warmed it up in the microwave and delivered it on a platter with a wine key.....The food was delicious, the wine even more so, and I had fun... and I felt alive at the time, but then things took a turn for the worst.

Apparently I overindulged, and I woke up feeling like I wanted to die.

The revised lesson learned in this is:  OVER indulging does not mean more fun.  I wasn't hungry, I had already had a big appetizer and wine out...but I was OVER-CELEBRATING, because I had been feeling so miserable before.  Apparently, work and no play, makes Jenna a very hungry girl.  I am very ashamed to say, this is not the first time something like this has happened.... but it's at this point that I'm really starting to make note of it.

Over-indulging means that you aren't really enjoying the moment you are in, you are making up for something that is lacking.  I wasn't present, I wasn't savoring things, I was hiding behind food and alcohol as a "Reward" for all my hard work.  

Soooooooo.....I got sick... call it food poisoning, call it over-indulging, in any case I was not in great shape the next day, and THEN Picasso had chased a bird from the patio into our room at 5am.  So there was a bird swooping down and trying to escape as I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Nope, this not really a vacation yet, I decided.  This is sort of like a very expensive punishment.  I had ruined, what could have been a lovely experience....The hotel room was lovely, my decisions to celebrate not so much.

I pulled myself together, and Miss Angelica was on her way to meet me.   She showed up at the hotel around 10am, and we packed up her stuff in the car.   And something really embarrassing happened as I was packing my suitcase, into the car.  All I will say is there was a noise, a noise coming from my suitcase.  A noise I needed to make stop, and I couldn't tell Angelica what the noise was without getting really embarrassed.  So I sent her to the front desk to return my key card, as I was mortified.

(Just like the embarrassing stories in Seventeen Magazine, that always end with AND I WAS MORTIFIED)

That is all I am going to say about that.

 

Lesson 4. When trying to have a beer with Emilio Estavez call ahead and make sure he's bartending!

We had plans to stop at a bar in Los Alamos to see the famous Emilio Estavez, whose wife owns a beer tasting room called Babi's Beer Emporium.  Emilio apparently bartend's there sometime, and I found proof of this on his Facebook page.   

He wasn't working that day, but I really wanted to experience this idea of having a drink with a once A-List celebrity, who played the jock in The Breakfast Club, was in Young Guns, and The Mighty Ducks.  To see him in action at a bar..... YES please.  

But since he wasn't working, here we were in spirit with him:

JennaEmilo.jpg

Want to learn how to make terrible superimposed pictures of your friends with celebrities? Want to avoid using terribly cliché fonts like Papyrus, and words like "bliss"? you will get the skills to learn this and more through my Launch Your Brand Program (Starts Aug 4)

When was the last time you over-celebrated or stalked an 80's A-List Celebrity?  Leave your story in the comments below! 

FOR PART 3 - "LIVE YOUR BRAND. LIVE YOUR BEAUTY." CLICK HERE