Experienced Human Resources and Sales Executive; Personal Branding Expert; Committed Advocate for young girls, up and coming professional women, and anyone seeking to be their best self; Fabulously fierce; and a true reflection of her namesake, joy, I am pleased to introduce Farah Bernier as this year’s Fontbonne Academy Graduation Speaker.
Over the course of her career, Farah has consistently worked in environments that pushed her to be her best self. She’s committed her life to being as self-aware as possible to be the best that she can be for family, friends, and herself. Her corporate experience includes Reebok International, The TJX Companies, IDG, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Given her passion for young girls and “rising female superstars”-as she describes the professionals she works with, Farah launched Living Fabulously Fierce in 2012 as a blog through which she offered coaching and advice around personal branding. As a result of her commitment to this platform, through which she also highlighted women she identified as role-models for others-truly sharing her spotlight-LFF is now a $7B organization with most of its revenue coming from the entity’s one-on-one coaching platform, and also includes various campaigns tied to facilitating self-discovery, definition and distinction. Through its My Brother’s Keeper Campaign, LFF even recognizes the incredibly fierce men who, as she says, “we sometimes forget to appreciate and give recognition.”
As a membership organization, LFF now has 40,000 followers on Facebook/Twitter, 8,000 members who regularly attend roundtables and workshops, engage in one-on-one coaching, and serve as mentors to the young girls, Butterflies, of LFF. Active in her Church, New Dimension, Farah participates in one missions trip a year, sponsoring five high school students to go with her and return to share their own experiences locally with their peers. Farah also serves on the board of the Girls Scouts, recently updated their F@B program curriculum based on the Bernier Personal Branding process and consults with various other girls’ programs sharing her expertise.
This is really just the tip of all that she is engaged in, so I had to ask her, What in the world drives you? What’s your motivation? Her answer, “…knowing God, His intentions for me, my purpose and truly understanding that a candle, a light, loses nothing in lighting another candle, essentially being a light for someone, ‘someones’, else.”
Graduation is a proud moment for all students and since you can really just talk to Farah all day long because she makes you feel like in that moment you are really the only person that matters, I had to ask her a few more questions. When I asked her what her proudest moment is, explained that up until just a few years ago, there really was just one answer to this question. But now, with all that she’s been blessed with, she said, “what I’m most proud of today and every day is that I actively take each moment as an opportunity to increase the return on the investment my mom made in me throughout my life. Education was a must growing. Quite frankly, come hell, high water, or both, she committed to doing everything she could for my siblings and me to get the best education we could that would help us open the doors that we wanted opened, including being here at Fontbonne Academy. So now, every day, when I look at the work I get to do, both at PwC and through LFF, the girls I get to impact, the women who I get to remind how remarkable they are, my children through whom I intentionally plan to leave a legacy of love and excellence, and a husband with whom I am honored to partner every day, and know that there is a day that I will hear, “well done, my good and faithful servant,” yup, I am comfortably proud of that and that’s all I need.”
Accepting over 100 speaking engagements a year for the past 3 years, we are pleased to have Farah with us today. Please join me in welcoming her to the stage.
I know I know…might be a little over the top….and it scares me a little but hey, what’s a dream if it’s not a little daunting? What’s a goal if it doesn’t set a little bit of a fire under your tail?
I’ll be honest, this wasn’t as simple an exercise as I thought it would be. I mean, I’ve even done this before, I coach others to do it, but when it’s time to sit and actually revisit and/or do it again, it can be a little tough. I share this because I know some of you avoided this. Some of you even emailed me sharing that you started and couldn’t get past putting in the title you want at that point. Be patient with yourself….I had to put this down a couple times as I was working on mine. You know what questions I had?
- How in the world is it going to be possible to get this many followers?
- How am I going to be able to sponsor students to go on these missions trips with me?
- How am I going to continuing working at a place that I love doing work that I love, and living my passion through LFF?
- Children?!?! Husband?!?! What the what?!?!?
With all of this I turned to something I learned at eight year’s old from a t-shirt hanging at the Peggy Parker Dance Academy where I had been training for three years at that point, “Reach for the moon. If you fall, you’ll land among the stars.” I don’t know about you, but I’d love hanging among the stars ….they truly help me shine brighter so I want to be among them all the time. So, to stay there, you better believe I’m going for the moon! Won’t you join me?
I’m going to pause, yet again as tough as it is for me to do so and not close us up on self- distinction just yet. I want to give you another shot at the exercise and share a tip I shared with one follower this week. If this is really hard for you to write out the intro, take it to the basics, and just build a list, a list of 10 characteristics, identifiers, descriptions of yourself that you want to be the basis of your reputation. Just go for 10, and if you start to get on a roll, don’t stop, just keep going and then step back, leave the list alone for three days. Then revisit it and ask yourself, “Is this the reputation I’m going to be really proud of? Is it authentic to me? Can I grow into it if it isn’t me just yet? What else do I need to be comfortable with this reputation? To help, see my list below. Aaaaaaaaaaand, see the goal of mine with the followers and what not. I’m going o be even more bold than I usually am. I have an ask, Please, hit the follow button here on LivingFabulouslyFierce.wordpress.com and please spread the word to at least one of your friends. I’d really appreciate you lighting my candle by doing so and helping me continue to light others’. Thanks in advance!
- A joy to be around
- Lover of people
- Great sister
- Wonderful friend
- Fabulously Feirce!
Soundtrack of the week: Kirk Franklin’s I Am because for most of us, this process requires digging deep and yes, even praying about it as we determine the direction we’re headed toward and our purpose…our distinction. Enjoy!