LFF Brand Spotlight!!!

Hello Hello Folks!

I recently came across the work of an incredible photographer and of course had to connect with her to get her take on personal branding and what it means to her.  Below, check out my interview with the fabulous Francesca Andre and be sure to check out her work via the sites highlighted.

Have a fabulous day!

FRANCESA ANDRE

Francesca

Photographer/Producer, FK Network

What does Living Fabulously Fierce Mean to You? Living the life that God meant for you to live…Living without any excuses and enjoying the whole journey.

If you had to describe your brand in three words, what would those three words be?

  • Professional
  • Reliable
  • Capturer of unforgettable moments and connections!

How do you actually define your personal brandI do photography.  Right now, it is mostly spot news…but I am reaching out to more corporate clients as well as establishing a wedding clientele.  I would add producer to that.  Currently, I am producing uplifting and very diverse stories about women…the goal is to connect women from different parts of the world and share their stories to inspire all.


How are you intentional about your brand?
I am intentional about everything that I do.   One of the intentions for my photography business is to consistently exceed client expectations and to never become too satisfied with my work.  I accept that there is always room to improve.

If there is anything you could do to either reinforce or enhance your brand, what would that be? I would take more risks and be more aggressive.

My brand is fabulously FIERCE? What is your brand? 
Fabulously Productive!  I incorporate photography and production into this. 

How do you recommend others stay true to themselves and live their personal brand? By doing what they are meant and created to do…and working hard to live their authentic selves.


Interesting Fact/Interest/Hobby/Something you think the LFF World to Know. Interesting hobby…? I need to really find a hobby.  I guess it is because all the projects that I am doing give me so much joy, growth and satisfaction. I will say an interesting hobby is dancing…I like to dance off beat…it makes me feel good and silly!

If there were one song on the soundtrack for the Fabulously Creative, what song would that be?
Mesi Lavi by Emeline Michel

Anything additional you’d like to share?  I’d like to share my websites.  Please visit FK Network…like the page on facebook and let’s inspire and get inspired!

Bernier Brand Building: Phase 2-Self Definition…Homework

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.

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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!

My list:

  • A joy to be around
  • Lover of people
  • Family-oriented
  • Great sister
  • Wonderful friend
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Smart
  • Faithful
  • Resilient
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Faith-filled
  • Giving
  • Role-model
  • Successful
  • Prophetic
  • Inspirational
  • Honorable
  • Respected
  • Renown
  • Purpose-guided
  • 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!

 

Bernier Brand Building: Phase 2-Self Definition

Hope you’re enjoying this branding journey as much as I am.  I’ve been giving you quite a bit of “homework” and a number of you have let me know that’s it’s really helpful, so what choice do I have but to give you more!?!?!?  I kid, I kid…

So I trust that you’ve requested your feedback and as I’m still waiting for a few folks to get back to me, you’re probably waiting too.  I say for now, go with what you have.  A few of you have asked me to share more about myself on this platform, so, while I don’t find that to be the easiest thing for me, you know, talking about myself, I can appreciate that you want to know more about this F Bernier telling you to do this and do that.  So in true transparency, I’m going to share the feedback that I’ve gotten from my circle…the good, the not so good, and the ‘fine, I can take that’ feedback.

Below are the questions I suggested you go out with and the responses that I’ve got so far:

  • If you could only describe me in three words, what would those three words be?

                    §  Hardworking, Ambitious, Resilient

                    §  Determined, Smart, Focused 

  • What would you say is the absolute best thing about me?

                    §  You are such a great friend!  Always there when I need you 🙂

                    §  Your ability to balance (God, Family, Personal Goals and work)

  • What is the one characteristic about me that could be eliminated or improved?

                    §  Over-extending yourself/Over-booking yourself.  Sometimes it’s ok to just sit around and do nothing and not think.

                    §  You are already working on this- taking time for you 😀

  • What truly makes me unique from your perspective?
    • You are one of the most determined people I know.  You try to look at the bright side of everything so you don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals. 
    • Your ability to see light/good/potential in others and to help guide them to see potential in themselves. You are not scared to call out someone who is living below excellence.
  • What do you think keeps me from being my very best?
    • Over-analyzing things (ahem, relationships).  Sometimes “it is what it is”.  It’s ok to follow your heart and gut even though sometimes they just don’t make sense especially when it comes to the matters of the heart.
    • I think you are striving and growing and therefore you are not kept from being your best.

Sooooo, yup that’s a little bit of me from my friends’ lens.  So grateful that I could give them extra homework and they actually did it!!!  Thanks KitKat and Erika!  As I get additional feedback, I’ll be sure to share.

The combination of this feedback and our answers to the first set of questions I shared with you…you know, the ‘Who am I’ questions, create a great start to just learning more about ourselves. See, now you have your own view and the view of others.  Honestly, the consistency across the board from my friends telling me to take more time for myself is very clear that, although I almost lost my mind two weekends ago because I had two full weekend days of absolutely nothing on the agenda,  I could benefit from doing more of that and just relaxing or not thinking…..it’s actually recharge time!  Feedback heard, received, and ready to apply.

Now moving into the assessments, I encouraged everyone to start with the Strengths Finder 2.0.  Where did I land with my Top 5 Themes?  So glad you asked!  Here goes:

  • Relator (Shocker!)
  • Individualization
  • Strategic
  • Ideation
  • Intellection

So spot on! I won’t dig too deeply into all of the points, but my top theme, Relator, points out that I

Enjoy close relationships with others, find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal, am driven by my talents, have people usually turn to me for plainspoken, easy-to-understand explanations, welcome opportunities to spend time with friends who enjoy thinking about the future…”

So check out that description and go back to my friends’ feedback….see the alignment? I totally can’t deny any of it right?  This is so important because having all of this information helps me understand how I can bring who I cam to everything that I do and be the most effective in my life, both personally and professionally.  Now I’m really ready to engage in some self-definition.

Self-Definition

Don’t worry, I’m not going to over do it.  As I promised in the beginning.  I want us to take this proces slow so that we really do the full exercise of becoming and being our best.

Self-Definition is really all about taking everyhting you’ve just gone through, the self relfection, the review of your feedback and whatever skills insight you got through whichever assessment(s) you used and starting to determine how you want to show up and who you want to be.  This is not about building facades as someone once misinterpreted my passion around personal branding.  This is all about what part or parts of yourself you want to exude, consistently in the interactions you have with folks.  Remember, personal branding is all about building a reputation.  What is the reputation you want to build and how do you leverage what you’ve just learned about yourself to define that repuation and essentially define who you are.

So, to complete this process, we’re going to do a vision exercise.  Imagine: You’ve been nominated and selected by your friends and family to speak at your High School as an alum.  Graduation is two weeks away and the school administration has asked that you submit a bio that will be included in the commencement program and used to introduce you right before you speak.  DO NOT write this as you stand today.  DO write this to reflect the reputation that you want communicated.  For clarification purposes, I’ll share that I am currently coaching an Executive Assistant on her personal brand and she keeps identifying herself as “just an EA.”  So I’ve asked her to start practicing her intro as she’d like it to be and we will, over time, bring that reputation to life.  This week, just write the reputation through this exerise, and we’ll go from there.

Soundtrack of the week: I believe it was Malcolm X who said that “Man only swears when he doesn’t have the vocabulary to express himself.”  While I agree with this, I have to appreciate Jill Scott’s Womanifesto as in this song she is totally going through self-definition and I love it.  My apologies if it offends, but if you can appreciate the exercise, I think this is a great soundtrack for the week!  Enjoy!