Living Fabulously Fierce SPOTLIGHT: The Fabulously ‘Me’…

Brenda Patnaude

Brenda

Human Resources Manager

What does Living Fabulously Fierce Mean to You?
Waking up each morning with a smile because you have confidence in who I am and what I can do. It means not comparing myself to others and not focusing on my shortcomings. It’s staying forward thinking and positive, finding the opportunity in every moment. At work it’s about being true to my core values, leading the way I would want to be led, making work just a little more fun and easy for those around me while always providing the highest quality. At home, it’s about being present with my family and leaving the workday behind (one of my biggest challenges!). Some days are easier than others – but it’s the challenging days and getting through them that ground me and give me the strength to try again to be even better the next day.

If you had to describe your brand in three words, what would those three words be?
• Authentic
• Fun
• People Addict (ok that’s 4…).
I’m the real deal: what you “see” is what you get. I believe life is too short not to take the opportunity to make a positive impact on those around me and for all of us not to find a little fun in everything we do. I believe each person is extraordinary, special and has something great to offer; and that my mission is to help them find it and to be confident in who they are. My best day is a day where I have an interaction with someone that leaves them feeling more clear/happier/important than they did before.

How are you intentional about your personal brand?
This is a great question and something that is a continuing work in progress for me. Here are a few ways:
• Ensuring I am aware and actively living by my core values throughout each day.
• Remaining confident: believing in myself-that I am good enough, smart enough and that I can make anything happen that I want to.
• Staying focused on what’s important: the big picture life priorities and balancing those with the “in the moment” priorities – ensuring that the in the moment/short term priorities aren’t given an unbalanced amount of attention for too long.
• Taking care of myself so I can be the best me for others: eating/sleeping right, taking the time to do those important things that re-energize me, ensuring I make myself a priority that is as important as work and others.

How do you live it?
I like to create positive energy: making my colleagues laugh at work, making up songs about silly things with my daughter, singing in the car alone… I work hard. I am a lifelong learner. I treat others with respect – their views, their talents, their diverse personalities. I am honest with myself – I know I’m not perfect and I reach out for help when I need it. I live comfortable in my own skin and I’m happy to be in it.

If there is anything you could do to either reinforce or enhance your brand, what would that be?
I recently completed formal training to become a certified professional coach and started work with clients that struggle with confidence and want to take their professional skills to the next level. This was my way of reinforcing my brand – by expanding into this new way of impacting others. To enhance my brand, I could advertise this more and expand beyond clients at work.

Greatest accomplishment?
My children. I know…. that sounds very cliche. But seriously – what a fine privilege it is to be given the opportunity to leave a positive fingerprint on the world by raising “good humans”. I have a son and a daughter; each very different in personality and age but both full of love, creativity and deep respect for each other and their family. My son is 24 years old and now has a life of his own. I don’t have words for the pride I have for the wonderful man that he has become. He had a difficult time as a teenager, but despite many challenges and roadblocks along the way, the values that were core to his childhood were the ones that drove him to success: hard work, respect, love.

My daughter is 12 and is an ever present light: always smiling, caring, also hardworking and respectful. She is extremely in tune with my energy which challenges me all the more to ensure I am living my brand and taking care of myself to keep my energy up.

Biggest Challenge that you’ve overcome?
Single motherhood. Even though it was my biggest challenge, it was also one that I am most thankful for as it made me who I am today. I learned a lot about myself and what I truly was capable of. And my son could not have been a better teacher.

Interesting Fact/Interests/Hobby/Something you think the LFF World to Know.
Art, writing and music are my escape, my re-energizer, my peace. When my energy is dragging, take me to an Art museum or play my favorite song and watch me transform. An “aha” moment for me was when I visited The Met in New York last year after not visiting an art museum/painting/writing for some time. I was excited to view paintings “in person” that were done by some of my favorite artists hundreds of years ago. When I finally got in front of them, I was overwhelmed with emotion and realized then how much art is an important part of my life and something I need to make time for regularly to feed my soul. I had been away too long, and clearly it affected me. It taught me that we all have to find time for the things that energize us at our core – it shouldn’t be treated as an “extra”. It’s a priority and a must.

How do you recommend other women stay true to themselves and live their authentic personal brand?
Remember to stop and take pride in yourself and your gifts. Check out the wear and tear on those shoes that you use every day for running or chasing your kids or walking to work. How about the pots and pans you use to cook for your family? The keys on your keyboard? Or the wheels on that suitcase that you roll from home to airport and back again. What does that wear and tear represent to you and what you have accomplished? When is the last time you watched your children and took note that they are actively using a word or behavior you taught them that positively impacts others? We have so many things around us every day – simple things – we can use as a reminder that represents our brand at work. Take time to look around and notice often. Celebrate what you find.

What advice do you have for young girls, our up and coming fabulously fierce, around being their best selves or anything you’d like to share with them in particular?
The greatest leaders and most successful people are the ones that did not try to be like everyone else. Be yourself. Always. The difference you are is your gift – no one else has it but you. Cuddle with it. Flaunt it. Grow it. Keep it. Know it is your power to share as you please. This is the key to your confidence and success….don’t forget.

Anything additional you’d like to share?
This is all a journey – nobody’s perfect, no one has the perfect answer on “how to be” and is the perfect representative of their brand all the time. Everything I have written above is a continuous work in progress. That’s what makes life fun 😉

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