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Adventures in Branding

The Adventures in Branding podcast is here to inspire you to find your brand magic. From business brand to personal brand, these Clusters of Awesomeness will talk you through about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a human. Get ready to make the impact you were born to rock. Follow me, Melanie Spring, and my collection of hardcore co-hosts around the world as we share our experiences on the road of branding. The twists, the turns & everything in between - building businesses and living the adventures. This is the podcast for kickass humans who crave change, push limits, and light fires. Melanie is your Chief Inspiration Officer & it’s her job to spark the magic.
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Apr 19, 2017

How positivity, faith, and a little bit of sassiness can turn any situation around.

“I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m somebody’s double vodka.” – Wilma Jones

How often do we walk through life “dulling our shine” because we’re worried we’re too big of a personality? That we’re too loud or use too many swear words? How often do people tell us that we need to do less, be less, say less? Well you’ve heard me say it again and again: you are beautiful, you are loved, you are enough.

You are not too much.

When Wilma Jones walked into HQ, I knew she was a special person – she’s living her personal brand like nobody’s business. A mutual friend introduced us (Maritza Lizama, who will soon be coming to your ears in the next installment HERadventures) and man, am I glad she did. This woman is such a funny, positive force of energy and I can’t wait to sit down with her again.

Wilma is not too much.

As you’ll hear in her own words, Wilma is a big proponent of “positive psychology” and that above all, positivity breeds positivity. She calls it a “virtuous cycle” – a phrase I’m TOTALLY using from now on. (Another term of hers that I love: “celestial bootcamp”, which you’ll hear about later in the episode.)

Wilma shared her incredible story with me – how she went from feeling stuck and miserable in her marriage to being an empowered single mother and author. We bond over a mutual search for positivity and self-improvement, and she shared with me the secret to her success: being happy and grateful for where you are.

I can’t wait for you to hear this episode – I had so much fun recording it and can’t wait to have her on the podcast again. Grab yourself a cup of tea (or double vodka) and get ready to be inspired!

Apr 12, 2017

Honoring the differences and embracing the value in creative tastes.

What do you do if you’re stuck in a job that you love? You like your coworkers, you do meaningful, important work, and you’re really good at what you do. But you just feel… stuck.

That’s exactly where Monica Kang, Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox®, found herself about a year ago. She was pursuing an crazy-badass career, and she truly loved her job, but she felt like she had massive creative energy that wasn’t being expressed or put to use.

Her situation isn’t unusual — as you’ll hear her share in the episode, a recent study found that 87% of professionals worldwide are feeling “stuck” and lacking a creative outlet in their jobs. What?! Why is that such a high number?

It could have a little something to do with negative ideas surrounding “creative” or “creativity”. A lot of people think of it as a “fluffy” word that is somehow inferior or not characteristic of a “serious career”. Monica explains that simply isn’t true. Creativity isn’t just glitter and sparkles. Creativity can be expressed in all types of activities and pursuits. From painting to your morning jog, you use creative abilities in many areas of your life.

Monica started InnovatorsBox® as a way to combat these negative stereotypes of creativity. Through her awesome workshops, she helps others discover their own tastes, abilities, and most importantly, differences in creativity – and how to manifest all of these in their professional and personal spheres.

I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it – Monica is a kickass human, filled with loveliness and sunshine. She also happens to be crazy smart and inspiring. She’s my type of people -- she even referenced one of my favorite quotes by Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I want her to be one of my five!

Apr 5, 2017

You can’t do epic shit when you’re sitting in a comfortable space.

"All good things are wild and free."

I saw that on a billboard on my way to the tattoo artist in Bali. I hadn’t been sure what to get on my arm, but I was literally given a sign that this should be the phrase. Not only did Bali shake up my physical self – #alltheyoga – it shook up my mindset. I came back from my trip feeling invigorated, fresh and ready for a big, big change. Shortly after I got home, my friend Kris made me realize something:

For someone who always says “there is no box”, I’ve been living a pretty comfortable, boxed-in life.

I love my job. I love my house. I love my dog (most of the time – he is a monster, after all). I have the best team and the best clients. I’m generally really happy with my life. And it’s exactly this “comfort” that’s put me in a box.

Last year during the podcast’s “Finding” series, Rebecca and I talked about “Finding Uncomfortable”. How you can’t experience growth or development when you aren’t pushing any limits or testing boundaries. Being comfortable is dangerous – we run the risk of staying stuck in one place because we’re afraid to upset the balance.

But what if we stopped being afraid?

What if we busted out of our comfort zones and pushed ourselves to do the extreme? How would our lives be different? How would they be BETTER? Don’t you want to do something crazy? Be wild and free? This is what I took from Bali: All good things are wild and free. Instead of putting up random limitations on my own happiness, I’m taking chances, exploring outside my comfort zone, and getting out of the box.

I’ve flirted with the idea of being “bicoastal” for a while, and I decided that 2017 is my year to make it happen. I’m going to live for half the year in DC, rocking it with my team face-to-face, and for the other 6 months, I'll put my place up on Airbnb and live in California. It’s been my dream and now I’m actually going to do it. Wild and free.

This week I challenge you to free yourself from whatever box you may be living in. It doesn’t have to be a big change – it can be something as tiny as giving yourself permission to dream. And dream bigger! It’s scary and nerve-wracking… but that’s also a sign it’s worth your time.

However you choose to define it: be wild and free.

Mar 22, 2017

Let go and come back to your heart-space.

One day last week, I really needed a hug.

Nothing seemed to go right. Even tiny things felt like giant, annoying frustrations. Punching a wall was looking better and better. But suddenly I realized – I needed a hug. So I asked for one.

Luckily, I work with the best humans, so Gisell and Cheney were on hand for a warm-and-fuzzy group hug. We all went back to our workspaces feeling just a little bit better about life, and it all came from the power of human contact. A simple human touch made all the difference in the world. I just needed to ask for it.

Later that day, I got to talk to my friend Chris about what had been going on. He told me to come home – to get out of my own head. Of course I was having a crappy day – I was painfully homesick for my heart-space and wasn’t asking for the thing(s) I needed to get me home.

So many of us don’t take the time to examine what we need on a daily basis. We get caught up in the anxieties of the day, whether it’s running a business, raising a family, or picking out matching socks (everything is relative). We forget that we’re human beings, not human doings. Going up to Brainland is necessary and helpful, but sometimes we forget to come home to our hearts. Human beings live in their hearts, not their heads, so when we forget about the “be’s” and focus on the “do’s” we’re bound to get a little out of sorts.

The trick is to identify what we need to get home and ask for it.

What I needed was a simple human touch, so I asked for it. Maybe you need some time with your favorite book or a mug of your favorite tea. If you need space from someone else, ask for 30 minutes of ‘me-time’. Ask for what you need, even if it comes from no one but yourself. Give yourself permission to come home.

I’m in Bali doing exactly that – coming home to my heart. Giving myself the time and space to heal. My team is helping me take of everything while I’m gone – all I had to do was ask them. It’s scary to give up total control, to ask for help, but I promise you, you’ll feel amazing when you do. Come home, and when you do, send me a love note telling me how you got there.

Rock your week, super-lovely humans!

Mar 15, 2017

What the world needs now is love (sweet love).

I had every intention of recording a very different podcast episode this week, focusing on Rock Your Talk (now rescheduled for June 15th). But when I pressed record, I couldn’t help but talk about the state of affairs between humans.

Whether we admit it or not, none of us likes to be “wrong”. Wanting to be right, wanting to be the best is a part of the human genetic code. It’s harmless when we’re debating pop-culture facts or the answer to a math problem. But when we start applying the words “good”, “bad”, “right”, or “wrong” to race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, that’s when we need to take a step back and look inside ourselves. 

What’s going on in our hearts that makes us want to take someone else’s down a peg?

Recently it feels as if everyone is against everyone else. Fear and hatred keep seeping into the conversation like a poisonous slime. But it doesn’t need to be that way. I’ve found that there’s tremendous power in holding each other. Physically, in an embrace, but also holding space for someone and filling it with love. Instead of asserting your “rightness”, hold out your hand and leave yourself open to the beautiful colors, faiths, and personalities of the world. If we extend our arms and start manifesting that love together, we’ll all be better for it.


I think somebody needs a hug. And that somebody is US.

Mar 8, 2017

Break up your story into bite-sized pieces.

All stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But sometimes, when we tell them, we skip around, play with the timeline, or leave a few background characters out. When you share your story, you don’t need to make it a captain’s log of your life. You don’t need to tell people when you ate breakfast or how much butter you used on your toast.

Share your story, not your inventory.

To get the most out of telling your story, focus on the pivotal points. The supernovas. The lightbulb moments. Last week, I chatted with a client, Marshe’, who told me her story. Together we crafted a talk based on one particular pivotal moment in her life and focused on how that moment shaped everything that came after.

People need to hear your story. The whole story, but not every little detail. This week, I discuss the key points in our lives and how they make the most impact when we share our stories with others.

What’s your pivotal moment?

Mar 1, 2017

Anything that could possibly be happening right now is happening. And it feels. Like. Shit.

I woke up Sunday morning with a huge weight on my heart. I had a friend say something to me that stung, even though I know she meant nothing by it. I needed to work through it… so I did it on the podcast. Yep - I worked through my own muck, my own expectations, my own pressure on a public podcast for all the internet to hear. And now you get to listen and/or watch me find the truth on the other side of it all. Here’s what I discovered:

We’re all on a journey. We all have our own journeys and our own spaces that we’ve been given. Unlike disgruntled people in a crowded airport, though, we’re all here to help each other. So, let’s not compare our journeys. Let's blend our itineraries and shoulder the burden of our baggage together.

I recently received the book Rebirth from a close friend. In it was a conversation about why suffering is allowed. Why pain has a purpose. The book said that we may be asking the wrong question of ‘why’. Why has this negative thing happened to us? But maybe instead we should ask the question ‘Now what?’

I’m here to tell you that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. You don’t have to do this life on your own. Your journey is not about you. My journey is yours. Your journey is mine. I’m walking with you. When you stand, I stand with you. This pain isn’t yours to suffer alone, and it doesn’t matter why it’s present.

So, now what?

Feb 15, 2017

The lovely people behind the scenes typically don’t get enough thanks. This week we have Tony Porreco, our podcast producer on the show - and after the Crew saying “sorry, Tony” over and over, it was time to bring him in for an interview. All you kickass humans now get the chance to hear his voice!

Although he was just as nervous as I was about starting the Adventures in Branding podcast, we realized how much we needed each other to produce the deliciousness you hear every week. And thanks to Tony, he always makes everything sound way better on the podcast and I never have to worry about how I record it, much to his chagrin. His production skills are on point. 
 
Music is how Tony got started in podcast production. He used his guitar skills to put together the Adventures in Branding intro. He took my direction as “Approachable Badass” and created music that captures exactly that brand. Tony ended up bringing his guitar the day we recorded this to record the chorus of a Robbie Williams song. More on that soon.
 
Most people only dream about jumping off the cliff of entrepreneurship. If you’ve listened to this podcast long enough, you know I was pushed off the cliff 8 years ago. Tony recently got fired after 6 years from a job he hated. And he’s taking it as HIS push off the cliff in order to figure out what he wanted to do next. Now he’s thinking of himself as a brand. Listen in to find out how he describes his own brand. He’s even in a band that sounds like Deathcab with a Farmer’s Tan.  
Feb 8, 2017

How many people don’t start really living until something bad happens? They get cancer, a hard diagnosis, lose a parent or child, get a big scare.What if we learned from those who have dealt with all of that and started really living instead of waiting for something to happen? What if the people who have to deal with these hardships can teach us something bigger about living? Oh man, do I have a fun one for you.

My little brother - an almost-30 6’5” youngest sibling - honored me with his life story this week. Ok, yes, I asked Cheney to email him and she sent him the most HILARIOUS formal email telling him I would blackmail him if he didn’t accept our request - but despite the threats, he happily showed up before work one morning and sat for a chat with me at my office.

Andrew Harris shares his story of how he’s dealt with a life-changing diagnosis, huge transitions, and finding his path. He moved into Sisarina HQ early last year and lived on my fold-down couch while figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. In that time, he learned more about himself than he expected and I got a chance to watch my brother grow up in front of my eyes.

If you are struggling through a transition, wondering what steps to take, or finding your way in life, listen in - but grab a tissue box. This little (yet super tall) brother of mine made me tear up after he admitted how he was able to break through his toughest walls. SO proud, Andrew Harris. I’m SO proud of you. Xoxo, your big sister, Melanie

Feb 1, 2017

Everyone has a personal brand. Even if you don’t know what it is, it follows you around like a shadow. Most people have a tough time identifying their brand because they worry more about what other people think about them. Charleen McManus didn’t have that problem - she just wasn’t sure she wanted to own her personal brand - until it found her.

You’ll remember Charleen from the Richmond HERadventures episodes - she’s the one who hosts incredible parties at her house (and yes, I’m waiting for my invitation). Since last May when Mary & I were on the road, she has put her entrepreneurial gig to the side and gone full-time with a South African company - and guess what?! She found her brand in the process!

From creating a look of professionally artsy to walking out of meetings feeling like she knows her stuff now, Charleen is looking good, feeling good, and enjoying life like the kickass human she is. In case you’re trying to find yourself, this is what it looks like when you’re stepping up and owning your personal brand.

In this episode, we dive into why hiring experts to help you is a badge of adulthood, what choosing your career can look like, how knowing who you want to be helps you find your brand, and why Charleen’s parties are quite literally the best (and yes, it’s the food). Listen in or watch us chat, but make sure you don’t listen hungry.

Jan 25, 2017
When you walk into a room, you end up worried about what everyone else is thinking about you. And they’re worried what you’re thinking about them. The reality is - everyone is just thinking about themselves. So, why are we always caring about what everyone else is thinking about us when they really don’t care? 
 
Nedra Davis was the poster child for best kid ever. She checked every box on the list of being an amazing kid and young adult until she was 25 and she became pregnant - unmarried and unplanned. She placed what she believed everyone else would think of her over her own happiness and found herself miserable. She didn’t even enjoy the first months of being pregnant because of the shame she was feeling. Until she got a response from her parents she never expected. 
 
But even after that, she kept the loop cycling when she continued worrying about what everyone else would think about her and ended up married and unhappy. Raising her children and getting divorced, she started realizing what everyone else thought didn’t matter and found her wisdom through reading and finding her spirituality. Getting her thoughts out on paper empowered her to be one of the strongest, most resilient human beings I’ve ever met. She had to learn how to embrace her shame and her worry in order to let it all go. She now fully lives in a place where she owns her worth, her value system and her life - personally AND professionally.
 
Do you truly care what other people think of you? Do you worry about fitting in? Guess what - they don’t care because they want the same things. You are loved. You are enough. You can do this. Find the loop and learn from it so you can move forward as a kickass human. Listen in as Nedra shares her solid character, how she’s raising strong children, and why it matters that we live authentically inside our true selves. 
Jan 18, 2017

Sometimes you meet someone who makes you laugh like you’re old friends. Someone who just gets you and flawlessly blends with you in conversation. Hilarious banter, fond memories, feel good moments, and deep thoughts. That’s where we find ourselves on this episode of Adventures in Branding.

You may remember Ingrid Black from the final episode of our first HERadventures series. She’s the South African beauty who kept us belly-laughing with her stories. Since then, she’s decided to take stand-up comedy classes and once you listen to this episode, you’ll know why. Ingrid and I got a chance to sit down for a one-on-one and although I’ve only spent a short amount of time with her, she shared her life with me and all of you kickass humans. I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard for 40 minutes.

Filling her bucket list with vomit (seriously), Ingrid recently jumped out of an airplane in Australia and now wants to learn how to do aerial silks despite her motion sickness. Chit-chatting about hanging from a ceiling while debating the definition of “pasties” moved into talking about laugh-out-loud horrible dates - including one guy she nicknamed Cinderella because he wore his slippers to bed.

Ingrid knows how blessed she is as she has come to realize her life has never really been a challenge. Starting her career as a physical therapist, she saw lives changed in a split second and kept a solid perspective. This woman volunteered in the Israeli Army and one of her favorite memories is watching the sunrise on Mount Sinai. Although climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was #1 on her bucket list, someday she would love to be able to run her own company.

Right now, she’s doing big things as the Vice President of an organization in a male-dominated industry, and as she’s taking on the diversity challenge, she’s still giving back in more ways than most humans I know. Listen in to find out why her mom has a Finder’s Fee for the person who finds her a husband. But be forewarned, people on the train will think you’re crazy thanks to the numerous points you’ll burst into laughter.

 

Jan 11, 2017
Finally! An episode where Melanie is talking to another Melanie and it’s not herself. HA! Yes, I know. And happy new year to you, too! It’s 2017 and everyone’s all in a flutter to set (and forget) their resolutions. To kick off this year’s Adventures in Branding, I bring to you one of my personal favorite humans - Melanie Vracas. I promise you’ll love her as much as I do. 
 
When Melanie V was just a little kid with big crazy hair, her mother would make her sit down to write her goals every year. She didn’t realize what a great idea that was until years later when she started writing down her intentions again. Now it’s a part of her own daily life when she picks up Angel Cards before she leaves the house.
 
She and I met in January 2016 when I spoke at a marketing association meeting about intentions. She was the one with the big gorgeous hair and infectious laugh who was talking about rainbows and unicorns and shitting glitter within ten minutes. Like long lost friends. And it was that night we realized how much Melanies have in common. Including being impatient, uptight, kooky humans who spread their fairy dust of positivity on everyone - whether they like it or not.
 
"Intentions are moving words. Your intention is the fire that propels you.” - Melanie Vracas
 
The ever-insightful Melanie V sat with me at Sisarina HQ in our newly redecorated turret to talk about how letting go of the control (which isn’t easy for either of us) and tuning into what’s really going on with you so you can start the work that’s necessary to get where you want to go. She shares all her favorite quotes, what she does to help herself through each day, and even lets us in on the things she’s working on. We’re all works in an ongoing progress.
 
Since my own theme for this year is “light that bitch on fire” and Melanie V loves to light her intentions on fire, it was obvious she had to share this episode with me to start 2017. One of my big intentions this year is writing a book (eek!) from all the journals I’ve filled up over the years. And the blog post I wrote the day we recorded is literally about writing things down and making them reality. Coincidence? Melanies think not.
 
So, raise your coffee, pound the pavement, and face the traffic, kickass humans! Listen in as we cheers to lighting the good shit or the bad shit on fire. To letting go of the trapeze bar so you can fall into the net below. To clapping if you believe in fairies. To being pushed off the cliff instead of jumping. It’s time to live boldly. That’s what this life is all about, right?
 
WATCH FULL VIDEO & OUTTAKES HERE: https://youtu.be/vnHWn4EFcss
Dec 21, 2016

 

“I like to help people get OFF the couch… and you’re giving people couches! We can still be friends.” – Kris Kaplan, K2 Coaching

This past weekend, I was called by a girlfriend to meet her at an address and not ask any questions. We ended up putting on elf hats and delivered Christmas gifts to needy families in the DC area. One of the women had zero furniture in her home so I went back the next day and dropped off a couch and a lamp. I had just ordered a new couch and couldn't think of a more deserving & grateful human than this woman.

During our mutual Q1 2017 planning meeting, Kris Kaplan and I were talking about gifts for clients, gifts for family and my elving this weekend. Kris does outstanding gifting including sending pink bubble wrap to a friend who flipped over his bike so we wanted to share our thoughts with you. Instead of "selling" with swag, doing something nice for someone else reminds them of you more than your logo on a mug.

While you're in the midst of your holiday spirit, don't forget about those who have nothing. If the holidays start stressing you out,  get out and do something for someone else. If you wonder what to do for your clients, give back and get them to help you. Listen in to get into the gifting spirit and get off the couch & do something about it.

Dec 14, 2016

“Go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated.” Ingrid kicks off our final episode with the pivotal moment she decided to quit her job.

Our final stop in Richmond, VA led Mary and me to a wine shop for portraits and then the back room of Elements Beauty Store to chat with three kickass ladies. It was our last day heading back to DC and although we were exhausted from the five day journey, we ended up belly laughing our way through this episode. We had a roundtable with Ingrid Black, Charleen McManus, and Christina Dick learning about what motivates them, keeps them energized, and ahead of the curve.

These ladies are kicking butt and taking names - any way they need to. Ingrid has a strong belief that the Universe takes care of her - job, move, relationship. Charleen’s network kicked ass for her and got her a ton of new clients who believe in her without any marketing. Christina networks with her clients in a leotard while she’s doing adult gymnastics. They kept us laughing the whole conversation.

Grab some tissues for all the crying laughter and real talk while you listen in to find out why Ingrid wondered about why Americans wanted hairy penises, what Charleen’s “Accountabili-buddies” are, and Christina’s love for White Castle burgers. You’ll want to be at one of Charleen’s parties after you’re done. Thanks for being a part of our first HERadventures series. More to come!

 

 
Dec 7, 2016

The Triangle area in North Carolina includes Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham - Mary and I stopped at the beautiful Umstead Hotel & Spa in Raleigh to chat with the local lady residents. Mary-Ann Baldwin, Suzanne Miglucci and Jennifer Hoverstad gave us three different perspectives on life, politics, infertility, and business.

We wondered why people ask “innocent questions” about younger women and their position on having children while some aren’t interested in having kids and others are struggling with infertility. We talked through getting into the political game locally and how each of these ladies got to the place they are in their careers We even got a chance to talk about knowing your value and learning how to choose the right mentor for you.

Most of us have a hard time asking for help, saying what we mean, and then we end up inviting our frenemies over for dinner - why? Sometimes we have to listen for the pivotal moments and grab them when they show up. Listen in to hear their favorite books and discover how to be more proactive in learning from the women who have been-there-done-that.

Nov 30, 2016

Driving from DC through Virginia to the Carolinas, Mary and I had a LOT of time on our hands. Lots of discussions about the podcast, the women we were meeting, and the adventures we were having caused us to want to record ourselves talking. So, with the iPhone recording through the MINI speakers, we started sharing answers to the question: What would you tell your 18yo self?

Thankfully, we have a kickass podcast producer Tony Porreco who knows how to edit. He took our 30 minute conversation down to a few bite-sized minutes of the two of us sharing our adult advice with our 18 year old self.

Also, we went ziplining at GoApe (yes, we paid full-price and no, they didn’t sponsor us to say this) and had a blast! The lovely Cheney put together a video of the hilarity of our treetop adventures with Raleigh resident, Lisa Sullivan. Watch & laugh here: http://bit.ly/HERplaylist

What would you tell YOUR 18-year-old self? We want to know!
Nov 23, 2016

Greenville, South Carolina is an underrated city with infinite possibilities. When Mary and I drove into this adorable downtown, we knew we were going to find too many things to do for our short stay. Exploring the downtown area with waterfalls and excellent restaurants, cycling on the Swamp Rabbit Trail thanks to PedalChic, and enjoying the local wine shop, we had the chance to chat with two sets of Greenville residents. They told us all about why they love the city but also gave us a look into their personal lives.

First, we met Marion Crawford, Jennifer Sutton, and Robin Bylenga at a wine shop and discussed everything from entrepreneurship and business to marriage and why long walks with friends are the key to sanity. These three founders & CEO’s share about the intricate balance of relationships while also running successful businesses.

The next day, after I spoke at the AAF Greenville meeting, Mary and I chatted with Sara Shumpert, Courtney Mitchell, Robyn Zimmerman, and Peyton Fish. We learned that Greenville has a growing entrepreneur and innovation community along with being a great place to grow your career. We even heard our favorite answer to the “what would you tell your 18-year-old self?” question.

Listen in to generations of Greenville women tell their stories of love, life, and business.

 

MEET THE WOMEN:

AT A WINE SHOP

Marion Crawford - founder and CEO of Crawford Strategy

mother, writer, entrepreneur, exercise enjoyer, amateur cook & gardener

Instagram:@marionrcraw

Facebook:Marion Crawford​

 

Jennifer Sutton - founder and CEO of Bright + CO Marketers

mother, entrepreneur, marketing nerd, generous host, passionate for being kind

Facebook: Jennifer Sutton

LinkedIn: Jennifer Sutton

Twitter: @JJMediaMaven

Instagram: @JenniferJohnsSutton

 

Robin Bylenga - creator, founder and CEO of PedalChic

Mother, cyclist, transformer of lives, bit of a workaholic, incredibly passionate

Facebook: Robin Lennon Bylenga

LinkedIn: Robin Bylenga

Twitter: @PedalChic

 

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN:

Sara Shumpert - Director of The Packaging School

dog lover, nature enthusiast, entrepreneur, lifelong learner, technologist

Instagram: @sarashumpert

Twitter: SaraaaSmiless

Facebook: Sara.Shumpert

LinkedIn:Sara Shumpert

Her pup's Insta: Murray_the_Mini

 

Courtney Mitchell - Marketing Manager at Clemson Eye

New York, fun, runner, dog lover, adventurous

Instagram: @cmegrichard

Facebook: Courtney Richard Mitchell

LinkedIn: Courtney Mitchell

Twitter: @cmeg

 

Robyn Zimmerman Executive Communications Strategist at Crawford Strategy

teacher, stepmother, broadcaster, theater lover, wonderful wife

Twitter: @robynzimmerman

Facebook: Robyn Irene Zimmerman

 

Peyton Fish - Media Research Analyst at Charter Spectrum

event planner, traveler, spiritual, animal lover, dancer

Facebook: Peyton Fish

LinkedIn: Peyton Fish

Instagram: @_peytonfish

Nov 16, 2016

Fierce competitors become fiercely loyal coworkers. You don’t hear THAT every day - especially not when it’s a group of women.


Mary and I made our way to Charlotte, NC where I spoke at the American Marketing Association marketing workshop. Three ladies sat down in the front row and quickly became super engaged in this workshop. Afterward, I asked for volunteers for the podcast and no one came up. When we walked out, these three ladies were so full of laughter, you could tell they had stories to tell. We were thrilled when they agreed to rock HERadventures with us and found out later they were competitors who had become coworkers through their employers’ recent acquisitions.


When we sat down with Carrie-Ann Kulinski, Messina Truttman, and Rachelanne Hansen, we realized these three ladies weren’t just coworkers, but friends. At a roundtable in the back of a busy hotel conference center, we shared life, advice, and love with each other and the podcast. Discussing everything from fixing furnaces, raising large families alone, how they were raised, being friends, and adopting Great Danes, we noticed there was much more in common between all of us than we first realized. I brought up Tony Robbins’s idea of “limiting beliefs”, Mary retells how she proved a naysayer wrong, and the whole group discusses the role of women in the workplace. Listen as these beautiful women share their greatest strengths, biggest influences, and find out what “Tall Tree Syndrome” is.


CONNECT WITH THE WOMEN:

Private HERadventures Facebook Group

Nov 9, 2016

Welcome to HERadventures: the women-focused side of Adventures in Branding!

Earlier this year, I jumped in Roxie Jean, the Hotrod Machine with my good friend & photographer extraordinaire, Mary Gardella, and embarked on a weeklong adventure to Virginia and the Carolinas. Logging hundreds of miles, we interviewed 15 rockstar women about their own personal brands and professional journeys, examining just what it means to be a woman today, in life AND in the workplace. We even went ziplining!

“Fear is invited to come along but Fear is not allowed to drive, choose the songs on the radio, select the snacks, or suggest detours.” - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

In this inaugural episode of HERadventures, Mary and I got together to reminisce and rehash our epic road trip. We get to share our perspective and what we learned as a result of our crazy adventure, touching on everything from Jennifer Aniston’s recent Huffington Post article to the role fear plays in our lives.

PODCAST EPISODE HERE

Who was the most influential woman in Mary’s life? What do I do to de-stress? Learn the answers to these questions – and more – and jump into our private HERadventures Facebook group or subscribe to subscribe to Adventures in Branding. We’ve got 6 weeks of kickass women. Stick around to see what happens next!

IFrame

MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE: 

Oct 11, 2016

Finding little celebrations in every day stuff

This podcast started because the topic of purpose and personal branding had become a huge part of every day conversation. Over the last 10 weeks, we've been Finding things. 

As we wrap up the Finding series, Cheney and I chat about how the series got started, what we learned from it, and how we celebrate the little things every day. We even wrap up the whole thing with our very own happy dances!

What did you get out of the Finding series? 
Tell us in the comments below OR send me a note on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or through the Sisarina Love Notes.

Oct 4, 2016

Have you ever heard a speech about someone who had something horrible happen to them and it changed their life? Cancer, a car accident, an injury, a fight, a sickness, a relationship ending, being arrested. They get up on stage and start with how it all changed for them. My goal in this life is to never have to give that speech because I was in control of my life being amazing and nothing had to happen to me to change it. One of my other goals is to make sure others are living their lives in a way that they won’t have to either.

Many people think about things they need to give up or quit or get rid of - those habits they want to be done with. But how many times do we say we're going to do it and then decide it's not really as big of a deal. So we keep doing that thing. We keep going back to it with guilt and the feeling that we really can't stop doing it because (insert excuse here). 

Most of the time, these are just stories. Stories we tell ourselves because we're human. And that's where those speeches come from. We never gave up that thing and something had to step in and change it all for us.

I recently wrote a very personal blog post called Because I Keep Saying I Will on one of my biggest "stories." The story that said I wasn't strong enough to find something different to cope with stress, anxiety, nightmares, and lack of sleep. Something that could help me stay focused because I just wasn't built that way. And you know what, it was just that - a story. 

Replacing my story with a commitment - NOT saying "I'm giving it up" or "I quit" - but saying, this is my new story and this is how I want my life to look. I have a much better chance of being true to myself and writing the next part without making up guilty lies.

COMMITMENTS: Even if you don't read the post, or listen to the podcast, here’s my commitment to myself:
  • Meditation as medication. I am committed to meditate when I feel it’s time to medicate myself. Even if that mean I have to meditate 15x a day to make it stop.
  • No booze in the house. I am committed to removing all alcohol from the premises and will not purchase another bottle of anything.
  • Playtime looks different. I am committed to finding new activities that will replace “meet me for a drink” activities.
  • Cravings become writing. I am committed to keeping a journal of how I’m feeling so I can find out what brings on the cravings. 
COMMUNITY: As much as people like to complain about others oversharing, posting too much, and being narcissistic, we humans need each other. We need to hear each other’s stories, we need to know that others struggle like we do. We need to be there to help each other through these things. I need you. You need me. We can do this together.
 
Do you have something you need to commit to? It doesn’t have to be the same as what I’m doing.
  • What do you keep saying you’ll do?
  • What do your friends keep asking you about?
  • What are you doing that doesn’t fit your personal brand?
Write it down. Find a replacement habit.
Commit to it. And take it one day at a time. We’ve got this. 
 
Let’s work together to make sure we don’t have to write a speech about the thing we couldn’t give up that almost killed us.
 
This series also comes with a video series.
Sep 27, 2016

It's time to trust yourself.

Quite a few people have told me recently that when they first meet me they're a little intimidated by me. But after chatting, I find out that it's because they want to show up as confident as I do. They say they can tell I don't care what others think of me. 

Little secret: I do care what people think about me. Because I care about people.

But showing up with confidence is not meant to be intimidating. A conference attendee recently confided that when I got on stage in my little black dress & heels (yes, I dress up sometimes) to deliver a speech she immediately hated me because of how "perfect" I seemed. And by the end of the talk, she wanted to be my friend. Because of how I was real and unafraid to be imperfect in front of an audience of really smart people.

When I pressed her more about herself, I heard all of her insecurities, her hurts, and how much her past was affecting her future. But her past could be used as a motivator to get where she wants to go instead of a detractor holding her back.

When we show up with confidence, we show up trusting ourselves and knowing the world is here for us, not against us. What do you need to do to find the confidence you most totally deserve?

Sep 20, 2016

 

What happens when you have a well-defined brand, but it’s not really YOU anymore? Sometimes the brand that you started out with  —  the one that got you out there and paid  — looked like success. But if it’s not you anymore, you can feel trapped inside your own brand. And what’s worse is that you’re attracting people but they’re not YOUR people.  

It’s hard to crawl back from misalignment. Life changes and so does your brand. Finding alignment means finding what floats your boat and then getting out there and doing that thing - whatever your thing is. If circumstances have changed, or you’ve evolved in other ways, finding alignment is all about your destiny in your own way.

It takes guts to live “on brand.”  Struggling people (and businesses) in a brand crisis are in misalignment. And that can lead to mistrust. If this feels “too real,” stop the presses and boil everything down to what is really at the essence or the core of your brand. That’s the hard part. But it’s so worth it. When you know who you are, you can market the heck out it!

This series, Finding, is all about you. It’s about finding your light - from the inside out. It’s about finding yourself, your joy, your strength, your purpose, your direction, and your freedom.

This week is about Finding Alignment. Cheney and Rebecca talk about people who feel trapped in their own brand, how to identify misalignment and then get re-aligned. Listen in to find out how a little self awareness and a lot of tweaking — can lead to really rocking your life.

More at www.brandventurespodcast.com 

 

Sep 13, 2016

Our biggest regrets will not
be the things we did.

Creating this podcast was not a dream of mine but I knew I had to do it. Getting it started was terrifying for me (and you know this if you listened to the first few) but if I wanted to accomplish everything I’ve been dreaming of, I had to do it. It was my little big step that will end up allowing me to get where I want to go.

When we get to the end of our lives, our biggest regrets will not be the things we did, but the things we didn’t do.

Inactions = huge regrets.

One of our core values at Sisarina is Dream Bigger. It’s not because your dreams are too small - it’s because you’re meant to have big dreams. Your purpose is to live a big life - whatever that “big life” is for you. What is the thing that you can accomplish today that will get you where you want to be someday?

This series, Finding, is all about you. It’s about finding your light - from the inside out. It’s about finding yourself, your joy, your strength, your purpose, your direction, and your freedom.

This week is about Finding Dreams. Based on a social media post I read about someone having their dreams stolen, I went off on a short rant talking about how you have to let go of the childhood dreams you have and start living the dreams you have now. Listen in to figure out how to take that next step.

 

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