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Branding for the Not-So-Average Person

Recently a client asked me, “Why do I need a brand?  I am just an average person.  It’s not like I am an executive, celebrity, or an entrepreneur.”   My answer was, “That is exactly why you need to think about your personal brand.” Do you want to be perceived as average?   No; you want to be perceived as exceptional at what you do. Everyone is unique. You need a brand strategy.  Where do you begin?  How does the not-so-average person create a brand strategy to break out from the sea of average persons?  Follow these steps to branding success.

What’s Your Brand?


Understanding How to Navigate Personality Differences on Teams

Do you love your job but struggle dealing with management? Do you look forward to getting together with your clients but avoid meeting with your co-workers? Are you partners with someone in business or in your personal life with whom you experience as difficult? Do you feel that you are ineffective in problem-solving with certain groups of co-workers or friends? Perhaps there is a personality conflict with you and your team. Often we write off personality conflicts because we can’t change someone else’s personality. However, there are strategies and approaches to help navigate situations where potential personality conflicts exist that I’ve outlined here.


Build and Engage Your Employees through Employee Engagement Strategies


Employee engagement is the backbone of your overall organizational performance. While many organizations choose to ignore its importance, you must realize that only when your employees are fully engaged will they work whole-heartedly for you and groom themselves as thorough professionals. In order to achieve this, they must be given the right opportunities and balance in work. All this forms the essence of setting up and running any business.

Forming a Comprehensive and In-depth Approach to Establishing Your Business through Employee Engagement



Connecting with Competitors on LinkedIn

Dear Deb:

Is it a good idea to accept a competitor as a LinkedIn connection?   Isn’t there a chance I could lose potential customers if they see their names and start shopping?  I am a consultant in the field of environmental impact studies. Thank you,



Gap between Millennial Employee Viewpoints and Employer Expectations


For any organization to operate efficiently, there must be complete coordination between all layers of staff and management. Only when there is complete communication can you expect an organization to operate smoothly. All gaps must be bridged, and all terms must be understood well by all. When running an organization, terms, definitions as well as all targets and expectations must be crystal clear to employers and employees. However, in recent years, employers and employees seem to have drastically different views on crucial areas, which lead to much distress and turmoil for companies.

Millennials are known for having opinions that are quite different to those of their employers. Indeed, the differences are so vast that you might wonder how they could ever be reconciled. For example, 86% of Millennials see themselves as hardworking indivdiauals, while only 11% of their employers agree with this. Also, 82% of Millennials believe that they are loyal to their employers, but only 1% of employers believe that this is true.

What Can Be Done to Narrow the Perception Gap between Employers and Millennials?



Counter-Intuitive Must-Dos To Manage Time And Reduce Stress

Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale completely. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale completely. Repeat a couple more times and then notice how much quieter your mind is and how much more relaxed your body is.

This tried and true stress buster works! I have found myself a bit disconcerted and overwhelmed this week – continuing our travel well into the summer after coming off our “normal” spring busy, squeezing a vacation in there over the 4th of July holiday, or all or none of the above. However, when I noticed it (and one of those moments was when I realized it was my turn to write our blog this week and it wasn’t on my work-to-do list!), I stopped and thought about what I needed to do to gain some clarity and energy around my priorities so I could get and remain productive.

The first thing I thought of was “breathe.” That is always the best place to start and a technique we teach to reduce pressure in our lives and as a centering technique to help you manage your time. And, since many of our CPA friends seem to always be managing key deadlines ...


Three Reasons Why Objective Statements Are Out

With all the “do’s and don’ts” of resume writing, do you ever wonder the reasons why objective statements are out?  The objective statement falls in the category of a “don’t.” There are at least three reasons why objective statements are no longer recommended for professional resumes.

ONE:  It places the focus on your needs (objective) rather than the employer’s needs.

The purpose of your resume is to help the hiring manager understand what you can do for them, not what you want. Naturally, an employer is more concerned with filling their needs than your wants.


Knocking Down the Wall of Words

Andrew sent me his resume for review.  My first impulse was to knock down his “wall of words.”  He has so many wonderful accomplishments, but they are buried within long narratives under each job. Additionally, he has used a tiny 10-point Arial font and very thin margins.  It is tough on the eyes and only the most determined reader will get through Andrew’s entire resume.

This is very common.  A candidate comes to us with a strong history of accomplishments, but their resume holds them back.  Here are a few things that Andrew can do so his resume rises to the level of his accomplishments.


I Believe That We Will Win – Setting and Achieving Goals Like Team USA

If you’ve been following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, you’re already aware of the rollercoaster of surprises, victories and early exits that have speckled the games so far. Neither England nor the reigning champion of the 2010 games, Spain, made it to the semi-finals – a surprise for soccer fans around the world. However, the truly exciting and inspiring team to watch has been our own Team USA.

Already a long-developing underdog story, Team USA has continued to show its potential in each World Cup. This year, the made an impressive showing, too, reaching the Round of 16. USA’s final game against Belgium ended 2-0, knocking us out, but this disappointment did not dishearten the team or its fans. Goalkeeper Tim Howard made an unheard-of 16 saves during the game – a record in World Cup history. His efforts sparked major social media buzz from fans, other professional sports players, and government officials including an invitation from the U.S. Secretary of Defense to visit the Pentagon. He made hero status and furthered solidified Team USA’s reputation and standing as a real contender in professional soccer around the world.


How to explain a termination when asked in interview

Dear Debra:

I was fired in my last job as a customer service agent due to excessive tardiness and absences.  What do I say if I am asked about it?   I had a new baby.  I learned my lesson and in my next job, I will 1) get a job closer to home, 2.) use a child care center instead of my last nanny who was unreliable, and 3.) I will not let this happen again!  It’s too stressful being unemployed. 

What do I say to convince them that they can trust me?

Thank you,