Each person forms the character of their brand. Hopefully, the character is formed with boundaries of integrity, truth, passion, purpose, respect, and trustworthiness. You’re the core of your brand and your moral and ethical character is the core of you. Traveling everywhere with you, your character exposes you for who you really are. If you are weak in your character, lay low and develop your character before overexposing yourself to the public. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up to be embarrassed.

Save this in your memory bank:  Integrity provides the guideline for your interactions with yourself and others. Be honest and transparent as much as humanly possible. Everyone has secrets, including me. Most aren’t necessary to share with anyone, so don’t. Moving forward, keep in mind that yielding to pleasurable wrongdoing ranks far beneath your potential and sits very high in negatively impacting your brand.

Integrity can also serve you as a barometer of how you are doing. Do you overcommit and underperform? Do you miss deadlines, appointments, and goals? Do you say you’re going to do one thing, but do another? These are factors that crash our brand.

Truth is relative and always changing, therefore, it can be difficult to communicate our truth. To build a solid brand you have to establish your truth. It’s a great part of the brand message that people buy into. You don’t have to be dogmatic with your truth. Flexibility gives you room to grow and evolve and even change your truth as you come to know it. But, it’s not going to fly with people if you are saying the sky is blue today and red tomorrow.  People will make room to accept you as a growing and ever-evolving learner, but they will abandon you quickly when they figure out that you are clueless.

Passion is a persuasive emotion. It’s not always logical, sequential, or rational. This doesn’t mean that it moves us out of alignment, either. Undoubtedly, it can and often does serve as a driving force for unexplainable behaviors. Passion is one of life’s most desirous emotions because it’s an insatiable and consuming feeling. But watch out—because it can easily be confused with temporary false emotions that prompt us to start projects we don’t or can’t finish. This is a blemish on our brand. As I stated in Chapter 3, I believe that most passions are birthed out of pain. Unquestionably, when we are free from our pain it is gratifying to see others free from theirs.

Nothing brings more meaning to life than a purpose for living it. When we have a worthy goal in life it can become our passion. Passion is the strong emotional motive moving the behavior. Purpose is the ambition, intention, and aim that form the focus that directs the behaviors.

Respect for your calling protects the purpose. When opportunities come that put the purpose or brand at risk, respect thinks of losing, damaging, or harming itself and the people who have embraced the brand. Respect understands its role to build and not break. Freedom of speech allows for loud-mouthed, disparaging, and even foul and sexually perverted brands to slip through the cracks. Some are even paid lots of money to lead people toward hate, violence, and selfishness. You have to decide what kind of legacy you want to leave for others to build upon. Remember, those closest to you are the ones most impacted.

Every brand structure starts with building trustworthiness. This is the credibility dynamic that I talked about in Chapter 4. People have to feel safe with you. They have to believe that you know what you are talking about. They have to believe that you believe what you believe.

People are looking for answers to questions they ponder, agonize over, and worry about daily. Situations that rock them at their core, disturb their family’s well-being, and deprive them of stabilizing peace.

This is an excerpt taken from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.


Under a tight deadline to complete some writing, with my manuscript and Apple laptop in hand, I arrived at 11:50 a.m. for a scheduled 12-noon lunch meeting with a vice president of marketing. We were meeting so that I could thank him for his decision to provide corporate funding for a fundraising event I chaired.

Engrossed in the writing, I was startled twenty or so minutes later when I heard a voice from the other side of the table say, “You didn’t think I was going to show, did you?” While standing up to embrace him, I began explaining my deadline requirements for The Bridge. Our conversation continued pleasantly, when in a matter of minutes a surprising, but welcomed statement poured out of the heart and mouth of the 50-plus, successful white male.

“I could never write a book,” he whispered. I was stunned at his unexpected transparency. But I instinctively knew and understood that this was a moment for us to connect on a deeper and richer level. Compassionately, I offered, “Even though it doesn’t look or sound like it today, I thought the same thing when I was writing my first book, There Is More Inside. In fact, in the first chapter I share my insecurities with the reader about how I didn’t think anyone would buy or read it.” My identification with his self-doubt must have created more safety. The muscles relaxed on his face, and he disclosed, “That’s exactly how I feel. What do I have to say that people would want to know?”

Having listened well to his earlier ponderings, I reminded him of a statement he had made about how he hadn’t realized how much he knew until the opportunity for him to teach showed up. Appreciating my reminder of his success, he took in a deep breath and readily nodded in agreement. The coach in me, however, wasn’t through. I continued to probe. “So, what would you write about?” He confessed he didn’t know. “What are you passionate about?” I inquired. His eyes rolled upwards to indicate thought. But again he answered, “I don’t know.”

The confused expression on my face must have prompted him to continue talking, and had I known the magnitude of what he was about to share, I would have tape-recorded the entire dialogue. From my mental notes and a few scribbles that I jotted down that day, I have recounted to the best of my ability this man’s profound awareness and insight. Listen to his heart.

“I’ve always known where I was going to next. I entered the job market and it was a natural progression. Next was just there. I would plan for my next logical step for advancement and professional growth. It’s laid out for you, an automatic sequence. But, what if there wasn’t a next? That’s when you realize, you left everything that you love and deeply desire on the sidelines for—next.  And, one day next doesn’t show up.”

We sat silently for a moment to ponder this undisputed truth together. Do most people take the well-traveled road laid out for them within organizational structures and systems? Do they wait for calamity to come before they ever seek their divine path of passion and personal self-fulfillment? When they find it, do they have the courage to cross The Bridge to get there?

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility will be available in paperback beginning August 15, 2011. Pre-order your copy today.


It is a cold winter Sunday morning. I’m running 20 minutes late. Church starts at 11 a.m. It is 11 a.m. I still have to pick up a child I’m mentoring who lives 15 minutes away. I arrive at his home. Instead of sending my usual text “I’m here,” I anxiously, but gently blow the horn. He walks to the car, opens the door, and jumps in. While pulling the seatbelt, he says, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.”

Showing no emotion, yet completely shocked by his eyebrow-raising statement, I wait to hear the click sound of the seatbelt that lets me know it’s okay to begin to back out of the driveway. As I put the car in reverse I’m suspiciously wondering: Am I about to get punked by a seven-year old? Shifting to a mindset lacking emotion or judgment, I asked, “Why do you say that?” Without hesitation he said, “Because every time something happens, my mom asks me what happened, but when I tell her she doesn’t believe me.” Trying to be objective, yet wiser than the mini man, I threw out another question. “So why doesn’t she believe you?” I don’t know, he replied.

I understood his bewilderment. Like what many of my adult clients face, this young child’s quandary illustrated a classic personal branding issue based on past events and behaviors. I searched my mental database looking for an age appropriate way to explain his problem and how he could solve it.

After serious contemplation, I couldn’t decide. Hesitant to guide him from pure assumption that he had created some trust challenges that needed correcting, I waited to collect more data. Driving on to our destination, I decided that reassuring him with a list of people who trusted him would suffice for the moment. I did, however, bookmark his statement intending to revisit it when I could best serve him.

Later that day we went to his favorite place, McDonald’s. After eating a six-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal, a cherry pie, and drinking some chocolate milk, he claimed he was still hungry. Surprised, I asked, “Are you sure?” Nodding his head up and down I continued, “What would you like?” He pointed to an oversized color poster hanging on the window that advertised a 10-piece Chicken McNugget for $1.99. “I want that,” he said energetically. “It’s only a dollar ninety-nine.” I didn’t offer to buy it for him right away because I wanted to give myself more time to think and make a good decision.

Finally I asked, “And what else?” He added, “A small fry.” After some savvy seven-year old negotiation, I silently opened my purse and pulled out my wallet. Looking for $3 for the $2.99 meal, I began explaining to him how to go to the counter, place his order, and pay the cashier. Watching closely from afar, I heard the cashier say, “You don’t have enough money.” Thinking that I could have made a mistake and not wanting him to feel embarrassed, I rushed over to find out where I went wrong in totaling $1.99 + $1 = $2.99.

Puzzled by the miscount, I looked probingly into the eyes of the cashier and asked, “He doesn’t have enough money?” She confidently replied, “He ordered a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, a small fry—and a smoothie.”

I smiled at her, peered down at the mini man, and gave him my you’ve-been-naughty look. I requested that she remove the smoothie from the order. I then walked slowly back to the dining area to wait patiently and wisely for him. As I perused my mental database again for the best way to handle this defining moment, I suddenly remembered the statement he had made earlier. But before I could say one word, the 4’2” fella hopped up in the seat and cleverly declared that the smoothie was for me. “I wanted to surprise you,” he announced.

I thanked him for his attempt at generosity. Then I carefully constructed an illustration that explained why surprising someone with a gift by spending their money on what he believed they wanted failed to exhibit genuine kindness. I also revisited his opening statement for the day, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.” This led to his first free coaching session on personal branding and its impact on his present and future relationships and endeavors.

If you are like him, you may not realize that you have a brand that you’ve been consciously or unconsciously building since you came to this planet. It’s the reason you were treated a particular way in school by your classmates and teachers. It’s what’s causing you to be overlooked and underestimated. It’s your brand that is still tagging along with you determining your personal and professional advancement.

The most important point to recall is that you have a brand. At any moment, you can assess it, redesign, and launch a new brand, which is probably the reason you are reading The Bridge to Your Brand.

If you’re just beginning the branding process, I would recommend that you complete this exercise. Write down three adjectives you think describe you. Then select and ask three people to provide you with three adjectives that describe you. Consider a family member, friend, and co-worker. Ask a customer, neighbor, or pastor. Supervisors, spouses, and children are also great contributors to this fact-finding process.

It is important that you give them permission to be honest and objective. Tell them that you are trying to grow and need their help. This will ease their mind to share their honest thoughts and feelings with you. Do not punish them for their honesty by debating, defending, or forcing them to justify their submissions. More than likely, the adjectives that you see more than once or the synonyms to those words indicate the way you’re received and perceived by others.

Even if you don’t like, agree with, or want to accept the descriptors, you have to remember that it’s the way others see you that is important during the research stage. It’s like going to the doctor; a diagnosis comes through the process of elimination. You have to figure out what is and isn’t working for you. What you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. What you like about what people are receiving and perceiving from you and what you don’t like.

As I tell my clients, stop saying, “I don’t care about what people say about me.” That’s not a true statement. You may not care about what everyone is saying about you, but you care about what some people are saying about you especially those you depend on for support. And, everyone needs support from others.

Did the adjectives that you wrote down to describe yourself match the ones given to you by others? The data collected serves as a starting point to awaken you to the fact that people have a clear opinion of you. That opinion matters, especially in environments where you spend the majority of your time—at home, work, and in other social settings. Awareness is growth. Are you awake and aware of what’s going on around you? What about what’s going on because of you?

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility will be available in paperback beginning August 15, 2011. Pre-order your copy today.

New Dimensional Thinking: How to Make a Quantum Leap in Your Confidence

Hello Ms. Renee,

I need your help. I often doubt myself in most situations. For example: I often think I won’t be able to handle the classes my major requires—physics and chemistry. Math and science are my worst subjects. I can do the work, but I will just have to work so hard at it. It drives me crazy. I try to stay encouraged, and stand on God’s word,  but my main phobia is failing. I get so discouraged when I don’t do as well as I would like to.  Can you help me get over this crisis, please?

Hello Friend:

Thank you for your courageous question. Every day each of us are faced with thoughts, feelings, and challenges that force us to face ourselves and who we claim we are.  That’s what confidence building is—evolving to a state of consciousness where we no longer freeze in doubt, but, instead, know that whatever decisions we make we can handle the outcome. In There Is More Inside, I explain that confidence is learning to trust yourself with your own life.

I’m not sure if we ever earn our own complete trust. I believe, however, that the better the decisions; the better the outcomes. Successful outcomes develop the trust that one needs to build a confident relationship with him/herself.

As I access your email and concerns it is clear that you are, as an older and wiser friend shared with me, “turning on yourself.” The admission that you “often think I won’t be able to handle the classes…” tells me that there is a battle. Like an argument with a loved one, internal battles drain our energy and occupy needed thought space for other important matters. This is what causes chaos and creates fog in our lives.

Quantum leaps always start in the mind. You may have faith to begin the journey, but do you have the belief system to sustain yourself over the course of the trip? As in your case, you had the faith to start college. Do you believe that you can finish it? It is important to have faith. It is equally important to have belief in the faith that you claim you have. You can’t “stand on God’s word.” You have to know and understand the laws and principles so that you can move in God’s word.

You claim that, “Math and science are my worst subjects…it drives me crazy. I get discouraged when I don’t do as well as I would like to.”  I hope that the results don’t come as a surprise to you. Words travel farther than you can see them go. Creating the life you ask them to create. Think of it this way. If you sent a package via one of the express carriers to China, you would expect it to arrive safely. Every word you speak arrives safely to the Creator. The Creator then assists you in creating what you’ve asked for. But, remember, you asked for it. It’s never about what you can or cannot do. You’re not the first person challenged in a subject. And, you most certainly, won’t be the last.

What did the individuals who were in your shoes do? They studied more, got a tutor, and joined a study group. I don’t believe that you are in a crisis. The person who doesn’t have access to food, shelter, clothing, education, and safety is in a crisis. You are learning, growing, and evolving into the person that the internal, real you knows that you are. When you seek, you will find the answer. Remain Powerful and always remember that There Is More Inside.

2009 © SRS Productions, Inc., S. Renee

The response is only the opinion of S. Renee. She doesn’t state any claims or make any demands that her opinion is right or that anyone should follow her advice. If you feel that you should seek medical assistance you are encouraged to do so.

Does Your Body Match Your Brand?

Over the years, regardless of race, age or gender, I have found that the size and shape of our bodies and body parts are of great concern to many of us. Instead of accepting and understanding that we are divinely made and the size of our bodies and body parts serve a specific and meaningful purpose, it is obvious that the images we consume on a daily basis impact our self-perception. I believe that these images distort our understanding of our divinity and sometimes take us off course.

I do, however, understand why we obsess over ourselves and our outer appearance. Statistically speaking there is a direct correlation in our looks and how much money we make. According to Sociologists Drs. Samantha Kwan and Mary Nell Trautner, “physical attractiveness is associated with a number of positive outcomes, including employment benefits such as hiring, wages, and promotion, and is correlated with social and personal rewards such as work satisfaction, positive perceptions of others, and higher self-esteem.”

On January 17, 2008, Faking Good Breeding posted a blog entitled, Beauty and Success. The author shared the following: Science Daily published an article that included a recent study showing that attractive people often receive better job positions and pay than average looking applicants. The study found that women were more likely to give high status packages to attractive men than men gave to attractive women. Isn’t that a trip?

I, like many of you, seek to achieve and maintain my personal best. In doing so, I’ve hired a personal trainer, regulate what I eat–but, like President Obama with cigarette smoking, at times, I slip off the wagon–and before going out play I put on sunscreen. I have to confess that, from my days of modeling, I still secretly shadow my nose (There Is More Inside Page 32) . As I explain in There Is More Inside, one of my clients told me I had a “big” nose and I needed to make it appear thinner. Ten years later, I continue to shadow my nose so that it will appear slimmer. Some may categorize my behavior as ingrained self-hate. Adding that if I were in a different country the standard would be different and thereby my behaviors would be different. I wouldn’t argue that point. However, I’m not in a different country. I’m in America. I believe how I present myself builds on the image that I’ve created. That image substantiates my brand.

I can’t see myself having any creditability as an image consultant or motivational speaker if my body and appearance doesn’t reflect what I’m selling. Perhaps you’re thinking that my message is, There Is More Inside.  That is true. I believe, however, that what’s inside is showcased through how I treat myself and my body.

I had a client who is a “motivational speaker.” When I saw him speak for the first time I was taken aback by his appearance. His pants were too long, his tie was too short, and he was approximately 100 pounds overweight. His image didn’t match his message and, therefore, directly impacted his brand. As a coach, I had to ask him some tough questions: Who is your targeted audience? Would the people in your audience look to you for answers? If so, why? What do you have that they want? Does your physical appearance match your message of hope, perseverance, and achievement? Is your message believable?

Branding doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t about being a particular size or shape. It does, however, require you to authentically show up. Does your body match your brand? If you are unsure, here are five questions to ask yourself to determine if you need to shape up.

  1. What is my brand?
  2. What problem do I solve?
  3. Do I look like the solution that I offer?
  4. Would I buy from me?
  5. What should I change to make my brand more believable?

I invite you to leave your comments or questions, and don’t forget to tell a friend.

New Dimensional Thinking: Are You Ready to Make a Quantum Leap?

In May 2009, I awakened to the realization that I was moving up within the level that I was use to operating on, but I wasn’t moving to another personal, professional, and spiritual dimension. I now know that there are step-by-step movements within each level. And, there are quantum leaps that lead to another dimension. Quantum leaps require stamina, focus, discipline, and the ability to graciously walk through intense turbulence with unshakable faith. The developmental process of quantum leaps is designed to sharpen discernment and discretion. From a spiritual perspective, I believe, the process is the prelude to a multi-level impact on the world.

Unlike level-to-level movement, quantum leaps are deliberate and intentional. A decision must be made to ask, seek, and find a new space to occupy and to make an impact. Once the decision is made and steps are taken, you’ll be introduced to who you really are in the present moment. There’s no faking during the quantum leap process–either you’re ready or you’re not.

Because of the intensity and speed in which you’ll grow, it’s not long before experiences are created for you to assess your readiness for the journey. In short, you’ll discover the truth of what you have learned, processed, and applied over the years. By the nature of the process, you’ll be exposed to what you know about the spiritual world, how it operates, and how to successfully and appropriately use the principals. If you’re not ready, you will swiftly concede and willing withdrawal yourself.

You don’t have to be “saved” to make a quantum leap. No one religion has the monopoly on quantum leaps. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s not about religion, denomination, or who is acknowledged as God, the creator, Spirit, or universe. It’s about the principals that every spiritually-driven human being understands about the unlimited opportunities to create from a spiritual perspective. Some people have even used the principals without acknowledging a God—they just apply the principals.

If you want learn more about New Dimensional Thinking, join me for a FREE teleseminar on Monday, September 14 at 8 p.m. Register Now! In the meantime, here are a few quick tips:

  1. Get in to alignment. New Dimensional Thinking requires alignment with Spirit. This is a process of syncing body, mind, spirit, and soul. Consider our TIMI Top Model Mentorship Program.
  2. Assess your life. There are people and situations that keep you at a low vibration. You have to ask, will this person or situation serve me moving forward? If yes, how. If no, have the courage to let him/her or it go. Download  There Is More Inside: How to Live a Power-packed Life.
  3. Create order in your life. External chaos mirrors internal nonsense. There is order in the spiritual world. When our lives and living space doesn’t have order, it makes it difficult to live in light, love, and truth.

If this article has helped you, leave a comment and share it with a friend.