Are You Using Your Ass-ets Properly?

I have to confess that the play on the word “ass” in the word “asset” is taking my personal brand to the edge. Not because I haven’t said the word, “ass.” Nor, if I hit a certain mental and emotional temper, I’m too good to say it now. But, it really isn’t a part of my vocabulary on a daily basis. Not that I’m judging those who say it on a regular while sipping a cup of morning coffee. Nevertheless, by the end of this article, you’ll know that assets aren’t about your ass or mine. It is about understanding your assets and how you can use them to build and sustain your personal brand.

In my book, There Is More Inside (, I share with readers some of the obstacles I faced while moving my career forward during my late 20s and early 30s. I quickly learned that–in some people’s mind–there were some unspoken rules. Rule number 1: You’ll have to “give it up” to go up.

Because I wasn’t budging I heard things like: Stop acting like a high school virgin. You know the rules. That’s what you’ll get if you f— with me, referring to the firing of a co-worker. Their threats never shook me because I knew my body wasn’t my greatest asset. And, your body isn’t your greatest asset. When you’re building your personal brand, you have to know what your greatest assets are. I’ve listed, what I believe to be, the top three assets that will help you build your personal brand.

1. People. People have always been and will always be our greatest asset, especially those who believe in us. When we have strong, trusting relationships with people we can more easily and successfully navigate through life. Nothing is more valuable to a personal brand, including you than the people who buy into it. Think about it. How many books have your read, restaurants you’ve visited, or movies you’ve seen because someone told you how great it was. A strong personal brand is built on the endorsement of others.

2. Your Talents/Gifts. Most of us have an arsenal of skills, but one or two talents. Skills and talents are uniquely different. Skills are learned. With effort, you develop them over time. Talents are innate. You sharpen them with practice. When you use your talents to bring value to the lives of others, they will become a part of your personal brand.

3. Your Innate Ability to Know Truth. This may appeared to be an awkward fit, but it truly is an asset that you should use to build your personal brand. No one knows what the truth is for you, but you. When you hear it, see it, and feel it–you know it. Trust that feeling because as you make pivotal decisions for your life, you solidify your personal brand. And, remember, your ass-ets depend on it!

If you have questions or this article was helpful to you, leave your comment or question. And, sign up to receive our InnerCircle Newsletter.

Does Your Brand Have Value? If Not, Here’s Why

As a former model, television talk show host, and spokesperson for Paramount (UPN-Philadelphia) one would think that it would be easy to assess his/her value and communicate his/her personal brand. As a model who, by the grace of God, was given the opportunity to strut her stuff in front of live and television audiences as large as 60+ million people for nearly a decade, after I retired I learned quickly that I had an image, but I didn’t have a personal brand.

As I have ventured into other careers since my catwalk days, I quickly learned that people affiliated me with QVC, the home shopping network, and UPN, “the station with all the funny black shows.” They really didn’t know who I was, what I valued, what problem I could help them solve, or what I thought was really important in life.You may be asking: Why should anyone care about what you or I think? It’s simple, because when people care about what you (or I) think and what you (or I) would do in particular situations–that when you have a brand! That’s when your value turns into dollars. Here’s an example.

I have a client who signed a 30-day contract. When the 30-day contract expired, we signed a 6-month contract. During the 6-month contract we signed a project contract. Before the project contract was completed, we signed another contract that will expire in October. My image pulled the 30-day agreement. My brand turned it into nearly a year long contract. My brand qualities–results-oriented, professional, motivational (helps people to create better lives), fit the mission and message of the organization. Along with other responsibilities, I’ve become the spokesperson for their organization–a true honor.

If you want to add value to your personal brand, consider the following:

1. Align you life, image, and message. In order to build a brand, You Have to Be It! All the great pretenders are called on the carpet, overlooked, and tossed to the side. That doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, but you have to be true to who you claim you are.

2. State Your Final Answer. Define your message and stick with it. You can build on your message, but don’t keep changing your message to get what you want out of people. That method of operating is old and played out. People are too smart for that nonsense.

3. Be Consistent. Feeling safe is the foremost need of every human being. You wouldn’t eat in a restaurant if you didn’t think the food was safe.  Giving people a reason to feel safe with you is essential to building a valuable personal brand.

I invite you to ask a question or leave a comment. If the information was helpful to you, share it with a friend.

How to Secure Contracts in a Tough Economy

Hello Joe:

Thanks for your question. The economy is on the minds of many who don’t realize that it’s not the economy that’s the problem. It is how we see and respond to the “noise” that is being made about the economy. By using the principals that I’m going to share, my business continues to grow. I’m currently working 4 contracts, 2 more are in negotiation, and 1 is in the fact finding stage. This is the best time to build your business because many people have eliminated themselves from the game. Here are several steps that you can take to get started.

Step 1: Make a Decision

1. Decide if you believe in abundance or lack. In the spiritual world there is abundance! Make the commitment to stop complaining about gas prices, cost of electric, or any other rising cost. I ask God daily to guide me to the doors that will give me the opportunity to serve. Lay out a plan and take the action steps to execute the plan.

Step 2: Know Your Value

Last year there was a misunderstanding between a client and me. She thought the price included travel, but it didn’t. She said, “Renee, you are high.'” I didn’t say anything at the time. After my presentation weeks later I said, “…I want to follow-up on the statement you made to me about being high.” She responded, “Renee, you’re worth every dime.”  I’m on schedule to return this year at the same price.

The lack of money is often the excuse used when the person wants to gently brush you off. It’s important to find out their real concern. Show them how hiring you will increase their bottom line. Remember, poor employee and student retention rates, bad customer service and job performances have nothing to do with the economy. Clients respond to results!

Step 3: Learn to Listen

Recently, while negotiating with a client, pricing became an issue. They’ve been my client for the nearly 3 years, but I was working with a different division–expanded opportunity. It was clear that we wanted to work together, but there was a huge gap in pricing. Because I don’t believe it is ever about money, I said, “I need a few days to work the numbers.” I returned 3 days later with an itemization (in hours) of what I thought would be required of me to successfully create the results he wanted. Without hesitation, he accepted the new pricing and requested that a contract be sent over. Although I didn’t get my original price, I was able to negotiate an additional $1000 above the “budgeted amount.” Through this experience, I discover that his concern was not the price, but  justifying price.

Don’t forget to register to recieve your link to a FREE copy of Value Proposition workbook. Go to and become a part of our InnerCircle Newsletter family. If this information has helped you, leave a comment and tell a friend. And, don’t forget to ask your question.

What is Personal Branding?

Hello Tim:

Thanks for your question. First, I want to make a distinction between image and personal branding.  Image is when you learn how to walk, talk, dress, and act for the purpose of getting what you want from others. Personal branding is an internal journey where you discover your life’s purpose. Once you uncover who you are, what you want to do, what you stand for, who you want to help, and the problem that you’ve been sent here to solve, you build your image on that truth. It is the most authentic place to operate from. Personal branding is the value of your image. Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t already have a brand. Every one has one. Based on how it has been built, it may not have much value.

Here are three steps you can take to begin to build your personal brand:

1. Perform a self-evaluation. If you visit and sign-up for my free InnerCircle Newsletter I’ll email you a link to download a 20-page workbook to begin the process. The workbook has 3 parts and is full of thought-provoking questions. Part 1: Your mission Part 2:  Your Message Part 3: Your Value. Based on when you receive the link, you’ll be able to download at no cost to you within the specific time given. If you are already a subscriber, please post your request.

2. Once you understand your life’s mission, decide on your message and make sure that you are consistent.

3. With your consistent message, let your target audience know how you can help them solve their problem.

Before you go, let me know if this information has helped you. If so, let me and a friend know. And, don’t forget to ask your question. See you tomorrow.

A New Venture


After months of contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of blogging, I’ve decided that this would be a great way to stay connected with you. Although a huge time commitment, I hope that you will ask lots of questions and find my answers life-changing and extremely valuable. I look forward to the journey.

-S. Renee