My top 5 fave blogs

It’s summer and each summer I try to focus  on improving my technology, social media, and marketing skills. The best way for me to do that is to look at what others (authors, bloggers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders)  are doing and follow their lead. Last summer I took an online course on social media and began blogging.  Blogging takes a combination of writing skill, creativity, point of view, and persistence. I though I would share with you some of my “mentors” and show you their blogs. Enjoy and don’t forget to share with us your favorites too.


1.  The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is the Pioneer Woman. Her twitter bio says , “I’m The Pioneer Woman. Desperate Ranchwife. Mother of Four. Lover of Butter. Amen.” I first discovered Ree on my second favorite blog-site, Penelope Trunk’s The Brazen Careerist.   Penelope often refers to The Pioneer Woman and her life on a ranch somewhere in Oklahoma with her Marlborough Man, and I was curious so I clicked on the blog and I was totally hooked.  I visit this sight often, getting the recipes (my absolute favorite is the pulled pork) looking at Ree’s beautiful photos and just plain getting inspired. I read that they are making a movie staring Reese W. as the Pioneer Woman!


2. The Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk was one of the first books I read that focused on career strategies for Gen Y. I appreciated  the book and started following her blog. Penelope writes that she  is the founder of 3 start-ups — most recently, Brazen Careerist, a social network to help young people manage their careers. Her career advice appears in more than 200 newspapers. In a review of this blog, Business Week called Penelope’s writing “poetic.”  I call her writing real , very direct and at time shocking. That’s why I read her.  Here’s an example of her style and point of view as she give her advice on: My financial history and stop whining about your job.


3. Who here doesn’t just love Seth?  I love – love – love him and so do most business owners, marketing experts, and anyone who like to think their remarkable! I admit I read him almost every day and if I miss one post, my friend Beverly Denver always asks, “Did you read Seth today?” Seth has  written over a dozen books, and I have read most of them. My favorites are The Dip, The Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, The Big Moo, and Tribes.  If you want to sample of one  Seth’s hard hitting blog posts read this.


4.  I discovered Gary Vaynerchuk and The Wine  Library  through program I attended by fellow National Speaker, Mattison Grey several years back. She was talking about video blogging and I started watching the wine library and learning the power of blogs.  Gary’s  story is fascinating. But the thing that really turned me onto Gary was listening to his 2008 web 2.0 speech (sorry for some of the language). He talked about the power of blogging and how with patience, persistence, and passion you can grow your business. Gary says, “The day of the gatekeeper is over.”  Gary V is one of my mentors and he continues to push me to blog and Crush It!


5.  If you live in Houston you might want to  follow our own  Saint John’s graduate, author and blogger  Katherine Center. My friend and executive coach and author Susan Leiberman had this to say about Katherine. ““It is so much fun to hear Katherine speak. Her great warmth, keen humor and carefully plotted story-telling abilities just pull her audience right in. You feel like she is speaking directly to you…and are delighted to be spending time with her.” — Susan A. Lieberman, Ph.D., Houston, TX.  Katherine  writes about her books, her kids, her life, and what inspires her while  sharing her secrets to writing.

Hope you like these 5… tell us your favorite blogs

Re-Branding YOU- the Trend Is Your Friend


The worldwide economic downturn has everyone worrying about our financial futures. Some of us, including our family members and friends have lost their jobs.  And, if we haven’t, we have it in the back of our heads that we might be next.  Small business owners are worrying about cash flow.  Newspapers and magazines see a dwindling markets. In my world, the meeting’s industry, we are concerned about the future of meetings and travel.  Everyone today feels the uncertainty of the times. What can we do to help ourselves?

The trend is your friend!

Everywhere you look today you will find programs, articles, tweets, and sound bytes about a new trend- rebranding ourselves.  Last week, Dr. Phil got in on it and did and entire show called Reinvent Yourself. Reinventing or rebranding yourself is not a new concept- Madonna has been doing it for over 20 years- And  right now, at this very moment many of us are feeling the need for an upgrade. Honestly, we’re all a little  concerned that our expertise has an expiration date. Do we need to upgrade our personal brand?

Personal Branding

I use to say, six months ago, that you already have a brand and that your brand comes from what others think and say about you. Your personal brand is  the words that others think of when your name is mentioned; it’s  what you are known for. Your personal brand is so powerful that is determines your success and your future.  Personal Branding is the place that you occupy in your decision maker’s mind relative to your competition.  The big question now is, “Are you relevant?” Yesterday’s news and expertise may not work tomorrow.

Rebranding- because today there is no room for complacency!

Here are some thoughts if you are thinking about Rebranding YOU!

1.     What’s your NEW vision? How do you see yourself and how to you want to now be perceived?  A really good example of this change in perception is Angelina Jolie .  Remember back to her days with Billy Bob Thornton?  Angelia’s  perception was that of a wild and adventurous character  living on the edge. Today her perception with Brad and all the kids, is that of a person who is caring and loving to her children and the world at large. She rebranded!

2.    What is at your core? Use everything you already have and use it in a new way. Recently in my Jazzercise class we danced to  a song by Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin rocker) and Allison Krause(Icon of  bluegrass) called  I’ll Be Gone… Robert,  who knew?  In an interview Robert said that they created something that he had never imagined, a ventured into a new territory-  Plant and Krause’s harmonizing made it all happen.  They both took a risk, they connected to their core talent and together they created a new sound.  They rebranded!

3. Your Actions Speak volumes about who you are and your brand. Michael Eisner once said that your brand is a living entity- and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time.  Your brand is the product of a thousand small gestures – What are you doing? What action steps are you taking to create a more passionate and relevant you?

4.     Want a different brand? Then Change the Conversation. Your conversation escalates the brand. My good friend Bambi McCullough, no relation,  told me that the best way to be seen differently at work  or in your community is to stop complaining, stop saying what you don’t want to be remembered for and start talking about what it is you believe in. It’s simple. We hear you, we remember your words, and we get your tone.  We are making the connection between you and your message- what you talk about says volumes about who you are.  If you listen, people will tell you what they value and what they are made of. Want to change your brand? The start by changing your conversation.

5. Refocus on Innovation and Continued Learning. Today you have to read, you must go to blog posts, go to forums, watch youtube, take online webinars, learn what’s  relevant by using, and then, you need to pump out content. Content, ideas, bold concepts, and yes innovation are the brand -makers!  Sure you will have to reallocate your time, and turn off the TV. I didn’t say that this was going to be easy.

6. Social Media – The big shift that will Explodes Your Brand. Gary Vaynerchuk , says that If you have a passion blog about it, tweet about it, write a facebook status about it, video it, and just get it out there- it’s all about you and your new brand Exploding!  There is a slow shift happening  and the shift is all about how we  get the messages out! Social media is changing the way we spread the word- your word.  Twitter and facebook are the tools that you use to spread your brand.

7. Remember that the internet is the Game Changer. Today you can talk about your expertise and spread your passion for FREE!!!! Never before have we had a message vehicle as powerful as the internet. Today, the gatekeeper, the producers, the editors are no longer in control of getting the messages out.  Today, we can deliver our message through new technologies- all it takes is your time!  Are you willing to put the time into building your brand?

Rebranding is about YOU getting real with who you are, what you want, and then testing your message to see if it is relevant. Oh, and a new jacket and hair-do might  also help!