Emma Mcilroy on Entrepreneurship, Feminism, and Community Activism

Emma Mcilroy

In The Interview: Episode #20, Ciara Pressler interviews Emma Mcilroy, founder and CEO of Wildfang. Emma and Ciara talk about… Dealing with high expectations and a lack of resources as a small business Learning in real time and having the world watch you make mistakes Creating Wildfang to combat widespread miseducation about feminism Making decisions from the heart rather than through a business lens What it means to be a feminist right now in the business world Emma Mcilroy is a queer-feminist-Irish-immigrant-female-CEO. As founder and CEO of Wildfang, she’s been smashing the patriarchy and gender norms in fashion and beyond […]

The Art of the Jedi Mind Trick

Carlo Proietto, Carrie Fisher, 2018 Pyrography, 31_ x 30.5

This is a transcript from my “Story Slam” presentation for IDEO U. It’s an excerpt from my longer talk.  I’ve wanted to give this talk for years! Actually, it’s been percolating since I first began teaching. I thought about all my favorite things and realized that I could use my love of Star Wars to teach Personal Branding. I even foreshadowed this talk at the conclusion of my first TEDx “The Price of Pleasing.” So What is the Art of the Jedi Mind Trick?   Before I get to that let’s go back A Long Time Ago….  to 1978. I was three […]

Jeffrey Madoff on Self Reflection, Creative Journeys, and Risking Failure

Jeff Madoff

In The Interview: Episode #15, Ciara Pressler interviews B. Jeffrey Madoff, filmmaker, brand strategist, and author of Creative Careers. Jeffrey and Ciara talk about… His work with legendary brands like Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret Exploring and staying curious Staying true to your brand Myths of entrepreneurship The benefits of having a team, structure, and support behind success Building and expanding a network The discoveries and themes of a successful creative career B. Jeffrey Madoff is the founder of Madoff Productions, based in New York City. His company produces branded content for major brands such as Ralph Lauren, Radio City […]

Pia Silva on Building a Business, Defining Success, and Reaching Goals

Pia Silva

In The Interview: Episode #04, Ciara Pressler interviews Pia Silva, entrepreneur, speaker, Forbes contributor, and author of Badass Your Brand. Pia and Ciara talk about… Chasing freedom and what it takes to find it How to create a business that truly fits your talents and interests Exploring and honing a client basis Determining a segment or niche Evaluating priorities Why you shouldn’t be scared of the numbers Pia Silva is a brand strategist, entrepreneur, author, and speaker who helps fellow entrepreneurs badass their brand and build a lucrative lifestyle business full of freedom. She has been featured on MSNBC’s Your […]

The Raw Truth About Customer Relationships

  Most companies are living in a fantasy world, thinking that their “loyalty programs” are actually delivering customer loyalty. But these are not actually doing anything of the sort. They’re merely rewarding repetitive purchase behaviour.  That’s not loyalty. It’s bribery. And it’s vulnerable to a better reward scheme from a competitor. Genuine loyalty comes from the heart, not the head, and it opens the wallet. Look at Apple, which (according to some wry observers) is more of a cult than a brand. Apple loyalists will buy anything the company introduces, without rewards and almost irrespective of the price. Loyalty isn’t […]

The Lonely Ballad of The Someday Guy

someday guy

The other day I was having coffee with someone who is in the field of video production and he brought up an interesting question. He asked: “What do you do when you’re meeting people and they keep telling you that they don’t need your service right now, but to send your information because they could use it someday?” He explained how this dynamic was causing his business to have a lot of hills and valleys. He’d have a big project and then nothing for a while and then a medium project or no project for months and the inconsistency was starting […]

Personal Brand & Global Culture: Embrace the You in a Billion

09HowToBeFunny

Our culture informs our world view. It informs what we know, how others see perceive us…often even before we speak. In a way, identifying how our culture and diversity make us unique has been at the core of my teaching philosophy, in my decade(plus) working with clients and students from around the world. Helping people find and use the “expert within” to create an authentic personal brand has become my expertise. Culture influences our values My first business, focused on helping thousands of actors from New York City to Los Angeles, and far beyond, understand business and the value of […]

October 2018: Digital Life

Alexander Reben

The amount of time you spend on screens is directly related to your level of anxiety. Extensive social media use leads to depression and isolation. At least, that’s what I think someone said they heard from a study that may or may not have been published in a reputable journal and/or website. In a new normal, where all news is fake and all personal truth is fact and everything is searchable and therefore knowable at any time right in the palm of our hands, are we more in tune with ourselves… or less? My current life chapter is based on […]

September 2018: Streamlining Your Business

Jackie Battenfield, Azurous, 2018    acrylic on Mylar panel 40 x 60 in.

If you’re running a business, you are probably doing a lot of extra work you don’t actually need to do. Every business is full of waste. Even one-person businesses and side hustles suffer under the weight of an overabundance of ideas, messages, strategies, and tactics. If you’re lean and mean and moving fast, you can’t afford to be weighed down. There’s no way you can surge past your competitors while holding onto the heavy baggage of old ideas and inner confusion about what your business is doing and the real value it provides. Removing the unnecessary from your business is tricky. It’s far […]

Don’t Knock The Hustle

MULTIVERSE 3-2017 PRINT 90X60

How to Use Storytelling to Create Trust and Build an Authentic Network for the Shy, Introverted, and Sleaze-Averse As a shy child I dreaded any activity that required an introductory game. Birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and youth group mixers were attended with the resignation that the first half hour would involve enduring some sadistic adult’s idea of fun. I would do my best to disappear against the wall or attempt to excuse myself to the bathroom. Eventually, I would be shamed into compliance, made to sit cross-legged with all the others as I rubbed my damp palms on the knees […]