So what is the “The Brand Called You”?

You are a brand. Your personal brand is a way of communicating what is inherently you. Your experience, background, education, methodology, personality, etc.

How do you figure out your personal brand?

There are many ways, but I’m going to give you one exercise.

In the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which also was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts, every time Liz, the main character, went to a location, she tried to come up with a word to capture the brand of that location. For example, if I recall correctly, her brand word for Rome was Sex (or maybe Passion!). And at one point, someone turned the tables on her and asked her, “Liz, what’s your word?” And she was stumped. Part of the reason she couldn’t come up with her word at that point was she had lost touch with who she was, and needed to dig deeper, which she does as her journey progresses. But another part of that may have been that it is awfully hard to come up with just one word to describe your entire overall personal brand!

So I’m asking you to come up with 5.

5 words that capture what is uniquely you — your Personal Brand.

For some of you, this still may be difficult.

If you can’t come up with 5 words yourself, then pay attention to how others perceive you. Ask family, friends, colleagues and clients for 5 words that describe you. Please only ask those that will be your “believing eyes.” If you own a business, look at your client testimonials for patterns of words and phrases that repeat themselves. If you are employed in a workplace setting, look at your job evaluations and letters of reference. If you are just getting out o f college, look at your letters of recommendation. You get the picture. You are trying to find the words that others have used to describe your personal brand.

Here are my 5 words: Professional, Intelligent, Warm, Sassy, Productive.

Try to come up with a mix of words that exhibit both hard and soft skills, or tap into left and right brain characteristics. We are all made up of both, so mixing up the 5 words for your brand is a nice way to demonstrate your multi-facetted personality and help you to appear less one dimensional. For example, in my words, you will see that intelligent, professional and productive capture more of my left brain side and hard skills, while warm and sassy capture my more creative, right brain side and soft skills.

A really powerful exercise is to come up with 5 words for someone else.

I was doing this exercise for an organization at one of my speaking engagements earlier this year, and one of the participants raised her hand and said “I got nothing. I can’t think of any words for me.” So I looked around at her colleagues and asked if any of them had some words for her. Slowly, they started calling out words, and we could see that some of them overlapped and some themes started to emerge. It was very powerful to watch the effect it had on her as she learned what her peers considered to be her personal brand.

So I challenge you to list your 5 words. Make sure they truly capture your essence, personality, and what makes you uniquely you.

The next step is to start examining your life and work to make sure that your 5 words match how you showcase your brand to the world. Would someone be able to guess your 5 words? Immediately upon meeting you? Or at least after getting to know you further? If so, your external brand matches your internal brand. If not, your external brand is incongruent with who you really are. This can cause confusion, make others feel disc onnected to you, and result in your appearing inauthentic.

So think of your personal brand as an opportunity to have a deeper internal conversation that says who you are on many levels. Don’t miss that opportunity! Welcome that conversation. Start it with 5 words.

If you’d really like to ramp up your business and kick it into high gear — join me in one of THREE cities in the South East and Midwest, for my upcoming Kick Butt Business Bootcamp!

Are you ready to:

  • …create the business model you’ve been striving for?
  • …stop working so hard and, instead, work smarter?
  • …charge what you’re worth, and reach the levels of income you’ve dreamed of?

In order to have a thriving and successful business, you need to be strategic. You don’t have to do everything. You have to do the right things for your business!

Learn more about my Kick Butt Business Bootcamps! Here are the details:

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Hosted by the NAPO-Charleston Chapter
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
The Family Circle Tennis Center
161 Seven Farms Dr, Daniel Island, SC
Details here

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Friday, October 13, 2017
Hosted by the NAPO-Chicago Chapter
9 am – 4 pm
Belvedere Events and Banquets
1170 West Devon, Elk Grove Villiage, IL
Details here

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Thursday, October 19, 2017
Hosted by the NAPO-Michigan Chapter
9 am – 4 pm
Red Olive Restaurant
1051 W Ann Arbor Road, Plymouth, MI
Details here

During the Kick Butt Business Bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • Go through an in-depth business building assessment to get really clear on what’s going on in your business and where YOU need to be putting your attention.
  • Make some powerful mindset shifts that will have you think and act like a 6-figure business owner.
  • Leave knowing exactly what to do, with a clear plan to take YOUR business to the next level. Topics include: Define Success/Your Role in Your Business, Passion/Unique Areas of Brilliance, Marketing/Unique Selling Proposition, Ideal Client/Target Market, Multiple Streams of Income/Leverage, Outsourcing/Delegating, Accountability Checks/Tools, Business Systems/Operations Manual.
  • Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, join us for some invaluable expertise for your business!

If you are not a business owner or entrepreneur, but know someone that may be interested in improving his or her business, please share this!

Can’t make it to the bootcamp? Contact me to discuss doing some private coaching together for your business!

You have probably heard the phrase, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Some of you may live by that mantra. Others may feel the fear and let it paralyze them, never taking risks, living a life of safety and complacency. Fear is a natural emotion that we all feel at times, and that can keep us safe when facing danger or something that we are ill prepared for. Fear can prompt us to do more research when embarking on a new venture, and it can serve as the impetus for better planning. But fear can sometimes also stop us dead in our tracks, serving as a barrier to personal and professional growth. Is there a happy medium? Yes!

The Intersection of Fear and Excitement

When clients come to me for coaching around specific issues that they want to do or try but fear is holding them back, I almost always coach them around the intersection of fear and excitement. Let me demonstrate.

Think about something you would like to do, try, or embark on that you haven’t yet because fear has reared its ugly head. For one reason or another, you have fear around trying this activity, doing this task, or embarking on this journey. It makes no difference whether it is personal or professional. It could be as big as starting a new business, changing jobs, or relocating, or a smaller undertaking like startin g a blog or trying a new hobby.

Now, see if you also have excitement around trying this task, activity or new journey. Can you answer yes to the excitement part? If so, great! If you were to look at this potential undertaking as a pie, how much of your reaction and emotion around doing it is fear and how much is excitement? In order for you to overcome the fear, there has to be some excitement to balance it out! And if excitement is a bigger piece of the pie, even better. You will be able to move forward with more confidence knowing that your excitement will help guide the way and cancel out some of the fear.

What if the fear is an overwhelmingly larger piece of the pie than excitement? Does this mean you are doomed to stay stuck forever? Not necessarily. You may not have done enough research or due diligence to get excited about it yet. Excitement often comes when we can start to actually “see” our dreams and future plans take shape, and that can take more time to work out in our minds before the excitement sets in. But if you never feel any excitement about this undertaking and fear is the big black cloud hanging over this, chances are, it is either not the right path for you… or your fear is too large to overcome at this time. So then, what do you do?

Do a Trial Run

You can do a trial run of your undertaking but in a way that feels safer, and perhaps smaller. For example, before opening your business, spend some time interning or shadowing a professional that does what you want to do for a living. This will give you a taste of what it would be like to be a business owner doing that work be fore you actually start it. Likewise, if you want to write a book, but fear keeps holding you back, start by writing a blog or a series of articles. Usually, doing a smaller version or trial run of the undertaking will quell some of the fear and get you pumped up!

Just Do It

In the words of the popular Nike advertising campaign, just do it! Yes, I mean it. Just close both eyes and dive into the deep end. Or in my case, keep your eyes wide open and hands on the wheel, as my fear was driving over bridges. I love to drive and have been doing so since my teenage years. I drive long distances and cover a lot of miles for speaking engagements and personal travel. However, for years, I was afraid of driving over bridges. Strangely enough, I am not afraid of heights, but something about bridges just freaked me out. So what did I do? I drove over a lot of bridges! It helped allay my fears, “conditioned” me to get used to it, and realize I can do it successfully. Doing the actual activity that I was afraid of took a lot of the power out of the fear that I had been giving to it. The fear got less and less until one day I was driving over a bridge a few years ago and realized I no longer felt the fear.

Did I develop excitement about driving over bridges? I wouldn’t go that far! But I did get excited about where driving over bridges could take me. I have become a huge fan of road trips and take them often.

So, what would you do if you could overcome your fear? Figure out if your pie includes at least equal parts excitement and then take a big old bite out of it and dig in!

stageThis is your last chance to join me and my fabulous colleague Monica Ricci for the Speak Up Online Program, which starts this Thursday, September 8th.

This program will not only help you become a better public speaker, but a better overall communicator. And who wouldn’t want to be better at communicating?! Whether you run a business, or have a job, you have to master the art of speaking and communication to effectively engage with your clients, customers, co-workers and the public.

And just to give you a taste of what we will cover, and our smart but sassy style, here is an article that Monica recently wrote called Three Things You Should NEVER Do When Making a Presentation. It’s great content, funny, and will give you some immediate takeaways.

Want the whole kit and caboodle? Join us for Speak Up!! It’s not too late to snag a spot and be on the line live with us on Thursday September 8th.

Isn’t it time to Speak Up? 🙂

PS. You may have noticed in Monica’s article she offers a $75 off coupon, but because you’re part of my network, you can save $100 with coupon code SPEAKUPSPECIAL.

Lisa_and_Monica-2016-NAPOHopefully you saw the announcement that I’m partnering up with my colleague, Monica Ricci, to offer a fabulous online program called Speak Up: Creating and Delivering Killer Presentations to boost Your Business or Career. The program kicks off on Septmeber 8th… and the early bird rate is in effect until August 11th.

This program will help you learn how to be a dynamic speaker! Whether you’ve hardly presented at all and need to overcome your fear of public speaking, or if you’re a proficient public speaker but really want to up your game and start knocking your presentations out of the park, this program is for you.

Speaking has done wonders for my career even before I started my business, and has become a huge income stream for me in my current business model. Monica also has benefited from adding speaking services to her business, both as a marketing tool and as a standalone income stream.

testimonial-lisa_luken-SpeakupWe want to take everything we know about speaking… The art and craft of it, the snafus that occur and how to handle them, how to add in your unique voice via humor, storytelling, and authenticity, how to really connect with your audience, and more! We won’t be holding back at all. We have stellar content that we are ready to share with you.

For details and registration, visit https://www.lisamontanaro.com/speakup

And check out the Special Bonus for the First 5 People to Register!

Questions? Send me an email at
and we can set up a time to chat.

And if you are a NAPO member or an LMGU alumni, contact me for a special coupon code for special rate!

If you’d really like to ramp up your business and kick it into high gear — join me in Denver, Colorado for my Kick Butt Business Bootcamp!

Are you ready to:businessbootcamp

  • …create the business model you’ve been striving for?
  • …stop working so hard and, instead, work smarter?
  • …charge what you’re worth, and reach the levels of income you’ve dreamed of?

In order to have a thriving and successful business, you need to be strategic. You don’t have to do everything. You have to do the right things for your business!

Learn more at my Kick Butt Business Bootcamps! Here are the details:

The event is hosted by the NAPO-CO Chapter
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
9:00 am – 4 pm
Inn at Cherry Creek
233 Clayton Street, Denver, CO

Early Bird Rate = $149 (until March 1, 2016)
Regular Event Price = $169 (until March 22, 2016)
“It’s Not Too Late” Rate = $189 (after March 22, 2016)

Space is limited, so register early.

Go to www.KickButtBusinessBootcamp.com for more details and to register.

During the Kick Butt Business Bootcamp, you will learn how to:grow_business

  • Go through an in-depth business building assessment to get really clear on what’s going on in your business and where YOU need to be putting your attention.
  • Make some powerful mindset shifts that will have you think and act like a 6-figure business owner.
  • Leave knowing exactly what to do, with a clear plan to take YOUR business to the next level. Topics include: Define Success/Your Role in Your Business, Passion/Unique Areas of Brilliance, Marketing/Unique Selling Proposition, Ideal Client/Target Market, Multiple Streams of Income/Leverage, Outsourcing/Delegating, Accountability Checks/Tools, Business Systems/Operations Manual.
  • Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, join us for some invaluable expertise for your business!

If you are not a business owner or entrepreneur, but know someone that may be interested in improving his or her business, please share this!

Can’t make it to the bootcamp? Contact me to discuss doing some private coaching together for your business!

Ready to kick your business into high gear – and take it to the next level?

businessbootcampIn order to have a thriving and successful business, you need to be strategic. You don’t have to do everything. You have to do the right things for your business!

Well…. if you are in the Atlanta or Washington DC area, come to one of my Kick Butt Business Bootcamps! Here are the details for each:

  • The Atlanta event is hosted by the NAPO-Georgia Chapter 
    Saturday, May 30th
    9:00 am – 4 pm
    Decatur Recreation Center, Decatur, GA
    Early Bird Rate = $149 (until April 30, 2015)
    Regular Event Price = $169 (until May 15, 2015)
    “It’s Not Too Late” Rate = $189 (after May 15, 2015)
    Go to www.KickButtBusinessBootcamp.com for more details and to register
  • The Washington DC event is hosted by the NAPO-Washington, DC Chapter 
    Friday, June 5, 2015
    9:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Keller Williams Realty Offices, Alexandria, VA
    Early Bird Rate = $149 (until May 5, 2015)
    Regular Event Price = $169 (until May 22, 2015)
    “It’s Not Too Late” Rate = $189 (after May 22, 2015)
    Visit www.KickButtBusinessBootcamp/NAPO-WDC to read more and to register

During the Kick Butt Business Bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • grow_businessGo through an in-depth business building assessment to get really clear on what’s going on in your business and where YOU need to be putting your attention.
  • Make some powerful mindset shifts that will have you think and act like a 6-figure business owner.
  • Leave knowing exactly what to do, with a clear plan to take YOUR business to the next level. Topics include: Define Success/Your Role in Your Business, Passion/Unique Areas of Brilliance, Marketing/Unique Selling Proposition, Ideal Client/Target Market, Multiple Streams of Income/Leverage, Outsourcing/Delegating, Accountability Checks/Tools, Business Systems/Operations Manual.
  • Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, join us for some invaluable expertise for your business!

Can’t make either bootcamp? Contact me to discuss doing some private coaching together for your business!

Hopefully you saw the announcement that I’m partnering up with my colleague, Monica Ricci, to offer a fabulous online program this summer called Speak Up Summer Camp: Creating and Delivering Killer Presentations. The program begins on May 7th and the early bird rate is in effect until April 30th.

Lisa_and_Monica-NAPO-2014This program will help you learn how to be a dynamic speaker! Whether you’ve hardly presented at all and need to overcome your fear of public speaking, or if you’re a proficient public speaker but really want to up your game and start knocking your presentations out of the park, this program is for you.

testimonial-lisa_luken-SpeakupSpeaking has done wonders for my career even before I started my business, and has become a huge income stream for me in my current business model. Monica also has benefited from adding speaking services to her business, both as a marketing tool and as a standalone income stream.

We want to take everything we know about speaking . . . The art and craft of it, the snafus that occur and how to handle them, how to add in your unique voice via humor, storytelling, and authenticity, how to really connect with your audience, and more! We won’t be holding back at all. We have stellar content that we are ready to share with you.

For details and registration, visit https://www.lisamontanaro.com/speakup

bonusSpecial Bonus for the First 5 People to Register:

If you are one of the first 5 to register, you get a bonus pre-program call with Lisa & Monica on May 4th. In this hour long call, Lisa & Monica will share bonus content about how speaking catapulted their businesses, how it fits into their current business model, and some other juicy nuggets about speaking to whet your appetite. You will also have the opportunity to share your background with reg ard to speaking, share your reasons for registering, and set goals and intentions for the program. This is ONLY available to the first 5 people that register, so hurry up and join us to get in on this bonus call!

And if you are a NAPO member or an LMGU alumni, contact me for a special coupon code for special rate!

Come spend the summer up-leveling your speaking!

I want to share something with you. Starting my own business was scary — REALLY scary (but also exciting)!! When I decided to leave my legal career behind and start my first business 13 years ago, all I had was an idea (or several all at once but was unsure where to start), and a load of self-determination to actually try being a business owner.

difficultThe hard truth is… your first 3-5 years in business are typically the most challenging and the time when many amazing people simply give up. Many new business owners experience some, or ALL, of the following entrepreneurial fears:

  • “I have an idea but don’t know where to start”, or
  • “How do I even set up a proper/legal business structure?” or
  • “I’ve started my business but I’m spinning my wheels, feel frustrated and I’m losing money… I need to get a ‘real’ job…” or
  • “You know what… this is just too much for me, I’m not cut out to be my own boss.”

Well, I’m happy to tell you: First, you’re not alone, and second, you can absolutely get through the first 3-5 years and thrive with the right business guidance, information, planning, support and mindset. With expert support and training, you can create the success you envision and so much more.

be_the_star_of_your_lifeTo that end, I’m thrilled to announce the first LMGU “Self-Study” course that you can take at your own pace! The Successfully Self-Employed Semester is now an on-demand training program for newer business owners or anyone that is serious about starting a new business. This course offers all the required skills, knowledge and guidance for the newer entrepreneur/business owner (or an experienced business owner that wants to go back to basics or plug some missing holes in your business!).

So many people contacted me to say that they really need this entrepreneurial training program, but can’t take it at the exact time I offer it live. Therefore, by popular demand, SSES has been converted to a self-paced, on-demand, home study course.

And the entire program is affordable — only $499 — enabling you to get the training you need for your business without breaking the bank! (If you’re a member of NAPO or an LMGU Alumni, contact me for a special discount).

The SSES Self Study Program consists of 10 modules of audio recordings and handouts that are yours as soon as you purchase. You learn on your own time from the comfort of your home or office.

Topics covered will include:

  • Businesss Ownership
  • Business Identity and Branding
  • Legal Structure and Issues
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Networking and Public Relations
  • Sales, Pricing and Money Issues
  • Blueprinting Your Business Operations

Campus doors are open! Stop spinning your wheels to figure everything out yourself. Get the help you need to set up or grow your business so that you can be Successfully Self Employed.

To Your Success!