Personal branding seems to be a major buzzword at the moment. Everyone is climbing on the personal branding wagon in hopes of claiming instant success. With all these hustlers building inspiring careers it’s easy to get excited and a bit overwhelmed. But there is no reason to be overwhelmed. You are reading this blog so you totally have what it takes to pull it off! So how do you get started, right?! Bet you’re asking yourself, What the heck is a personal brand? Do I need one? And a million other questions are probably running through that head of yours. Honestly, the question you should be asking is, Am I ready to brand my life? But let’s go ahead and walkthrough your questions, shall we…
In 1997 Tom Peters wrote an article for Fast Company where he talked about “The Brand Called You” This was the birth of the personal brand. The entire concept of a personal brand was, and is, to get individuals, YOU, to build a brand that allows them to stand out in a room of cubicles. So, the idea of a personal brand is really simple. Build a brand the same way a company like Apple or Nike would, but this brand isn’t for a company. It’s for your career. In another article for Fast Company, Barry S. Saltzman writes, “It provides a clear focus for personal development while establishing yourself as a thought leader.” You’re building a reputation as a leader or influencer for your niche industry. So by this definition, if you are looking to further your career, land a better job, build a business or really do anything in the “career” sphere, you need a personal brand.
Peters wrote, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.” So it is pretty safe to say that if you are reading this, you need and should have a personal brand. But here’s the thing… Today, we live in the era of the Millennial. Millennials want a connection, honesty and authenticity. They want more than a personal brand showing them how awesome you are at your job. They want to really get to know you. To understand why you are so brilliant. They also want the good stuff and the bad. They want it all. They want the WHOLE picture. This is where that question of Am I ready to brand my life? comes in.
Say hello to the new face of personal branding, Life Branding. Life branding is just like a personal brand. You are branding ME Inc. BUT instead of simply branding your professional image you are branding the whole shebang. You are branding your career, your relationships, your style, your health, your home. EVERYTHING! In 2008 Merrill Lynch estimated that in 2020 about 46% of the workforce will consist of Millennials. So it is safe to say that whatever age group you are, you will be working with or for one. Or Are One!
So it is time we start thinking about what that means for the current mainstream idea of a personal brand. We have to be more open and authentic to who we are and what our values are. Companies are getting to a point where they care less about what a piece of paper says about your job history and more about who you are as a person. They want to be sure that your values match their values and ideals.
Just look at what companies are doing today. They are taking down store walls, so to speak, and giving you an inside look into the life and heart of the company. They are showing it all. The processes they use, what their HQ looks like, inside looks into their employees. Anymore, you really have an incredible opportunity to dig into a company brand and get connected. So why aren’t we doing more of that? It is really jiving for the big companies like 86 Lumber or Facebook.
So to grab that instant success you have to start thinking outside the box of personal branding. Expand your limits and brand your entire life. Start by creating a brand strategy. Really dig deep into what is most important to you and how you live your life, now and in the future. We will really dive into creating a brand strategy later on but basically you need to create a guide book of how the brand of YOU is going to look and feel. Really think about how you want others to see you as a human and as a professional. Just be sure you are staying true to YOU. No one likes a phony. The process to building your brand is not easy. But grab a glass of your fav bubbly and get branding. Because if you brand your whole life you will not only be more prepared for a millennial workforce, but you will live a truly fulfilled life where the possibilities are endless.
We want to hear from you. Be sure to drop us a note below and let us know how you life brand is going.
Hi beautiful friends! Our founder, Kiki, has a little something to share with you as we kick off our new look & vibe.
Well, hello! I wanted to take the opportunity on this first blog of the fabulous new K Girl to share a bit about what has been going on with myself and with K Girl, and why it’s okay. I am sure you have noticed that since K Girl first launched three years ago we have been anything but consistent. Our content was spotty, our brand was mismatched. We have been running a bit chaotically. So I made the choice to take a little, okay maybe a lot, of time off and refocus.
When I started K Girl it was at the end of a serious relationship. It was a time in my life where I began realizing I had lost myself in the relationship and I no longer knew who I was. So I created the K Girl blog as a way not only to find myself but to help other fabulous women find themselves too. Of course, in hindsight it may have been smarter to have found myself first and then shared what I learned with all of you… or was it truly smarter? The chicken or the egg…
Over the past few years I have definitely found myself and also honed in on why I started K Girl and what I want K Girl to look like in the long haul. I found that I love helping people and empowering women, like myself. I also found that my favorite way to do this is through branding. I believe that life branding is one of those life components that often times gets overlooked and underestimated. A life brand is a brilliant, concise way to define who you are and where you are going in life, love and profession. We’ll dive deeper into what a life brand is later down the road.) But like many humans it took me awhile to discover my purpose and define it.
I have had many ideas for K Girl. And I have time and time again announced my new divine plan, and then… faltered. I either never started or my idea and motivation quickly fizzled. Last year as I was preparing for the birth of my first child I had a serious chat with myself (not out loud, don’t worry, I am not nuts). I called myself out. I was being lazy, undirected. I needed a reset. So, I hit the pause button. I spent the past year dreaming up ideas but not dramatically announcing them to the world. Instead I took a more organic approach; I quietly talked about them to close friends and then I did something truly important. I discovered how I work best.
This was important because it was the beginning of curing my lazy-self. I totally stopped what I was doing and put all my focus into figuring out the best method for me to accomplish all I wanted. I also needed to be able to sustain this new form of working. What I found was that I am super focused from about 7am – 11am and that I get creative at about 2am… Yeah, so not sustainable. Going to bed at 3 am and waking up at 6am while being a single mom to a one year old just wasn’t going to work. So, I decided to just be organic with it. Some days I get up at 6 and other days it’s more like 10 when little man wakes up (Yes, I am crazy lucky that my kid goes to bed at 10pm and gets up at 10am). I haven’t yet found a way to honor both of my working times within the same day. I am still, and always will be, a work in progress. But I am focising on me and how I can bring my dreams to fruition, while still honoring all parts of my life.
Sometimes that means you have to put everything on hold and figure shit out. So that sucked for all of you because my little sabbatical meant K Girl was a total inconsistent hot mess. So finally a few months ago I made the choice to totally shut it down. No more blogs, no more social media posts. Nothing. I wanted to be sure I was truly ready for the next phase of my life and K Girl. Now, if K Girl had a larger following and was a bigger operation this would have been a problem. However, K Girl isn’t there yet(but just you wait, boooyyee!). We are still an unknown blog with a handful of incredibly generous followers. So I had the ability to do this. And I am forever grateful to you for allowing me to take that time.
The whole putting your life on hold may seem nuts but it really is freeing. For those of us who seem to be aimlessly wandering through this world, a total reset is exactly what we need. Now, when you do this no apologizing! You are honoring you and your beautiful hustle. Everyone else can deal with it. When you get back to reality you will be a more confident beautiful person. You will be a better person for you AND everyone else. So it’s a win-win!
I get that you may not be able to take a year or two off and find YOU. But you can still be cognizant of the world you live in and discover the life brand that not only defines who you are but that you can exude with joy and confidence. I had to do this while learning to be a new mom too. So it’s not like I was just at home eating bon-bons. If I can do it you can too.
Just remember to be unapologetic, honest and loving to yourself and others during this transition of YOU. At the end of the day you owe it to yourself to dive into you. Figure out your dreams, how you work and what is the best approach to make it all come true… for you.
You got this.
We want to hear from you. Be sure to drop us a note below and let us know how you have and are honoring yourself to find your life brand.
Do you ever feel like you simply can’t adult? You’re just a hot mess. It happens. Life gets to be too much and you’ve simply had enough. You can’t adult. BUT… We all know that life keeps moving and you have to find some way to keep up. Sounds like you need a hot mess day. A day to embrace your hot mess self and recharge your adult battery. It’s so easy and gloriously divine. You might just want to schedule a hot mess day from time to time!
So, you wake up and the day just isn’t jiving with you. So instead of faking the feel goods, you reclaim the day as a Hot Mess Day! Go ahead, hit the snooze button. Allow yourself to cuddle a moment of silence. Take a moment to reflect on what has you all frazzled. Is it the late night work sessions you’ve been pulling for the last week? Maybe it’s your hubs crazy loud snoring. Or maybe you simply need a break. Whatever it is file it away. You have to adult now. Rome wasn’t fixed during the 8 minute snooze allotment. It’s time to keep going.
Peel yourself away from the sheets and get ready to fully embrace the hot mess. Take a shower. You may be having a hot mess day but you’re not nasty. So take care of your personal hygiene… It will make you feel a little better, promise. Now that you’re clean it’s the beautiful moment that you get to put aside that pencil skirt and those stilettos and embrace the comfy look. Wear something that is comfy chic. A pair of leggings with an oversized sweater and some flats is always a good hot mess standby. Make those sparkly flats, by the way, because sparkles will brighten almost any mood! Now time for the face. Keep your makeup simple. A little powder, mascara and some lipstick should do the trick. Even if you don’t normally wear lipstick give it a go. A bright color may be fun and silly enough to cheer up that smile. Your hair… Go for total hot mess pony town. A messy bun or ponytail is quick and easy to fix on the go and will completely fit in with your current feels. It won’t get in the way of all the things you have to do to adult today.
Now that your hot mess look has been embraced, it’s time to plan the day… Or rather un-plan the day. You know that a full day of adulating simply isn’t in the cards. So take a peak at your schedule and your To-Do list… What can you take out? Is there a meeting that can be postponed? What items on The List can be moved to another day? Take all of the noncritical items out of your schedule and off of your To-Do list. The goal is to take pressure off yourself and allow for moments of total hot mess meltdown. Everything may seem super important and critical but remember that is what probably brought you to this hot mess day in the first place. So take the time to really analyze what needs to be done and what can wait.
You’re dressed, your day is un-planned, it’s time to act! First stop, the best coffee shop intown. It’s time for something deliciously devilish. Fuel up with your fav bev and a little treat to fill your belly. Now off to adult. Throughout the day enjoy the moments you hve left clear. Take a catnap, drop in to a yoga class, give yourself a good cry session. In those moments do what feels right. Listen to your body and soul and feed it what it is craving. By doing this you are banishing the bad vibes and creating space for good juju. So really soak up these moments. These are the moments that will help you leave the hot mess day behind and refocus your energy so that you can adult tomorrow.
As you move through your day you may encounter a task that is on your critical list but it is really sucking out your energy. It’s time to reassess. Is this something someone can help you with? Getting help can make the problem less daunting. The creative collaboration may not only help accomplish the task but the social bug might also lift your mood. Maybe it is something that just needs to be set aside for a day when you have more strength and openness to tackle it. There is nothing worse than pushing through something and not giving it your best work. All that will do is create more anxiety and hot mess days because you are’nt satisfied with the work you put out. Protect your brand image and make sure you aren’t so cut off from the hot mess blues that you aren’t damaging your work.
Now that the day is done you are hopefully feeling a bit more like your powerful Boss Babe self. You let the day come and go as it needed to, you didn’t force anything and you opened yourself up to give yourself space for what is yet to come. Awesome job! Time to take a moment to plan some more hot mess days. This time, instead of waiting until you can’t adult another day and you absolutely have to take a hot mess day…. PLAN a hot mess day. Find a day once or twice a month and call them your HOT MESS DAYS. Write it in your planner. Save it in your phone. It is an important day for every K Girl to be her most powerful self. Make it a day to play hookie from life and go out and do all the things that feed your soul. Take a yoga class, eat a really deliciously unhealthy lunch, go to an art gallery. But don’t plan your day. A hot mess day is about listening to your inner and embracing what it needs. So let your soul guide you. You very well might sit on the couch all day and do nothing but eat popcorn, watch reality tv. Don’t forget to hackle the stars and throw popcorn at the tv when the feeling moves you. It is seriously unbelievably cathartic! Just do what feelds right. Be moved by the moment.
Hot mess days are vital to your power. Sometimes you get to plan them and sometimes they just need to happen. Whatever the need for the hot mess day… Take It! It is a sign from yourself that you need a break. Allow yourself to embrace it. There is nothing wrong with being a hot mess. There is divine beauty in a hot mess life. Find the beauty. Embrace the hot mess.
Don’t forget to leave us a comment about your favorite hot mess day. Or leave a nugget of inspiration on what you do to get through those hot mess days.
So you own a business. You want your clients to invest in your company, your BRAND. How do you let your clients know just how important they are to you? BE YOU! Sprinkle some extra love onto your clients by being yourself. How would you treat your best friend or family? Your clients are no different. Think of your brand as a community of really close friends. Here are 5 tips to really get the brand love train rolling!
Send handwritten notes
Today, in business, almost everyone has taken up the art of a handwritten Thank You. But how many make a lasting impression with a note from the heart simply to check in? Your clients want to know you care. They want to feel special. So send them notes simply to say ‘Hi.’ Let them know just how important they are to you and your business. After all, they are the reason you are in business.
Greet your clients with a hug
Okay, maybe this one is a bit hippie dippy BUT there aren’t too many people who don’t love or need a good hug. This is especially important if they are having a rough day. Not only will you boost their spirits, you will set the stage for the meeting. Plus, again, they will feel special. They will feel like part of your business family. So greet them with a warm hug. And when the meeting is over hug them again. Research has shown that a proper hug builds trust. Let this kind gesture be the last piece of your brand they remember.
Give them Swag
Who seriously doesn’t want to feel like a rock star? At each meeting give them a little token to take with them. At the first meeting it’s always good to give them a pen and paper and a folder packed with info about your business. Don’t forget to throw in something fun… Maybe a tote to carry their loot! Then at each meeting thereafter find something new. Keep track of what you give them so you don’t repeat the gifts; an ornament with your logo at Christmas, a water bottle during the summer. Keep it simple, keep it relevant and keep it promotional.
Send love through Referrals
People love to be bragged on. So talk up your clients. Let them know how awesome they are by sending customers their way. Now, know your clients! Some clients might prefer your relationship be left confidential. So know your business and know your clients.
Remember important dates
Know your clients like you know you or your business. Remember birthdays (of clients and businesses), launch dates, press releases… ANYTHING that they may be excited about. If a client or owner is under the weather send flowers and a card. Whatever the occasion, send a handwritten note or a gift. Whatever your heart and budget allow. A personal phone call is also a huge way to let them know that they are so important to you that you took time out of your day for them.
Hope these tips help y’all spread some love from the heart of your brand. Give these a try and let us know how it goes! We’d also love to hear what special things y’all do to let your clients know they’re important to you.
We live in a Give It To Me Now society. We want it and we want it now. But this is the season of giving and reflection. Today is Giving Tuesday. Its a humble reminder to give love to those who need a little extra loving. So what are you going to do? How are you going to spread love with your grace and charm?
A fan favorite is always to donate a penny or two to your favorite charity or non-profit. Maybe this year, don’t simply write a check or hit the pay button. Add a little meditation after you give your money love. Think of those you are donating to. Send them a little more than money. Send them a heap of love sent through the energy that connects us. For a great organization to donate to go to No Kid Hungry and help our team raise money to feed the bellies of little girls and boys in America.
If you’re looking for another favorite way to give, volunteer. Volunteer your time. This is often an act of giving that really humbles the heart in a deeply profound way. When you put yourself in the heart of it all you are forced to feel, see and hear things you may not normally experience on a day-to-day basis. Spread your love with a personal touch. Food Banks are great places to volunteer. They are always in need of help. Find one near you.
But don’t forget about volunteering your services. What do you do for a living? Or what are you good at? Are you a photographer? Volunteer at a shelter taking adorable pics of the fur babies so the shelter can post the pics on their website or social media pages. Who doesn’t love giving adorable little fur balls a loving home?! Maybe your talents lie in your delicious cooking… Bake some yummies for all the volunteers that are helping out. They need nourishment to keep them doing amazingly selfless work. Get creative and lend a hand however you can.
At the end of the day Giving Tuesday is simply a day to remind us to love one another and to give humbly with grace and charm. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much you donate or what you do to give. What matters is that you open your heart and spread as much love as you possibly can. And maybe this year we can keep the Giving going… Those in need could use your love everyday. So give often and give with grace and charm. Happy Giving Tuesday, y’all.
In the comments below let us know how you gave this Giving Tuesday.
Let your side dishes be the star of your Thanksgiving meal!
Savory French Onion Dip
2 tbls. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 onions, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
1 tbls. rosemary
2 tsp. sage
nutmeg, grated to taste
¼ cup red wine, sweet
1 cup beef stock
2 tbls. flour
4 cups gruyere cheese, grate
Heat medium size saucepan over medium-high heat. Melt butter, add next 6 ingredients. Sauté until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine. Add beef stock and stir. Once mixture is warm stir in flour. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Serve warm with toasted baguette or pita chips.
Bacon Bourbon Cranberries
4 strips bacon
2 tbls. brown sugar
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
16 oz. fresh cranberries
¼ cup bourbon
1 orange, juiced and zested
2 apples, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 350°. Place bacon on baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar over bacon. Bake for 15 minutes. When bacon is golden and crispy set aside and let cool. Heat medium saucepan over high heat. Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add cranberries, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally. Once berries pop open reduce heat to simmer. Add bourbon and orange juice. Cook for 30 minutes or until mixture has thickened slightly, stir often. Add apples and zest. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stir often. Place cranberry mixture into serving bowl. Crumble candied bacon over mixture. Serve warm.
Bacon Bourbon Brussel Sprouts
3 tbls. roasted garlic olive oil
6 cups brussel sprouts, peeled and halved
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 strips bacon, chopped
½ onion, diced
¼ cup bourbon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients on a large sheet pan. Spread out ingredients so they lay evenly, in one layer, on the pan. Bake until soft, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
We hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that these delicious Thanksgiving Sides are a hit! Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Enjoy, y’all!
I love the #TruthBomb from Danielle LaPorte, “prioritize pleasure.” Amen! Who doesn’t want to put pleasure at the top of their to do list? Um, yes please. What we often forget is that pleasure doesn’t always look the same. Sometimes it is in ordinary tasks, sometimes it is career driven, or maybe it is an activity that you can’t get enough of. This is meant to be something that allows joy and love to spill out of you and seep into every part of your life. So how can we add a little sprinkle of pleasure into every single day?
Figuring out what exactly it is that gives you pleasure and fills your life with abundance can be one of the hardest tasks. Usually it’s just a lot of trial and error. Get out there; open your horizons. Try kayaking, running, yoga, painting, a bubble bath, meditation, improv classes… The list goes on and on. You just have to open up your mind to all the possibilities and find the courage to try it all. Be daring.
There are also those pleasures that require you to really dig down deep and take stock in your life. Ask yourself, are you happy with the significant other you are spending your time with, are you in love with the career path you are on? If the answer is no then it is time to start making a plan to change that. If the answer is yes, you still need to make a plan to cultivate more joy from these parts of your life. Don’t settle for average. The average person will settle for enjoying the career that makes them happy but doesn’t fulfill them. The extraordinary person will always strive to better every aspect of their life. There is never a limit to the amount of pleasure one can take in or give out. Just remember that average and ordinary aren’t the same things. Average is the measurement of your pleasure, but ordinary is the place that your pleasure can live and grow.
How many of y’all have said, “Cleaning house brings me so much joy. It’s just so peaceful.” Said maybe two people ever. But there is some true wisdom in that statement. If you really dig deep down into the heart of “Prioritize Pleasure” you will find the ultimate truth bomb. It isn’t simply making time for the things that you love to take care of your soul… It is also about changing the way you take life in. You know you have to clean the house. Ugh. Let’s change that ugh into a WOOT! All you have to do is make it fun. Find the pleasure inside of the ordinary. Turn on your favorite playlist for the ultimate jam fest. Once you get a room cleaned light candles as a symbolic checkmark that the room is primed to let in love and happiness. Cleaning is just a means to get to a clean slate to let pleasure into your life. And getting to that clean slate is a celebration with music and dancing.
The key to prioritizing pleasure is to keep searching for those pleasures to enhance your life. J. Cole once said, “I always feel like it’s two key ingredients when it comes to following your dreams, making something happen that the average person deems difficult. If you truly believe it, that’s step one. Step two is, you know, the hard work that goes along with it.” Be audacious and bold. Challenge yourself to try new things and disrupt what is mediocre in your life to find the bliss within the ordinary. You are the keeper of your pleasure. Release your joy!
Be sure to leave us a comment about how you are prioritizing pleasure in your life. We can’t wait to hear from y’all!
We know y’all love to be inspired, so we have rounded up our top 20 fav social media folks.
Perfect for those mamas trying to find balance between your three babies, YOU, family and career.
Being a work from home wife and mommy isn’t as easy as everyone wants to believe. This Facebook group is just what the doctor ordered to give you the support and encouragement you need to keep being fabulous.
Who doesn’t love a Facebook page touched with Oprah love?! EVERYBODY GETS A BEAUTIFUL LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!
Olivia is brining you a manifestation of divine inspiration, all to help you find your inner conscious entrepreneur.
Stop taking life so seriously. Find your inner child and funny bone with the Holderness Fam.
The Amplify Collection is creating a community of empowered fabulous women. You don’t have to be in LA to soak up their inspiring fabulous goodness!
Calling all fabulous #BossBabes! Get ready to be inspired & join a network of awesome ladies.
The creator of The Desire Map has all the #TruthBombs you need to live a full life.
Hope y’all like your news with a touch of sass to keep you social everyday!
This fabulous mama is showing us how to live the blessed and balanced life.
Need a blogging pick me up? Check this lady out!
Get your fashion fix from this dynamic stylista.
We are loving the sweet social vibes.
Keep tabs on the latest trends and get social.
You always need a bit of classy Southern charm on your board.
Miss Justine is exactly what you need to inspire you to build the YOU brand.
That is a combo that explains it all. Delicious!
Get empowered. #Empowerista
Keep the conversation going and learn how other divine entrepreneurs make magic on the social line.
They’re not just helping you plan your day… Get ready to plan your life, one day at a time!
We hope y’all enjoy these lovely social media folks. For more inspiration with a touch of grace and charm be sure to follow K Girl on all your favorite social media networks!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment below about YOUR favorite peeps to follow.
5 tbls. butter or bacon fat
½ lb. Andouille sausage, sliced
½ cup flour
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 Anaheim peppers, chopped (leave in seeds)
1 jalapeño, chopped (add seeds for desired heat)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbls. Cayenne pepper
Bunch of oregano, pineapple sage and basil
3 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
½ lb. smoked chicken, shredded or diced
14 oz. can fired roasted tomatoes, diced
2 cups frozen sliced okra
½ lb. shrimp
Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.
Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, Anaheim pepper, jalapeño pepper and celery, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Add wine and let reduce for about 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper, to taste, bay leaves and the bunch of herbs. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups stock whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage.Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the shrimp. Pour over white cheddar creamy grits (follow grits recipe and add 1 pound white cheddar). Enjoy, y’all!
Let us know how y’all liked the Southern Gumbo in the comments below. Cheers!