If you weren’t on the call with me this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend and colleague, Nikki Incandela, a celebrity photographer from La Jolla, California. She spoke about the importance of putting pizazz in your picture, and what your image says about you in branding.

Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years, but recently – she has started to POP! BANG! And bring on the FIREWORKS!

For quite some time, she had an idea for a luxury T-shirt line, Your F’exy — and I was lucky enough to witness the birth of this new fashion division. From concept to logo, from sketches to production — in just three short weeks. And where did she debut? At the Sundance Film Festival, of course.

Nikki got a website up in just two weeks (with the right team behind her). She had celebrity photographs posted on Facebook, and on her blog. And now, she’s in business, taking orders for her Your F’exy line. Mind you, this was all while she creating amazing photography for entrepreneurs, small business owners –and clients from the red carpet to royalty.

Nikki added another profit center to her already successful business. She took a risk for a potential reward – which aligned with her fashion sense, and her core beliefs. She knew before she started that she could do it.

What’s particularly exciting for me, is that right after our call on Tuesday, Nikki let me know she was asked to go to LA this weekend, to not only shoot at the Oscars, but also to get fitted for a couture dress to wear on the runway.

The Lesson I’m offering? No risk, No reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your BRAND.

For now, pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes.

Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer. She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!

Friends, where do you want to go? What courage do you need to get off the bench? What guidance will help you with your idea?

You don’t have to be a celebrity photographer. You can be a budding author, a publicist, a realtor who has it all together, but holds back.

In prior years, I held back. But why? Probably the same reason as you.

Now, what the heck. I’m going for it – and, in a big way.

For Nikki, it’s her first fitting for a couture dress. I can’t wait to see her next year’s performance – or yours.

Robin Samora, Business & Life Strate gist, discussed ways to use your brilliance to boost your bottom line at a gathering for small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Citizen’s Bank in East Milton on February 15.

The group was eager to learn from Samora, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two companies and makes it her mission to help small business owners make more profits, get more attention, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Robin, who has worked with major Fortune 500 companies promoting products and services, wanted to utilize her talents and years of business experience, realizing that she loved working one on one with clients and small businesses.


Thanks to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Blog for featuring my post (#132) in their listing of The Biggest Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know

What’s the #1 tip every entrepreneur needs? It’s not a MBA, it’s not an international ad agency,it’s not a Facebook Fan page with 5,000 followers.

It’s You — Being You, in a big way.

Forget about what other people think. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s your BUSINESS–and,you need to SHINE!

Put your photo and branding out there. Make a splash. Shine your bright light. BE your business and show the world your charisma.

Pretty much, you’ll be unstoppable.

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anaïs Nin

Sometimes, you realize you just can’t live the same way any longer for fear that you’ll blow up – or blow up at someone who happens to be near you. If you don’t “expand”, you might just explode! The explosive feelings are all about you. You’re ready – or overdue – for growth. On the up side, it can be an exciting time, but in the early stages, dealing with it is often a challenge.

Change doesn’t come to some of us very easily. It’s not tied up in a small box with a pretty bow. If we ignore repeated warnings to change, it can feel like the need to change now reared its ugly head out of nowhere. How many of us ignore those early messages, or don’t pay attention until it’s too late?

Although I have twenty plus years of business experience and a successful business with events and promotions – taking a leap and adding a new dimension is scary, even for me! Often, we have to have a breakdown before we have a breakthrough.

Breakdowns come in many forms and they show up as fear, uncertainty, risk and security issues. You may even hear your inner voice trying to talk you out of realizing your biggest dream. While that inner voice is trying to protect you from hurt, it can also limit you to a life that is safe, but not that fulfilling. That’s where this feeling that you must expand or explode comes into play.

Doing something that feels uncomfortable is often one of the hardest tasks. It’s a risk to make a change, and it takes discipline to stay the course and not give up. Moving forward fearlessly — despite the uncertainty — means saying YES to the unknown. This has been one of my lessons to learn, and I’m reminded of this lesson often.

Trust and faith play a huge role in moving forward when things get scary. It’s important to focus on what you know and to remember that you’re never given more than you can handle. Others have felt this fear and moved through it instead of away from it. Why, I bet if you look back over your own life, you can find places where you’ve moved through this fear to the other side too. Think back over those times, and do it – one more time! If it gets too hard or too scary, go somewhere private and have a mini meltdown — talk it through with a trusted friend, but keep at it. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Are you at a place where you need a change? Is life passing you by? Can you taste the possibility, but you’re afraid others will be disappointed by your actions? Worse yet, will others be jealous of your desire to have a better life? How’s that serving you? I’m offering a free 15 minute “Get to Know You” session. It may be just the jump start you need to start changing your world.

Give me a call – let’s talk – and Let’s Make You Shine.

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for
life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good”
Lucia Capocchione

It’s summer. Hot, sunny, beach weather. And you’ve heard from me a few times about taking yourself to a new level in your business, or personally. Maybe you have the impression that it’s time to throw yourself, heart and soul, into realizing those dreams of yours. Well, it is time for that . . . but that doesn’t mean drudgery. Hard work and focus are part of building a life you love, but they’re not everything.

It’s important to move away from black-and-white thinking. Working hard does not mean that you never take a break. In fact, it means the opposite, because if you’re working hard at realizing your dreams, a break is necessary. It gives your mind, body and soul a chance to rejuvenate, and often, it takes care of the latest roadblock. It doesn’t have to be two weeks in the tropics either (hmmm…though that would be nice). An afternoon away from your routine — a mini-break — may be just the thing.

When it came to naming her business, Kendra was completely stuck. She made lists, asked friends, wrote ideas on pretty colored post-it notes, but everything eventually sounded, well, wrong. Dumb. Uninspired. The whole thing left her feeling the same way — wrong. . .dumb. . .uninspired. I told her, “I want you to forget this for a day and do something you love to do, but haven’t done in a long time. I promise that if you do, things will flow more smoothly when you get back to work.”

Kendra took my advice, and took a break. She gathered with friends at an outdoor concert. They had a great time together, full of laughter, dancing and fun. A few days later, she had a name for her business that she loves — she says it’s perfect — and inspired!

Your dreams are important, and the world needs them! You have to balance your day-to-day responsibilities, your life’s mission and yes — play. Play is important — crucial, in fact. Without fun, laughter and relaxation, really, what’s the point?

After a round of dedicated hard work, get out there and get your happy on. Have fun with friends, visit a new place, eat delicious food and listen to excellent music. Surround yourself with places, scents, colors and people that bring you joy. Let your soul (and body!) dance, and open up to laughter and fun. Whether you dip your toes in the water, sink your teeth into deliciousness or breathe in some high mountain air, you’ll come back refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Wishing you a joyful summer.