January 2013 has been a superb golden month for me in terms of media publicity. To kick off the media hype was the Mediacorp Radio 938 Live radio interview when I shared branding tips and promoted my book “Branded For Success”. This was followed by the Lianhe Wanbao fitness and nutrition interview on doing the right bodyweight exercises and eating right to lose weight in time for Chinese New Year. Then I morphed into the 8 Days Shirtless Guy of the Week after a photoshoot cum interview for the popular magazine. And now to cap it all off, my exclusive two-page interview sharing branding tips for readers of August Woman magazine officially hits the newsstands today.

It feels surreal. But I’m really truly grateful for everything.

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Ok, back to the August Woman interview. As the target audience of the magazine is working women, I was given some scenarios and asked to share tips on how women could brand themselves both in the corporate world and after they stepped out of the office back to their homes.

It’s never easy being a woman. It’s never easy being a man either. Regardless of gender, we play multiple roles and need to balance each and every one of them well. As a woman, you are someone’s daughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, boss, colleague and subordinate all rolled into one.

But in case you start to freak out, stop!

Let’s go back to the basics. And it boils down to just one word – branding. 

A brand is like an image we project to the outer world and the perception it creates in others. It is a multi-sensory engagement of the various human senses. Whether you know it or not, people form a perception of you and you need to take control of that. Whatever role you are playing now is dependent on the brand you create for yourself.

In my opinion, every modern woman should create her own SPICE © brand story by being true to her values, character, personality and passions. Once she understands her own brand, she can then attain her career goals more easily.
 
Everyone has a unique personal brand and it is crucial to manage it proactively. Your personal brand speaks volumes of who you are as a person, your expertise and your promise of value to the organization, colleagues and clients. A strong, authentic personal brand helps you become known for what you’re good at, sets you apart from everyone else, and can position you as an industry expert.

In today’s competitive society, building a strong personal brand is crucial to one’s career. But take note that it should not overshadow the company’s brand. After all, you are hired by the company and must be aligned to the same group mission and vision. As strong as your personal brand can be, one tip would be to leave the ego out of the equation. Companies do not welcome staff with huge egos as it complicates matters and relations.

Simply put, your personal brand should thus be in tandem with the company’s brand. Once you understand your company’s brand, you would be able to translate your own personal brand by communicating your value and what differentiates you from others in the same industry.

It is an open secret that human beings are emotional creatures. That’s why we need to handle every “transaction” with each person with tact, care and finesse. Whether you are a single lady or married with kids, we all have choices we must make. And that choice very often is a choice of how we want to be perceived in the hearts and minds of others.

As a coach, mentor and friend to my female clients, I have witnessed their phenomenal growth as a person after being more aware of their own personal brand. And I’m proud of each and every one of them :)

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The intent was simple and that was to have a book launch for “Branded For Success”. But we wanted to do it a little differently from the book launches which almost always happen at the bookstores. 

And that was how the idea of a private book launch was conceived. As the word ‘private’ suggests, only a select group of people would be invited. To make it a special private book launch, I decided to include a charitable angle into it. So the stage was set for a ticketed private book launch. And half of the proceeds from the sales of the tickets would go to charity.

It’s always been my personal belief that giving and receiving is a two-way thing. When we give, we receive in return. And vice versa. The Universe acknowledges all of our efforts.

If you have read my book, you would recall in Chapter 4 “Finding My True Self”  that I visited an orphanage in Nepal while searching for my true self in the holy land. Perhaps coming back full circle, I chose to donate the proceeds of the private book launch to Project Sugar as it connected with me.
 
Project Sugar is a community involvement project organised by student volunteers from Singapore & Vietnam dedicated to serving the disabled, HIV children & human trafficking victims in Vietnam.

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Indebted to the support of close friends, new friends and the artiste talents from Royal International Group who took time off to grace today’s private book launch, the afternoon kicked off with a warm welcome of our guests. Housed in the quiet yet cozy The Factory along Lim Tua Tow Road, the café which I booked even came up with a special chocolate berry Lionel sundae creation for our guests. Besides the artisan ice cream and flora tea served, the twin highlights must have been the presentation of the products from my own online store – a designer mug, Luxe Contour Remodeling Oil and the main item itself – the book to each individual; and the autograph signing session. The icing on the cake goes to the presentation of the huge mock cheque (and real one thereafter) to Project Sugar as a small token of my appreciation.

I tried my best not to tear as I shared my first-hand account of my life struggles and how branding oneself is the undisputed key to happiness, confidence and success in life. From a sickly, mock-marked, skinny and low-esteemed hermit, I have transformed myself beyond my wildest imagination. Today, I am helping others achieve the same magic I have weaved into my life and positively impacting their lives like they would never have once imagined too.

I remember the cameras flashing non-stop and me flashing my mega-watt smile. The proud recipient of a bouquet of sunflowers (my favourite flower) and a white teddy bear, this is testimony of a berry good year ahead for me…where you will see more smiles and cheers from me.

The success of today’s private launch is not mine alone. It belongs to everyone who looked beyond the monetary value of that launch ticket to celebrate with me and give back to society.

Thank you very much everyone for your love and support…We are all personal brands!

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