Friday, 31 December 2010


New Year, New You!

First, I’d like to wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

I’m really excited about my first workshop of 2011, which I’m running on January 19th. I’m equally excited about the line up of experts who will give this event a special energy, and add exceptional value to the day and to those attending. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of being invited to speak to large corporations about Personal Branding and on each occasion, all I’ve had to do is turn up. The venues were organised, the attendees invited, refreshments in place, materials printed, and the perfect room prepared for me to deliver my 75 minute keynote speech.

This time it’s different, and although I’m co-presenting with Jorgen Sundberg, there’s still a lot to do. Fortunately, Jorgen found the venue, which is a lovely boutique hotel in the West End, The Leonard. I’ve been there three times to check the room where the workshop will be held. The level of service and food, as far as I can tell is spot on. The hotel’s welcoming lounge has three log fires, big comfy sofas, and what one might describe as an eclectic array of mildly eccentric decor. Yet, everything is low-key and in very good taste, particularly the service, which I have found to be superb on each occasion.

This one-day workshop is titled, Personal Branding from the Inside Out. Apart from Jorgen and me, there are three special guest speakers attending. Nita Shah, a superb yoga teacher, who will explain the significant benefits of yoga as it relates to preventing and managing stress, being more energised and feeling physically more grounded. Bob Jacobs, founder of the Society of Complementary Medicine, who will explain how nutrition, lifestyle choices and diet affect our health. In addition, we have a mystery guest who is going to teach us how we can use our voice as a highly effective tool to convey greater ‘presence’.

For those who are not familiar with Jorgen, he’s the founder of Personal Branding UK, a top-notch Social Media company. What Jorgen doesn’t know about Social Media, really isn’t worth knowing. And for those of you who are not familiar with what I do, I help people to develop an authentic Personal Brand, a brand that represents their values, beliefs and what they stand for. My focus is on what I describe as our Inner Brand and our Outer Brand. When these two elements are both congruent and authentic, we stand out in the crowd in exactly the right way.

So, if you are a participant, this is your day, a day to rejuvenate, increase your energy, feel good about you and have some fun.

For further information, please contact me at: Or feel free to phone me on: 07962 157977.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

'Tis The Season … For Giving… And Forgiving

In the spirit of giving, this Christmas I’ve made a donation to DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal:

I wish you all a peaceful, happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Best wishes,


Sunday, 21 November 2010

When More Just isn't Enough...

This blog was inspired by Steve Trister. When Steve and I met at a networking event we chatted about the numerous so-called Personal Development experts out there. You know, someone who tells you that if you follow their programme you’ll be able to have a millionaire lifestyle, buy your very own island, in short, have it all. Steve and I deduced that not everyone wants it all. And for some, 'having it all’ is just being happy with what they do have. I’m reminded of a chap I was coaching many years ago who’s ambition was to marry his childhood sweet heart, manage the small bank in his local village and buy a cottage within walking distance of the village. At the time I thought, ‘Is that really all he wants?’ Today that sounds kind of wonderful.

It’s as if we’ve all been brainwashed into believing that more is better and that more will make us happier. Clearly the last three years have shown us that more is actually less. Research undertaken by Gallup, showed that “Once you get above a basic sustenance level – on average, people in rich countries don’t report being all that much happier than people in lower-income countries”. Furthermore, Gallup researchers found that happiness levels “plateaued when people reached an annual salary of £50,000 or $75.000”.

What does that tell us about the state of the nation, or, indeed our state of mind? It tells us that if we don’t hanker after the latest must-have gadgets, the most up-to-date TV, a state of the art mobile phone, or high fashion clothing items or accessories, we’ll feel less worthy. Moreover, we’ll think we’re missing out. We’ve become overly concerned about what others will think of us if we’re not decked out with the latest accoutrements, those trappings that signal recognition of wealth, or how cool someone is.

The onslaught from so-called gurus, who tell us we can have everything we’ve ever dreamed of, combined with the media bamboozling us into believing that what we have isn’t enough, and our ‘addiction’ to thinking that more will achieve more happiness, is just plain wrong. It’s as if we don’t know any more what it is that makes us truly happy because our minds are so full of thinking that more happiness will emerge if we just have more.

Perhaps our brains are so crowded with, ‘I’ll feel happier when I get that new car, new designer outfit, tummy tuck, Botox injections, or luxury vacation in the Maldives, we literally don’t have the space to experience what it is that truly makes us happy. It’s as if the place in our minds that could be at peace would be too quiet and we need the constant chatter in order to feel we are in the loop. Whenever I get the urge to want a bigger and better TV, another beautiful antique wrist watch, or unlimited access to whatever I want whenever I want it, I recall an exercise developed by Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the University Of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Centre.

Here’s the exercise: Close your eyes, quiet your mind and relax your body, then think of five things that you are grateful for in your life. It’s not a cure- all, however, it’s enough to remind us that we are well off in ways that many others in other parts of the world, would consider to be luxurious.

Abraham Maslow's diagram above of the 'Hierachy of Needs' says it all, I think.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Turning Your Facets into Assets

As a Personal Branding coach, I come across a wide variety of men and women, each from different backgrounds, and varied professions. When I talk about ‘change’, particularly in the context of being more authentic, I often hear people say, “This is who I am, if I change, I won’t be authentic.” However, when I point out each of us is similar to a diamond, multi-faceted and unique, the conversation moves in a different direction. If we think of ourselves as a multi faceted diamond, and consider that some of our facets are due for a polish, we can access change for the better.

So many of us only show certain facets of our personality to the outside world. This could stem from self consciousness, conditioning, or because we’re just not prepared, or comfortable disclosing more than we think or feel is necessary. Often, this is an outcome of deciding to conform to cultural norms, peer pressure, or our business environment. In essence, I don’t ask people to change, as such - I suggest that they consider using various facets of their uniqueness to express their true authenticity. And by doing so, as if by osmosis, experience positive changes within themselves. Changes that will further support them to be true to who they are. In many ways, it’s about offering a more expansive and truer version of ourselves to the world.

So think not of changing, but spending some time acknowledging and embracing all of your facets - the whole you. And thereby, discover that by shifting from one facet to another, you’re not being inauthentic, in fact, quite the reverse, you are being more authentic. Treat this experience as an opportunity to reveal the jewel in your crown, and by so doing, giving yourself permission to ‘Show Up’.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Intuitive Tailor

This blog was inspired by a friend who asked me to help him to purchase a suit. Clothes, fabric, style and design are attached to my DNA, so to speak. The kind of DNA I’m referring to is Design, Nuance and Attractiveness. These three characteristics are what make any clothing item truly desirable. In addition, they can affect how the wearer feels in an item of clothing.

When I was a lad I used to visit my father’s tailoring shop every Sunday, which was located smack in the middle of Brick Lane, east London. In those days the street was the epicentre of London Jewry. It was littered with kosher butchers, fabric emporiums, bakeries and a Yiddish theatre. Dad’s shop, Russell Sinclair, named after my middle name and his partner’s son’s middle name, struck a distinctive note where the shop front awnings were occupied by Rosenberg, Levy, Shmulovitch and Bernstein.

Dad instinctively knew how to design a pair of trousers that would look great and as importantly, felt great to wear. He intuitively knew how to cut a precise pattern for them and did so with flair and apparent ease. Many years ago I recall walking along Kings Road, Chelsea, wearing a pair of green gabardine bell bottoms my father made for me. Strangers approached me, asking where I had purchased my trousers. They were that good. Had it not been for the choice of fabric, the cut and fit, they would have been just another pair of ordinary trousers. Whenever I wore them I felt confident, stylish and as if I was just a little special. That’s how well designed clothes can make you feel. They can lift your spirits and buoy your self confidence.

Nuance is not something on which our current culture seems to focus, particularly when it comes to fashion and clothing design. However, nuance is critical in any design that is likely to have longevity, be that a building or a suit. One of the dictionary’s synonyms for nuance is “refinement”, a perfect description for the kind of attire I’m referring to. And when one wears clothes that are refined, that’s exactly how we feel - refined. Furthermore, when we act and communicate in a refined fashion, the combination of that inner and outer refinement is a winning formula; it also promotes feelings of greater self esteem.

In order for anything to have the word attractiveness attributed to it, it must have eye appeal which is produced primarily by visual stimuli. This is often prompted by a gut feeling - you see something and for reasons you can’t explain, you are drawn to it. On the day I helped my friend to buy a suit my eye was taken by a single sleeve that hung in the middle of about a dozen others. The way the fabric of the sleeve almost glistened, its iridescence, drew me to it. The sleeve draped softly the way quality fabrics tend to, that’s when I knew that my friend would look great in it and feel great wearing it. And as soon as he tried the jacket on and felt the soft fabric slip over his shoulders, he smiled. When he looked at the jacket in the mirror, his smile widened, he stood straighter, held his head higher and we both knew he’d found his suit. It was as if the DNA of the suit matched his DNA.
Here’s how you can find a good DNA match:


- Look for simplicity – less-is-more.

- Avoid additional ‘design features’, such as zips that don’t work or additional buttons that have no practical use.

- If you don’t feel you have an eye for clothes design, find something else that resonates with you visually and use those elements to inform your clothing choices.


- If any clothing item you try on says more about the clothing than about you, think again.

- If you decide to enlist the help of a Personal Shopper, be sure she or he feels, looks and sounds right for you.

- If the item looks as though it’s ‘of the moment’ or trendy, know that it won’t have longevity.


- If you feel as though you are more attractive when you try on a new clothing item, it’s an indication that you are making a good choice.

- When your eye is almost magnetically drawn to something, acknowledge that and investigate further.

- Be open to new visual experiences, which at first may seem different, yet are likely to widen your ideas about what you find visually attractive.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

An Authentic Personal Brand

One of the dictionary’s definitions of authenticity is, “Undisputed Credibility”. How good would it be to be known as having undisputed credibility? Well, the good news is that each and every one of us has the wherewithal to achieve that. It’s both a choice and a journey.

Occasionally, when I’m running seminars and workshops, there’s a kind of glazed look that comes over certain members of the group when I mention authenticity. I think it’s because some individuals, particularly in the business world, have received so many mixed messages about authenticity and what it means. I hear people say, ‘Well, it’s me just being me, isn’t it?’ If only it were that simple.

If we use undisputed credibility as one of the outcomes of being authentic, I think you’ll agree, irrespective of who you are or what you do, being known as credible garners more trust and respect. Moreover, it’s how we learn to trust ourselves. Being someone who has a reputation for being credible is a testament like no other. Knowing we have this reputation helps us to feel more buoyed about ourselves, in fact, it ties into being authentic.

In order to be authentic, it’s important we acknowledge and honour parts of how we’ve developed over the years; both the positive and the negative. This acknowledgment helps us to recognise aspects of our behaviours and actions that we’d like to enhance, modify or change. If you think about people who strike you as being authentic, it’s likely their traits will be both admirable and inspirational. In essence, if we strive to be someone who’s considered admirable and inspirational, as if by osmosis, authenticity will likely follow.

A female client, who’s Personal Brand as a businessperson was considered friendly, helpful and credible, told me she berated one of her Managers publicly for not completing a task on time. This kind of behaviour was completely uncharacteristic for this woman. She said, “I gave him what for, that’s who I am, that was me being authentic.” I suggested that reputationally, that’s not how she’s perceived, and in my opinion, not who she is. I further suggested that her anger and frustration are what caused her to berate this person publicly. In essence, this behaviour wasn’t her being authentic it was who she became when her emotions took over.

There seems to be some discrepancy between emotion and passion. Passion, which is the way some people describe their emotional outbursts, is exclusive, all about you. However, when we convey passion, it’s inclusive, it’s all about us. You take people with you when you communicate passion; you leave people behind when you allow your emotions to run the show. Just being aware of this encourages us to be more of who we really are.

To develop and convey an authentic Personal Brand, just be the person you are the most proud of. And at times, when you are not being authentic, which is normal, take a step back, say or do something there and then that strikes a note of authenticity. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to ‘show up’.

Here are eight tips on how to have a more authentic Personal Brand:

1. Be conscious of how you’d like others to talk about you

2. Develop the ability to dissolve self consciousness

3. Be the you you’re most proud of

4. Admit your mistakes and learn from them

5. Say what you mean and mean what you say

6. Build a reputation that truly represents who you are

7. Notice times when you’re not being authentic

8. Trust your intuition as it relates to feeling authentic

Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Ever since I was a wee lad clothes have been an integral part of my life. When I was about five years old my parents bought me an exquisite military-style camel-hair overcoat. They made sure that it was matched perfectly with an over-sized Tam O' Shanter-styled cap. In addition, my shoes, haircut, scarf and socks were all carefully thought out for me. We lived in the heart of London's East End, so the locals, who were more used to admiring the attire of the Pearly Kings and Queens, must have thought me a sight for sore eyes as I promenaded like a very young Beau Brummell.

Those early days were to inform my life-long relationship with clothes, style, and image. I wasn't old enough to understand how all these seemingly small details, from socks to haircut, choice of fabrics, to the hue of a color, had been embedded within my subconscious. So choosing clothes for my wife, a client, or me became as much a science as it did an art. In my vast retail experience, I found that many businessmen would shy away from spending quality time on their appearance, specifically, their clothes. That kind of chap was my favorite type of customer. I knew how he felt. For a lot of men and women, their less-than-happy relationship with their appearance is often a symptom of conditioning, poor self-image or thinking they just don't have any taste.

We all have taste; it's an innate part of who we are. Often, it only emerges when we're helping somebody else choose a clothing item, or when we're selecting a decorative piece for our home. It's as if our "Style Gene" only kicks in when it's not about us personally. To develop taste and a "good eye" for what suits you, begin by focusing on the details. Start with the three F's as your guide: Feel. Fit. Flatter. You will be clearer about what to select and what to reject when it comes to choosing any form of apparel. Be super aware of purchasing clothing items that focus solely on fashion. "Fashion fades, only style remains the same" - Coco Chanel

By discovering your Personal Style, who you are on the inside will begin to reveal itself on the outside. There's a kind of completeness we experience when we feel good about the way we look. It's a great self esteem booster and a way of signaling to others that we have a healthy self-confidence and like who we are. Your Personal Style is a visual representation of your Inner and Outer Brands. It's something that will remain with you for a very long time. I think this quote says it all, "Style, neurologically, is the deepest part of one's being, and may be preserved almost to the last, even in dementia." - Oliver Saks

Here are a few pointers on how to develop your Personal Style:

- You're Unique -- don't try to be a copy of someone else

- Trust your instincts when it comes to making choices about where/how to shop, but do some research in advance

- Spend quality time developing your Personal Style -- this is mission You. So ensure you have the time and mental space to shop properly

- You have 10-seconds to make a positive impression -- make sure you look the part

- Choose colors that complement your personality, hair color, skin tone and existing wardrobe. A good way to do that is to have a wardrobe clear out, so you can see what you actually do wear, not what you have

- Someone who's able to convey great Personal Style does so with subtlety and grace

- Ensure all the details of how you attire yourself are in line with the three F's: Feel. Fit. Flatter

Give your Personal Style the kind of attention you would give to someone you love and is asking for your help

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What Do Emma Thompson And My Late Grandmother Have In Common?

The answer to that question is authenticity and the courage to Live Out Loud

The first time I met Emma Thompson I was running my retail fashion business. Emma T. was everything you might imagine, especially if you are a fan, like me. And although she was attired in very ordinary clothes, mussed up hair, and wearing a pair of well-worn sneakers, she looked great. In fact, she came across as someone who is unquestionably authentic.

I recently had coffee with a successful businessperson who I’ve coached over the years. He said that individuals he’s met who convey authenticity, or to use his words, “people who are the real deal”, all have a common trait. He described it as ‘energy behind their eyes’. Emma Thompson has that special energy and so did my late grandmother. Another word that’s oft used to describe this kind of characteristic is charisma. It’s a quality that evokes feelings of well-being in others; a kind of magnetic draw, if you like.

Over the years, I’ve met numerous men and women who hail from a wide variety of arenas. They range from captains of industry, wealthy bankers, movie stars and world-class politicians. I don’t recall many of them having that energy that Grandma Goldman had, or that Emma Thompson has. I don’t believe that this special characteristic is something that’s conscious; rather, it comes from a healthy self belief and the desire to be Living Out Loud. Does anyone remember that movie? It starred Danny De Vito, Queen Latifah and Holly Hunter. We were living in L.A when it came out, and I recall being urged to see it by an L.A film reviewer. He thought the film was right up my street and he was right; I loved it. For me, it brought to life my belief that life is what you make it. And you can make it in any field of your dreams, if you really, really want to.

In many ways, Grandma Goldman lived out loud. She wore lovely 1940s colourfully-printed silk dresses. I remember the way the soft fabric swished against her hand- made black leather boot, for she was born with a clubfoot. Sparsely spaced, narrow upright metal struts surrounded the boot. And although the boot was well-worn, the leather and the struts glistened as she hopped from one side of the room to another. Her physical handicap never got in the way of her ability to convey energy, be curious, to cook wonderful food and dole out tough love, or what we kids described as "jamma" being in a bad mood. Grandma Goldman was the real deal; you knew exactly where you stood with her. And her unconditional love of us was ever present, no matter what. I still miss her today.

Emma Thompson lives out loud. This woman is an extraordinary actor, prolific writer, raises a family, has a social conscious and supports fourteen Charities and foundations that I’m aware of. And she does all this with grace, humility and without a trace of ego, and always with humour. When Kate and I wrote our first book, we sent the manuscript to Emma and asked for a quote. She responded with a hand written note, saying that because we cited her in our book, she didn’t think it would be appropriate. Of course, she was right. She also enclosed a photograph of her baby daughter, who she described as “baby Buddha” and commented very kindly about our manuscript.

We can all live out loud authentically. And here are some pointers on how to begin:

- Trade in self consciousness for courage

- Trust that what you value and hold dear is shared by others

- Learn to trust your intuition, it knows more than you think

- Know that you can have the life you want

- Be the you that you are most proud of - that’s the authentic you

- Be alert to the times when you are not being authentic

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Read the ABC's of Personal Branding here

Monday, 22 March 2010

As some of you know, I firmly believe we all have an Inner Brand and an Outer Brand. In many ways, each of the two Napoleons above are examples of Inner and Outer Branding. The emperor Napoleon and his familiar pose is a good example of Outer Branding. And Napoleon Hill, one of the first personal development experts, is a good example of someone who was all about Innner Branding .

Please read my first blog on Personal Branding From The Inside Out for Huffington Post:

Saturday, 20 February 2010


I've been asked quite a bit which books have changed my life. Then, almost in the same breath, most of these people tell me they's just finished reading a book that changed their life. This made me feel weird because I'd read the same self-development books, and usually, these were the books I'd recommended to them.

I've read numerous books of that ilk and none of them have changed my life, not a bit! Moreover, some aspects of my life became worse! I later discovered that these were my 'No Pain, No Gain' moments. However, I was furious that I seemed to be left out of these positive life-changing events. What had I done wrong? What did I not get?

This frustration led me on a journey to taking personal responsibility for my life. I've always believed that there's much more to our lives than material, on-the-surface kinds of pleasures and experiences. In fact, when I was in my early twenties I asked friends questions like, "Why are we here?" and stuff like that. I was considered a bit odd. So much so, a couple of my friends un-friended me because they thought I was far too serious. I was.

If I reflect on my reading habits over the last 25 years, the books that have stayed with me and continue to inform my behaviours and attitudes are: The Road Less Travelled by M.Scott Peck, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl and more recently, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle - this book really touched a nerve, as did Byron Katie's Loving What Is.

And if these writings and others have had any effect on my life, it would be this: When I picked up The Road Less Travelled all those years ago and read a few pages, I felt less alone. Being different, which is how I always felt and was referred to by family and friends, didn't feel so bad after all. These books and others became my friends.

It took me many years to figure out that when my sense of balance was shaken, which it seriously was, it was an opportunity for me to re-think my life. So I chose to continue reading so that I could continue to learn. And although I wasn't entirely aware that I was developing more consciouness by learning how to be courageous and more authentic, I clearly was.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

To read the article I wrote about Tony Blair's Brand for Business and Politics, please click on the link:

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Self Presentation - The 10 all-important components of how you ‘package’ your Brand -

1. Excellent grooming – what a person sees first…
2. Upbeat body language – standing tall…
3. Good eye contact – steady & ‘alive’...
4. Attire that is appropriate to the business culture and that says something personal about you – professional polish…
5. Smiling – it’s contagious…
6. A firm handshake – certainty… If it’s an interview situation, it sets the tone…
7. Excellent manners – always…
8. A healthy appearance – taking care of ourselves…
9. Communication in person, email or by phone that’s congruent – one message one communication style…
10.Being engaging – fake it to make it… Do it often enough and it’ll naturally imbed itself within your brand

Your Reputation - The 10 all-important components of your Brand Promise -

1. Energy – mental rehearsal…
2. Optimism – it’s a choice…
3. Passion & Enthusiasm – key to all in-person communication…
4. Reliability – not the same as consistency…
5. Empathy/E.Q – the psychological glue that creates meaningful relationships in business and in our personal lives…
6. Humility – ego-less – life is not about one-upmanship…
7. Humour – lighten up…
8. Listening skills – listen with all your heart…
9. Focus – one thing at a time done well…
10.Integrity – be known for this vital quality…

With these 20 attributes in place, your personal brand will be given a significant upgrade. Moreover, whether you’re a CEO, spouse, parent or entrepreneur, your value and collateral as a human being will increase exponentially. You’ll also be considered by others as being ‘authentic’. Moreover, some of you will discover who you really are; perhaps for the first time.