Blog Archives

Fueled by Passion, Driven by Purpose, Ingrid Newkirk Crusades for Animal Rights

Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk - PETA founder

Ingrid spent the early years of her life in Great Britain – specifically, in the Orkney Islands and in Ware, Hertfordshire. When she was seven years of age, her family moved to New Delhi, India. The year was 1956 – eight


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Her Fearless Fashion Brought Her Fame – at 85!

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel Fashion Icon

When Iris was 11 years old, she would explore Manhattan, developing a particular liking for Greenwich Village. In those days – it was 1932 – not only could one travel all around the city for five cents, it was safe


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Mary Barra – Transforming General Motors Through Powerful Leadership

Mary Barra

Mary Barra CEO GM

Some people, so it seems, are born to follow a specific path – to fulfill a purpose. Mary Makela may just be such a person. She was born into a hard-working blue-collar family in Waterford, Michigan on Christmas Eve 1961.


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

From Broadway to Carpool Karaoke – Corden Drops the Mic

James Corden

James Corden - Late Late Show

The most successful people are the ones who have found their purpose in life. For some, this takes a virtual lifetime. Others discover their purpose very early in life. Such was the case for James. At the age of four, he


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Putting Principles and People Ahead of Profits is Very Profitable

S. Truett Cathy

S Truett Cathy Chick-fil-A

Samuel was born March 14, 1921 in Eatonton, Georgia. He was the sixth of what soon would total seven children for Joseph and Lilla. Though Samuel was his given name, he was called by his middle name – Truett. When


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

A New Perspective Can Change You – Heck, It Can Change the World

Brittany Merrill Underwood

Brittany Underwood - Akola

Brittany grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in what most would consider an upper-middle class home. She enjoyed a relatively typical childhood – not one of privilege – but not wanting for much. She completed high school at a noted boarding


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

‘Nowhere special. That’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.’

Mel Brooks

Comedian Mel Brooks

James and Kate Kaminsky – he a German Jew via Poland, she a Russian Jew from modern day Ukraine – had immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. They had four sons. The youngest, Melvin was born on June 28, 1926.  Soon after


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

A Peek Behind the Curtain of One Lucky Bastard

Joe Buck

Joe Buck Sportscaster

Avid baseball fans dream of going to their favorite Major League team’s spring training. Very few of them are born there. That is literally Joe’s story. He was born on April 25, 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida – the spring training


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Your Job is What You Do – Your Brand is Who You Are

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali - GOAT

Often seemingly small, insignificant actions can have major impact – sometimes they can even affect the entire world. One such instance occurred in Louisville, Kentucky in 1954. Someone stole a twelve-year-old boy’s bicycle. No one knows who it was –


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

In-N-Out Burgers – Serving Great Food and Five Branding Essentials

In-N-Out Burgers

In-N-Out

Two hamburger restaurants opened in 1948 within 45 miles of each other in the Greater Los Angeles area. Both were family-owned and operated, one by two brothers, the other by a husband and wife team – Harry and Esther. The


Company Branding Friday's Fearless Brand

Surrender Is Often the Key to Success

Alcoholics Anonymous

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Bob Smith was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont in 1879. Bill Wilson was born sixteen years later on November 26, less than 100 miles away, in East Dorset, Vermont. That distance, their difference in age and each pursuing different career paths


Company Branding Friday's Fearless Brand

Add Some Spice to Your Brand – The TABASCO Way

TABASCO

During America’s Civil War, Louisiana was a part of the Confederate States of America, known simply as the Confederacy. It came as no surprise then that Union General Nathaniel Banks led a force from the Gulf of Mexico up Bayou


Company Branding Friday's Fearless Brand

The Food Babe Gives New Meaning to Food Fight!

Vani Hari - The Food Babe

Her parents immigrated to the United States from Punjab, India – settling in North Carolina. Vani was born in Charlotte on March 22, 1979. Her childhood was as normal as every other kid growing up in America in the 1980’s. That


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

It’s a Myth That Nice Guys Finish Last

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks Academy Award Winner

Tom was born in Concord, California on July 9, 1956. His parents were Amos and Janet – he a cook and restaurant manager, she a hospital worker. They divorced when Tom was five, one of those experiences that can affect


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Work Hard, Be Sexy, Build a Life – Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher Teen Choice Awards

Twins have a special bond – one that most people cannot understand. Such was the case with fraternal twins Christopher and Michael, born five minutes apart in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on February 7, 1978. Michael, the younger of the two,


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

How You Too Can Reach the “Summitt” of Branding

Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt Lady Vols coach

She was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, the fourth of five children. She grew up on the family farm with her three older brothers and younger sister. Farm life taught all of the children hard work, commitment and dedication. When their


Friday's Fearless Brand

Vision, Risk, Heart and Faith – Frank McKinney’s Keys to Success

Frank McKinney

Frank McKinney Real Estate Artist

Most kids graduate from high school within four years – but not very many attend four different schools to do so. Of course, it can take that many schools when you are kicked out of the first three you attend.


Friday's Fearless Brand

Pope Francis’ Keys to Personal Branding – Be Humble, Be Bold, Be Kind

Pope Francis

Pope Francis - Bishop of Rome

The eldest of five children, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was born to Italian immigrants who, in 1927, had fled Italy and the rule of Mussolini. The boy’s father, Mario, was an accountant


Friday's Fearless Brand

Look For Possibilities, Work Hard, Earn Your Happy – Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan

He was thirteen and doing all he could to keep up with his brothers and the neighborhood kids. His siblings shouted their encouragement “Keep up Bob! Come on Bob!” That sounds like a brotherly thing to do – until you


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

A Brand Uncaged – A Gift to the World

Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou

Marguerite Johnson was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928. She was three when her parents’ marriage ended. Her father sent her and her four year old brother, Bailey Jr., to live with their paternal grandmother. Annie Henderson lived


Friday's Fearless Brand

Learn It, Do It, Give It Away – Meet Clay Mathile

Clay Mathile

Clay Mathile Iams Founder

One can learn a great deal growing up on the family farm. Such was the case of a boy named Clay, the eldest child of Bill and Helen, owners of a forty acre farm in Portage, a small town in northwest Ohio.


Friday's Fearless Brand

How the ROCK Turned Turbulence Into A Rock Solid Brand

Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson

His was a turbulent childhood – born in Hayward, California, the only son of a Samoan mom and an African-American father. The family moved thirteen times during his youth. His father traveled often to find work – and that work paid


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding Lessons From A President

Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter

It had been such an amazing week – one that was full enough to feel more like a month yet seeming to have lasted for mere moments. It was ten pm on a Saturday night as I sat through the


Friday's Fearless Brand

How’s Your Vision? How One Man Achieves Dream Results

Joe Edwards

John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, MO., has had more than its fair share of highly successful and world famous graduates – Andy Taylor, founder and CEO of Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Grammy winning musician John Hartford; world-renowned  restaurateur Danny Meyer’ Pulitzer prize


Friday's Fearless Brand

The Red Sole is Truly Its Soul

Louboutin

Many would view his childhood as anything but normal. Not too many kids get expelled from school three times – before they reach age twelve – and most don’t leave home at the age of 12 1/2. For Christian, however, his youth


Friday's Fearless Brand

A Story That Takes the (Snack) Cake

Twinkies

The Continental Baking Company – of Indianapolis, Indiana, introduced Hostess® Cupcakes back in 1919. Wrapped for on-the-go consumption, they were a big success so Continental expanded in 1926  the line of snacks under the Hostess® brand name. An item that became incredibly popular


Friday's Fearless Brand

The Hat That Branded the West

the Stetson®

The American West of the 1800’s was a land filled with promise – not just of hope and great opportunity – but also the promise of diverse dangers and hard living.  For one young man in his twenties, John –


Friday's Fearless Brand

He’s Proof That Geeks are Cool

Bill Nye - The Science Guy

Before they had even met – much less conceived him – World War II played a significant role in the lives of  his parents. In July of 1941, Ed Nye, the man who would become his father, left San Francisco


Friday's Fearless Brand

The Ragin’ Cajun – Eccentric and Controversial; Authentic and Effective

James Carville

Carville, Louisiana is located in Iberville Parish just south of Baton Rouge.  The town was given its name in the late 1800’s in honor of its postmaster. It is home to the National Hansen’s Disease Museum – located at the site of a former sugar plantation


Friday's Fearless Brand

Chuck Norris was a Fearless Brand Before There was Branding

Chuck Norris

By his own account, his childhood was average at best – but more accurately, it was mundane, if not downbeat. The oldest of three boys, he was born in Ryan, Oklahoma on March 12, 1940. His father – a truck


Friday's Fearless Brand

There’s Real Magic in Fearless Branding

mike and MIKE

About the only thing the two boys had in common was the same first name. One was born into a Catholic family in 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up with the no-nonsense, hard working, blue-collar persona the city itself


Friday's Fearless Brand

Maverick in Thought – Shark in Business

Mark Cuban

People who have not been to Pittsburgh, PA might imagine it to be  a steel town – dirty with soot-filled skies. The image might be one which includes a town past its prime, comprised of a blue-collar population with a


Friday's Fearless Brand

Satire or Controversial? – Selective Perception and Branding

Archie Bunker

At first glance he was just one of countless blue collar workers living with his wife of 22 years in Queens, NY. It was the early 1970’s – a time of turmoil – anti-war protests, student unrest, civil rights activism- and a


Friday's Fearless Brand

Your Neighborhood Grocery Store – Authentically Quirky

Trader Joe's

With over 11,000 outlets, the Rexall Drug Company was the largest U.S. drug store franchise in 1958. The company accounted for 20% of all drug stores – each one owned by a local pharmacist. That business model had been successful since the company’s


Friday's Fearless Brand

Beyond NFL Football, Fame and Fortune Lies True Success

Jason Brown

There are people who seem to be destined for one particular position in life – to fulfill a particular role or profession. Such was the case with a boy born in Henderson, North Carolina in May of 1983. Located near the


Friday's Fearless Brand

Harness the Power of Authenticity!

Ellen DeGeneres

Until the age of thirteen she had lived a quiet life with her parents and older brother in Metairie, La. – just outside of New Orleans.  The family – Christian Scientists – attended weekly services together. There, the signs on the wall


Friday's Fearless Brand

How to Build a Brand with 140 Characters

Twitter

Jack Dorsey is without a doubt the most acclaimed alumnus of Archbishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis – though he didn’t distinguish himself there. The fact that it took some time to achieve a bit of renown wasn’t due


Friday's Fearless Brand

From Homeless to Living His Dream

Steve Harvey

Essentially homeless for three years at the end of the 1980’s, he lived in his 1976 Ford Tempo. He was divorced, sending three quarters of his limited income to his ex-wife to support their two children. With an Igloo cooler for


Friday's Fearless Brand

To Her It’s a Calling – Not a Career

Indra Nooyi

In October of 1955, a banker and his wife welcomed their baby girl into the world in Madras (now Chennai) southern India. At that time it was generally accepted that a girl would follow a certain path to marriage and motherhood. This


Friday's Fearless Brand

Approach Life Like a Billionaire – Even Though You’re Not

Howard Hughes

The entire U.S. oil industry was changed in 1908 when his father patented the two-cone roller bit. Wells could be drilled faster and in more diverse locations. That drill bit also had a significant impact on the family and the


Friday's Fearless Brand

It’s a Cinderella Story!

Bill Murray

He was the middle child – number five out of nine.  As a youth, he enjoyed reading books about heroic figures in American history. Being born and raised in Chicago, there was an endless list of local heroes in the four major professional


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building a Brand With PURPOSE

Corey Jahnke

There were some very noteworthy events in 1966 – the U.S. began an aggressive escalation of military in Vietnam while anti-war protests grew exponentially, Indira Ghandi visited the U.S., the Miranda warning became law, Surveyor 1 landed on the moon


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding Hell or One Helluva Brand?

Gordon Ramsay

Lives are filled with changes and twists – his was no exception. Early in his life those changes were driven by his father. whose various occupations included welder, shopkeeper and swimming pool manager to name but a few. His various jobs


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building Fearless Brands – Assembly Required

IKEA

His career in sales began quite early – selling matches to neighbors when he was five years old. Later, he used his bicycle to expand his geography and diversified his line of products by becoming aware of his customer’s needs and


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building Fearless Brands Creates Golden Results

Betty White

She attended grade school at the Horace Mann School in Beverly Hills where she aspired to be a writer. With that in mind, she wrote the eighth grade graduation play and ended up starring in the lead role. It was


Friday's Fearless Brand

It’s Good to Be King – of All Media

Howard Stern

It must have been cool that his father owned a recording studio in New York. It is also quite cool that he knew early in life what he wanted to do in the future. As a young boy he was able to


Friday's Fearless Brand

What do Aristotle, Superman and Baryshnikov Have in Common?

Shaquille O'Neal

While still but an infant – his father, who struggled with addiction, ended up going to prison for drug possession. When his biological father was released, he signed parental rights over to the boy’s stepfather – a sergeant in the


Friday's Fearless Brand

A Recipe for Happiness and Success

"Carl Casper" - the Chef

His talent was seemingly unlimited. He had burst on the scene with the promise of being one of the best ever. He had an imagination which paired foods and seasonings never before seen – or tasted.  He had a flair for creating


Friday's Fearless Brand

Ready, Set…Grow! – Your Value

Dondi Scumaci

She was born in Oregon, into a family of ranchers and farmers. Her parents had moved to the city to raise her, believing they were providing her with opportunities they had lacked having grown up on farms. Ironically, her desire


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding is a Journey – Let’s Ride

Harley-Davidson

It was 1901 when they started to work on creating a motorized bicycle. The two friends were determined to integrate William’s motor design into a standard bike frame using Arthur’s machine shop connection. Two years later they had a finished


Friday's Fearless Brand

This is Truly Some Sweet Branding

Ben & Jerry's

They were born in Brooklyn – four days apart. That was March of 1951 but they didn’t know each other until they met twelve years later in seventh grade. They would forge a friendship that would last a lifetime. Fast forward fourteen years.


Friday's Fearless Brand

Writing About Writing – Why I Write

Two weeks ago I received an email from friend and fellow certified Go-Giver speaker and coach, Linda Ryan. It was an offer to participate in something called a Writer’s Blog Hop. I had never heard of the concept but told


Branding

Is Your Brand Worth Spreading?

TED Talks

In 1949 George Orwell published a book which portrayed a world under the oppressive rule of a privileged party with a tyrannical leader known as “Big Brother”. Individualism and independent thinking were deemed criminal in the name of a ‘greater


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding? Be All In – All the Time!

Eric Thomas - The Hip Hop Preacher

In the 1970’s Detroit was booming – Motown, Smokey Robinson, the Jackson 5; Ford, GM, Chrysler all robust; Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons all vibrant sport franchises. Detroit was in a renaissance of sorts.  For one particular youngster life


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building Your Brand? Be in the NO!

Go For No!

Richard was a young salesman in a men’s clothiers store. He knew his sales would have to improve. One day the district manager, a man named Harold, showed up for a store check. The salesman realized he had an opportunity


Friday's Fearless Brand

Think It. See It. Do It. Be a Hero.

GoPro

This ‘overnight success’ began as an idea over a decade ago. The concept was spawned from a desire to capture on film, the energy and excitement of one man’s passion. An avid surfer, he wanted photos to document the action


Friday's Fearless Brand

If You Can Dream It You Can Achieve It

Zig Ziglar

As a ten day old baby he was placed on his mother’s stomach by a doctor who told her that her boy was dead. That was in Coffee County, Alabama in November of 1926.  He was buried in McKinney, Texas,


Friday's Fearless Brand

Good Morning…This is Ken. Poolside. Cordless.

Kenny Williamson

Born in Charleston, West Virginia on April 7, 1928 he began to really learn about life – about himself – in his very early teens.  His first  job was running a paper route. As the ‘new kid’ he was given


Friday's Fearless Brand

In Branding, Authenticity and Value Trump Glamour!

Ivory Soap

There is no debate that in 1878 one of the all-time most successful consumer products was launched by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in Cleveland, Ohio. The story of how that product came to be varies, however. The official company version


Friday's Fearless Brand

Never Give Up – No White Flags – Team Gleason

Steve Gleason

The city had been devastated – massive property damage, unthinkable financial losses, tragic loss of life – when Hurricane Katrina came calling in August of 2005 with her 175 MPH winds and following storm surge. Lives turned upside down. Homes and businesses


Friday's Fearless Brand

A Fab Four of Branding Lessons From the ‘Fab Four’

The Beatles

It was March 1957, in Liverpool, England, when a sixteen year old boy started a band and named it The Quarrymen. He befriended a fifteen year old guitarist and added him to the group. That member brought one of his


Friday's Fearless Brand

An American Success Story or a ‘Classless Thug’?

Richard Sherman

A dream of many an American youth is to play in the Super Bowl. Making that dream bigger is the idea of making the play that gives your team that opportunity. The odds against that dream becoming a reality are


Friday's Fearless Brand

Eulogizing a Brand Whose Time Has Passed ….. Friday’s UN-Fearless Brand

The BCS

One of the greatest college football championship games was played on January 6th, 2014. The undisputed number one ranked Florida State Seminoles faced off with the undisputed number two team – the Auburn Tigers. Played in front of over 90,000


Friday's Fearless Brand

What Is a Fearless Brand?

Five Essential Elements

Helping people to understand  the power of  branding is at the core of my own brand – my value proposition – and I began writing my Friday’s Fearless Brand series to do exactly that.  In my opinion, any effective learning


Friday's Fearless Brand

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

On this day fifty years ago an announcement came over the public address system at Dowell Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. “President Kennedy has been shot. School is closing and the students are to be dismissed immediately.” As a


Friday's Fearless Brand

Billy Graham

He celebrated his ninety-fifth birthday less than a week ago.  His lifetime audience over his career is estimated at over 2.2 billion people. Among the numerous awards and honors he has received are both the Presidential l Medal of Freedom


Friday's Fearless Brand

Bob Burg

To many he is known as “Mr. Go-Giver”. Together with John David Mann, he co-authored The Go-Giver, an international best-selling book. In it, they put forth the premise that focusing on giving – vs getting – is a profitable way to live.


Friday's Fearless Brand

ELMO

He is an international star. His fans span three generations – at least. His image has generated millions of dollars in sales and profit. He has his own song. Heck, he has his own world! It is not all of his fame


Friday's Fearless Brand

‘The Nametag Guy’

As of today Scott Ginsberg – this Friday’s Fearless Brand –  has worn a nametag for 4,706 consecutive days. Yes, he wears a nametag every second of every day. There should be no question as to why he is known


Friday's Fearless Brand

Friday’s Fearless Brand – Roni Chambers

This week the GO! Network in St. Louis was closed. A not-for-profit organization begun in 2008, GO! Network committed to teaching, mentoring, nurturing and supporting people who found themselves in career transition. There was clearly no shortage of members as


Friday's Fearless Brand

It Takes a Little Crazy to Make a Difference – Dafna Michaelson Jenet

Dafna Michaelson Jenet

Do you know someone who is always busy? The kind of person that actually makes you a bit tired just by hearing about all their activities and interests and such? If you do, this Friday’s Fearless Brand will remind you


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

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