• Reflections

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     "Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential."              -John Maxwell


    This May was a special month for me.  Not only was it the ninth anniversary of being a business owner, I also celebrated a birthday. And despite the slight increase in social activities, this is not the reason for the delay in posting to my blog or sending out the newsletter. I mulled over a number of personal branding and image related topics for the feature article, however, none seemed just right for this issue.

    Over the years I've been blessed to have had many people enter my life–some as colleagues and clients, others have become lifelong friends, but most have been acquaintances with whom I've chatted with at an event, shared a meal or have had the pleasure of getting to know over a cup of coffee. In recent weeks I've given thought to what many of these people have meant to me, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

    The term "it takes a village" was coined by Hillary Rodham Clinton in reference to raising children. As much as I can relate to her reference given my husband and I are in the midst of raising two teenagers ourselves, I believe the "it takes a village" concept is present in the lives of all successful people. This month in particular, I've thought about all those people within my village or circle of influence, who have been instrumental in helping me become a better image consultant, brand strategist, business owner, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. More than anything, I've picked up on qualities in these individuals that remind me to be better, and others have served as role models to show me how to do things better.  For example, one person I know simply reminds me to just laugh more, and another's verbal acuity inspires me to become a better communicator. Over the years, I've come to realize that, as a result of these interactions, I've refined qualities in myself that I most admired in others. I realized that without seeing and experiencing some of these qualities in the actions of others, who knows how long it might have taken me to realize I could do better in a particular area.

    "I've heard it said
    That people come into our lives for a reason
    Bringing something we must learn
    And we are led
    To those who help us most to grow
    If we let them
    And we help them in return
    Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
    But I know I'm who I am today
    Because I knew you…"

    These lyrics are from the song "For Good" and the musical "Wicked."  As you may or may not know, my family and I are huge fans of the theater, and when we've seen a new show, my son, in particular, will belt out tunes day and night. "For Good" has been my secret theme song over the years and holds special meaning to me for a couple of reasons. Not only do I have fond memories of my son, JP, singing this when he was a soprano (he's now a tenor), but it reminds me of all those whom I've had the pleasure of working and interacting with over the years.

    Who are the people in your village or circle of influence? Are they modeling the characteristics you aspire to and helping you become a better version of yourself? 

    In closing, I would just like to say Thank you. Thank you to all the clients, professionals, and friends I've had the opportunity to work with and know over the years. And thank you for being loyal readers of my newsletter and blog. I appreciate your support.


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    Diana Jennings
    Diana Jennings is the founder of Brand You Image – a personal branding and image management company based in Southern California. A specialist in non-verbal communication, she brings a sophisticated understanding of people and a passion for growth to those working to reach their personal and professional goals. Typical engagements involve the development of high potential individuals and senior level management in personal brand discovery, image management, social and business behavior, and body language for better communication and interaction with others.

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