After your mom writes a tell-all memoir about your life and sells it in a huge auction (more on that later), sharing and owning all of the most intimate details of your story becomes not just a necessity, but a survival skill...
I've always been the sort of person who takes charges plans everything and intends to make big waves in the world. With the organization and determination of a first born child, I turned my focus toward politics as a young teenager. By the time I was seventeen I was already managing political campaigns and was making plans for law school on my way to running for president.
But all of my outward self-assurance was actually hiding a terrifying secret. At home, things had been going very wrong for more than a decade.
I was 17 when my mom escaped an abusive marriage with me and my three younger siblings. We were exhausted by how difficult and scary life became and my focus had to turn inward for a while so I could find the same power in my personal life that I had found in politics.
Not a single page in my elaborate planner listed house builder as a career option or even a casual hobby, but that’s exactly what I had to become—at least for a secret part of each day. I still wore pearls and heels to school as though I had no idea how to run a hammer drill or lay a foundation block. But the extreme duality of these rolls was tough for a direct person like me and hiding concrete stained nails under presidential pink nail polish was only going to go so far.
In only nine months, my family built a 3500 square foot house with YouTube videos and Google as our guide. Not only did we have a safe place to live, we became closer and stronger in every possible way. For the first time in my life, I was able to be fearless and confident all the way through.
After building the house, I immersed myself back into the world of politics and by 19 I had interned and worked with President Clinton, over 14 United States Congressmen, and politicians at literally every level of local and state government.
Politics gave me the opportunity to know and learn from some of the most well known public figures in the country.
Until I realized my goals had changed.
Something big had shifted in my entire family after we built our house and it was time I owned it all the way. We had become the kind of people who shared our story—both the inspirational parts about building a new life, and the tough parts about living through domestic violence. Watching our family grow more powerful by owning our history was the most incredible experience of my life.
I began helping my mom build her book about our experience into a brand. And that’s when I realized I wanted to help other people do exactly this same thing. I wanted to help them transform their lives and minds by fully realizing their brand.
And you already know that when I do a thing I do it ALL THE WAY. So at 23 I quit my stable day job—the sort with benefits—and I started helping people build and publicize their brands.
Now, I don't tell you this to brag or boast. NOT. AT. ALL. I tell you this because I want you to know that YES this life is a real thing.
And yes, it IS possible for you, too.
So, puhlease, if you walk away with just one thing from my story, let it be this:
No matter what you want to be known for, learning to strategically present, position, and promote yourself is essential. Strategically cultivating your image is the best move you’ll ever make...but only if you use a winning strategy.