Remember that old saying, “Fake till You Make”. What happens to the fakeness after you have made strides with your personal brand, though? You have built your brand to exude a certain type of persona but the image isn’t really your true mission and vision.
When I was younger, I wanted to fit in and have everybody around me. Forget the fact that I’m bi-cultural. Forget the fact that I’m gifted and talented. Forget about everything that makes me different. I wanted to be seen in a certain way so I played the game until I “made” it. My façade was better than my reality. At 24, my reality sucked. Now at 34, my façade sucks.
The biggest challenge that I am fighting to defeat as an entrepreneur is stating my feelings clearly without regret. At 24, I was trying to please everyone but those who truly cared for me (my parents and siblings). Bypassing my people’s feelings to suit the needs of those on an agenda. Holding my tongue when I should really speak up. Not fighting back with those in authority or influence.
Living in that sort of façade creates a dynamic of confusion. A lot of times in my early 20’s, I felt fake. I used to get anxiety going out a lot because I didn’t feel comfortable. Most of the people that I smiled at in my past, I never really liked them. I saw a need in them and played the game. When you conform your brand to meet the needs of others instead of creating it in your true persona, you lose ground when things get rocky. When the money and material things are gone, fans and naysayers vanish. You may even go “ghost”. I left St. Louis and moved to Memphis on my 27th birthday to be closer to my former beau.
I realized that my reality is a lot more refreshing then my fake persona. At 34, I realized that it is fine to be kind but objective. Speaking my mind will not end the world. People pleasing is no longer an option, now. Financially, I have to do what is right for myself and my business. I catered to a demographic that is not normally reached and I am ok with that. Entertainment was fun but I find more enjoyment in working with Lifestyle/Consumer brands. I don’t feel bad about not speaking to people anymore. If I don’t like you, I don’t like you whether you’re a regular Joe or a person of influence. Currently in the world I live in, I go by what my family calls me, Ndidi rather than what my former friends called me, Ndi. I am not here to make you feel comfortable. As long as I’m comfortable, I’m good. I’m giving you the real Ndidiamaka not the fake Ndi.
For those who feel that having a fake persona helps your brand survive, keep this in mind:
Until Next Time,
As of today, I will not be available for most mornings until the beginning of August. Please give me 24 to 48 hours to respond to all emails and voicemails pertaining to Indigo7 or myself during this period.
For information about Indigo7 Marketing & Events and its services, visit Tumblr at www.indigo7marketing.tumblr.com to answer initial questions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for all inquiries focused on your branding, media and event needs. Email email@example.com for all invitations to business and social gatherings/events. Don’t forget you can reach me by phone at 972-630-9557. With this phone number, you can either text or use the voice message option. Preferably, I would like you to just leave a voice message.
Thank you for continued support of Indigo7 Marketing & Events!
During a recent conversation about summer cocktails with my fellow Conde Nast Style Society contributors online, I thought about how libations are now becoming an important factor for most event planners and party promoters. Finding ways to include or exclude liquor are being presented more and more by individuals in the event planning community. In many states like Texas, those who serve alcohol must pass a test to receive a permit to distribute which includes promotional models and event professionals. I was not able to open bottles of wine at a sampling event due to not having a TABC permit while living in Dallas.
Everywhere I turn, whether it’s St. Louis, Los Angeles or Atlanta, there are events that are instituting some sort of dialogue with consumers in associate to a liquor brand. Drink specials, a branded open bar or a themed/specialty drink are the norm for nightlife and entertainment events to increase sales and awareness for premium alcohol distributors.
Don’t worry, though! Really, it is one of the easier concepts to deal with while creating an event.
Disclaimer: I will do this segment ever so often to build brand understanding and awareness for Indigo7…….
Someone asked the following question:
What is your philosophy in regards to cultivating business relationships?
It is based on the scripture of Matthew 10:12-15 (The Message Bible).
“When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.
Why make a scene when you’ve done all things right and in appropriate order to grow your business? You can’t control individuals and their insecurities and hidden agendas. Move on……Trust.
Disclaimer: Today’s #Branding Moment is an opinion piece, again. As usual, I was not brought nor sold for my dialogue. It is strictly my opinion. :)
With any branding consultant, the ideology of content, written & visual, plays a major factor in the success of a campaign. One aspect that I have learned to pay attention to is content that is not controlled by the brand’s team. It can be dangerous, helpful or a little bit of both. You know. The dialogue from customers, media, allies, competitors and/or naysayers. It is the commentary that can damage or improve your brand’s visibility and awareness due to the deconstructive format of how it’s presented. From social media to blogging, you cannot manipulate what these individuals say or show when it comes to your brand.
In the midst of my process of coming up with today’s topic, a person asked me the following question:
“Do you really want to stay in St. Louis?”
In the words of one, “You really don’t have anything holding you back like you think you do.” Another stated, “In all honesty, Missouri is incapable of bring in and maintain a strong base of economic enrichment.” “They only concerned about farmers” is what I heard in passing. I was quiet to say the least. It has been a year since my brand transitioned from Dallas County, TX to the St. Louis Metropolitan Region. Nothing has changed. Financially, I’m still unstable. Ultimately, that’s all that matter. Money makes the world go around and my world is only turning 90 degrees at this time.
Content plays a major factor for St. Louis and the State of Missouri to prosper in the economic development aspect of the area. The grumblings and quietness of some major lifestyle/consumer brands are affecting my business. It’s my bread and butter. On more than one occasion, brands propose St. Louis as an option but suddenly the conversation is off the table. Usually, it based off some negative dialogue or a media alert focused on the area.
In my opinion, the city and county needs a strong team that is determined to present the region in a manner that will entice companies and associations to look past the negative jargon and work with the government and businesses residing here. Nothing will change if we are still speaking up the past and not looking at the region’s present in a better light.
Right now, I just don’t know.
Just My Opinion,
A conversation that is not usually discussed in image development is the idea of privacy vs notoriety. While watching the newest episode of MTV’s Catfish, I felt compelled to look at this idea in a new light. Actress Tracie Thoms (CBS’ Cold Case) was catfish’ed by an overzealous fanatic. Throughout the entire situation, I was alarmed. I couldn’t really put my hand on it but something about the fanatic didn’t sit well with me. I won’t go into too much more detail about the episode because I want you to watch it yourself.
We all know as individuals and as brands, we have to have some sort of presence in the community to gain financial rewards and awareness. But where do we draw the line to maintain our security and normalcy as we try to cultivate and maintain our brand’s public image?
I relate to Tracie’s situation in a sense. Something similar happen to me but it was done offline. In 2011, I’m sitting at my new church in Dallas for membership orientation. Suddenly, a young African American woman named Esther came into room discussing she was from Memphis (where I used to live). In my mind, I thought it was a coincidence. I had no idea who this woman was. But as time went on, I begin to become alarmed. Her actions were calculated but I was unsure why. The woman was expecting something from me. She got exactly what she wanted but with a price. As I got alarmed, my fear turns into unadulterated anger. I left Esther broke, busted and disgusted. I got the last laugh on that one……
Don’t underestimate me because of my style, grace, quietness and education. I can rumble with the best of them. #next
There are many questions to consider when thinking about how to handle your privacy in the midst of being a public figure or entity.
But here are a few to think about…..
I do understand some will say that this is just the price of fame. But what about me? I am not a celebrity nor did I ask for the recognition. My love for writing turned into a portion of my professional life. I just wanted to share my content with the World Wide Web without safety concerns.
Prayers to those who going through something similar. You never alone. As a public figure, you have right to feel safe while presenting your brand’s mission and vision to the community.
Until Next Time,
Some of the people appointed to give an opinion
Never do get it
I want you to come on and gobble a jimmy and….die
N9na be givin the remedy and why?
Critics are really the enemy and I
Can’t stand the way they slam today’s gifted
Effin’ incredible, get fanned away with grands to pay
This jam will lay scripted
Deaf and impeccable
Write a rhyme and I put everything in a flow
I’m the n9ne I’mma look very mean
When a foe scribe a line but he has never been at a show
By the times it’ll be better, leave it in the sto
Cause they wrote nothin’ but lies, quotes stuck in my eyes
Amateur writer dissin’
He’s a beginner and hopes for your demise, folks I’mma despite
Never do try to listen
It’s real—I’m mad
Clueless when you scribble on your pad
How you gonna criticize now with a chisel on your nads sizzling your ad
You don’t really get why I’m so pissed? Understand this:
I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit, Yes, I’m
Video: “Fragile” Tech N9Ne feat: Kendrick Lamar, !Mayday! & Kendall Morgan
RIP Maya Angelou…..
Sometimes, when I’m out and about, people ask me questions about various aspects of event planning, management and design. Now, if only those questions could lead to some decent revenue, I would be more willing to share my expertise. Just saying……
Seriously, I wanted to take some of the questions I received and answered them from a personal and professional perspective based on my experience within the event industry. Don’t be dismayed. I don’t mind having conversations about my expertise but I don’t want to give all my ideas and techniques away without having the individual consider my business for further strategic help. :)
Folks, I don’t work for free. Trust. It was done in the start of my business. The dialogue will never happen again. I NEED financial stability.
In other news…….
Question 1: What do you do when a venue declines your conversation of event furniture?
NCO: Look for a new venue. You want to use a venue that is like a “blank canvas” if the client is in definite approval of using event furniture. It allows to have a more organic environment. A venue that has a built in aesthetic will not work due to the possible complications that could occur during the event design process.
Question 2: I’m new to the city as an event planner. What do I do to build relationships with people in the city?
NCO: To be honest, I have been in your place. I introduced myself to the community in Dallas but didn’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling from those deemed of importance in the industry there. What I failed to do, in my opinion, was not get familiar with the event venues in the metroplex. That was more important to my business then trying to make friends. It was a learning experience. I’m thankful for the moment.
My advice would be to get familiar with the event locations in the area. If you feel comfortable, introduce yourself to the sales staff. Remember, the sales department of most venues is like a revolving door so don’t get too personal with the staff.
At the end of the day, you are a competitor not an ally. Even though, you may want to be a supporter. Think about your mission and vision first before making friends in your industry. If they want to work with you, they will come to you.
Question 3: What does the term experiential mean? Is it necessary?
NCO: Yes, Experiential is very necessary to the survival of the event planner/designer. An experiential event is focused on the consumer. The brand interacts with the consumer by providing activities that will allow the consumer to speak about the brand during the event. From sampling to the use of social media, the consumer is actively involved in the marketing process of the brand.
The business to consumer events of the past were very one directional. The brand speaks and the consumer listens. Today, many consumer brands are beginning to focus on creating content that is based on a two way dialogue between the brand and its customer. Experiential Events are one of avenue in creating that sort of conversation between brands and consumer.
Hopefully, the questions help someone in their journey as an Event Planner/Designer. Please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and/or quote.
People look at you strange saying you changed
Like you worked that hard to stay the same
Like you doing all this for a reason
And what happens most of the time people change
People change around you because
They starting treating you different because of your success
—Jay-Z “They Don’t Love You No More”
You have started to say to yourself, “They don’t love me no more”. I have said it, myself, in my recent past. It is because you are going through the change. You’re saying, “Ndidi, what change you talking about?” You’re moving to higher heights. You spend more time loving yourself then trying to make others love you. You’re making concise movements on your own for your brand that is making YOU successful not the backstabbers that you once called friend, companion, or family.
For your personal brand to grow, you have to evaluate your vision, core values and mission. I realized that as I continue to go down a different path that most of my peers find unusual, unnecessary and/or uncomfortable, my friend count is miniscule. I’m no longer conforming to the needs of family, friends and others. I was focused on me. Some called it selfish. Others called it annoying. Fools will find the comedy in it. It doesn’t matter anymore. Due to my car accident two years ago, I felt my eyes were opened to see who was who in my life. I no longer look for someone to love me. I love myself, flaws and all.
It is a pruning process. In order for you to be fruitful, you have to let go of old fruit to get new and better fruit. Your mind and heart needs to be in agreement for change. If it is done properly, the new gift will be something that will give your brand a better opportunity to last longer in your industry.
For those who feel like they are going through the “change”, practice the following ideas:
Take a personal inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
Sidebar: When I did mine, one of my threats were my friends. None of them exist today. A very distant memory. Trust. Ask about me…..
Create a personal vision, mission and core values.
It is important to realize that you’re doing this for your well-being. No one else. You need to realize that. You may turn around and no one is around but you. Focus on what makes you love life. You will live longer and love life far more with that concept in your heart.
Until Next Time,