Personal Branding: The Best Practical Advice

I happened to be listening to the radio while getting ready this morning and I heard a trailer for the Martin Scorsese film ‘Silence’. At the very end, there was this sound bite from Liam Neeson where his character says, “Pray. But with your eyes open.”

That stopped me, mid mascara swipe. I thought, “that’s got to be the most practical advice ever.” It’s the balance between being hopeful but also realistic. Kind of like these quotes which I also love:

Be kind, but not weak.
Be strong, but not rude.
Be bold, but don’t bully.
Be humble, but not timid.
Be proud, but not arrogant.
Be confident, but not cocky.
Trust, but don’t be deceived.

Be content, but never settle.

Though, hands down, the most practical advice of all: acquire a very particular set of skills ๐Ÿ˜‰


Fitness & Food: How Drinking A Protein Shake Before a Workout Helped My Hunger Later

I had gotten into the habit of consuming my protein shake on the drive home from an evening workout. Good, healthy habit, right? Well, lately I noticed that once I got home, I wasn’t hungry for a real meal. This was happening fairly regularly over the past few weeks and for as much as I spend on groceries (and how much I enjoy food!) it wasn’t a good trend.

There were also times when I had been experiencing some nausea post-workout which also caused me to not eat a sufficient dinner. I think the upset stomach had more to do with the level of exertion during the workout. Still, it’s not a good sign to consistently have your body be unwilling to replenish its nutrients. Not eating dinner also meant I was missing out on hitting my macro nutrient goals; these are the “big three” I learned to keep a close eye on if you really want to impact your weight loss or weight gain – protein, carbs, and fats. In a way it felt good to put in the hard work that’s often required for a CrossFit workout but I also felt like I was robbing my body of the fuel it needed to sustain me in my desired level of activity.

I really dislike feeling sick in any capacity. I’m one of those people who has those giant bottles of Tums from Costco that you gradually chip away at. And while this sometimes helped to subside the nausea, as an athlete, you look forward to eating ๐Ÿ˜›

I decided to change things up today and performed a little test on myself. An hour before heading to the workout, I had my protein shake. I’m happy to report it worked! I was hungry afterward. And! The workout was definitely a good test of my exertion too.


All of this…took me roughly 27 minutes to complete.

50 push ups
30 pull ups (I did them with a band)
50 bench hop over’s
30 alternating dumbbell snatches (25 lbs)
50 wall balls (14 lbs)
30 slam balls (15 lbs)
50 lateral ball throws (14 lb)
30 burpee broad jumps

So, after finishing that little whopper, for dinner I enjoyed a modified version of home-made chicken noodle soup (I love improving upon the classics). Instead of noodles, I added different kinds of carbs in the form of vegetable pot stickers and diced red potatoes. I didn’t have carrots so I substituted with a larger helping of celery. For an extra bit of taste, I added a dash of balsamic vinegar.


I โค dumplings ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it. My hope is that if you’re experiencing something similar, don’t be afraid to switch things up on yourself. Eating right and being active are important ingredients to living a balanced life. Sometimes you need to keep yourself on our own toes.


Making Resolutions: Want More? Expect More From Yourself First.

I found it a bit ironic that the top organic search result on “new years resolution statistics” shows we’re just as apprehensive about making them as we are about not making them. The data surveyed roughly 1,200 respondents (#grainofsalt) showed there are just as many people unwilling to create goals for themselves as there are people who refuse to even try.

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So yeah, 2017 is off to a great start ๐Ÿ˜‰ย ย  No matter where or when you choose to dip your toe in, I’ve found, the point at which you do so largely depends on why you’re doing it. In my experience, the point at which you’re in enough “pain” about something is the tipping point.

I wonder if the reason people are divided about making resolutions is because they inherently know they won’t follow through. Yet, human beings are inherently aspirational; we always want more for ourselves and our loved ones. But to get those kind of gains, we have to want more from ourselves.

focus on gains.png

When you think about what you stand to gain, you get excited because it’s what you want!

I spent most of last year life-hacking my own schedule and routines figuring out how to make 1% shifts to be more consistent and become more aligned with what makes me happy. This year, I’m keeping it simple and building upon the things I put into place (trust me, it’s not always easy to keep yourself in line :P) Here’s a peek at what I’m going to focus on asking of myself in order to continue building a life I love:

  1. Read or write ever day.
  2. Focus on completing three high-value tasks each day.
  3. Planning the next day the evening before.
  4. Making health a priority – actively move or stretch and nourish my body.
  5. Learn from people I admire.
  6. Keep goals in a visible place and set check-points for myself ever three months or so.
  7. Have a powerful and inspiring ‘why’ for where I choose to invest my time.
  8. Insert more random dance breaks…maybe at work…maybe during my workout. You never know.

All I know is, if I’m dancing, I hope you’ll get up and join me ๐Ÿ™‚

Online Strategy: Year-end Reflection on Rapid Fire

I love Christmas time but not for the reasons you might expect. To me, this time of year is a reflection point. In particular, it’s a day where we collectively consider what’s really important in life and make an effort to be surrounded by people who contribute to it most.

I think we should have more of these types of days throughout our year because far too often we get caught up in life, in jobs, in relationships, in things that don’t serve us. If you don’t have marked reflection points, it’s hard to evaluate whether or not the things around you still serve you.

My goal for 2017 is to continue to put energy into things that actually contribute to my growth. I came across a great, quick approach shared by Marie Forelo to evaluate how to get more of what you want. It’s so simple, I love it!

Here’s how it works. Try it on rapid fire (because want to get back to family time), go through your pictures on your cell phone and through your calendar for all the travel, meetings or appointments you had over the year and answer these questions:

  1. What worked?
  2. What didn’t work?
  3. What were the highlights?

From there, riddle me this: what does 2017 look like if it’s full of ‘what worked’?

Ready? Go.


Personal Branding: Stand Up For Yourself But Take The Emotion Out Of It

I haven’t posted anything in the last week. But that’s because I had switched gears and was writing for a different outlet.

Well, after working very hard to submit a finalized version for said outlet, it happened that my work was not published in its entirety. Normally, I’m open to edits because I like making something better as a result of working on it. But, there wasn’t any feedback sent to me. Instead the finalized version of what I submitted for publication was not at all the version I was reading at the time.

Inwardly, I started to get upset reading further and further and catching mistakes.
Wait, that was supposed to be removed…ugh, no that data point comes later why is it still there…I’m sure I removed that…
I could go on until the cows come home. Suffice it to say, this was nowhere near my final version.

Outwardly, I approached a colleague whose steady hand I knew I needed in that moment. And whose advice would stick with me even longer. He helped me realize that in order to be effective and to address the task at hand, I needed to take the emotion out of it. He helped me see that I could separate the parts that needed to beย  communicated to the editor (what to remove so that the published article was again aligned with the agreed upon messaging) and what could be a discussion item at a later time for how to get on the same page and work together more effectively the next time around.

So, that’s it. That’s my little story. If you’re going to stand up for yourself, take the emotion out of it. At the very least, you’ll be the one moving things forward towards a solution.




Reading List From A Digital Marketing Specialist

I typically over prepare for questions I might get asked on webinars or talks I’m giving. But I was recently part of a panel at an event hosted by the San Diego American Marketing Association where I was asked a question about what books I’ve read that have had the most influence on my professional career.

Holly Miller speaker

Top-Of-The-Funnel: Awareness Strategies & Technologies

For a split second, I blanked.

But, I’ve actually read quite a bit! I’m the type of person that’s reading 2-3 books at a time. So, for personal and professional development, productivity, and all-around inspiration here is the batch of books I highly recommend checking out:

“Lost And Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World” – Rand Fishkin
“Emotional Agility” – Susan David, PhD
“Settle for More” – Megyn Kelly (hand’s down the book is amazing)
“And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” – Dana Perino
“Let Me Tell You about Jasper . . .: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog” – Dana Perino
“The 48 Laws of Power” – Robert Greene
“The Art of Seduction” – Robert Greene
“Mastery” – Robert Greene
“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” – Brene Brown
“The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that fuel Success and Performance at Work” – Shawn Achor
“Being in Balance: 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires” – Wayne Dyer
“Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships” – Daniel Goleman
“First you have to row a little boat” – Richard Bode
“Marketing Genius” – Peter Fisk
“Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” – Brian Tracy
“The Power of Myth” – Joseph Campbell
“On The Shortness of Life” – Seneca


Now, the next time I get asked this question, I’ll be able to say “oh, on my blog, you can find a list of the books I recommend.” ๐Ÿ™‚


Having a laugh along with Alan Bush

About the event: Top-Of-The-Funnel: Awareness Strategies & Technologies

Our first-ever event collaboration with SoCal Marketing Club was an unqualified success! An SRO crowd heard about the latest trends in awareness strategies and technologies from our all-star panel: Alan Bush of Ignite Visibility, Holly Miller of Searchmetrics, Donovan Moore of Goodway Group, Adam Wagner of Raindrop Marketing and moderator John Bertino of The Agency Guy. Many thanks to our lead event sponsor Searchmetrics, to Downtown Works for the fantastic space, to Stella Artois and California Fruit Wine Co. for the tasty adult beverages, and to Lenรณce photo for capturing the spirit of the evening. @sandiegoama

Marketing Advice: The Impact Of Extending An Invitation

Sometimes we take things for granted. We can make assumptions. But you may not realize the impact a simple, direct invitation can have.

I remember when I was competing with my dance partner, the signal to come together was an “invitation” from the man to take up our frame together. I always appreciated that because then I knew where to go and what was expected.ย  If anything happened at any point during the routine, all we had to do was reset with this invitation and we’d be off again, flying across the dance floor in lock step.


With my (amazing, handsome, kind, humble…) dance partner, Florian, backstage warming up at the City Lights Ball – 2016

The takeaway here is, wherever you can, take the initiative to make the invitation. It quells assumptions and the other person will appreciate you and your leadership for doing so.