How To Ensure You’re Getting A Fair Slice: Equality & Value & Change
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: August 5, 2021
Ready for a true story….?
It was 2002. I was at the law firm in DC practicing. One day I didn’t get assigned work that I thought I should have gotten. Instead it went to one of male counterparts. I found myself in my office crying out of frustration and anger…..I was so embarrassed and confused.
I thought, who cries in their office? ME!
When I was a practicing securities lawyer, I often thought about the imbalance between me and my male counterparts. I found myself thinking about this discrepancy TOO MUCH. Was it me, or them, I used to muse?
Looking back, now that I know one of my core brand values is fairness, my fascination (obsession?) makes perfect sense.
August 26, 2021 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States to commemorate the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. Although not just a national event in the U.S., the first Women’s Equality Day was in 1972 as a result of Nixon signing the congressional proclamation so stating.
As such, I want to share tips for women professionals to really be able to capitalize on being equal and having a brand that shows up as equal and then some. The goal is to allow you, as a professional woman, to get better clients and jobs, reclaim your personal time by working less on the nights and weekends and have more time to enjoy the financial freedoms you’ve worked so hard to earn.
If you don’t identify as female and you’re reading this, then this is a great opportunity for you to read, learn, gain a new perspective…and use what you learn in support of the women in your life. Your life will be better as a result. I promise!
The first challenge with owning our value and feeling equal is being willing to accept the changes that come with being valuable and equal.
I remember all my years as a lawyer in corporate America. Every organization I worked for, including the federal government, was a fan of growth and wanted it. Not many wanted to deal with any change that leads to this growth. It was too much and too hard. We are creatures of comfort and habit. It helps to keep our anxiety in check and our fears at bay.
You may laugh at me, but this is a topic I think about for myself regularly. Some weird thoughts enter my mind: “If I really own my value and see myself as equal to the superstars in my field, then I could be so much more in the public eye. Then what would happen to my daily life?!”
Stupid? Perhaps. A thought of mine that limits me finding and owning my value and thus, equality? Absolutely.
So, what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
1. What are your random thoughts about your value?
2. Do you show up daily with a brand that tells the world that you are equal and just as valuable as your colleagues, competitors, etc? If not, why?
While these two questions may be painful and make you squirm, they will get you results in the long run. I know because I’ve seen the positive results of asking myself these very two questions daily.
Are You Crossing That Fine Line from Self-Marketing to Bragging
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: July 26, 2021
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of how to go out “there” and develop new business and/or develop your career.
Here’s the obstacle most of you share with me….
You don’t want to be overly aggressive and bother people.
Makes good sense to me. None of us want to bother someone else. The goal is to support and help your audience, of course.
There definitely is a fine line between being (seen as) too aggressive or bragging AND being too humble, and not self-marketing and hiding in the shadows of your strengths and greatness as a brand. Neither works to help you meet your goals. Neither works to establish likeability or any degree of loyalty with your audience.
How do you know when you’ve crossed that fine line, though…..?
It’s been years since my self-confidence lows have really been an issue for me. But no one is immune from the overbearing ego that tells us we are not good enough, when really we are and should be sharing our greatness with others. Not even me….
I tend to know I’ve crossed that line (in a good way) when it’s not just the fear of being successful or just getting over my self-confidence lows. If I feel happy knowing that I’m going to support someone and really bring them value, then I’ve hit that sweet spot.
What about you?
Comment below and share your thoughts with me about this topic. That’s how we learn and support one another. I read ALL your responses myself.
Here’s to harmonizing that fine line.
PS: Thanks in advance for commenting and sharing your thoughts on when you feel you’ve crossed the line into bragging vs. truly being of service and making sure your audience hears how great you are/how much you can help them. I can’t wait to hear from you so together we can help others learn, too!
Out of Your Comfort Zone: Personal Branding Activities
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: June 17, 2021
When I first moved to the US, everything and everyone was scary! I was 6 years old and spoke no English. I was utterly confused, displaced and very much out of my comfort zone. It took me time and patience to find some sort of relationship to my comfort zone as I developed my identity and brand. But I did it. These days so many clients discuss with me the various strategies to get out of their comfort zone. One client last week smartly discovered the big secret to stepping out of her comfort zone AND still having fun.
Watch the video below and find out the big secret…
When I was little I used to talk A LOT and often. I always had something to say. It was like I had to share my brand with the world (more like my mom, dad and sister!).
Clients often come to me and ask me about having a brand statement that represents them. Here’s what one client, from a major corporation, said on a LinkedIn recommendation about her work with me. She found her voice and brand statement- and uses it well in a large corporate setting, virtually!
“Katy has helped me get more clarity into my strengths and how best to utilize them. She has helped me define my personal brand and be aware of consistently showing up aligned with it. My success at this was reflected in a recent review that literally used adjectives to describe me that were my brand adjectives! I’ve also found her coaching about impactful communications invaluable. I have more confidence now than ever in having sometimes difficult conversations and have become more effective in marketing myself.”
How can you find your brand statement? Here are some tips to consider:
Make it personal: business is personal and so is your brand statement. If you tend too much towards being formal and “business-like”, you’ll miss the point and be ineffective.
What do others say about you? What others have to say about you is very much your brand statement externally displayed and summarized by your audience.
Catalog your “wins”: knowing what you excel at, big and small, is the first step in owning how great you really. Only then can you put it into a statement to the world.
May this inspire you to live your best brand statement.
PS: And whenever you are ready, here are 2 more ways I can guide you to discover/refine your personal brand so you can grow your practice/career, have a practice that authentically represents and get rid of overwhelm/get back your time and personal life:
How Do I Succinctly & Clearly Tell Others What I do: Online and in-person?
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: October 12, 2020
You are good at what you do, and you want to help others. So, tell us what you do so I can remember you, hire you, refer you and benefit from you!
How to do so best- is the question I get most often….
The answer is way simpler than we want to believe. It doesn’t involve lots of hoops to jump through or action on your part.
Just a change in mindset to start.
Here’s my top three tips. This is what I do myself. Give it a shot.
1. Slow down
we run fast and hard these days. We did so before the pandemic and now it is even worse. Top brands convey who they are with ease and grace and that’s memorable. Slow down so you can be more self-aware of how your brand is landing on others and so you can know what you want to convey.
Take a few deep breaths
Do less- it always equals more time and impact
Do something for yourself each day- even if super small.
2. Know your story
Who are you and why should I even bother to stop and listen? Conveying what you do to your audience is really about them knowing you- the person-and being initially captivated with what comes out of your mouth. Afterwards you can tell me all about how great you are at your profession/career.
Write down your personal story- WHO YOU ARE.
Get comfortable sharing it in bits and pieces with others to naturally leave them curious about you.
3. Connect with your optimal audience
Introductions only matter, and stick, if you are conveying them to the people who are your main consumers/audience. Have you stopped and thought about your ideal audience/avatar?
Who is your favorite client/customer/patient? List their characteristics and why you like them for those characteristics.
Now you can start looking for that target audience/avatar and feel confident that you have a good starting point in communicating with those who want to hear from you because they would consume what you are selling them.
Christine McCarron Podcast #48 Interview with Katy Goshtasbi
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: September 16, 2020
What a pleasure it was to share my resources and experiences in branding with Christina and her audience. Christina is a realtor. There are so many realtors available to choose from these days. How do realtors make themselves memorable so you don’t forget the one that could be a valuable asset to you?
In House Warrior: Being True to the Lawyers Personal Brand with Katy Goshtasbi and Host Richard Levick
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Richard Levick is a friend and colleague from my DC days. Listen to learn the importance of a lawyer’s personal brand and how it can be so effective and necessary with clients and in the legal department to cultivate a diverse culture of efficiency and productivity.
It was a beautiful and sunny Saturday morning. Covid-19 is still raging in California. My husband and I slept in. He made me my favorite pancakes for breakfasts. I have always loved pancakes. As I’ve gotten older, I now appreciate Keto pancakes- just as fulfilling, less likely to add girth to me.
After breakfast, we decided to go for our walk. Since Covid-19, we feel like we have to get out and get exercise somehow, so walks are the natural choice. Since we can’t really be around other people, being outside walking makes the most sense.
We had gotten tired of walking in our own subdivision, so we decided to venture out into a new subdivision in our neighborhood.
We put on our fancy Saturday workout clothes. We took our dog and some water and drove to a subdivision about 5 minutes from our own. We parked the car on the main street in the subdivision. We picked a shady spot that wasn’t in front of anyone’s home. As we stepped out, I noticed a gentleman across the street. He was standing in his garage and he was looking at us. It must have been about 30 feet away. I didn’t think anything of it.
As we started walking, My husband asked a familiar question about price of homes in this subdivision. We are wondering these days what home prices are doing in our little world. We really liked this particular subdivision. I suggested that he Google the price of one of the homes as we walked by- just to check and see. Accepting my suggestion, he produced his cell phone and proceeded to speak into the phone an address from one of the homes we were walking in front of.
We then walked around for an hour. There were several other people out walking on this sunny Saturday morning at 10am. In fact, there was an older man, 6 foot 5inches-ish, well-built and stocky riding his electric skateboard around us. It seemed like everywhere we went, he was there. Again, I thought nothing of it.
When we got back to our car, the man across the street in his garage started walking towards us. It’s as if he was waiting for us to return. He looked upset. I then realized this was the same man that was on the electric skateboard.
He approached my husband and inquired if he could ask us a question. We replied in a friendly and curious voice, “sure”. He then asked us why we had pulled out a phone and spoken into it as we walked by the neighbor’s home.
My husband replied that we were neighbors a few subdivisions up. We had gotten tired of walking in our own neighborhood and decided to walk in this subdivision that we really liked. We were wondering about home prices here. He seemed instantly relieved. As he walked away, he said, “you would have done the same if I was in your neighborhood”. My husband and I paused and thought about it. We kindly replied, “maybe”.
What I learned
I have experienced much discrimination and racism. Growing up in Indiana as a refugee, I didn’t exactly look like everyone else. Kids were mean and not accepting. I know how it feels to be singled out. I know the pain and confusion well.
After this experience on Saturday, I realized that I haven’t been the recipient of discrimination a very long time. Until that Saturday.
I felt violated and misunderstood. Was this man fearful of us because we didn’t look blond-haired and blue-eyed? We couldn’t have looked any better; in our designer Saturday workout gear, driving a fancy sedan, with our dog. A dentist and a lawyer out for a walk.
What was going through his mind and why?
I came to the realization that he was scared. One would wonder what a 6 ft 5 inch, burly guy would have to fear on a Saturday at 10am on a busy neighborhood street.
Fear doesn’t have any logic. Fear is engrained in all of us. Fear is what discriminates, not our higher self. Fear doesn’t translate the same for every person.
His final reply said it all: “You would have done the same if I was in your neighborhood”. My husband and I discussed it much later. Would we have done the same? Likely no. We perhaps would have noticed him, but we would likely not have drawn assumptions, followed him, waited for him and then confronted him. No, not at all. I think he realized the same, too. He felt he had to defend and explain himself, so he gave his reply.
I learned on Saturday that fear drives us to not see the humanity in our brothers, sisters and neighbors. Fear drives us to discriminate and then have to shamefully defend our decisions.
I prayed for that man on Saturday after we got home. In my meditations, without pity or anger, I held him in love and kindness and prayed he would develop a new perspective and choose to see a new perspective.
What does this mean for you?
Perhaps stop and consider when in your life you’ve been misunderstood, singled out in a negative way or done the same to another?
How did it feel being on the receiving end? Did it feel painful and frustrating? Perhaps even confusing like it did for me? In those moments, the hurt is great and so is the confusion and incredulity.
How did it feel being the one singling someone out? Were you angry? If so, were you able to dissect your anger and get to the root of it? Did you discover you were actually afraid, so you decided to focus on someone else, perhaps as a means to ignore and overcome your fear and anger? Were you trying to justify or explain your behavior to another, perhaps even to the person you were discriminating against? Why?
Discrimination isn’t reserved to “bad” people. Discrimination happens to all of us and by all of us. I can stop and think about many times where, despite being an immigrant, I discriminated against others. We can call it implicit and subconscious, but that doesn’t change the results. It’s still a way where we don’t accept another person and choose to make life difficult for them. We can focus on an entire classification of people and animals to discriminate against.
Discrimination is subtle and can be small. It doesn’t have to be as obvious as the movies portray.
For this exercise, please take a journal. For an entire week, I want you to note every thought or action you take against another person or group of people that results in them being singled out and not accepted by you. You will need to stay self-aware. Write down how you felt in that moment and how you justified your actions. Stay curious and don’t judge yourself. Curiosity keeps out judgment.
Note, this exercise will NOT feel good, so you may likely want to avoid it. Don’t do so. Change starts with each of us taking actions that help us grow. Growth doesn’t necessarily feel good always.
What does this have to do with your brand? Courageous brands win. Inclusive brands win. Kind brands win.
Want to do your part to stop discrimination? Sign up for Virtual Branding Bootcamp. Developing your own brand is an amazing way to know yourself, accept yourself and focus on yourself. Only then, do we all have the capacity to accept others and their brands.
Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have A Consistent Brand as A Musician
Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: July 8, 2020
Consistency is everything in capturing and growing your audience, especially as an artist and musician. Let’s look at the top three reasons why.
An ability to draw a diverse fan base is great- if it’s deliberate. A diverse fan base doesn’t always signal brand inconsistency. Often, though, diverse fan bases form when an artist doesn’t have a consistent brand. The general result is the artist has less impact on his fan base and less impact with his talent.
Note, consistency does NOT mean being predictable, boring, or going against who you really are as a human. Consistency also does not mean catering to others and losing your ability to self-express. So often, I find artists struggling against their record labels for the right to be themselves. As the intermediary, I encourage us to be on the same page because we have the same goals- to serve the fan base and entertain.
I blogged, seven years ago, about Adam Lambert after I was inspired by attending his concert for the first time. The flurry and eagerness of all the Glambert input on my blog was enlightening and amazing. Adam read my blog post, too. I blogged about the diverse fan base I witnessed. Something seemed like it could be improved to create an even better experience for all the Glamberts… I couldn’t put my finger on it until years later, though.
For seven years, I’ve been keeping my eye on Adam and his career. The partnership between Adam and Queen works so well. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I love Freddy Mercury (we share the same religion) and his talent. Maybe it’s because Adam’s brand and the Queen brand resonate on so many levels.
I’ve always been a fan of artists who are genuine, can move me to resonate higher and have an amazing talent. Adam and his voice are special. His range is impressive, and his stage presence and dialogue with his audience is sheer talent and love.
One Glambert described the impact well, “it’s as if there’s an audience ripple effect of peace and love and joy that occurs when he sings.” Music has the ability to move the masses and inspire us all to greatness in our own way. Adam demonstrates this so well.
Yet, there’s still somewhat of an inconsistency coming from Adam’s brand, in my expert opinion. It’s almost like a vibe I get.
Why have a consistent brand?
So fans can relate and find you easily! If you’re consistent, I know what to expect. I can trust you. If I trust you, I feel safe and show up more and more. I find my fellow fans in the process, and I feel connected to more of my tribe. The experience is beautiful for all fans.
So you grow as an artist even more! Knowing who you are allows you to produce material that is consistent with your ethos and purpose.
So you can market joy easier! As one fan commented seven years ago to my Adam Lambert blog post, “I can’t wait for someone to figure out how to brand/market genuine joy in the display of remarkable talent.” Amen. Brands that raise my vibe closer to joy win. Branding with joy is the only way to market and sell anything. Music is no exception.
How can you have a more consistent brand?
Figure out who you are 1) as a human and 2) as an artist. The two should always coincide. Neither is more important than the other. You take your human with you to all your shows. Your fans love your human.
Figuring out who you really are is often a deep excavation process. It can hurt. It can sting. I say this from many years of unearthing and excavating the real me. It’s intentional and has huge rewards!
In an age when nothing feels like it is in your control, take heart. There is one thing that is always within your control- YOU and your brand. Let’s talk about ways to self-heal your brand to be in control and get the results you desire in your life, regardless of what’s going on out there in our world these days.
Life has lots of ups and downs. As an immigrant, I know this for sure. My story is full of ups and downs and change. Through it all, I’ve had so many moments that I would call failures. Along the way, I’ve probably had more “wins” than I can admit and even, see for myself. What I have learned is that all of it leads to me healing myself. It’s a process of reinvention and it’s really tough when you are going through it. AND- the process of reinvention is ongoing. We can either participate or not.
How can you self-heal? Here are 3 tips to get you started:
1. Are You Willing?
In anything in life, we always have a choice. Even when we feel our back is up against the wall, we still have a choice. The only question is whether you are willing to self-heal. What does that mean? It requires you to have self-awareness around: a) how you feel now and b) how you want to feel. There’s a big distinction obviously and you may not like how you feel right now, but you always have a choice in how you could feel in the future- if you choose to become (and stay) self-aware. What would that look like? It would require you to be brave and be willing to look at what’s going on in your life right now. It would require you to acknowledge where you are not taking responsibility for your life and instead, playing victim. If you hate everything I am saying, then you get the point.
Believe me, the process stinks. I go through it daily. Most days, I want to pull my hair out and flee the scene. Other days, I get angry. Sometimes it is even rage. What I do know for sure is that over time, the anger has subsided. I have managed to leave my hair in my head and I’m still alive and kicking, getting results. Why? Because I am willing and I am self-aware that I have lots of flaws and am willing to sit in that discomfort for the sake of being better because I matter and the world needs me. Same goes for you.
2. What Stresses You Out?
Our everyday stressors are our biggest blocks to self-healing. According to my research, there is a direct, inverse correlation between our stress and our self-confidence. So as you can uncover what stresses you out and reduce this stress, your self-confidence must go up. That means your brand is more effective- I like you more and want to be around you. What that means is that you are in control of your destiny and you are self-healing yourself.
What does that mean for you? Stop and think, what stresses you out? How do you deal with that stress? Do you ignore it or address it? Is it your new normal or do you regard yourself as worth the time to destress?
I have always craved more self-confidence. That’s why I did my research. When I found out that all I had to do was reduce my stress, I thought “this is easy. I can do this”. It’s not so easy, even if it is very simple. It requires me to constantly stay self-aware of my stress level and then implement tools (deep breathing, meditation, etc) to reduce my stress. Some days it works really well, other days not so well. I don’t stop though. Because the alternative stinks even more.
3. Where’s Your Support?
There have been so many days where I kept asking myself and the Universe, “What about my support? Where is my support?” I kept having a pity party and being a victim. It was awful. It is still awful when I do this to myself. I feel out of control and alone. Those are the moments I’ve trained myself to stop and look around my community (and internally) and seek support. Support allows me to realize I am not alone and that others do really care about me- if I let them care.
What’s that mean for you? Stop and consider: when was the last time you asked for support? Why not? Where do you find support exists for you? Seek out one new place this week to find support. The key is often to show up with the genuine intent to give support.
If you wholeheartedly implement these 3 tips, I promise you will be off to a good start. Need more tips? Check out this podcast interview where I lay out all this information for you. Click Here to Listen to Podcast.