Go DARE: BRAND Your Own Self!

By on August 2, 2011

Orpah Winfrey

By Liz Weinmann –

Most over-50 women were brought up to believe we had to be team players. We listened to everybody else, men more than women, and doubted ourselves. Ring any bells?

But times have changed, and our time is here. A myriad of examples stares us in the face each day, of women over 50 who have come into their own, personally, professionally and financially. They know what they stand for, AND what they won’t stand for. And they know and believe, deep in their hearts, that they are as smart, effective, and powerful as any man.

It’s very exciting!

The list of such women is growing each year: Katie Couric, Oprah Winfrey, Christine LaGarde, Maria Shriver. These women who display grace, dignity, poise, confidence, and leadership in the face of challenge and transition are all are powerful brands in their own right – no male arm candy needed. And I applaud Jenny Sanford for standing up for herself, not standing by her man at any cost!

As Ms. Sanford was going about the meticulous crafting of her husband’s political path, she also was steadfast about piloting her own career—as wife, mother, and political figure. She made certain she never took her eyes off her own oxygen mask. We were witness to her proactive and brilliant “F-U” marketing strategy, one of the best examples of personal branding I’ve ever seen.

As for Maria Shriver, what a power-house. Through The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything and her other journalistic achievements, Shriver has used her intellect, charisma, and influence to mount a massive media blitz about 21st century American women. She proves over and over again she is one of the finest examples of DARE-ing woman-branding in the country.

OK, it’s true – intelligent, motivated women can’t all become scholars, writers, or media personalities, but they all can learn a lot by observing Maria Shriver. In this recessionary environment, every woman over 50 needs to identify and maximize her own BRAND of expertise to distinguish herself. She needs to network better and harder, and have her own niche/specialization area… Luckily, the Internet helps, in ways our DARE -ING ancestors could not even imagine.

So, how do over-50 women achieve this self-branding? I’ve got some BRAND-Aids for you—yes, you!—to develop, expand, and market your expertise.

1. The universe assumes, fairly or unfairly, that if you’ve lived for five decades or more, then, of course, you’re an expert—at something. Before you can convince anyone else, you need to believe it yourself. Think hard about your interests, passions, or hobbies. Identify a particular expertise you already have, or one you want to master to the point where you can become an expert—so much so that you could get paid for it.

2. These book suggestions will fire you up!
Six-Week Start Up, by Rhonda Abrams. This is a great resource for all women trying to figure out how to have their own money. This is essential! It’s an easy-to-complete workbook for launching a new business, especially if you don’t have the time or inclination to pour thousands of dollars into B-school, psychotherapy, or other forms of long-term torture.

Write It Down, Make It Happen, by Henriette Ann Klauser. A free-association guide, with questions and lists to encourage you to think differently, identify goals, and, yes, make them happen.

3. To become an expert in a particular subject, seek out others who have similar interests, experience and expertise. Universities and colleges, professional organizations, nonprofits, and networking groups are havens for people who already are experts or want to become experts. Shriver is a good example. She needed a new “hook,” a new brand platform for her return to journalism. Aligning with the Center for American Progress enhances her intellectual credibility and logistical efficiencies (imagine the herd of cubicle dwellers that actually did most of the work putting The Shriver Report together).

True, few women over 50 have the power and influence to land in TIME and across the NBC media juggernaut like Maria Shriver has done, or to work with a powerful think tank—plus flaunt storybook-heroine hair and expertly smoke-shaded eyelids on morning TV in front of thousands of viewers afflicted with terminal bed-head, eye lint, and cellulite. But this is also true: by the time you’re over 50, you can recite from unaided memory the brands that promise to rid you of wrinkles, bump up your butt, and overflow your mo-jo. But do you know what and where your own brand is?

So, why not DARE shore up something even more powerful—your brain cells! Figure out what you’re good at now that you’ve been on the planet for more than five decades. Get as smart as you can in an area you’re really passionate about. Then, think of yourself as a brand, dream up your own slogan, find all the places you can claim and proclaim your expertise, and get yourself out there. Go out and get reborn and DARE-born!

Liz DiMarco Weinmann, MBA, brings a contagious exuberance, unbound sense of humor, and indefatigable optimism to share with women over 40 who may not yet believe that the best years of their lives are ahead of them.

After 20 years with global marketing services firms in New York and Washington, D.C., she is now an NYU educator as well as a management consultant and marketer. In 2009, she founded The DARE-Force Corporation, http://www.thedareforce.com/ for visionary, intelligent, motivated women over 40.

Liz is thrilled that her book is now published: Get DARE from Here™ – 12 Principles and Practices for Women Over 40 to Take Stock, Take Action and Take Charge of the Rest of Their Lives. In this gutsy, inspiring yet practical book Liz challenges, inspires, and guides brainy, gutsy, passionate over-40 women!

You can reach Liz at [email protected], and visit her website at http://www.thedareforce.com/.
You can also find The Dare Force on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/TheDareForceforWomenOver40
and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TheDareForce.

About Liz Weinmann

Liz DiMarco Weinmann, MBA, brings a contagious exuberance, unbound sense of humor, and indefatigable optimism to share with women over 40 who may not yet believe that the best years of their lives are ahead of them. After 20 years with global marketing services firms in New York and Washington, D.C., she is now an NYU educator as well as a management consultant and marketer. In 2009, she founded The DARE-Force Corporation, www.thedareforce.com for visionary, intelligent, motivated women over 40. Liz is thrilled that her book is now published: Get DARE from Here™ – 12 Principles and Practices for Women Over 40 to Take Stock, Take Action and Take Charge of the Rest of Their Lives. In this gutsy, inspiring yet practical book Liz challenges, inspires, and guides brainy, gutsy, passionate over-40 women! You can reach Liz at [email protected], and visit her website at http://www.thedareforce.com. You can also find The Dare Force on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/TheDareForceforWomenOver40 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TheDareForce

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Go DARE: BRAND Your Own Self!