Personal Branding: Living Your Brilliance

Ryane LeCesne

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You can also watch this interview on my Youtube Channel

*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.


Moon: What's up, guys? I'm Moon. Welcome to On Branding Podcast. Today, we have a very special guest, Ryan LaCesne. She is the CEO of Inspire Brand Consulting. She's a transformational mindset coach and business strategist. And for nearly a decade, she has empowered hundreds. I would say thousands of high achieving women of color. Helping them conquer self doubt, advance their careers Build their personal brands and dream businesses

Hello, Ryane. Thanks for joining us today

Ryane LeCesne: Thank you. Thank you, Moon. And thank you to your listening audience. It's really exciting to be with you. Thank you.

Moon: Course so I want to start out understanding your personal definition of personal branding

Ryane LeCesne: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's actually a great question to start with because everyone has their own definition of a personal brand and mine is quite specific. When I talk about someone's personal brand, what I'm talking about, I can talk about things that I'm not talking about, but what I am talking about is I'm talking about their brilliance. When I talk about their brilliance, I'm talking about who they are, with their natural core strengths, their values, their “je ne sais quoi” , what makes them unique, and their shining light. And oftentimes, particularly with high achieving women, our brilliance can be something that is under nurtured, way undervalued, and under noticed by us, not necessarily by others, but by ourselves. And so I start there with someone, right? Who are they? Who are you? What do you want? What does that look like for you? What's standing in your way? What are the stories that you're telling yourself? Because once we can really peel that back, that's someone's personal brand. And then you can talk about, all right now that you know who you are, and you feel confident about being yourself and you can have those courageous conversations internally, like I'm about to post this, or I'm about to say this, or this is my point of view or whatever. I'm going to show up at this thing, I'm going to have my voice heard and all those nerves come up and I don't know if I can, and the doubt is there and because someone has mastered their inner work, they're able to take that deep breath. They're able to be their best friend in that moment, and they're able to say, that's your brand. You've got this. This is you. This is your brilliance. Like you could do this. This is who you are. Step in it. And if they have that conversation, then they can like what we call, promote their brand, they're then like living their personal brand.

But that's how you get to your personal brand. That's how you really, carve it out, excavate it. So that's what I help people do. That's how I define it, your personal brand.

Moon: That's phenomenal. In essence, you help people get to the core of who they are and bring that out in a way that they can monetize that's also authentic to them, it sounds like.

Ryane LeCesne: Absolutely. Because oftentimes, and I know this from myself as a business owner, we're looking for the magic bullet, right? We're looking for what is the strategy, is it a webinar? Is it a photo shoot? Is it a new styling? Is my calm strategy not tight enough? What do I need to do to move forward or to advance? And it's really not about doing, it's about who do you need to be? So that you can do, and the being you need to be you. You are the you is to you that's on the planet. Be you, and it's not easy.

There's a book out there that I highly recommend to everyone. It's a psychology book. It's not a personal branding book, but that's what personal brand is. It's you. And so psychology helps you understand yourself. So it's called “The Courage to be Disliked”; and it's Adlerian psychology. And the whole point is that, so often we live our lives with the fear of what will they say. What will they say? How will I be perceived? And it's like they is very amorphous. It's whatever the desire is. So let's say a person, I really wanna start this business. I wanna influence in this way. But what will they say? What will my family say? What will the critics say? What will they say? What if I'm disliked? What if I'm not accepted? What if I'm rejected? That's a very real, when I say real it's like both a large R capital R and a small R real, meaning it's a primitive question. If I, as a human being, as a species, we are not meant to live alone, right? So there is an inherent psychology about belonging, like Brené Brown, Dr. Brené Brown talks about this sense of belonging, and I'm going to do whatever I can. To make sure I belong unconsciously, I might absolutely, do you like pink? I'm not sure what does the group like pink? I don't know. What does the group think it's because we're human beings. And so it's courageous to hold the space for yourself to say, it's okay if you don't like me. It's okay. Not that I'm going to do something purposefully intentionally to be disliked. The book doesn't say the goal is to be disliked. It's the courage to be disliked. I'm going to be so courageous to be myself enough that if disliking by somebody happens that's not mine to own. That's not mine. So I'm gonna be me. It is about less of the doing. The doing is important, but it's, really hard to do when you're not well with your being, makes it really hard to do.

Moon: And so, how did you... Hack your own mindset to be able to create the personal brand that you now successfully have.

Ryane LeCesne: So again, a great question. So I'm going to say two things. One, I have an eight step process that I support my clients go through. And this is a process that I use. All eight steps. I'm gonna talk about three, but all eight steps I use on an everyday, very regular basis. Actually, I'm gonna talk about the first three and I'm gonna talk about number six. And I'm gonna start with number six, which is building a brilliance team. One of the things I have done is I've created a brilliance team and this is my brilliance team. It looks like this is over a number of years, but my brilliance team is my coach. My coach, I've been with her for seven years. She went to school to become a coach to help people. And this is the thing about a brilliance team. There are specific people, like everybody, who have specific roles to help people. Use them. That's your brilliance team. Like a coach. Like a therapist who spent their entire lives understanding the human dynamic of the brain. So that you don't have to, so that you can sit in their chair or across from the video and you can work your stuff out. That's a part of my brilliance team. I have an acupuncturist, that's a part of my brilliance team. I have a chiropractor, that's a part of my brilliance team. I have my primary care doctor, who I haven't seen enough, it's part of my brilliance team. I have a cleaning crew, that's a new one, right? Two ladies come and they clean our house. And when I tell you that was a story I had to unravel in my mind about not even, you don't hire people, you clean your own house, right? You have the time, you have the skill, you know how to do it. You do it. You don't spend money in that way. But when I tell you that when I walk into my home and professionals have cleaned it in a way that would take me. a whole entire weekend to do what they are able to do in three hours to structure my life around organization and cleanliness gives me such peace of mind. Lowers my blood pressure. And not only that, but like the smell smells so good, for two days my sink is shiny. It's like mirroring happiness to me. So literally building your brilliance team, I think is critical. And that, that is something that I have done as a business owner, as a person who's focused on helping other people with their personal brands as I have built a brilliance team ' cause I cannot do it on my own. So that's one. Number two are the three other steps, which is number one, two, and three. The first one is clarity. I am constantly evolving, with every day I'm looking to grow bigger. So I'm always basically at step number one, I'm just two steps ahead of my clients.

And that's something important for those of you who are in business, particularly in service, you are not intended to be at the goal line and your clients are at the start. You are meant to be at yard number two and they're at step number zero. Okay. Cause if you're waiting to get to the goal, you can't get there. So you can't be promoted. Oh, I don't promote. I've made a million dollar business. That's not what I promote. I don't, I can't promote that because I am not, that's still an aspiration for me and I'm okay with that. Million dollar, hey, I can promote a 100, 000 business. I can help anybody make a service based business that can get you to 100, 000. And I did that part time. So it's a 250, 000 business. I can help somebody set up, based on what I've done. So I say all that to say that. One, you can do it. Number two, it's always iterative. I'm always asking myself these same questions. I have not gotten to this quote unquote goal. I am still evolving.

I ask myself all the time. One, clarity. What do I want and what am I afraid of? I gotta get clear on those two things. Because we get what we focus on. So if I focus on my fear, I'm going to get that. So I can only store as high as my fears will allow me, and that's for anybody else. What are my fears telling me? This is what I teach people to do. I really literally teach people to get in touch with in terms of step number one, it's really important to get in touch with what are your thoughts, what are those feelings, and what are those visions around fear and around the thing that you want to. The thoughts create the feelings. So I can't do it. Oh my God, I don't know. I don't know. I feel anxious and I have a vision of catastrophe. Okay. That causes paralysis to the nervous system. So it's going to be really hard to like to post something at that moment, which is quote, personal brand, right? Like you got to get, again, you got to get your mindset, right? So what? Oh my God. I am afraid. I'm afraid. Of what these people are going to think. I think I am stuck in this loop of perfectionism. If I don't look perfect, I'm going to be rejected. Okay. So then I teach people to sit with step number two, which is reframing. So it's about courage reframing. Okay, self. Is that true? Is it true that I need to be perfect? Is it true that I'm not already enough? Is this what I think now? I'm teaching people to talk to themselves in this way because usually what we do is we feel the, oh my God, I can't do it. Oh no. And then we put the phone away. We close the computer or we don't do the email or we don't do whatever. We don't exercise. Whatever the thing is, we don't do it because it's called analysis, paralysis, procrastination. It's stuck. It's fear. It's called fear. So it's then about how do you talk to yourself in that moment? So being courageous. Step number two, courage. Okay. I have the courage to be my friend right now. I have the courage to not abandon myself. I have the courage to remember my decision. My decision was to build this business or to advance in this way, or to go after this thing. I remember that I want this thing, courage, like mustering the courage, and then it is about step number three, which is the confidence to take that action to manage the energy to take the action. And there's, again, there's, I talked about three, so there's five other steps and I teach people how to embody those eight steps. I call it, most of the people I work with are women, so I say I make fissures of women, like that idea that That is literally what I do for myself. That's what I do for my clients.

Moon: These three steps. I want to start with building a brilliance team, right? Most of these people on your brilliance team, I was thinking you were going to say an accountant, a business coach, a strategist. No, you went into People who will help you create an environment, both physically and mentally, that will stabilize you in a way so that you can do your work at the best, the most optimal, energetic place that you can. I think that is phenomenal and revolutionary. I think that is revolutionary, especially when we live in a time like this. Where technology and A. I. is taking over. And people are afraid that it will overpower us. And forget that we are the creators of that. It starts with us.

Ryane LeCesne: Absolutely. I was really focused on well-being, but on that list my assistant is on that list. My business consultant is on that list. And when I talked to, I started out with my coach who I had just got off the phone with, and she is my business life coach. She has the flexibility to really be both. And she intertwines both much like I do. Because a business owner is a whole person. So just like I'm peeling back, someone's going to hire me for two reasons, right? One advancing their career to start a business. So I can't write this resume. I don't know why I'm stuck or I can't raise my hand in the meeting. I get really, trip on myself or I can't, if it's a business, I can't seem to make my priorities or get in touch with clients or post things or push go on the website. All of those things seem like tactical things, right? A silver bullet would be like just push go, but there's a mental block and that's what I help people really unlock is that mental block that keeps them from doing the thing that they actually either know how to do already or are going to like, be able to quickly learn how to do, because they want to do the thing. So this brilliance team, I would add, so my coach is huge, but I would also add that my business consultant is also my assistant. Oh my gosh. She's a hire since this new year, she has been life saving. I was traveling on a trip and there was this email sales email. I wanted to get out. I. Left her a voice memo and for someone to be able to do it while I'm on a flight again, game changing for me to be able to execute and like almost double myself.

I would also add on that list that my tax attorney absolutely is my tax attorney. I do my own accounting, but my tax attorney is on there and so it is, it's that idea of my, instacart has been on my, they're about to go off and I'm about to move to Kroger pickup because they're not doing what they need to. However, that's what I mean by a brilliance team. It is really looking holistically, how can you systemize? Optimizing your value and I, and that's a big one. There's another great book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. And he talks about, I'm super paraphrasing and the end part is really what I'm getting at the beginning is it's not so much about knowing what to do. He says, it's about your systems. It's about the breakdown of the system. So we have these things that we want, right? Like I want this type of body or I want this type of business or I want this type of career. And we can even set goals. I'm gonna do this every day at this time. It can be very specific, measurable, all the things. And yet there's a disconnect between the goal and our action. And that's because there has been no planning of a system to do the thing, a systemization of it. So okay, like I have this desire to play tennis. Very benign really. But it's like a strong goal I have, but I don't. Okay. Have I gotten tennis partners? Do I know where I'm going to play tennis? Do I have a system where we have a rhythm for it? It's that planning piece, it's the systemization piece. I need food on the table but do I have a system where I go to the grocery store every couple of days or someone brings it in or what's the way to get it done? And so often we are bypassing that piece.

Moon: Wow. Okay, so I want to ask you. How did you get out of your own way so the way could be made to doing this?

Ryane LeCesne: Yes. Okay. So again, I really want to start with, because I'm a human being, I'm constantly getting out of my own way. And that's important for me to say to people, because I think particularly when we're listening to people that we aspire to be where they are. And I know that I can sound like I am where I want to be, right? That's the whole point of me being a thought leader. I'm in this space. Yes, absolutely. And I want to humanize what I'm saying and that just as I make fissures of men and I am my own fissure. Like I got to do my own work. So what I am telling people is that I'm doing my work constantly, like constantly in coaching, in therapy, in questioning myself, in self reflection, in self awareness. Self awareness doesn't mean I'm getting it right. It means, oh I noticed I'm super uncomfortable, and this is really scaring me right now. So it's always iterative. I really want to say that. Second, I would absolutely say that There was a point in time in 2015 where a couple of different things were happening at the same time. Inspire, which is my business, has been a hobby. That I was getting a bit more focused on. It was a Sunday brunch series where I was for three years where I had been doing things like vision boards and a lot of the inner work. And so it was moving in a direction of something that was becoming more like a pseudo business.

I also was. In a field where I was very passionate about the work, but also very frustrated with my organization, felt undervalued, overworked, all the things which now I know means you've outgrown where you are is what that meant. At the same time, I had just finished my graduate work at Georgetown University, and they were starting a new class for the program I was in, which was for communications and public relations, and the course was Career management or development.

And it was taught by a coach. And so to pilot the course, they brought in like a workshop for four or five women that were graduates, and we were able to work with the coach for the day. And I'd never worked with a coach before. And I grew up in a home where we had a lot of conversations about personal development. In fact, I was teaching leadership. So Stephen Covey, some of these like best practices were things I had read and had taught and were really excited about. So I was already in the field of personal development. So we're there this Saturday and her name is Sonny. So coach Sonny is in, we're in a workshop. I didn't know these other ladies very well, but she stood up and she asked this question. Are you your own best friend? And two things happened to me. One, I had that blowback experience that Dr. Brené Brown talks about where that warm, ooze feeling of, oh my god, I've been seen. It's called shame. Oh my god. No. I like melted. It was like the tears came up. I was batting my eyes. Oh my God, I didn't even know that was a thing who talks to themselves like that. Why would somebody do that? Oh my God. I don't do that. And the painful realization of how judgmental of myself I was and can be heartbreaking, quite frankly.

And the second thing that happened was. Oh my God, if this is happening to me, this is happening to everybody else. Like everybody I know, they might be feeling the same way. I felt this surge about having to do something about this. I have to help people figure out how not to feel, what I feel, what I know, and that sets the course for the business. And that was my entry into coaching. That was my entry into coaching. I went back to Georgetown to learn how to coach.

Moon: And so how were you able to combine this personal, human centric approach to something like branding? How did you find this specific niche? And why did you focus on black women?

Ryane LeCesne: Yeah. So the branding piece is interesting because when I first started the business, it was actually called Inspire Image consulting and it was image because that was what felt right. Like I had, I still have, but at the time I was still in corporate America. So I liked the wardrobe, I was very fashion forward, all the things, definitely. And my desire was to connect with people, empower people, and help people. And so I thought it was going to be through like, I also have an aesthetic background. So I worked in a beauty spa. And so I, one of my very best sister girlfriends, is a marketing genius. She actually came with my logo and so many other things. And she was like, you know what, Ryane, you do this before I was coaching because inspire brand consulting had already been an LLC before I even knew what coaching was. She's like, you do so much more. Like image is the top line of what you do. You don't actually do that at all. You help people with their personal Who they really are at the core. And I was like, Oh, that means now again, this was in 2015. So personal brand as a term was really being. Is it colloquialized? It was like being, it was like it started to become a buzzword at that time. And so it was like, wow, that is super what I do now from that moment, the it's gotten even deeper. You know what I mean? It's like it's gotten even deeper, but I held on to personal brand because again, I thought it was a brilliant question that you asked at the very beginning, Moon, which is. What is your definition of personal brand?

Because someone's not going to come to me for a social media strategy. Someone's going to come to me, I've got this social media strategy that I worked on cause I took a classroom influencer, but Oh my God, I can't post anything cause I am afraid. I'm afraid. I'm paralyzed. I'm afraid I'm an imposter. I say I can bake stuff and I do, but oh my God, for somebody to pay me for it or to advertise for it or to value it or to publicize it, I couldn't do that. Oh my God. That's not about social media. That's about clarity, confidence and courage. That's what that's about. That's about mindset.

Moon: And, what I've realized too in listening to you is you've really dialed into an aspect of entrepreneurship that isn't talked about. That I don't see valued to the degree that technical skills are within this field. Which is why your value is really priceless.

Ryane LeCesne: I really appreciate that.

Moon: Yeah, because what you're doing is you're getting them together inside so that they can do what they do outside. You're showing them you are the creator. God is within you.

Ryane LeCesne: Yes. Already. It's there. And that is your personal brand. That is your brand. And it's almost about, how did you get out of your own way? That is what I help people do. And that is again, the humanity that is what my coach, my therapist, my, everybody helps me, they help me get out of my own way because I am a human. And so again, for those of you who are in service industries where you feel like You've got to show up perfectly for people to take you seriously or to be of your value. You show up as you, and you are already perfectly designed to support people and help people. Remember those two yards. You do not have to be at the goal line. Two yards ahead. Yeah.

Moon: So I also want to ask you about your inner circle. I thought that was really cool. You have an inner circle. It's a monthly membership. Can you please talk more about this inner circle and what we would have access to?

Ryane LeCesne: Yeah, absolutely. I can. And I'm gonna also answer the black woman question. I forgot about that last piece, and I'll circle back with that, too. So inner circle is actually on a it is in the midst of being rebranded, but I'll talk about what it is. And what it's looking so it's on pause. But this is part of sort of what I promote who I am. So what the inner circle is, it is a book club, it's virtual. It's a book club and it is for high achieving black women and high achieving, again, as a personal definition of whatever that looks like for you. And what it's focused on, it's a book club that's focused on mindset and quite frankly, metaphysics and mindset. So when we talk about metaphysics mindset, we're talking about. How can your thoughts really support you in your own healing? How can you manage your energy, which is really managing also not solely, but manage managing your emotions, which is energy and motion in your body. And how can you use breath work or meditation or understanding your chakra system, how Reiki or these other energy modalities, how can that support you as a whole person? And so we read books like ”The Courage to be Disliked”; that I talk about or everything from that to which is, very psychology based to Louise Hay which is how to heal your life, which is very metaphysical. To “The Big Leap”, which is more a mindset to things like “A Happy Pocket Full of Money”;, which is super metaphysical, has been on it.

We also have monthly meetings, and so it's just, it's a wonderful book club that's focused on empowering black women to live full, whole lives. And it is a bit on pause right now, but it's something to look at again for the future.

Moon: Okay, I definitely will be. I'm very excited to sign my own stuff.

Ryane LeCesne: Okay. I love it. I love it. I'll send you the information when we're back online. Absolutely. We took kind of a summer break.

Moon: Okay, perfect. And please tell our community how we can connect with you, how we can have you coach us and take us from point A to point Z.

Ryane LeCesne: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that invitation. So two things. One if somebody feels like I want to talk to this person, like I've got it, we like we got to connect. I offer a complimentary discovery call if someone is interested in talking more on a deep dive of what support looks like, where they are and how those two can come together.

And you can find that on my website and the specific address is gift. That would be for the discovery call backslash gift. And I also have a free quiz. So if someone wants to know, there are three mindsets that I see consistently that are what I call, like the confidence killer trifecta, which are imposter syndrome, which is the idea of no matter what my resume says, I'm going to be caught as a fraud. Just like in a nutshell, perfectionism, which is this idea of, I have to absolutely be perfect. I have to know all the answers. My project has to be completed. All the eyes have to be dotted. And if anyone sees that I make a mistake, it is shattering to my whole self, right? I have to be. Not that I think I'm perfect, but I can't show any weaknesses or any imperfections. And then distractionism, which is my own term, which quite frankly is undiagnosed or unmanaged ADHD. So I see these three are neurodivergence in some sort. The three are just. Like killing the confidence of women, a high achieving woman. If you're interested in like, Oh, you know, by any means, not a diagnostic, but like a 17 magazine quiz of like what mindset might be based on these answers that I'm aligned with. That quiz can also be found on my website, which is And the quiz is free. You'll get a printout of just an understanding of what those, one of those three mindsets are that you answer the questions based on and a video that kind of breaks it down.


Moon: Ryane, thank you so much for being here. You are so inspiring. So grateful to have you on the show. Really appreciate you. And, I can't wait to learn more. Learn more about what you do.

Ryane LeCesne: Thank you. Thank you, Moon. You are a fantastic interviewer. This has been so fun to be in conversation with you and your listening audience. This has been a delight. I'm really honored.


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