How to master your personal branding?

Azadeh Yaraghi

Azadeh Yaraghi
September 26, 2017

Azadeh is the Founder and Creative Director of Gogo Telugo Creatives, a communication design agency in Vancouver, specializing in branding. She has built a virtual team of 35 people who work with her from around the world to deliver innovative ideas and successful strategies.

She has 12+ years of experience in branding, design, and marketing under her belt. She has worked in Paris, France, New York City, and recently Italy. She thrives at projects that are multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Over the years, she has been working with some of the biggest companies in the world as well as businesses in start-up mode.

She has built local and international campaigns and picked up design awards along the way. Her mission is to create a magnetic connection between a company and their ideal client to ultimately take their brand and business to new heights.

In her free time, she dances flamenco and salsa, plays beach volleyball, and travels the world.

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The unrelenting pursuit of improvement, the aspiration to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness… These are some of the values that define humans as a superior species. How has technology helped transform our performance, and how might we surpass our limits?

On December 6th, 2016, we had the pleasure of welcoming Tom Waller to share his vision of human performance at our TalentsTalk. 

Tom Waller & lululemon

Tom is the Senior Vice President of lululemon’s in-house innovation and R&D team, Whitespace™. 

lululemon is a global authority on “athleisure”, developing products that truly improve customer lifestyle and push forward human performance. The Whitespace™ lab deserves special credit here; this state-of-the-art workshop goes beyond classic research and development methodologies and delves into the realm of possibility for both body and mind. 

We were all excited to meet Tom and to learn what the mind of a leader in the innovation team of lululemon is like. What are the visions and inspirations of successful people like Tom?

Marginal gain or technology doping?

We were not disappointed, and Tom’s talk was mind-blowing. 

Tom illustrated with examples of elite athletes that the make or break of a gold medalist can be decided in as short as 0.01 seconds. 

Who would have thought that shaving your eyebrows off might reduce drag just enough to let you beat your competitors across the finish line? Yet, Tom raised the issue of technology doping. Where do we draw the line when the competitive advantage brought about by hi-tech sportswear might lead to the “wrong winner”? On the other hand, even a perfectly engineered swimsuit can’t swim on its own. Ultimately, it comes down to the mindful pursuit of greatness. 

In order to tap into the fascinating possibilities of human potential, lululemon's Whitespace™ R&D team aims to optimize human performance through maginal improvements of designs within sports apparel. But apparel is not limited to the sports industry. If we take one step back, how we dress and clothe ourselves is a fundamentally important characteristic of the human race. Everything from keeping ourselves protected from the elements, to expressing individuality comes from what we choose to put on our bodies, and Tom's team is working to make products that will allow us to do all this, and to be more efficient machines in the process.

Tom’s talk encompassed the physiological, technical and psychological phenomena that leads to sucess, and ultimately, the improvement of human performance. 

It certainly gave us some food for thought next time we put on our favourite yoga pants!

Everyone experiences obstacles throughout their paths in this life, but it's what you do when life throws you those obstacles that really defines you. Barrie knows all about breaking down barriers, forging new paths, and bringing people together to collaborate on, sometimes seemingly impossible, incredible projects. With an unrelenting vision in mind, No is really just the first step to yes! 

On June 13, 2017, we had the undoubted pleasure of welcoming Barrie Mowatt to speak to us.

Visionary, Founder, and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Biennale, a not-for-profit charitable organization created in 2004, Barrie Mowatt has a history of launching public and community projects. Philanthropist, educator, psychologist, entrepreneur, art collector, and former contemporary art dealer/gallery owner, Barrie Mowatt has integrated his passion for education, learning, the arts, and community engagement into the creation of the Vancouver Biennale.

We were expecting inspiration, and Barrie did not disappoint.

Barrie's process begins with a vision. First, you have to imagine it in your brain, and, if you can imagine it and put it out there, though you may not have a business strategy in place, you'll have a heartfelt passion and energy that will direct you. Strategy will come along the way, as long as you have a general boundary to work with. Keep speaking that vision, and pick up people along the way to help realize it.

Barrie's vision through his work with public art is to bring art to the public forum, make it accessible and accessed by the public. But he doesn't do it alone.

Recognize who you are as a person, and play to your strengths. Most major projects are collaborative efforts.

Through several powerful examples of public art pieces (including the Spirit of the Haida Gwaii, which defined the first vision visitors would see when arriving at YVR Airport), Barrie illustrated over and over again instances where his attempt to realize his vision in new and lasting ways was met with nos, nos which he and his collaborators refused to accept, and all of which would eventually becomes yeses.

The next time you're faced with a no, what will you do to turn that no into a yes?

Have you always wanted to launch your own business? Do you have ideas but need guidance? Not sure where to start? 

Don't worry, we have a secret weapon to share with you: Tim Berman's recipe for entrepreneurial success! 

On September 27, 2016, we had the pleasure of welcoming Tim Berman to speak at our first ever TalentsTalk, where he shared his visions and tips for entrepreneurial success.

Tim Berman is the President of Fluxwerx Illumination Inc., a company he co-founded in 2011. They quickly established themselves at the forefront of LED lighting technology, and became part of the Lumenpulse family in 2016. In his role as President, Tim combines solid business experience (over 30 years in the lighting industry) with technical and leadership abilities, and focuses on product innovation and development to maintain Fluxwerx's position as leaders in the industry. He holds numerous patents in his name, and has also co-founded two BC-based lighting representation agencies.

A finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 - Pacific – EY award at the time of his presentation, Tim was honoured to win the award just one week after speaking to us.

Standing in front of an audience of skilled professionals, Tim expertly delivered his vision of entrepreneurship, and his personal recipe for entrepreneurial success.

It all comes down to these five crucial points:

1. Have a strong vision

An entrepreneur can have all the great ideas in the world, but they're worthless without a market. The first step in starting a successful business is to identify market gaps that are large enough to sustain your business. These could be within the industry you're already working in, or a need you identify as a consumer (something you, yourself, might use). It is not only about the idea, but also the size of the scope.

2. Write a thorough plan

Articulate every detail, from start up costs to revenue growth and profits. It is essential to have a full picture of what your business will be, what you will need, and how you plan to hit your goals. Make sure that the plan is comprehensive, cohesive and realistic.

3. Share your plan with everyone

Your first fans and supporters will be your friends and family members. Use this support system initially to perfect your idea, get honest feedback, and streamline your pitch. Once you have confidence in your plan, and your ability to sell it, surround yourself with trustworthy partners. With your perfected plan, and a team at your side, you can approach banks and investors for any needed financial support.

Don't forget that banks and investors aren't the only way to get financial assistance. Be creative in your fundraising efforts! Tim had some secrets fundraising methods, but he didn't want to give away his tricks... We can't really blame him! Look for opportunities that will breathe your vision for your enterprise, and allow you to solidify your brand. This will ultimately serve to expose you to your market, and inspire your employees to "walk the talk." Keep your vision front-of-mind everyday! Culture is key!

4. Never stop competing 

Always act like you are in second place. Even if your only competition is yourself, always strive to be better than yesterday. In Tim's eyes, the most important thing is to win, and he credits this competitive spirit for his current successes.

5. Never stop questioning everything you do

This feeds off of point 4. There is never time to rest on your laurels. If you stop, someone will pass you, and you really will be in second place, or third, or... last. Always keep questioning yourself and what you do, and find ways of constantly improving and evolving. Always strive to be better than you were yesterday.

Our first event was a great success! Tim was incredibly inspiring, and a completely captivating speaker. We want to thank our 60 attendees, and hope that you all enjoyed the talk, the buffet, and the opportunity to meet and chat with Tim.

We'll leave you with one last thought from Tim's speech, "Constant determination around a well-thought-out vision and relentless determination are keys."

With this final thought in mind, we hope you feel inspired and prepared to start your own entrepreneurial journey!