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Thursday, October 10, 2019

My 3 Answers in Creating Your Individual Brand

I talked a ton about branding when I started our marketing business 13 years ago, but actually I have worked for close to 20 years helping individuals create their personal brand by establishing their career and attaining their goal as a career counselor and educational services supervisor for veterans and active-duty military members. 

Many of us (including myself) feel that we ought to follow other successful people’s “brand” and copying them because we were told by our peers, managers, mentors, parents, friends or supervisors – that “this is how I attained my brand and this is how you do it.”   That is not creating your own personal brand but merely emulating someone to be in our ideal self and we often get disappointed.

So what does your image say about you? What do you need it to state? Building an effective individual brand begins with knowing yourself. Here are my 3 answers (in no particular order or it depends on your level how where you are now)  how you can upgrade your brand and accomplish your goals.

1. Be identified in something noble but conduct yourself well.

To truly sparkle, you need be sure about what your identity is, the thing that you need, and you have to tackle and construct your abilities and information. The key is to assemble them, however, to end up known for them, in a way that separates you from every other person. It's not merely enough that you comprehend what you know — others need to realize that you know it. This is how you become an influencer and idea chief or a specialist. Also, make sure to be explicit. Don’t be someone who knows everything, you risk being known to no end by any stretch of the imagination. Get clearness, understand and show your niche and unique ability, and after that, you can end up branded for it.

A large number of the things that are basic to building your image are not about learning, they aren't about what you look like, and they aren't about how firm your handshake is. The most important quality you can possess is do you practice what you preach?  So consider things like being caring, being deferential, appearing on schedule, tuning in to other people and not being a tattle. Practices matter — for sure. So center around acing yours.

2. Be real every day.

You have to build up your own image of who you really are. It takes time to know oneself, and this is delayed through many distractions:  opinions of others, how you were brought up, lack of openness, inability to accept challenges.  Review your good and not so good qualities, your preferences, where you sparkle, how you like to dress, and so on. When you strip away the veil, who are you indeed, and how might you appear in a way that enables your actual real self to appear on the other side? That is the substance of your own image -  your brand

If you feel restricted, compelled, and like you simply don't fit with how you are required to appear in your work, at that point, you might be in an inappropriate career or activity. Determine:  what makes you excited and enthusiastic?  Find out, and that will give you a clue.

3. Get a counselor, a coach or a consultant to help you assemble, assess and be accountable to your brand image on the web.  Or at least get a trusted mentor.

You can build your reputation online, but how can you be sure you are doing it right. How you appear online is similarly as significant (or possibly progressively significant nowadays) than how you look face to face. It can truly represent the deciding moment you, as far as others' observation and your notoriety. Try to Google yourself and recognize what is out there on the web when individuals are searching for you, regardless of whether it is a future business, a recruiter, your boss, a customer, or client – these are essential to deal with your image – your brand. Consider your web-based life nearness, your own site or blog, your Social media feeds and comments, how and where you remark on the web.  So a counselor, a mentor at least can help your individual brand regardless and gives you an honest critic or advice or idea how you really appear, how others really see you, what you know and who knows it, and what your online profile says about you. Because of all that, you will have gone far in structure a brand that works for you.

One of the critical parts of our profession or job that truly matters is our own image — which is basically how you present yourself.  As the leader of a company, YOU ARE the brand of that company, you just don’t carry the logo.  Everybody has a particular brand.

Many still think that we have to be someone and somebody we know and don’t bother to create our own brand.  Yes, some of us have brands, but if we follow others, it is either generic or a replica or a copy.  We need to be unique and stand out in our business and career.

Let's Bring our Brand to Life.  Upgrade ourselves.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Aren't We All POSTMASTERS? The 7 Cs to Have A Compelling Brand by Tony Astro


Because of the development of internet-based life and social media, we are all not just brands but business people or – Publicist, Operator, Seller, Trader, Marketer, Advertiser, Shopkeeper, Trafficker, Entrepreneur, Retailer and/or Seller.  – P.O.S.T.M.A.S.T.E.R.S.  Do we agree?

When you're thinking of going to a restaurant, hiring a person, building a business or startup or just doing a video or comments on social media, we always verify either LinkedIn or Facebook for people or IMDB for movies, Yelp for food or Google reviews right?

Also, in case you're via web-based networking media locales like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, usually impacts our decisions and on individuals, whether to follow or be their follower, To put it plainly, we're all advertisers, marketers, posters nowadays.

For as long as a decade - organizations, individuals, influencers & salespeople have watched the expanding intensity of social media and the internet to impact deals, and the buying decisions of individuals make. As indicated by a 2012 report in Forbes magazine that overviewed 20,000 individuals in the US and the UK, 81 percent announced that their purchasing choices were impacted by loved ones, while 78 percent were affected by Facebook or Linkedin or YouTube.

In this way, to be a compelling advertiser, we have to know that it's people, not postings nor social media platforms are the ones impacting people’s decisions.  When you've gotten a handle on this, you can begin to target individuals legitimately and take advantage of the free word-of-mouth selling of ourselves or promoting our cause. 

This sort of social advertising is priceless, and it is hard to quantify by cost, or you can’t buy this like airtime on radio or a half-page ad on newspaper ; you should acquire it by reputation, what you share on social media, how you dress, how you speak, what you said or post in the feeds, who are you associated with potential clients, winning their trust and offering both clear and real worth.

What individuals never respond to is the mass strategies of past such as mass email, copy-paste, big social gatherings, telemarketing tactics from 10 years ago.  This technique speaks to the broadest conceivable gathering of purchasers. This functioned well back in the 90s or 80s when individuals didn't have such many various sorts of media (like radio, tv, magazines) to devour, yet today there's a mind-boggling wealth of alternatives, and an equivalent wealth of advertisers vying for individuals' consideration. Accordingly, the most ideal approach to get saw is to claim legitimately to customers' interests.

Eventually, advanced marketers utilize explicit systems to increase faithful clients who'll be anxious to get the message out about their brand, products or image and services.

To showcase something on the web, we should be aware of how we project our image or brand in social media and discover our speciality, uniqueness or niche.  Regardless of what we're selling, one of the primary things we have to understand is our own image or personal brand.

Successful business or brand is something other than a logo and a beautiful social media graphic or a fancy name. It's all about our character, our culture, our soul, a specific quality that separates us from others or our rivals.

Consider for instance, International House of Pancakes (IHOP) ran a remarkable social media campaign in summer 2018 on Twitter where it changed its name to IHOb from IHOP. The brand asked its followers to guess what burger king stands for and over 34K people responded, and the name revealing tweet was retweeted well over 15K times. (“The Best Social Media Marketing Campaigns of 2019 (So Far) - Jose Angelo Marketing Studios,” 2019)

When you understand then communicate and plainly characterize your image, it can have a significant effect. Characterizing your image can likewise go connected at the hip with recognizing your specialty.

Unlike a decade ago and with other big organizations who try to appeal to everyone, this time we build up a robust message that focuses on a specific client. This implies knowing who your intended interest group is, at that point disclose to them what your image or brand or culture or character they can depend on and what kind of significant worth it gives.

For example, rather than placing paid ads on Instagram and hoping for users to click, Wayfair transformed its checkout process by capitalizing on the Shopping update features that automatically tagged products featured in Instagram photos and affixed a price tag and a way to purchase items.  Wayfair isn’t yet a household name like Walmart or Amazon, but it looks like this scenario is rapidly changing. As per Internet Retailer, the web-only furniture store saw 770,000 new customers last quarter—the most in any quarter to date. (Miller, 2016)

Concentrating on your niche (Wayfair focused on web-only furniture) and doing one thing splendidly has innate worth. Consider it along these lines: no one's joining a long holding up rundown and paying tons of money to see a general expert, would they say they are? In any case, this is what individuals do to be a jack of all trades. Instead it pays to be unique and an expert. So as opposed to attempting to do a lot of things enough, attempt to be unique and be an expert in a category of business or skills.  Choose something that you are passionate about and hone it.

Trustworthy brands are socially applicable and know-how to manufacture significant associations with their clients.  A central point that impacts buying choices is social pertinence. Not exclusively are numerous buyers anxious to adjust themselves to socially pertinent brands, yet they'll likewise be glad to pay a premium to do as such.

For example, Charmin had a series of small-scale hashtag campaigns, like #tweetfromtheseat, but what works best for their brand is consistency and tone. Charmin understands their audience as few brands do, and they’re not afraid to revel in toilet humor. They’re funny, witty and quick to co-opt holidays (National Splurge Day, National Poetry Day, World Compliment Day, etc.) for their purposes. It may be low brow, but it’s useful for engagement (Brafton, 2019).
So ask yourself: Who is my intended interest group, and where do they assemble? Where would i be able to pick up their consideration? Supporting and facilitating occasions are extraordinary approaches to make your image, brand or culture applicable and build up to it as a social network uniter.

When you're making a message for your group of spectators, it's imperative to be valid. Try not to profess to be something that you're not or make guarantees that your item or administration can't convey on. Trustworthiness, straightforwardness and legitimacy are mostly reasonable approaches to increase incredible upper hands.

Just as being credible, your message should concentrate on the ideal result of the client experience, as opposed to the fancy odds and ends of your item. Along these lines, ask yourself how you need individuals to feel when they use it.  When you join a gym membership, do you care about the equipment or the staff? It's this sort of final product or branding assessment that you should concentrate on when you're discovering your message.

When you've distinguished your image, brand, business or culture and your intended specific interest group, what you need to state to them and where they can become to, it's an ideal opportunity to get a story with a substance that will stand out enough to be noticed and guarantee that they comprehend what your brand or culture or business is.   Here is a tip:  recount to a real story and be timeless.

Being timeless or evergreen means it is relevant today and tomorrow, so it isn't attached to any present news story or trend. A decent method to remain immortal is to make recordings or articles that touch on your qualities – the things that are by and by vital to you, your culture and what have invigorated your brand or stimulated your business.

Here's an activity you can attempt: record the account of your business and how it became. Start by clarifying your crucial general qualities, your failures and how you became stronger that led to your success. Next, portray the sort of individual you expect to help, alongside what your service or skills or product or cause and how you made it. Clarify the objectives you have for your business or service.  With these components, you can make a convincing story about how your brand and your organization can improve the lives of your clients.

In case you're hoping to engage, you should try different things with an amusing post, but we should also educate.  Whole Foods has a better hand on the welfares of its customers, but the healthy organic food it offers isn’t enough to make Whole Foods unique. Their community blog shares delicious recipes along with stunning photos of ingredients, tips to keep us healthy explaining things like updated sustainable seafood safety lists, and the source and taste of the different types of seasonings they offer.

You can likewise fabricate an association with your crowd utilizing instructive substance. You could share what you've gained from your experience as a business head or circle news that may hold any importance with your community. With regards to social showcasing, training has a vast significance. It can include telling your group of spectators how you feel about a significant subject or sharing new devices that may profit your client or community. 

Regardless of whether you center around diversion or instruction, it's critical to likewise draw in with your group of spectators on a one-on-one premise. This can be accomplished by interfacing via Facebook Live or webinars through direct messages, by answering to comments in regard to your substance, or by posting on network message sheets identified with your specialty.

You should take a stab at making a progression of 60-second Story Facebook post or YouTube recordings that differ in style and substance, to see which one gets the most significant reaction. For me as Co-Owner of Mvoss Creation and Founder of Commercewise, one of my most significant tests was to post a video where I summarize business, branding, career and cultural books so other followers can learn not just from me but from others and it saves them from reading or buying a book on marketing or finding a new career or know about cultural intelligence in 5 minutes or less.  I also spoke about my challenges and posted a personal topic with my mutt at the beach daily.  But I still try my best to post something that has better and current substance. This is likewise a genuine case of important instructive substance, since discussing your disappointments can help other people guarantee that they don't commit similar errors.


Deals occur through social commitment and by offering genuine worth without being boring. 
Regardless of whether you know precisely who your clients are and where they invest their energy on the web, it can, in any case, be a test to catch their consideration and make a deal. A few of us or some organizations endeavour to impress or spam everybody in their contact records and to shoot off spontaneous attempts to seal the deal to arbitrary outsiders.

This isn't how successful branding or social media posting works. Marketing yourself or social selling is tied in with connecting and drawing in with individuals on the stages they use, building connections and furnishing them with worth, without plainly pushing them into a deal.
For this to work, you need to introduce yourself in only the correct way, and three essential rules will enable you to accomplish this. The first is to lead with worth; the second is to be amicable and supportive; the third is to act naturally.

You can lead with an incentive by offering a free asset, instrument or bit of programming to potential clients, or by directing them to an intriguing article that you figure they might be keen on dependent on their past online movement. What you shouldn't do is make a plunge directly into an attempt to sell something. Instead, demonstrate that you're mindful of the individual's advantages, maybe by raising a past Twitter post that you preferred, and by clarifying why you accept they may discover an incentive in the free item or substance you're advertising.

Your first collaboration with your new Facebook or LinkedIn contact ought to be a neighbourly icebreaker, not an attempt to sell something. This should put you on the client's radar and ideally start a relationship. You may line this up with an inquiry that will prop the link up – once more, do not pitch your business or your services or products. Social selling works by structure important, esteem-based connections that open the entryway for the client to come to you and purchase your item with no weight.

The jeans brand Levi’s made lasting impact leading up to the U.S. midterm elections hit it out of the park with #TimeToVote, which promoted voter registration and voter turnout amongst their U.S. followers. (Ogweng, 2019) Levi’s’ modest graphic t-shirt was the medium for effective content creation by asking influencers for free with the opportunity to become part of a powerful movement, celebrities proudly shared the message with their audiences.

Compelling content, being yourself in today’s digital marketing acknowledges the impact of online life and client audit destinations and seeing how individuals can viably get the word out about items and administrations through these stages. To contact a crowd of people, you must discover your niche or specialty, be real, show your flaws genuinely and reach out to your circle on an individual level. This methodology is demonstrating more successful today than the broad mass promoting like past decade ago.  To interface with your group or potential client or boss, it's commerce wise to tell your story with an engaging narrative and instructive substance.   Express your image, culture and brand and your group of potential clients by showing them a story on how to fix and clarify precisely how you intend to tackle that issue with your product or service or skill.   Portray who your intended interest group is, the means by which different brands are advertising to this gathering and think about how you can convey your message by being yourself - real.

These are not an easy task to get this done on our own- to be compelling.  We need someone who can give us a different set of eyes to give us honest feedback – to the core.  A coach can help us motivate us if we need to push ourselves to our goal.  A counselor can give us an honest, well studied analysis of yourself and point you in the right direction.  A consultant can provide us their experience in areas we need to tackle to get the best decision for our success.  It is our choice on what we can listen and follow – that is how we determine if our brand is the right kind to your business, to your new job or to your relationship with others.

Brafton. (2019, July 19). 8 brands with the best social media campaigns in 2019 | Brafton. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from Brafton website:

Miller, G. (2016). Wayfair’s Marketing Success: 5 Vital Tactics. Retrieved October 8, 2019, from website:

‌ The Best Social Media Marketing Campaigns of 2019 (So Far) - Jose Angelo Marketing Studios. (2019, July 14). Retrieved October 7, 2019, from Jose Angelo Marketing Studios website:
‌ Ogweng, S. (2019, March 18). Social Media 2018 - 8 of the Best Campaigns – Sked Social. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from Sked Social website:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Five Factors to Upgrade Your Career, Your Commerce & Your Life

Each and every bullet below are success causes that have been demonstrated to be the main ingredient to the fulfillment of the high-quality lifestyles for any given individual in today's fast-paced, technology-dependent individuals. With the aid of systematically (or even automating) enforcing a number of those success reasons into your presence on LinkedIn or Facebook, that you could put your foot on the accelerator of your own career and gain the great lifestyles to UPGRADE yourself.


In our society, the highest-paid folks are people who comprehend higher than the natural. They are aware of more of the valuable info, suggestions, and understanding than the usual man or woman of their area. For that reason, they may be able to make a more valuable contribution to a knowledge-centered society and live the quality life viably.

I completed my Ph.D. in Counseling and Human Services, but that is not necessary than just completing at least 6 required certifications before I actually, dive into the consulting business even though I have the experience I need to get the necessary training to impart my skills and services to others.

They are valued more, revered more, and finally paid more money and promoted more typically. The guideline is that,to earn extra, you need to be trained extra.If you wish to increase your stage of revenue and achieve the exceptional existence for your self, you have to increase your level of mental capital and thereby the worth of the potential factor of what you're doing.

Your level of ability for your field will check the great and variety of your outcome. The better you get at what you do, the less complicated it's for you to moving ahead to get a detailed level of results. As you broaden your talent, via be trained and expertise, you get higher and higher at doing the small matters that expand the speed and predictability of your outcome.  Find the central core to your existence so that you can begin to are living by using your own personal code.


You are going to to find that each significant trade on your existence is accompanied by way of a person or persons who both opens or closes doorways for you. The possibility of the high life for you're going to be decided using the number of men and women who comprehend you and like you and who's willing to support you.

Facebook & LinkedIn are default source to get a quick connection but a face-to-face interaction gets the most impact in developing a circle of trust among our links.  Use social media as follow-through and not the main avenue to gain or establish a relationship.

To increase your community of contacts, you need to community continuously, at each possibility. There appears to be a direct relationship between the number of individuals you already know and how effective you are.


Having money within the financial security gives you higher freedom and the ability to take the expertise of possibilities when they come alongside. If you're broke, or in debt, you could have only a few options open to you.  Every business needs capital, and it is hard to focus if our financial status is in disarray.
When I started my consulting business, I bootstrap by learning the software and automation instead of hiring a staff immediately and work at home for my first 3 years in the business to increase my bottom line.

Some of the weighty matters I ever learned in existence is that you are handiest as free as your choices. If you haven't any options, you haven't any freedom. If you're caught in a lifeless-end job that you just are not able to depart when you consider that you have no money set aside, you've gotten put a brake on your potential. You might be locked in the situation and have no choice for moving ahead. That you would be able to become spinning your wheels and losing months and years of your time with the aid of the actual fact that you have no choice but to be given something is being passed to you.


Your potential to expand your ROTI, or Return on Time Invested can enable you to achieve vastly more in a shorter period than a further man or a woman who's disorganized and sloppy.

When I am tired, I lack the energy to accomplish more and tend to cancel many appointments.  I start my day with daily exercise and quiet devotion using a journal.  I also cut down entertainment during the weekdays and try to eat healthily and join Toastmasters to develop my confidence in speaking.
Establishing excellent work habits requires that you simply think earlier than performing. You are making a record and set priorities on the list before you start. Good work habits require that you bear in mind the possible penalties, constructive or bad of what you are doing.

A positive mental perspective is very so much a resolution that you're making. Bear in mind, you turn out to be what you do. If you happen to have interaction in the same routine that positive, positive, optimistic individuals interact in, you'll finally end up one in every one of them and reside your beautiful life viable.

Anyone can stay confident when things are going well. You can seem confident in every problem that you see optimistic and relocating ahead in lifestyles.

Individuals assess you on your external looks, by the way you talk, dress, show up. The truth is that you judge everyone that way too.  Taking time to present an attractive image to your man or woman, your apparel, your grooming, and your accessories can have an inordinate influence on the doorways that open for you and the humans who're willing to aid you begin relocating ahead in your lifestyles. 

Self-control, mixed with honesty will open countless doors for you.  Trust is the groundwork of all relationships. When folks TRUST you and feel you and are convinced that they may be able to believe you to keep your promise. 


Creativity is a different excellent method to start moving ahead in lifestyles and to broaden the velocity at which you gain your goals.

Imagination is anything that requires that you just continually seem for better, faster, less complicated, more cost-effective approaches to get the job completed. Do not forget, one excellent idea is all you must a fortune. Possibly the important of the success factors to accelerating your lifestyles is your personality.

Like software, add-ons can ease the use of software and even make you more productive. So what do you think you can add-on to this five advice? I am sure this list is not complete. As a counselor, consultant, and coach, I would like to hear from you on what helped you discover your right niche in the business of life.

Five Factors to Help you Upgrade Your Career, Your Commerce & Your Life by Tony Astro, PhD, GCDF, CMF, CMCS

Visit for more information on how Tony Astro can help you BRING YOUR BRAND TO LIFE. For more blogs visit

Thursday, April 25, 2019

10 Books I Listened to this Winter & Spring that You can Read this Summer to Enhance your Commerce, Culture & Career.

As some may already realize, when I am wearing my headphone and there is audio streaming on my car, chances are - I am listening to a podcast, Hoopla or Overdrive audiobooks. I thought I would share some of the books I have read/listened that is focused on career, commerce & culture - topics that I have been working on and passionate about in the past 2 decades that I would like to share and talk to you about (in my own thoughts) sometime later - face to face when you reach out to me at You can also check previous books & tech reviews on my blog at

Here are 10 of the books that I hope gives you some ideas to "bring your brand to life" - not in any particular order but my favorite is #1 & #10.

#1: Leadershift by John Maxwell ***

The best chiefs, managers, CEOs, supervisors - change and adjust. They "leadershift" – that is, they make administration changes that help both their own and their association, company, division or team's development. They center around coordinating as well as on interfacing with their groups, and they seek after momentary objectives and vocation moves, yet profound self-awareness, moral specialist and their actual reason for living. 

My Commercewise takeaway in two:

Document all that you learn. 
To keep up your self-awareness and learning, document whatever you learn. At whatever point Maxwell peruses an article of intrigue, he cuts it and records it, orchestrated by subject. The equivalent goes for citations. Do likewise, and you'll generally approach the information you've procured and effectively can fortify your learning. You could even compose a note about these post and document them at this moment.

#2: Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin ***

Increased outstanding burdens, requesting supervisors, progressively meddlesome tech and every minute of everyday business culture – no big surprise the present workforce is more worried than any other time in recent memory. In any case, it doesn't need to be that way. 

Careerwise Advice on Business and Career : 

1. Get training accomplice. 

2. Building another routine is diligent work, particularly in the beginning times. That is the reason it's a smart thought to discover a training accomplice who's set out similarly as you. Together, you can bolster each other on your adventure. Regardless of whether that is only a telephone call to check in from time to time or a rec center mate, having an accomplice who has your back is the most ideal approach to ensure you finish on your goals.

#3: The Philosophy for Life by Jules Evans *** 
Self-improvement is about something other than checking a couple of books on the subject. Antiquated Greek and Roman thinkers show us it is a lifestyle – a day by day practice – which includes posing the troublesome inquiries of how we should live, both as people and as general public. 

Cultural Advice on Business and Career Tips: 

1. Keep your very own diary conduct, refreshing it by reading it each night. 

2. When you wake up the following day, you'll have the capacity to survey your shortcomings and achievements and attempt to improve further on them throughout the day. This won't just keep you on a way of persistent improvement, yet you may likewise begin to see themes in your conduct and discover main drivers for them.

3. When you wake up the next day, you’ll be able to review your faults and accomplishments and try to improve further on them during the day. This will not only keep you on a path of continuous improvement, but you may also start to notice patterns in your behavior and find root causes for them.

#4: Be Fearless by Jean Case ***  
The world needs progressively dauntless individuals out there, willing to pull out all the stops in attempting to support the planet and put a conclusion to craving and neediness for the last time. It takes courage for transformative things to happen because each earth-shattering thought requires the eagerness to go out on a limb, gain from disappointments and to venture out of safe places. 

CareerWise Advice on Business and Career: 

  1. Grasp and put resources into the assorted variety. 
  2. Another approach to ensure you get outside your air pocket is to grasp decent variety. A 2018 McKinsey report demonstrated that organizations lacking sexual orientation and decent ethnic variety failed to meet expectations contrasted with progressively differing organizations. Also, female-drove organizations are appeared to perform essentially superior to male-drove organizations. However, notwithstanding these great numbers, just 10 percent of venture capital goes to organizations established by ladies or minorities.

#5: Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke *** 
You probably won't be a casino player, yet that is no reason not to think in wagers. Regardless of whether there's cash included, bets or wagers make us investigate how much assurance there is in the things we accept, consider options and remain open to altering our perspectives for exactness. So let go of "right" and "wrong" when it's choice time, acknowledge that things are in every case to some degree dubious and influence the best wagered you to can. 

Careerwise Advice on Business and Career: 

  1. Attempt mental differentiating to roll out real positive improvements. 
  2. On the off chance that you need to achieve an objective, the positive perception will just get you up until this point. Truth be told, research demonstrated that psychological contrasting or mental differentiating – picturing the snags that are keeping you from your objective – will be unmistakably increasingly successful. So if you need to shed a couple of pounds, don't imagine yourself looking great on the shoreline. Rather, consider every one of the sweets to which you'll battle to state "no" – that is substantially more liable to persuade you to do the diligent work.

#6: The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin *** 
Art is about imagination, and that is something you can apply to any field. Regardless of whether you're a hopeful painter or opening another online boutique, thinking innovatively is the thing that gives you an edge in the modern quick paced computerized economy. PCs can do the dull work, yet there's a lot of room for autonomous scholars and makers brimming with extraordinary thoughts and the enthusiasm to seek after them. So quit agonizing over prompt achievement or the endorsement of others and get yourself out there! 

CommerceWise Advice on Business and Career:

  1. Keep in mind that workmanship (your job or even your passion) isn't continually going to be entertaining. 
  2. Whatever it is that you need to make, there'll be snapshots of battle, challenge and even torment. Be that as it may, don't lose hope. These are the obstacles each craftsman faces on his way. Grasp them and spotlight on how much enduring you can endure. The essential inquiry you'll have to pose to yourself is if the last item is extremely justified, despite all the trouble (it typically is). That will enable you to acknowledge torment as a certain piece of your life as a craftsman. When you've disguised that reality, you're significantly less prone to abandon your undertaking.

#7: Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman *** 

Social knowledge or you may also call it cultural or social intelligence is the capacity to get oneself and other individuals is essential for us all. That is not because it makes us increasingly well known, but since it enables us to make profound passionate and strong bonds with others. What's more, these bonds can enable us to lead increasingly healthy and satisfying lives. 

Cultural Advice on Business and Career: 

Try not to be reluctant to state or show you are heartbroken. 
We're regularly enticed to go about just as not a lot occurred after we've committed an error or accomplished something incorrectly. There's a natural inclination to limit the seriousness of wreckage ups with the expectation that others will likewise neglect them. In any case, putting our hands up and conceding that we have it wrong is substantially more powerful. Take it from therapist G. R. Semin. In 1982 he ran an examination in which individuals thumped over store shows. The individuals who pointed out their misstep and demonstrated regret were dealt with significantly more indulgently than the individuals who got over it and just left.

#8: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin *** 
Great pioneers are not just made by their conditions or the individual qualities with which they were conceived, nor are they lifted into their positions and achievements by some kind of superhuman capacity to lead. They structure themselves by taking their uncertain qualities, combining them with desire and a feeling of more prominent reason, increasing them with the qualities of their colleagues and refining them as they climate their very own emergencies. Thusly, they are then ready to meet people's high expectations when defied by bigger emergencies on the world stage. 

CommerceWise Advice on Culture, Commerce & Career:

Draw authority exercises from your very own emergencies. 
Like the transformational presidents, everybody has had their own "dull evenings of the spirit," which they've defeated somehow. Have a go at asking yourself, how could you defeat yours – and how might you apply what you did then to the expert emergencies you may confront now or later on?

#9: The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach ***
If you need to quit agonizing over cash and create yourself a brand or company and get the goal of abundance financially that you had always wanted, you ought to complete one essential thing: pay yourself first! Also, regardless of whether it's making a retirement plan, putting aside some crisis cash or satisfying your obligation, the most significant thing is to do it naturally. Along these lines you can profit by self-multiplying dividends, and, as the years pass by, you can sit back, unwind and aggregate millions. 

CommerceWise Advice on Business and Career:

Check your present funds 
Pause for a minute to extensively survey your present individual accounts. What resources do you possess? What obligations do you have? What amount are your month to month expenses and salary streams? Getting an exact perspective on your present circumstance is the initial phase in understanding and improving your funds.

#10: This is Marketing by Seth Godin *** 

With the soaring of the smartphones, online websites & social media and the fall of the solid broad communications, advertisers can never again depend on promoting alone. Rather, they should adopt a strategy to showcasing that recognizes individuals' basic needs and wants, builds up an item that can satisfy them and utilizations esteem situating and narrating to develop a center gathering of fans who are responsive to attempting new things and can furnish the item with it littlest reasonable market. To goad these fans without hesitation and urge them to spread the message about the item, advertisers ought to make and gentle pressure by testing their statuses and utilizing system impacts to build a scaffold between the fans and the overall population. 

Careerwise: Advice on Business and Career Discussions:

Utilize an XY diagram to picture your item's esteem position. 
Take the item you're attempting to market and pick two contradicting sets of qualities. At that point, draw an XY diagram and keep in touch with one set of conditions on the contrary finishes of the X pivot and the other pair on the opposite finishes of the Y hub. For instance, on the X hub, you may state "moderateness" toward one side and "restrictiveness" on the other. At that point, on the contrary finishes of the Y hub, you may express "supportability" and "lavishness." Now you can see the different regions you can stake out between the boundaries of these four qualities that your clients may embrace. Take a stab at picking distinctive areas on the chart and asking yourself, "How might I position the item here? What might influence the item to address this blend of qualities?" This will enable you to locate a one of a kind situating for your item.

So based on these reviews, have you picked one that you are interested in reading this summer? Do you have a recommendation for easy-read books that really dig deep on culture, commerce & career that you would like to share? I suggest you use your city library to get free access on most of these books via their audiobook apps like Libby (Virginia Beach uses this), Overdrive (my Navy/DoD library uses this) or Hoopla (for video streaming as well) and if you want to pay to use your Prime account for Audible (which you don't need to pay $15 a month if you can get these via your library account.

Enjoy your summer and remember a good book keeps you thinking not to brainwash you. I realized after 20+ years of formal education, reading (or listening lately - mostly) so many books on personal development, cultural intelligence, and business/marketing books - it is time to UNLEARN all these and make our own now that we have everyone's ideas & SHARE THEM our own through coaching, counseling and consulting. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Counseling, Politics and World Events by Dr. Tony Astro

Numerous environmental, political, economic, and societal events have occurred worldwide over the past several years that have had an impact on the functioning of society and as a result, in the counseling profession. Some of the recent events have some effect on our counseling profession and I would like to identify the contemporary counseling issues that affected me and may have evolved as a result. Economic turmoil is real, and it feeds fear among us and so is the entire country/citizens are apprehensive (Wharton, 2009). 

This will increase anxiety among clients who lost their career and hence need for more creative counseling. The demand for career counselors and therapist may increase, but their ability to repay the counselors (with client fee) and /or insurance requiring premium may also increase. The strength of counselors to accommodate and effectively counsel the demanding nature of counseling may negatively affect both clients and counselors. 

During the distressing events like wars, calamities, unemployment, political failure (like the previous elections with other candidates), a counselor Echterling recapped that his objective as a counselor was not to liberate vulnerable clients but rather to help people create their own survival stories, make sense of their skills or experience manage their emotions and rebuild shattered lives (Shallcross, 2011). 

The past and current election campaign and eventually who will be winning this election affects the counseling world in terms of accommodation of our clients through Medicare and Social Security issues of both candidates platform. In my case, as a career counselor and business consultant – the tax, student loan forgiveness (currently trending as President Trump may limit or scrap such programs) and diversity or racial unity in which I have been involved understanding the importance of Cultural Intelligence not just in the workplace but in all aspects of life. Legislative changes must take place on health plans as well as educational laws that deal with our licensed professional counselors. The American Counselors Association seeks help in contacting our Congressman and vote for the right candidate in the upcoming election. Despite being widely recognized by private sector health plans, licensed professional counselors have yet to be recognized under Medicare. 

When a client turns 65, counselors lose both their business and their income, and too many career counselors and therapist are denied contract, school, and hospital jobs because they cannot bill Medicare or have no budget for guidance counselor or career service provider. This issue affects the recognition of and respect for the counseling professions throughout the country--from rehabilitation and school counseling to professional counseling. (American Counselors Association) 

As an entrepreneur or independent career service provider, it is tough - with our economy and politics wrapped around the mind and budget of our clients, it is difficult to implement career guidance or counseling as our paid livelihood in this hard economic and vastly divided America. 


American Counselors Association website. Retrieve on October 19, 2008, at 

Shallcross, L. (2011) “A Day That Changed a Nation and a Profession.” Counseling Today, 27 Dec. 2012, 

Wharton University (2009). Hope, Greed and Fear: The Psychology behind the Financial Crisis. Retrieved from

Friday, December 7, 2018

GO ASK: Caring for Mom

We are all going to be cared for whether you like it or not – when we reach a certain age. But who? I did not grow up with my mom and in 1995 she moved in with me in California while I was in the Navy. But then I got married so I need to find her a home in 2005, alone and a year later I moved 3,000 miles to Connecticut. It affected her health, dementia and other age-related issues.

Two winters ago, she moved back with me with her diapers and walker like a year-old baby at 88. I remember when I changed my son’s diaper 14 years ago – it was that grim but she’s my mom. For months, we contacted various agencies to find her a home, but we thought she would be better off with us health-wise. My goal was to have my teenager experience having a grandparent. Both his grandfathers died 3 years ago, and her mom’s mother is in the Philippines.

At 630, I wake up mom to get ready and she always greets me in the morning “pengeng cape” or can I have a coffee? In her first few months with us, I dress her up, comb her hair but lately, I have trained her to do it herself and she managed every day – including changing her own disposable pants. For almost six months now, she has been going to a daycare center from 730-330 where she is taken care of. Fortunately, my son is home by 3pm so every day, my son picks up his grandma from the bus and assists her walking all the way to the second floor. It’s a great blessing.

Here are 5 moral & practical things I have learned as I care for my mom from whom I was separated for half of my life – GO ASK: Get, Offer, Accept, Seek, Keep:

1. Get a Power of Attorney. At her age and condition, she needs full support in making big decisions. It is like taking care of a “baby” – a cycle of life.

2. Offer her challenge & responsibility or keep her busy. My wife noticed that she is still able in many ways including picking up her own food from the kitchen and cleaning up the table after dinner. I have also given her the task of sweeping the hallways daily and folding and sorting our laundry.

3. Accept the challenge; it is not that hard. No matter how difficult a task is for someone (diaper, walking), caring for mom comes very naturally. Just don’t overburden yourself and have a good sense of humor. I always tease her and it makes her smile by asking this question because she is bilingual: “Ma, do you like bread, pan or tinapay” and she will say “bread” - bread is also tinapay in Tagalog or pan is Spanish. And I keep asking, “why not bread or pan?” them even though she has no choice – just to get a conversation going - by teasing her & make her say "that is the same".

4. Seek Help. Contact the local Human Services department of your city or non-profit organization that assists the aging community. Provide them the information or assistance you need and build a relationship.

5. Keep her five senses active. I always turn on music she liked when she was young (Elvis Presley and worship songs) and let her dance. I put movies and tv shows like “I Love Lucy” while she also cuts magazines or coupons or something menial like folding plastic bags for her diaper trash.

Lately, I realized that this words from Bernice Johnson Reagon fit right in “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” Besides affecting my time in our business & focus on my career, many of my friends know that with my wife and son together have many adventures and trips but that dynamic has changed since mom moved in, we no longer go on weekends for long travel or short trips, I just thought “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” Said G. K. Chesterton. This is our adventure - a family adventure, besides, actor Michael J. Fox said "Family is not an important thing. It's everything." Go figure, GO ASK: taking care of mom.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Group Networking & Life Review for Transitioning: What Can Help?

Joel is a 52-year-old multi-cultural man who recently retired from an executive military position, non-commissioned officer in the US Navy, in a large command with 40 personnel under him. Although he says he looked forward to retirement, he never developed any interests or relationships outside of work or military. He complains of feeling "tired" and "bored." His wife, Joan (not her real name), a small business owner and homemaker. Now that Joel is home during the day, he tries to show her ways to be more efficient in doing the household chores. Joan describes frustration with his "supervision," and the difficulty of finding time for herself or her friends when Joel is underfoot all day.  Now Joel comes up to me for career advice, how would I approach it? 

First, I would state to the client, the two benefits of receiving an individual career counseling or personal branding and more importantly a group-talk between Joel and Joan.  Then I would do the following steps:

  • Identify.  I would try to identify the themes with which I hypothesize Joel is struggling.
  • Networking.  I would also ask, “what would be the benefits of Joel attending networking or transitioning focus-group focusing on retired men?”  “How would intergenerational couple's group benefit Joel and Joan?”

  • As a counselor, I cannot imply or discuss the medical condition of the client, but upon disclosure from Joel, I can state that he is suffering from a mild depression brought about by a change of pace from previous 9-5 drudgery (such as multi-tasking of supervising his personnel, military duties, being deployed, etc.) of being a navy ship executive “supervising” his personnel to a slow, less pressure lifestyle. Not all, but various people (civilian or military) react the same way to retirement; some will be looking forward to a chance to relax or relief from the stress of working in a large company or military facility, particularly those who don’t have the many perks and excitements of an executive or military officer.

    For men, retirement is a concern that can affect the very essence of their lives. Many men derive an almost single-minded identity from their work. Many develop no diversified interests outside their employment and are caught up in a narrow definition of who they are and what they are worth as people. Work and life become so interconnected that the loss of a job can eliminate the reason for living (Butler, Lewis, & Sunderland, 1998).

    What Joel needs is to refocus out of his previous lifestyle to his new life and to “seize the day” of being at home enjoying other activities besides “supervising” as the executive boss of Joan so Joan can find more time for herself. Counselors need to help Joel reevaluate his transition through individual mentorship or counseling (and at the extreme maybe recommend for psychotherapy or faith-based group meetings such as Celebrate Recovery). Joel and Joan must first admit to the counselor of having some type of career transitioning concern and be able to move forward in their goals and aspirations. The counselor will conduct individual counseling for the first session through a narrative or life review.

    It is important to consider whether individual difficulties in the cultural transition to specific organizations are a personal failure or an indication of organizational problems.Ryba, T. V., Stambulova, N. B., & Ronkainen, N. J. (2016). The Work of Cultural Transition: An Emerging Model. Front. Psychol., 7. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00427

    Davis and Degges-White (2008) use the term life reviews as a naturally occurring process in which individuals share their stories through written or oral means. Individuals depend on language to make sense of mental images and on constructed symbols to communicate ideas and intents to others.

    A narrative or life review counseling would be a very appropriate technique to know and bring out questions and answers individually like:
    1. What are the things you miss from being an executive? (Question for Joel)
    2. Are there any activities you have done in the past 5 years that helped you not to feel depressed? (Joel)
    3. When and how did you feel that Joel didn’t understand you or supervised you like one of his employees? (Joan)
    4. Have you tried doing something fun together since you (Joel) retired? (Both)

    A counselor would also propose having Joel and Joan try to write down their daily events through a journal for their own exclusive readings. Afterwards, they should individually review anything they write and observe within themselves and at some point, return to the counselor for a follow-up.
    Davis and Degges-White in their studies: Comparing participants' earlier writings with their later writings and asking participants whether they thought the life review activities improved their ability to view themselves gave a more comprehensive perception.

    Overall, the participants viewed the activity as one that provided personal analysis rather than a pure description of past activities or relationships. They generally believed, they did deepen their understanding of themselves, and they felt that the process of looking back did provide opportunity to find connections (i.e., self-actualization). Their comments revealed that the experience encouraged them to undertake a personal search for meaning (Davis and Degges-White, 2008).

    Joel and Joan are going through a transition and together, they should be counseled as a couple and also within a group of adults who are going through similar circumstances.

    Adults continuously experience transitions. Adults’ reactions to transitions depend on the type of transition, the context in which it occurs, and its impact on their lives. A transition has no end; rather, a transition is a process over time that includes phases of assimilation and continuous appraisal as people move in, though, and out of it (Goodman 2006).

    Transition counseling through individual and group is a process that they both must go through formal counseling. Also, I would advise Joel and Joan to have activities together and join a group like the Association of Retired Americans (AARP), local church community groups, networking of like-minded people (such as business networking or toastmasters), cultural meetup (such as FusionMeet) and other local community group of baby boomers or couples. This will keep Joel’s mind out of his previous lifestyle and transitioning both towards being a normal couple and they may see that others are in similar situations in a group including inter-generational.

    In groups, clients have opportunities to hear about a variety of sources of support and coping strategies used by others. When we ask adults, what has helped them survive, we most often hear about a sense of humour, support from special people, and faith (Goodman 2006).

    By the way, Joel is me.


    Butler, R. N., Lewis, M. I., & Sunderland, T. (1998). Aging and mental health: Positive psychosocial and biomedical approaches (5th ed.). Austin: Pro-Ed, Inc.

    Davis, N. and Degges-White, S. (2008, Fall2008). Catalysts for Developing Productive Life Reviews: A Multiple Case Study. Adultspan: Theory Research & Practice, 7(2), 69-79. Retrieved November 24, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

    Goodman, Jane. Counseling Adults in Transition : Linking Practice with Theory (3rd Edition). New York, NY, USA: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated, 2006. p 53 and p 250