Why is it so important to establish yourself as a brand and work on your own self-imaging? In this episode, APU business professor Dr. Kandis Wyatt talks to Regina Young, a model and CEO about the value of self-branding. Learn about establishing your own power and harnessing your motivation in order to convey who you are and connect strongly with others.
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Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Welcome to the podcast. I’m your host, Kandis Boyd Wyatt. The goal of this podcast is to highlight our local heroes in our community, who are champions of important issues affecting us on a national and international scale. So today we’re going to add to that very important discussion happening globally, regarding the importance of finding your unstoppable power. Creating, executing, and leading a clear vision as you pursue your dreams.
So today I am so excited that our guest is Regina Young. She is a renowned speaker, and she’s a self-branding image consultant, as well as a champion of conversations focusing on tapping into one’s true potential. So Regina is an image consultant, and she believes in standing in your own power and how that can make you unstoppable.
She is the owner and the CEO of Model Perfect Woman, and she also hosts a weekly discussion to highlight victories, challenges, and breakthroughs in the lifestyles of mid-lifers. So Regina, welcome to the podcast and thank you for joining me.
Regina Young: Thank you Kandis for the invitation. I’m excited to be here.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: All right, well, let’s get started. There are so many critical conversations happening today that address issues of vision and seeking clarity, and trying to forge a path forward. So can you start by telling our listeners a little bit about yourself, and why this topic is so dear to your heart?
Start a Business degree at American Public University.
Regina Young: I love when people ask me this question, tell me about yourself. There’s like only two things that come to mind. For me, I’m a model and I’m a student. I’m not talking like a teacher’s pet or anything like that, but being a former Ford plus-size model and a self-branded image consultant. And really at the end of the day, I’m a continuous learner, and that’s the student. I have a passion, for fashion, and that is what’s bringing me here today. I’m also an Amazon number one bestselling author.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Well, I think both of those are totally awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. So can you talk about maybe some of the challenges you have encountered in this area when it comes to finding your own personal power, both personally and professionally?
Regina Young: Well, personally, there’s like a disconnect, in who is being inside. You know, my identity was being defined outside of me. Like, I’ll give you a perfect example: When I was getting divorced, I no longer was someone’s wife, partner, step-mom, and I lost my power. And, so I thought, because the world judges me by those labels, I’m no longer going to be accepted or something to that effect.
But, the one thing I was clear, was that I wanted to get me back. And I just could not have that be the way I’m defined. So I started taking a self-development leadership courses and I discover that labels don’t define me. I define me. I’m still a great partner. I’m still a great step-mom, and an ex-wife. But I define me.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: I really like how you said that, that it’s not what the external world tells you, but it’s what you tell yourself internally. And that helps create your personal power and also your brand.
Regina Young: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: So, how do you know when it’s time to brand yourself? For lack of a better term.
Regina Young: Well, you can instantly tell when you’re in a fashion rut is when you feel stuck. It’s that, “I can’t move forward. I have a closet full of clothes. Who I’m being is kind-ish bankrupt for me. Like it just does not work. That’s who I was, but I can’t seem to see myself moving forward. I’m not even clear what direction I’m taking.”
Sometimes people would say that’s a midlife, but that can happen when you’re coming out of college and you now have to enter the work market. Or you just had a child and you were a single person for years now, you’re a mom. That’s something you have to brand and define for yourself.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Okay. Well, great. So this podcast is being provided to over 82,000 students at American Public University and a large number of them are in the School of Business. So sometimes it’s hard to bridge that gap between what you learn in the classroom, and then how you apply it to real life. So how do you use some basic academic practices and theories to define branding and self-imaging?
Regina Young: Well, the theory of branding. You have to have like a clear vision, and value, and mission like for yourself. That’s the first thing. Second thing is branding is a unique combination of skills, experience, that would have you express yourself through your image. I would say people understand when you’re being real.
And one thing that they value is if you have your own sense of confidence and you know who you are, and then you’re projecting that out in the world and you can be seen. When you’re branded, it’s like a superpower. It has, you like stand out. It is important, that branding yourself when you’re coming out of, let’s say school, or out into a very competitive market out in the world, that you have the advantage by being the source of your power, basically.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Yeah, I like that. Thank you for that. I know the terms branding and self-imaging, at least for me, because I’m in my 40s, these are relatively new terms. So in a perfect world, what type of training would be needed to make the public more aware of the importance of establishing a brand?
Regina Young: I would say for sure, self-development leadership. That is a training that can be used in any aspect of your life from personally to professionally. Transformational training, that’s another thing. And even sales training because it is learning how to communicate internally listening to yourself, listening outside in the world, how you’re being received.
So that’s the kind of training that I use myself and I have been studying self-development leadership for 20 years. So, it is really getting in tune with yourself and connecting with others.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Thank you so much, Regina. Does every person possess the skills to create and execute personal power?
Regina Young: Absolutely. If you can choose to be the best you you can be, and you can discover and expand and grow, absolutely. You possess the ability to stand in your own power and create your brand, authentically.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: So, I’ve heard a lot of terms today. So we talked about self-imaging, branding, so can you help the listeners distinguish between these terms? And then I also heard you say: passion, power. So, what’s the difference between them and then how do they all interrelate?
Regina Young: Well, passion, we know drives and motivates you. You know, it’ll be a challenge to get things done if you don’t have passion. Passion is the driver, and that drives you, in other words, motivates you to move forward.
Now power is the belief in yourself and that’s where I say being unstoppable. That is a brand. And it looks a certain way on each person. So, it’s you who gets to say you’re enough. You define you. And branding is you going and being and showing the world who you are. And that is from the inside out.
I really think how that interacts with each other, is because people who are looking and they will choose to engage or not engage based on your level of, let’s say personal power. It’s like reaching over there to be open and receptive to them.
And if you know yourself, you’re never lost in the space of your own personal power. So you can be with someone who is very powerful and you don’t feel like your power is being diminished because you’re in a space of someone who has like, let’s say, more power than you.
So it’s important that you bring all that to the table. That’s why it’s so important to brand yourself and to come up with your own self-image. So it’s no pretense. There is just, this is you and, “Accept me, love me,” whatever that is. But the bottom line is, “You don’t get to define me.”
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Absolutely. I heard you say earlier that sometimes it’s hard to really just put into words what it truly means to brand yourself. So, as you mentioned, you are a successful author. You are a model. Could you possibly give our listeners an example of what you mean in terms of self-imaging and branding?
Regina Young: Yeah. Well, I’ll give you a perfect example and I’ll go with the professional side. When I had started working for a pharmaceutical company, they asked me, “Could you join this team?” And I must have intimidated the women in a certain way that it’s no fault of mine, I was just being myself.
And, I wasn’t looking for a sentence. I just wanted to be part of the team. I didn’t need approval or anyone to validate me. And if I did, then I would have been disappointed. But I stood in my personal power and was not looking for that outside validation. But through my self-development courses, I discovered I could agree and disagree with them and it does not affect my personal power.
Yeah, I focused on just working on common ground and by the end we created a working teammate and that was so important because that helped me realize that when I come to a situation and I am sure of myself and I have my own personal power, it’s not like I need agreement to be in that space. I am secure within myself and I know I’m putting my best foot forward. And most of all, I’m holding complete. There’s nothing missing.
So, people can be with you in that way. But it was really a powerful situation to find myself not being accepted and normally that would shut people down. It did not, I did not lose power in that process.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Okay. So what’s on the inside started resonating on the outside.
Regina Young: Yep. Absolutely. Clearly an inside out job.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: All right. Well, thank you for that, Regina. So as we start to close this conversation, what are some resources that you have used or provided in the past to help individuals become more aware of the importance of finding one’s personal power?
Regina Young: Well, some of the resources are definitely the book: “Overcoming Mediocrity, Unstoppable Women” the one you read, thank you. That is a great resource. And I’ll tell you why, because it’s other women who are standing in their own power and they are owning themselves. And the, let’s say, the dreams, the outcomes, the things they want for their selves in their lives and it’s really important. That’s one.
Two is like TeaTime Midlife Edition. I actually talk about midlife, the challenges and victories. The other thing is really taking self-development and leadership courses. That is one really important way. And is so many different places you can go as well as my company as well, Model Perfect Woman is a perfect place for one-on-one coaching on self-branding and leadership.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Absolutely, absolutely. And you did mention the book, “Overcoming Mediocrity: Unstoppable Women” and I have to admit it was a page turner. But it was a page turner because I think I saw a little bit of myself in every story, so to speak.
And like you said, I think the thing that connected all the stories is that at some point in time, each person had a light bulb moment where it was, “Wait a minute, I can do this. I know I’m capable. I know I am,” for lack of a better term, “unstoppable.” And so it just shows that every person, at some point they pivoted or they started going toward the direction that they wanted to go, and it just showed that you are the champion of your future. You forge that path.
Regina Young: Absolutely.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: And like you said, you can be unstoppable. So, I think your message today on branding and self-imaging, it’s just awesome. Not only just for women, but I think for everyone in general, just to understand that you have that inner strength and power to forge your own future.
Regina Young: Absolutely. And it’s up to you to validate you. It’s really important to bring that meshes home and it has to be an inside out job, not outside in job.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: Wow. That is a great point. And I think we’re going to leave it at that for today. So thank Regina for sharing your expertise and your perspective on this issue. And thanks again for joining me for today’s podcast.
Regina Young: Thank you.
Dr. Kandis Wyatt: And thank you also to our listeners for joining us. Until our next podcast, be well and be safe.