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3 Women on the Power of Rebranding Themselves

August 09, 2019 | Filed in: Your Career

Wherever your desire to reinvent your brand comes from—maybe you want to become a better version of yourself, create an image that’s more authentic to who you really are, or pivot in your career—doing so can feel like an impossible feat. After all, people already know you as one thing. But don’t give up! Keep reading for the stories of three women who successfully changed their personal brand and have never been happier.

Marie Incontrera

Why I Changed: “I was a big band leader in New York, but they don’t teach you in music school that you can be really successful and still be broke. I was playing Carnegie Hall and coming home to eat ramen noodles in an apartment that only fit a bed and a piano. After I turned 30, I decided to find a better day job and became a virtual assistant (it’s like a personal assistant but done remotely). I noticed that the people I worked for kept asking me to help them do three things: get better at social media, produce podcasts, and secure TEDx talks. I soon changed my business from being an assistant to be a consultant on those three areas, and I now own my own consulting company with five employees.”

How I Changed:

Whitney Hake

Why I Changed: “I’m in commercial real estate, which is still a pretty male-dominated industry. Up until 18 months ago, I was working as part of a team with two senior men. It was hard for me to get my name out in front of clients—I ended up working behind the scenes a lot and felt like I was trying to fit someone else’s mold for myself. I kept saying that I wanted to do more business development, but they weren’t extremely receptive to that. I realized who I was didn’t feel authentic at all, so I decided I wanted to build a team myself. I switched companies and now lead a team with a portfolio of almost two million square feet listed.”

How I Changed:

Ayse Birsel

Why I Changed: “I’m an industrial designer—I’ve designed everything from office systems to potato peelers—but about 10 years ago when the economy crashed, many of our clients took the work in-house. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I was able to fine-tune my design process and really define it. I call it deconstruction/reconstruction, where I take an object completely apart, then put it back together better. I realized the same process could be used in life, too. A friend asked me to run a workshop about that idea, and I found myself doing more and more of them. I ultimately wrote a book called Design the Life You Love and I now travel around speaking about this concept of transforming your life and career through the design process. I’m still an industrial designer, but now I’m also a thought leader.”

How I Changed:


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Alice Oglethorpe is a former magazine editor who is now a freelance writer based in Chicago. She writes about health and happiness in life and at work. Read more of Alice's posts.


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