L.A.’s Hottest New Real-Estate Amenity: Walkability

In Los Angeles, a city known for its cars, high-end buyers increasingly want homes within steps of bars, restaurants and sports venues

Kerry Moy, a portfolio manager with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Los Angeles, lives on the 41st floor of the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live, near the Staples Center entertainment complex.

From his luxury condominium in Beverly Hills, Calif., David Henry Simon can walk to his favorite restaurants. In the morning, he steps out for coffee or strolls to a nearby grocery store, where the cashier knows him by name.

Located at the Montage Beverly Hills, a five-star hotel, the three-bedroom, 2,600-square-foot home Mr. Simon bought last summer is steps away from the upscale stores and eateries around Rodeo Drive.

“There are days when I don’t touch the car,” says Mr. Simon, a lawyer, real-estate investor and native New Yorker. “It’s just like when I was growing up in Manhattan.”

Meet the hottest new amenity in Los Angeles luxury real estate: walkability. In the city known for its car culture, more high-end home buyers want a neighborhood feeling and the ability to walk to urban attractions.

The shift comes as locals are growing weary of worsening traffic and high-priced parking, and as community-oriented millennials are gaining market power. Fueling the trend is a slew of new luxury condo buildings where, developers are hoping, buyers will pay a premium for proximity to urban life. While for most Angelenos, luxury living still means a home in the hills with a private pool and garage, some now share walls in exchange for the ability to run out for a bagel in the morning, a beer at night or a chat with neighbors at the dog park.

“Things are changing in L.A.,” says Cory Weiss, president of western region development  for real estate marketing. “People are flocking to new developments in areas where they can walk.”

The firm is marketing six projects in the city that involve “vertical living,” as real-estate professionals call condo buildings, in walkable areas, several of them around Sunset Boulevard. At one, the Residences at the West Hollywood Edition, 20 condos sit atop a new boutique hotel designed by Ian Schrager and start at $5 million.

Los Angeles’ luxury condos can cost as much as a Malibu mansion. Beverly Hills’ Mr. Simon wouldn’t say how much he paid for his home at the Montage, which has high ceilings and a view of the Hollywood sign. But a similarly sized, three-bedroom unit in the building is currently listed for $9.5 million. Two units recently sold for roughly $4,000 a square foot, according to Soren Olsen, director of sales of the residential brokerage at Redwood City, Calif.-based Ohana Real Estate Investors, which owns the Montage Beverly Hills. Mr. Simon, who is single and in his 70s, also owns an oceanfront house in Manhattan Beach but added the condo partly because he “missed just walking places.”

Foot-friendly city life is drawing buyers to downtown Los Angeles, which has become a more vibrant urban center in recent years. Kerry Moy, a portfolio manager with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Los Angeles, bought a one-bedroom condominium in the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live, near the Staples Center entertainment complex, for $1 million in 2012. He initially planned to use the apartment, with contemporary finishes and floor-to-ceiling windows, as a second home but spent so much time there that last year, he added a two-bedroom unit next door for $1.7 million.

While he still drives—impossible to avoid altogether in Los Angeles, he says—Mr. Moy, 59 and newly single, enjoys grabbing an iced vanilla latte at the coffee shop in his building on his way to his office, also downtown. He walks to concerts, basketball and hockey games at the Staples Center, or to nearby restaurants such as Triple 888, a Chinese bar and grill he has invested in. Mr. Moy, who is originally from Chicago but has lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years, feels the property will appreciate alongside the ongoing revitalization of downtown. “An area in transition is an area of opportunity,” he says.

Real-estate website Redfin, which calculates “walk scores” to grade neighborhoods’ walkability on a scale of 1 to 100, says that an increase to 80 from 60 adds an average of $129,000 to a property’s value in Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles, the neighborhood ranked most walkable, boasted a median home price per square foot of $679, well over the citywide median of $449, in March, the latest data available. MacArthur Park, a nearby district that scores second-highest for walkability, was also higher than the median at $471.

Urban-style condominium living is growing in popularity across all price points. In August, comedian Richie Doyle paid $950,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in a Mediterranean-style complex in West Hollywood, an area popular with young buyers for its culture and nightlife.

Mr. Doyle, 25, can see celebrities arriving for events at Delilah, a lounge and restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Doyle and his girlfriend walked to dinner at Norah five blocks from their house. At night, the couple says, the area feels like New York’s Greenwich Village.

“If you want to be in the epicenter of L.A. culture and what makes L.A. great, you can’t enjoy it if you’re sitting in the car for 45 minutes,” he says.

The city of Los Angeles is encouraging car-free living. Along with extending public transportation, it is making streets more pedestrian-friendly, with wider sidewalks, benches and trees. It is also encouraging construction near transit hubs.

Eric Yang and Lauren Kawabata drive to work but can walk to most other places. Married in December 2016, the couple went to Japan for a honeymoon before starting to house-hunt in the spring of last year. So when they saw a newly built three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot condo around Memorial Day in Silver Lake—complete with a roof deck and view of lush palm trees—they bought it for just over $1 million by Labor Day. On its website, Newport Beach, Calif.-based developer Planet Home Living touts the homes’ location “in one of L.A.’s hottest neighborhoods near shopping, dining, markets and more.”

On Saturday mornings, Mr. Yang, an accountant at EY, and Ms. Kawabata, a pharmacist, walk to the farmers market and to get his tea and her latte at the Blue Bottle Coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard, a 15-minute walk from their contemporary condo complex, Covo Silver Lake. If Mr. Yang, 30, and Ms. Kawabata, 29, get home from work early, they stroll to area restaurants such as Silverlake Ramen or Wood, a pizzeria featuring wood-oven baked pizza. Mr. Yang says the cost of parking in Los Angeles makes the couple want to drive less. Above all, it was the car-free trip to Japan that sparked their interest in a convenient, walkable neighborhood.

“We’re both natives of L.A.,” Mr. Yang says. “But it took a trip to Tokyo for us to get of our cars.”

Credit: Cecilie Rohwedder, The Wall Street Journal

5 Tips for Investing in Income Property

Plenty of challenges accompany the current real estate market and those who invest in real estate without proper preparation might suffer the negative consequences. If you’re interested in beginning a rental property business, here are a few of the most basic aspects to remember.

1. Get Finances in Order

This one seems obvious, but it can be more complicated than you think. Investing in an income property isn’t like purchasing a house; it can be much more risky. With an income property, you never know exactly how your tenants will treat the property and how much work will need to be completed throughout the year. For that reason, it’s extremely important to have financial stability and a low-interest loan.

To begin with, ensure that you have enough money to handle the ups and downs of a rental property. The first rule of financial stability in the rental business is ensuring you can afford the payments on a house without the rental income. You may not always have renters, and when you don’t, the bank still expects you to make payments on the house.

You will also need a healthy sum set aside for emergencies. When the pipes burst and cause thousands in property damage the insurance won’t cover, you need to be prepared to take care of the cost.

Finally, remember that when you run a rental property business, you are not running a home; you’re running a business. Therefore, it’s wise to have an account separate from your business dealings for your spending related to the care of your income property.

2. Understand the Market

The real estate market is one of the most malleable markets in the country. It can change at the drop of the hat, and it’s difficult to predict when it will go up again, unless you’re thoroughly immersed in the market.

If you truly understand the real estate market, you know when it’s smart to purchase a property and when it’s best to wait for a better price. You can also gauge the proper times to raise rent prices. Overall, you’ll receive better returns if you can predict the market.

3. Begin with the Right Property

Almost every prospect requires that you start out low and work your way up, and real estate investments are no different. It’s important to begin with a solid property before finding a challenge.

A feature article published on Fox News gives several suggestions for the type of rental properties beginners should consider purchasing. Some of their tips include:

“Buy a property that you love.””Skip the prize properties.””Buy as a personal residence and change to rental.””Buy properties in good shape.”Each of these options are excellent suggestions for those joining the business. Once you’ve mastered the simpler income properties, you can move on to another challenge, such as flipping a dilapidated property.

4. Plan for the Care of the Property

Managing a property isn’t easy. If you choose to be the landlord, it’s your responsibility to collect rent, keep the books, file taxes, screen tenants, handle maintenance, work out the insurance plans, write the contracts, and more. Many feel that they’re up to the challenge and try to handle the work themselves.

For others, the task is daunting to say the least. If that sounds like you, you’ll probably want to look into hiring a property management company. A property management company can cost anywhere from 5-10 percent of a month’s rent, which decreases your return, but can be well worth the investment.

This article from Green Residential of Houston points out there are many benefits of hiring a property manager including local knowledge, low turnover, legal knowledge, marketing expertise, and expertly handled maintenance. It’s not the right option for everyone, but many have found the time and money saving benefits to be worth the monthly fee.

5. Screen Tenants Properly

Finally, once you’ve take care of the basics, it’s time to rent out the property. However, it’s not wise to use a first come first serve basis with tenants. You need to be sure that they’ll pay the rent every month and treat your property respectfully. This requires a certain screening process, which will allow you to find great tenants.

Furthermore, be prepared for the tenant to screen you, in a sense. The best tenants will be prepared with the right questions. An article previously published on Inc.com outlines some of the most popular questions tenants ask before signing a lease. Make sure you have the answers ready, and take these questions as a sign of their dedication to the property.

Getting a handle on the income property business will likely be more challenging than you think, but once you’ve mastered these basics, you’ll be ready for the next important business step: making a profit.

Getting Ready to Buy a Home | Here are 11 Ways To Raise Your Credit Score, Fast

A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling indicates that more people would be embarrassed to admit their credit scores (30%) than their weight (12%).

While crash diets don’t usually work and can be unhealthy, it is possible to change your credit score fairly quickly. But just as with weight loss, “quickly” is a relative term. Seeing any improvement could take 30 to 60 days, according to Liz Weston, personal finance columnist and author of Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s At Stake.

But nothing will change at all if you just sit there on the couch, eating Cheetos and charging items on the Home Shopping Network. So get moving!

The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. The three major credit reporting bureaus must give you one free copy per year, so plan to order one every four months

Then use one or more of the following tips to boost that three-digit number that has increasing power over our everyday lives.

  1. Dispute errors. Mistakes happen. You can dispute errorsonline through EquifaxExperianand TransUnion. After you’ve fixed any foul-ups, you might try to…
  2. Negotiate. You can’t deny that you stopped paying a credit card bill when you were unemployed last year. But you canask creditors to “erase” that debt or any account that went to collection. Write a letter offering to pay the remaining balance if the creditor will then report the account as “paid as agreed” or maybe even remove it altogether. (Note: Get the creditor to agree in writing beforeyou make the payment.)  You might also be able to ask for a “good-will adjustment.” Suppose you were a pretty good Visa V +0.81% customer until that period of unemployment, when you made a late payment or two – which now show up on your credit report. Write a letter to Visa emphasizing your previous good history and ask that the oopsies be removed from the credit report. It could happen. And as long as you’re reading the report, you need to…
  3. Check your limits. Make sure your reported credit limits are current vs. lower than they actually are. You don’t want it to look as though you’re maxing out the plastic each month. If the card issuer forgot to mention your newly bumped-up credit limit, request that this be done. 
  4. Get a credit card. Having one or two pieces of plastic will do good things to your score – ifyou don’t charge too much and if you pay your bills on time. In other words, be a responsible user of credit.  Can’t get a traditional card? Try for a secured credit card, taking care to choose one that reports to all three major credit bureaus. And if you can’t get a secured card, you might ask to… 
  5. Become an authorized user. This means convincing a relative or friend to be added to his or her existing credit card account. If you’ve had a checkered financial history, don’t be surprised if you hear the word “no” a lot. But you might luck out, especially if you’re a young person who has no history of poor credit use.  Offer to put an agreement in writing stating how much you can spend and how you will get your share of the bill to the cardholder. Then “do your part and use the card responsibly,” says Beverly Harzog, author of Confessions of a Credit Junkie. In other words, don’t buy more than you can afford and don’t leave your co-signer hanging when the bill is due. The point is to learn to use credit responsibly.
  6. Under-use your cards. Yes, we did just tell you to get credit by any means possible. But don’t whip out the plastic to pay for everything. The “credit utilization ratio” should be no more than 30% and ideally even less. Harzog says that a 10% credit utilization ratio will “maximize this part of your FICO score.”  For example, suppose your Mastercard has a $1,500 limit and you routinely charge a grand a month. It doesn’t matter if you pay it all off before it’s due. What matters is the credit bureaus think “Curtis is using two-thirds of his credit! What a spendthrift!” And if you’re a cash-free kind of guy? Then try to…
  7. Raise your credit limit. Ask your creditors to increase your limit, i.e. making that MasterCarda good for up to $3,000. Be careful with this one, though: It works only if you can trust yourself not to increase your spending habits accordingly. Otherwise you’ll be right back to using 66% of your credit each month and how will that look?
  8. Don’t close any cards. Canceling a credit card will cause your available credit to drop, which doesn’t look good to a bureau. One way to keep a card active is to use it for a recurring charge such as a utility bill. There’s room for that in your budget, right?
  9. Mix it up.Using a different kind of credit can make for a modest boost to your score. For example, you might take out a small personal loan from the credit union or buy a piece of furniture or appliance on installment (but only if you’re 100% sure you can and will meet the payment schedule). 
  10. Pay your bills on time. Seriously. Your payment history – including the ones you pay late or skip altogether – makes up a whopping 35% of your FICO score. If you’re absent-minded or merely overwhelmed (Hi there, parents of young children!), then for heaven’s sake, automate your payments. Even better than paying on time is to…
  11. Pay your bills twice a month. Using too much of your credit limit at any given moment doesn’t look good. Suppose your limit is $3,000 and a month’s worth of havoc (car repair, doctor bills, plane ticket for kid to get to college) means you’ve charged up $2,900. Sure, you plan to pay in full by the 18thof the month – but until then it looks like you’re maxing out yet another card.  Instead, make one payment just before the statement closing date and second one right before the due date. The first will likely reduce the balance that the credit bureaus see and the second makes sure you won’t pay interest or a late fee.

 Credit: Curtis Arnold BestPrepaidDebitCards.com.


12 Hottest Smart Home Gadgets from CES 2018

Local History: Venice Beach Discovers Oil

The Discovery of Oil

The discovery of oil at the beginning of the Depression, at a time when there was little disposable income for Venice’s amusement industry, brought the possibilities of untold wealth for the community. The Ohio Oil Company brought in a wildcat well on December 18, 1929 on county property just east of the Grand Canal at Avenue 35 (now Eastwind on the Marina Peninsula), only two blocks from the ocean. The well initially produced 3000 barrels a day of deep sand oil from a depth of 6199 feet. The company then asked for a zoning variance that would permit them to drill for oil within the city limits on the Venice Peninsula.

Oil wells were erected on both sides of the Venice canal south of Washington Street. – 1932

The town’s excitement soon turned to oil fever. Parcels of land and mineral rights rapidly traded hands. Residents talked of nothing but oil and the money that could be made by having an oil well in one’s backyard. On January 9, 1930 a crowd of 2000 met with city officials at the old City Hall and demanded re-zoning to allow oil drilling. Nearly 95% of the residents were in favor of the change. Ocean Park residents weren’t so lucky since Santa Monica was against drilling.

Los Angeles city planners lifted the ban on January 28th, but were cautious and only allowed drilling south of Leona (Washington Street). They set up rules allowing a maximum of two wells per city block, then issued 15 permits. Two weeks later the city rubber stamped the permits.

The Ohio Oil Company began drilling their second well in March and struck oil on May 3rd. It was a small well that only produced 1500 barrels per day. Owners of Star #1 were luckier a month later when their well at Avenue 35 and the Grand Canal came in at 5000 barrels per day. By June the payroll in the oil field was $75,000 per week.

By late September, when nearly 50 wells were in operation, the oil field was ranked 6th in the state. The fashionable and promising residential district, however, had turned into a noisy, smelly, ugly and dangerous area. Oil waste was constantly being dumped into the canal and lagoon, and an explosion only a month before destroyed one oil rig. The city closed the Florence Nightingale School on the peninsula for safety and transferred the children to other schools. Though they sought restrictions to protect the beach and tidelands from drilling, it was too late. The beach was already polluted.

Venice’s oil field was south of Washington Street on the Venice Peninsula. Pacific Electric street car tracks run along Trolley Way (now Pacific Avenue). – 1931

The oil field was so successful that by the end of the year, oil company owners planned to curtail production to stabilize prices. A local gas price war had lowered prices to eight cents per gallon and profits were down. The 148 operating wells were producing at a rate of 46,932 barrels and 2,000,000 cu ft of gas daily. As the Venice oil field grew to 340 oil wells, in 1931 it became the 4th most productive oil field in the state. Unfortunately the oil field was soon depleted by early 1932 and oil production dropped way down.

Aerial view looking south of Venice’s oil field on the Venice Peninsula. By the time the field peaked in 1932 there were 340 oil wells. – August 1930

By the end of 1942 they had pumped a total of 47,488,128 barrels, but by then production was only 688 barrels per day. The unsightly oil derricks on the Venice Peninsula were slowly removed as people began to settle the promising beach area again. In 1959 only 64 derricks remained and the last one was removed in 1962. There was still oil in the ground, and these remaining oil wells, mostly owned by Graner Oil Company of Signal Hill, still pumped like bobbing grasshoppers a few dozen barrels a week each. As property values rose in the 70’s, the land was sold or developed and the last of the oil wells were capped.

The Los Angeles city government, always in need of revenue, asked the oil companies in 1958 to bid on oil drilling leases under the Venice tidelands. They felt that it was possible to slant drill without polluting the Santa Monica Bay. By 1962 city planners approved slant drilling in the North Beach area. Residents would get $50 / month if oil were found.

The County Supervisors in 1963 backed an oil drilling project in the bay since they would get $25-50 million from the leases. Oil companies planned to build two offshore oil drilling islands. However the State Lands Commission in September 1964 unanimously denied the Los Angeles’ application to lease offshore lands for oil production.

That same year Standard Oil, who drilled a well and struck oil at Pacific and North Venice Blvd. (had a previous failure at Rose and 7th), wanted to launch a 600 acre oil drilling district. The zone would extend from Pacific to Washington Street to Crestmore Avenue to Lincoln, down Palms to San Juan to Electric to Washington. They claimed that they had a contract with 75% of the residents. While the city’s planning department granted conditional approval for six oil drilling districts totaling 1800 acres, the Venice Property Owner’s Association began to fight the proposal.

The only oil contracts that were signed were between the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Socony-Mobil for a beach site where the Venice amusement pier once stood. The oil company bid $1,650,000 for the rights for the off-shore oil that they slant drilled to reach. The city also received 1/6th of the gross and 50% of the net profits from the field. They struck oil in March 1966 and by June were pumping 2000 barrels per day from three wells. The unsightly oil derrick was camouflaged as a lighthouse and the area adjacent to the Venice Pavilion was landscaped. While much of the oil revenue was earmarked for the Venice area, the Venice Planning Commission was angry that it was not available for canal renovation. Instead it was diverted for a fishing pier project in San Pedro.

The beach oil field was finally depleted in the early 1990’s. While the oil company put up a deposit of $500,000 to restore the site for beach use, the city claims it would cost nearly $2,000,000 to clean up the site and remove pollutants. Since the money isn’t available, the concrete walled area remains a Venice Beach eyesore.


  • credit: 
  • The material is copyrighted © 1998 by Jeffrey Stanton.
  • Revised April 6, 1998

First Thing To Do Now If You Want To Buy A Home Soon

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, you’ve hopefully saved up more than you think you’ll need for a down payment. But stockpiling money isn’t the only thing that should be on your financial checklist before becoming a homeowner.

First and foremost, you should check in on your credit score, says Suze Orman, financial expert and former CNBC host. That’s because, the higher your credit score, the better rate you’ll be able to get on a mortgage. And that matters because even a fraction of a percent can dramatically alter the total you’ll pay over time.
“Your goal should be to get the best possible loan,” Orman writes in a recent blog post. “The better your financial profile is, the lower the interest rate you will be offered. Even a small interest rate difference can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a loan.”FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850 and signify your trustworthiness to financial institutions. While anything over 650 is considered decent, Orman recommends aiming for a score of 740 or higher before applying for a loan.”If your score is lower than 740, please focus on boosting it as much as possible over the next few months,” she writes. “Every 10 or 20 point increase can help your cause. A 700 score might earn you a better offer than a 680 score.”

That’s because a high score tells lenders that you have a proven track record of being responsible with your money. “It means we’re more likely to want to give you a loan, because we know you’re going to pay us back,” Brian Hoovler, branch operations assistant manager at Bay Equity Home Loans, tells NerdWallet.

If your score is less than ideal, Orman recommends taking three immediate actions to improve it: pay down credit card balances, pay down other debt, such as student loans, and stop buying anything that isn’t completely necessary.

You want to improve your credit utilization ratio, which is calculated by dividing your balance by your credit limit. Ideally, you’ll never hold a balance of more than 30 percent of your limit. So If you have a card limit of $10,000, you never want your balance to exceed $3,000.

As you get ready to consider putting in an offer on a home, you want to pay down as much debt as possible and refrain from splurging.

“The best advice is to charge as little as possible in the months leading up to a home purchase,” Orman writes.

You’ll also want to have excess cash on hand that can prove to lenders that you’ll be covered even in the event of an emergency. “Though there is no hard-and-fast rule, lenders want to know that if you get laid off, or sick, you can cover the mortgage for at least a few months,” Orman says.

Be sure to do your own research on how to boost your credit score to before buying a house and read up on the four things you should be doing if you’re aiming for a perfect credit score.

Credit:  Emmie Martin, CNBC

3 Tips for Building Personal Brand

The MPW Insiders Network is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for, “What’s the best way to manage your personal brand?” is written by Carine Clark, president and CEO of MaritzCX.

How many times have you heard, “I totally Googled you”? Last summer, I was on an African vacation with my family and 20 strangers. Two weeks into the trip, one of the retired guests said, “I totally Googled you, and you are different than I thought—you’re a big deal.” Even though I had tried to be in the background, humbly enjoying my time away from my regular life as a CEO of a fast-growing tech company in Utah, I couldn’t escape my brand—even in the middle of Africa.

I believe that your personal brand should be personal. It should be authentic, and it should be a rich representation of not only what you’ve done, but of who you are and what you care about. I’m a tech CEO, but I care about mentoring young people. Because I understand how important my brand is when it comes to the outcome of my career, I’m very deliberate about the projects and organizations I choose to support. Your brand will always be defined by the traits you display and the work you do in your personal life.


Do forensics on your brand
Before you can effectively manage your personal brand, you must first have a 360-degree understanding of how others perceive you. Reach out to friends or colleagues who will be honest with you and ask for their feedback. Listen to what they have to say. Some of what you hear may be on par with what you want your brand to be, and some may vary.

See also: Here’s What Would Happen if More Leaders Embraced Their Flaws

Early in my career, some of my colleagues told me people thought I was mean—some were even scared of me. I knew that I had high expectations and that I could be tough, but mean? I had spent countless hours helping mentor young people and giving back to the tech community, so why didn’t that stand out? I was typically very direct—almost curt—when speaking to people, and realized I needed to be careful. You need to give people context before asking them to do something that you need.

Simply put, if you want to be recognized as philanthropic, then be big-hearted and generous. If you want to be perceived as humble, then be humble. Your brand directly reflects what you’ve done, who you are, and what you care about. Early on, I realized what mattered to me and wanted my brand to reflect entrepreneurship, mentorship, and advocating for women in tech. When I understood how my brand was perceived, I was empowered to make it happen.

For instance, I would only take speaking engagements that supported my values. Even now, I only share social content that falls in line with my brand. Most importantly, I spend a lot of my professional and personal time putting my money where my mouth is.

It’s no secret that the only constant in life is change. As you learn and grow, so will your brand. Let it. Just be cognizant of what the changes are. Most importantly, realize that rough patches and hard times—whether they be layoffs, health crises, or family emergencies—don’t have to define your brand, but they can refine it.

5 Ways to Build a Strong Personal Brand
Former President of Entertainment for Telemundo Nely Galán explains.
At one point in my life, I had to accept that cancer would, to some extent, be a part of my brand. While I didn’t want to be defined by it, I had to recognize that people knew about it and it was out there, so I embraced it and braided it into my brand. My brand message was, “Yes, I’ve dealt with hard stuff, but everybody has.”

If someone were to “Google” you today or ask your friend or boss about you, would they discover something different from what you want your brand to be? Be honest with yourself. When what you want your brand to be is inconsistent with the perceptions of others, the only person who has the power to change it is you. There is strength in knowing who you are and working every day to make it real.

credit: Fortune Magazine