Guisselle Nunez - Compassionate and Purposeful
What are your “and” words and why? Compassionate and Purposeful. I have realized that I have an innate sense of compassion and I want to help everyone. Frankly, sometimes I have to work really hard “to turn it off” or otherwise, I would spend my full paycheck and all of my time on those causes I most care about (and the list is long …from immigrant rights, homelessness, to education, to animal welfare). So, I have learned to be more purposeful with that “compassionate side” of me, and have channeled those energies to focus on helping others, including Latina women, build their personal brand. In my effort to expand my reach and help more women reach their professional and personal goals, for over a decade, I’ve built my own curriculum and facilitated workshops on personal branding. Last year I wrote my first book, “Take Charge of your Brand.”
What you are known for saying/a quote from you. What does this quote mean to you, (or if it’s from someone else, why does it inspire you)? I try to live by Maya Angelou’s quote that says, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s so true… people want to feel that you cared, you listened, and that they were important. I again try to be purposeful in the application of this quote in my daily work, management style, mentorship, and sharing this quote with others, especially those in leadership positions, including my bosses.
Which other Ladybadasses inspire you and why? I am proud to be a biography and documentary junkie. Other people’s stories inspire me to learn about real people, their struggles and triumphs in life and realize we may actually have some things in common. There are too many favorite women of history to name them here, but… I’ll name you one Ladybadass who I speak with on a daily basis… and that’s my mother. Before the age of 35 she had lived through a destructive earthquake which paralyzed, for years, the country of Nicaragua, married and had two children, lived through a devastating civil war (sought shelter from bombs, survived a home invasion by revolutionaries where my parents were almost shot, execution style, in their bedroom, with my brother and me sleeping in the next room). She then immigrated with her family to a new country, started a new career, learned a new language and way of life. She’s my favorite Ladybadass because through it all, she stayed true to herself, found her strength through every challenge, and used her hope and faith to stay positive.
When did you first realize that you had some Ladybadassery in you? I realized I had some Ladybadassery in me when at 25 years of age, I fell in love with my boss, 23 years my senior. He was an elected official, so when our relationship became public, for a few, very intense months our relationship became a media spectacle, with media parked outside my home, rumors and gossip running rampant, losing friends and family and my personal brand damaged. Well, jokingly I say, if I can come out of that experience - without having to depend on pills and alcohol to function - as a stronger, more resilient, and purpose-driven woman, married the man I fell in love with, who is my power partner, and rebuilt my personal brand, then… I say… I’m a Ladybadass.
What keeps you motivated on days when you aren't quite feeling like a Ladybadass? On those “off-days,” I draw upon my faith and a little dose of the Christian pastor Joel Osteen, who teaches on the belief of positive affirmation. His teachings reminds us that by removing negative thoughts, we will be rewarded with success. So every day, but even more so on those off-days, I focus my energy and thoughts on being grateful for all of my blessings, including my health, my energy, success and good relationships. And…a little gluten-free pizza and frozen yogurt also helps!
What is your advice to other women who are trying to tap into their Ladybadassery? Women need to take charge of their personal brand. Women of color especially have to learn to do this, so that they may overcome gender, cultural and racial barriers. As a Latina I have had to re-program myself and learn how to stand up for myself, learn to how to promote myself without guilt, become more self-aware of my own cultural and gender barriers, and realize that self-advocacy and promotion must be intentional and consistent.
Everybody needs a good cheerleader, but we need to learn how to become our own best cheerleader. We need to take a more active role in shaping our image, learning how to communicate our value, and become our own self-advocates. We need to learn how to become more disciplined about weaving in personal brand management into our daily actions, so that we are better positioned for professional and personal success. Lastly, probably one of my most important lessons of managing your personal brand and reaching success is that, as I succeed, I have a responsibility to give back and share with other women my formula for success. I invite others to share in that responsibility to help others find their success. So… go out and #takechargeofyourbrand!
Guisselle is an award-winning marketing communications Leader, speaker, instructor, personal branding evangelist and author of the book “Take Charge of your Brand.”