Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Coach shares her top 3 tips for building (not breaking!) your personal and career brand.


My bet is, reincarnation is a fact.

Because things would make a little more sense.

It also has a bit of a romantic and wonderfully mysterious feel to it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Shirley Anne Fortina was some clever court advisor for a king and queen in a previous life.

Perhaps even from the Orient?

Maybe Shirley was a ninja in a previous life? Her mind is quick and she sees the world with razor sharp eyes.

shirley anne fortina2
Shirley and Samuel

In this incarnation, Shirley runs Pod Consultancy.

Her new project is called, “Who’s Driving Your Bus.”

The bus is your life. Are you holding the wheel?

How is the engine? Serviced recently?

What kind of fuel are you putting in the engine? The good stuff or the cheap stuff?

Similarly, how are you fuelling your brand and your career?

Perhaps it’s even time to start using a clean alternative to fuel? Like solid state free energy generators.

Brain research that occurs entirely in my own head suggests that it is essential for a bus to have a banging sound system.


The sound system in your bus is a metaphor for what sound scape you expose yourself to.

Is it a stressful office noise or recordings of pleasant rainforest sounds?

Just go google Julian Treasure on and watch his 5 short and amazing presentations on how sound affects humans.

Simply a little epic.

You want the licence plate of your bus to be some cool word too. And make sure you use leetspeak.


Know who is driving your bus is pretty key for your success.

It reveals a lot about the brand you are sharing to the world.

The mindset that Shirley is inviting us to try on, aims to make you aware of the brand you are projecting about your life and your career.

Try it on like a costume.

Actors wear many costumes.

They aim to be aware of their every little movement and speech while on stage.

They do this to stay in character: just the right amount for the audience to slip into that wonderful world of willing suspense of disbelief.


Shirley definitely wants you to pay attention to you as a brand, and do it with keen ninja-like eyes.

And some throwing stars, like what Batman uses.

Picture this! When you’re driving your bus through life and the bad guys rock up, you are going to thank your lucky north node that you made that-late-night-purchase-off-ebay: a limited edition set of said super hero throwing stars.


Also, have look in the baggage compartment of your bus.

It goes without saying, that you know exactly what is in here. Right?

Especially in those card board boxes in that dark back corner. The ones covered with old spider webs, not new ones, the old ones.

Maybe it’s time to throw some stuff out? What are you carrying through life that is holding you back?

Who are the passengers?

The people in your life. Who do you hang out with?

What do you with them all?

Did they bring any snacks for the road trip of life?

Or do they just eat yours?

Some people.

Try this…

Imagine yourself as your favourite brand and try to think the way it would think: it’s values and what it stands for. Start creating your brand around that.


Albert Einstein gave this a go. Not the branding bit, the imagination bit.

He imagined himself to be a beam of light to find out more about its nature.

Einstein’s ideas inspired him to write The Special Theory of Relativity, which had a significant influence on 20th Century advancements in technology. Like rocket ships and electronic dance music.

Could it be possible that you could imagine yourself, not as a beam of light, but as your ideal brand.

Take it out for coffee and really get to know it.

Shirley’s top 3 tips:

Every single one of us is a walking talking brand.

  • What do you stand for?
  • What’s your brand?
  • It’s important that your market understand all this.

We all drive our own bus.

  • Are your values consistent with your brand?
  • What’s truly important to you?
  • and most importantly, are your hands on the wheel?

Shirley’s wisdom is timeless and even more important today: be active in managing you personal and career brand.



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