Let’s all stay healthy and connected!

Hey you,  

You know how much I love music right? And you probably will have heard how music can truly uplift your spirits and in some cases has been used as medicine right?  So when I woke up this morning, I felt like I needed something to make me feel better about what is going on in the world and I just started with some good old fashioned music. Music from the 60ies and 70ies, songs my parents used to play for me. My memories of them just dancing in the house and all of us having fun. That was so magical to me as a young girl. Now I am hoping this playlist will inspire you to do the same, to create some of your own magical feeling. A feeling of hope for a better day. Let’s all stay healthy and connected! And If you like the playlist, drop me a line and I will share some more the next few days. 

Love ya,  Nancy

Bill Withers – Lovely Day 
Bob Marley – Three Little Birds 
The Beatles – Here comes the sun
Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing in the street 
Jackie Wilson – Your love keeps lifting me higher
Stevie Wonder – Uptight (everything’s alright)
Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child
Tina Turner – Proud Mary
The Shirelles – Mama Said
James Brown – I feel good
Labelle– Lady Marmalade
Sister Sledge – We are family

Happy Holidays

We love music, so that is why we have added our favorite Christmas songs for you to enjoy! 

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Johnny Mathis
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas – Carla Thomas
Every Day will be like a holiday – William Bell
This Christmas, Donny Hathaway
Santa Claus is coming to town – Jackson 5
Please come home for Christmas – Anthony Hamilton
Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC
Wonderful Christmas – Paul McCartney
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen 

Who’s that girl?


She is turning 60 today, so we have to talk about: Madonna.
This woman is an icon and through the years she has taught us so much about what it means to be a well-known brand. Her way is an ‘either you love her or hate her way’ but girlll it made her really successful.
So what can we learn from her? What can you apply on a day-to-day basis, when it comes to your career and building your personal brand.

When I was a teenager I once saw a live show of her on tv and the show started (if I remember it correctly) with her saying this:

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star. I didn’t know anybody. I wanted to dance. I wanted to sing. I wanted to do all those things. I wanted to make people happy. I wanted to be famous. I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard and my dream came true.”
So that brings me to the personal branding lessons I learned from her:
1. What you focus on expands
She has always completely been focused on getting to where she wanted to be. Madonna has taught us to think big and to set goals. That is why I love it when she said: “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”
Basically she says: don’t let fear be your guide and don’t get sidetracked by the opinions of others. This is also a lesson about not feeling insecure and having self-confidence. So really focus on what you want, instead of what you don’t want (which is what most of us do!).
But yes, first you have to know what you want.
After her number one album ‘Like a Virgin’ was released a journalist asked her “What’s next?” Madonna replied, “I want to rule the world.”
2. Stand for something
Madonna has said “I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.”
Yep here she is telling us to: do your own thing and really believe it. She has always been so self-aware, I am sure this has helped her over the last 30 years to truly fight for her beliefs. She has had bad publicity and even that has worked in her advantage. Like she said “I’ve been popular and unpopular, successful and unsuccessful, loved and loathed and I know how meaningless it all is. Therefore I feel free to take whatever risks I want.
So ladies, you have to stay true to your beliefs.
3. Appearances matter
I don’t know if you are old enough to remember this but she was a fashion leader back in the eighties. Girls used to copy her look and dress exactly like her. This was when she appeared in the film “Desperately Seeking Susan”. And when Madonna cut her hair for the True Blue album we all where shocked in disbelief. But she knew early on that you get judged by your looks, especially if you are a woman. So she used this to her advantage and often shocked us with her looks to make headlines.
Like the bras she had designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that she used as outerwear. If you look back at her looks they all define a period from her life and what she stood for. They all tell her story. That is what we want, for our looks to truly represent us.
4. Take care of your business
Time Magazine has called her one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” and there is a reason that she has been called the smartest woman in business.
She’s been one of the highest paid artist for over 30 years. Madonna was smart enough to look at the decline of record sales and leave her record label Warner Music to sign with Live Nation and focus on touring income. She understood that to have a successful business, you must understand your market. She retains 90% of gross touring revenues and 50% of endorsements.
5. Change is good
She has always been about constant transformation and exploring new things. She has successfully transformed herself from from a material girl, activist, actress, yoga fan and author to a humanitarian. This is the most consistent thing about her personal branding.
We can count on her to teach us new things but also to transform herself whilst doing it. She truly embraces change and doesn’t look at it as something scary. It is a way to stay innovative and discover new things about yourself. Like discovering hidden treasures and also a way to challenge yourself to feel new things.
Listen, all brands evolve over time and no human being ever truly stays the same. So, if we can embrace this process like she has perhaps it wouldn’t be that scary.

So, what have you learned from Madonna? Share it with me, that’s what sisters do.

And talking about sisterhood, our next Network Academy-event with Harper’s Bazaar is coming up. It is all happening at the College Hotel on the 5th of September. Get more info here if you want to join us.


Seat at the table

We need to talk about diversity. I used the album titel of Solange Knowles because it sort of reminds me of a conversation I had with someone about us women demanding a seat at the table when it comes to higher positions.
Then I saw that feminist movement De Bovengrondse changed the names of 12 streets in Amsterdam to female names because only 242 street names were based on females and over 2000 on men.

Basically we need to wake up. Because even in 2018 there is hardly any equality in any business.

Only 20% of songs played on the radio are by female artists. This makes it more difficult for them to get managers/agents/gigs etc. etc. That is why I love this quote by Beyoncé from the Vogue September issue :

“If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. 

​​​​​​​They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose.”

Only 5% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. That is why I was so sad to hear Indra Nooyi was stepping down as CEO of PepsiCo after 12 years!

Diversity is a win-win situation. I really loved watching the latest series of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ on Netflix. Because so many different people from so many different backgrounds were represented. SEE, DIVERSITY IS NOT THAT HARD IF YOU MAKE IT A PRIORITY.​​​​​​​

And us women need to step up as well! We need to start demanding more leadership roles. If we don’t then the Putins, Trumps, Dutertes and Netanyahus will keep deciding on our future. And I haven’t even started talking about all the bankers filling their own pockets yet. Those in power now are not doing that great of a job.

“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” – Oprah Winfrey
We know this. Let’s stop this madness and start taking action. For our children… and grandchildren. We need more female role models. We need YOU!

Make yourself visible, add value, let your voice be heard and most of all take that Seat At The Table!



P.S. isn’t ‘Beyoncé Boulevard’ a much better name than ‘Rokin’ ;-)?

P.P.S. let me give you a hand with getting that seat at the table: follow my FREE personal branding course here