The way we were

We need to talk about Barbra Streisand.

“Mem’ries light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored mem’ries of the way we were”

Omg her voice! I became obsessed with Barbra after seeing the film The way we were when I was at University. I mean the lady can do it all! She can act, sing, write songs (Evergreen, I Finally Found Someone etc), directs movies (Yentl, The Mirror Has Two Faces and The Prince of Tides). Talk about a multitalent. So why am I talking about her now? Because of her Netflix documentary. You have to see it. It gives you a behind the scenes look of her last tour.

But in the end, these blogs I write are all about personal branding lessons learned, so what have I learned from Barbra?

– First I like how her name is spelled Barbra and not Barbara… Did you notice that too? It was her idea to take the A out of it. She doesn’t mind standing out. And she doesn’t feel the need to fit in either. She once said of one of her first jobs working at a Chinese restaurant: “I loved the idea of belonging to a small minority. It was them against us in the Chinese restaurant.”

– Her uniqueness comes from her voice, there is no doubt when she starts singing that it’s Barbra. The other thing most people notice is her nose. In an interview with Playboy magazine they discussed this greatly. And I love how that one thing that might have driven her to plastic surgery (that she wanted to change about herself) was the thing that made her talent stand out and also her appearance.

PLAYBOY: “What is it, do you think, that makes your voice so special?”
STREISAND: “My deviated septum. If I ever had my nose fixed, it would ruin my career.”

– The woman is fiercely focused and knows what she wants: “Whatever I do has to be my vision of it”. I get that. You have to not only follow, but create your own path in life and in your career.

– Then there is her continued search for exploring herself that started at an early age. She was conscious about how she wanted to be perceived.  “I used to spend a lot of time and money in the penny arcades taking pictures of myself in those little booths. I’d experiment with different colored mascara on my eyes, try out all kinds of different hair styles and sexy poses.”

– One of her core values definitely is her strive for quality and that makes people think of her as though and controlling. Of this she once said “But lets talk about what it really means. Because what it means is to be responsible for one’s work. And that means that I want the best product for my audience, and if I don’t care 100%, who will? It’s my name, my likeness that goes out there.”

“Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line”

There is no chance at all people will forget who Barbra Streisand is. She made her mark. But you don’t need to be a famous multitalent to make your mark. You can just do it by following her personal branding strategies and create the personal brand that makes you happy with your work (and life).

Life is too short to be living someone else’s vision. And yet. “If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we, could we..”

People are surprised by the fact that I said that I was not continuing the BrandedU seminars as they were. But for me, life is all about moving forward and continuously growing. From a caterpillar to a butterfly. Renewing myself with new ideas, new people and new needs.

It’s what makes me happy, and I will always have the memories.



PS. If you want to see what you missed at our last seminar, check out the pictures here.