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Susan Chritton - author of Personal Branding for Dummies


Susan Chritton, M.Ed., PCC, NCCC, is an Executive Career Coach and Master Personal Brand Strategist. Susan guides professionals looking to engage their authentic self in the world through personal branding. 


Connect at,, LinkedIn, Twitter @susanchritton


Personal branding is about showing the world the best of who you are even if you haven’t quite become that yet.


I’m reminded of a story about a friend’s mother in her early years. She was a young aspiring dancer in New York who had her sights set on marrying a man of stature and means. She and her fellow performers had virtually no money but did not want to be perceived as poor. The young women knew that if they presented themselves as struggling dancers, they would not attract the kind of life that they wanted to live.



Susan Chritton is a Master Personal Brand Strategist, Executive Career Coach, and Master Career Counselor. She guides professionals looking to engage their authentic self in the world through personal branding. 

The time period was the early 1950’s where women didn’t have the career opportunities that they do today. One of their shared aspirations was wanting to marry well. They felt this would allow them the freedom to live the kind of life that they wanted.


The four women knew that they needed to change how they were seen by others in order to achieve their goals. They combined resources and rented a small apartment in a high rent neighborhood of New York where the young professional men lived. Their address gave them a legitimacy to be seen with the people that they wanted to associate with.


They bought a few outfits befitting a woman of an elevated class, outfits they all shared for their social engagements. They knew it was not just important to live in the right neighborhood but to look as if they belonged. 

They knew that they didn’t have the budget to achieve what they wanted – but they had a plan. Was this deceptive or a wise strategic move?


I remember asking – were they successful? Three of the roommates married successful men in New York. My friend’s mother said she married for love, which was always her intended goal. She married a young professor that she traveled the world with, entertained dignitaries from foreign cultures, and performed lead roles in Community Theater.


She found a way to live the life she wanted and be seen for who she always saw herself to be. 


A Champagne Life On Modest Means


Champagne is often associated with the "best of everything." Champagne is always accompanied by a celebratory toast to life, with its infinite hopes and possibilities. To those of "modest means,” champagne is a special treat, to be savored and giggled over with some Cole Porter in the background.


For most of us, the "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" lifestyle, with the attendant material goods and services, is a fleeting surge of imagination usually replaced with the tangible reality of going to work and paying bills.


It is important to look for the champagne moments in all phases of life. Being truly grateful for the life you've been given is a good place to pursue a "champagne" attitude.  When we can appreciate the simple joys of pulling weeds in our backyards or sitting in the morning sun, listening to the birds, and gazing at the blue California sky, we absorb life's natural gifts.


Another champagne moment can be created by helping someone, or being a friend to share life's ups and downs.  To divert our minds from self absorption, we celebrate life with each effort we make to help someone, or lighten their load, or make them laugh.  A simple gesture can be as sparkling as vintage champagne.

The Buzz
Max Buzby
        of Boston

Gail Gabriel, Lifestyle Editor, Shares


One of my favorite books this year:


All The Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr


Character development in this book about Nazi

occupation is wonderful, as well as how the

author interweaves the way, against all odds,

that people try to be good to one another.


The main character Marie-Laure lives with her

father in Paris near the Museum of Natural

History, where he works. When she is six years

old, she goes blind. Her father builds her a perfect

miniature model of their neighborhood so she can

memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When the Nazis occupy Paris they flee to Saint-Malo. With them they carry what might be the Museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.


In a mining town in Germany, Werner, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister and is enchanted by the crude radio they find. He becomes expert at building and fixing crucial new instruments and it earns him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth.


The lives of Marie-Laure and Werner cross in Saint-Malo. 

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