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How I Built My Personal Brand from Scratch at 37

8 months before this picture was taken I was no one.

After a decade in the corporate world building a standout reputation, winning awards and becoming a thought after executive, my husband and I decided to pack our bags (and lives) and move to a new country.

I had no job, no network, no reputation and no personal brand. At the age of 37 I had to start all over again in the most competitive place in the world - San Francisco. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Going from 100 to 0 was not fun. It was frustrating and painful. But 8 months later… I spoke on stage at key industry events Named top 100 leaders to watch Invited to multiple podcasts Landed my dream VP role Wrote a bestselling book And today, I want to share with you what I did to build my reputation from scratch at 37 and become the person you know today, because you can do it too.

The real story - from 0 to 100

The first couple of weeks in San Francisco were tense. We had to find a place to live, open a bank account, get our Driver’s License and settle in a new country. For some reason I thought it was vital that I also interview for roles during this time. I was distracted and confused, and as a result kept getting rejection after rejection.

That didn’t help my mindset at all. I already felt like I was at a disadvantage competing with the best marketers in the world, and I convinced myself I have to take a step back. Instead of applying for VP roles, I interviewed for Director and Sr. director positions, and I was getting rejected!

I could not understand how that was even possible. Was I that bad? My self esteem hit a new rock bottom. I decided to get a reality check. I had 15 years of experience to prove I was good enough, so it was hard for me to accept I somehow became bad overnight.

I booked a call with an executive coach to get some answers. It was the best thing I could do.

The executive coach helped me understand that I was applying for the wrong jobs. She reminded me what my strengths are and helped me see I need to pursue more senior roles.

She also gave me some great advice that helped me improve my executive presence.

That’s how I eventually got several offers for VP roles. By changing my mindset and believing in myself. Instead of taking a step back and trying to be someone I’m not, I started showing up as who I have always been. Conclusion: Don’t lose sight of who you are. You don’t need to take a step back to fit someone else’s mold of what’s possible.

While I was going through a massive mindset transformation I was also doing one other thing that set the foundation for my success.

I talked to people who had the job I wanted to have.

Yep. I reached out to the more than 100 marketers in California and shamelessly asked for their help.

For months I kept sending messages and having conversations with complete strangers.

It was so embarrassing but I did it anyway. Here’s why:

↳ They overcame the challenge that I was facing

↳ They had priceless insights (the good/bad/ugly)

↳ They knew what it takes to be in their position

↳ They had a community I could tap into

I sent more than 100 LinkedIn messages over the months. I just stopped counting after the first 100…

It wasn’t one conversation that magically changed everything, but the process delivered a lot of small wins that compounded and created momentum.

  • I connected with two headhunters who opened doors at several companies.

  • One of them took me to an invite only event with the most senior women executives in Silicon Valley.

  • An ex VP at Slack helped me position my skills for a startup job by giving me her pitch.

  • Several VC partners connected me with their portfolio companies.

  • Some of the Marketing execs I spoke with referred me to jobs.

  • One of them introduced me to the product marketing alliance community.

  • That’s where I got my first opportunity to speak on stage in San Francisco in front of the best marketers in Saas B2B.

  • That opportunity got me a few more keynotes and podcast interviews.

  • Those opportunities helped boost my visibility and brand and I started getting incoming interest for VP roles.

  • Eventually, one of my connections introduced me to the CEO of a startup valued at $400M, who hired me as a VP.

I wish I could say this was an overnight success, but it wasn't.

I worked my butt off for almost a year to start the reputation flywheel that created the above opportunities.

For more than a year I mostly heard ‘no’ but I kept going. I had a vision for what my life could be, and I wanted to make it reality.

Every interaction was a building stone for my reputation, but instead of adding up, they compounded.

Two years after landing in a new country I was once again a thought after executive, an opportunity magnet and a known marketer. Rebuilding my reputation helped rebuild my confidence.

No bells and whistles, no crazy hacks, just good ‘ol networking got me to where I am today. And If I could do it starting from scratch, you can do it too.

I believe in you and I’m rooting for you.


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