There is a genius living inside of you and Amanda Miller Littlejohn is determined to help you shine. While running her PR company, which led to her being named 2012 Practitioner of the Year by the National Black Public Relations Society, Littlejohn realized there was a need for support by burgeoning business owners and those looking to define their unique skill set. She now coaches clients and groups to develop their personal brand, while also juggling marriage and motherhood.
Name: Amanda Miller Littlejohn
Title and company: CEO of Mopwater Social PR and Personal Branding Coach at AML Consulting
Location: Washington, DC
Hometown: Nashville, TN
The gig: Every day I am able to help brilliant, inspiring people see themselves clearly, and offer a bigger, more complete version of themselves to the world. When people leave my office, they are literally glowing.
The journey: I was laid off from my newspaper job and took the plunge to start my own company. I’ve always been a writer, listener and creative, and can’t stand to see people who aren’t reaching their potential. My company is the ultimate culmination of my strengths. I was also a barista in college and still make a mean cup of coffee!
Personal branding 101: Reflect on your strengths. What makes you feel energized and strong while doing it? When you last felt you were doing your best work, what were you doing specifically? These feelings leave clues to your brand.
Her mantra: Whatever you feed will grow. This is true in every aspect of life. When you focus on solutions instead of worrying about problems it will be easier to see your way out of any bad situation.
Her secret weapon: My husband. He’s a true partner and cheerleader. We have two young sons and that can be tough for someone who is building a business. His partnership and support of my vision makes it all work.
Recent read: Rework by Jason Fried.
Success secret: Stay nimble and continue to learn and evolve. Also, don’t look for validation outside of yourself. No matter how young, old or inexperienced you are, if you have good ideas, act on them even if no one else understands.
Confessions of a Black entrepreneur: There is a huge shift happening with Black women who are embracing themselves and investing in themselves personally and professionally. Being a Black woman has helped me connect with other amazing Black women.
Her biggest lesson learned: I once took on an assignment that was not a good fit. It filled me with anxiety and the return was minimal. It wasn’t worth it and taught me to safeguard my time and to walk away sooner rather than later when something doesn’t feel right. Her time-saving strategy: Use the dictation feature on your phone to dictate emails, blog posts, and other correspondence on the go.
Network tip: I see so many people who meet new people in-person or online. And before establishing a relationship, they ask for favors. When you seek out people for opportunities, don’t go in with your hand out. Seek to build a real relationship first, because people naturally want to help people they like.
Her stress relievers: I enjoy dinner, cocktails or a fun night in with girlfriends and a glass of wine. When I'm really stressed, I head to nature, from the rare patch of grass in the city to my ultimate fix – the ocean.
Tech must-haves: Audible for reading books on the go. I spend a lot of time in my car so it helps make that time productive. Hotel Tonight for last minute hotel rooms on the cheap. Uber is my driver.
In her beauty bag: Caudalie Eau de Beaute. I spray it on over make-up or a clean face and it gives me the ultimate pick-me-up.
Power style accessory: A statement necklace and a funky pair of glasses.
Her theme song: “Move Me No Mountain” by Chaka Khan.
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