You started your career in Psychology, how did that eventually evolve into becoming a Brand Consultant? Are there any particular events, conversation or people that lead/ paved your way into your profession now?
It’s only in hindsight that I can mostly appreciate connecting the dots and realize that it is the collection of certain decisions that paved my way from psychology to brand consulting. I never planned my career to evolve this way, but I believe it was meant to happen this way in order for me to be who and where I am today.
Choosing psychology as the field of study for my bachelor’s degree allowed me to discover for the first time in my life that if i do what I love, I can succeed (I went from being an average, borderline failing my classes to getting my first As). This became my formula to success. Following my undergrad, I promised myself to stay loyal to it and consequently chose to make three important decision: I left my comfort zone (I quit my part job at the time with no plan B, no financial security, but with a belief that the best would happen), I pursued my long time passion for photography and I applied for a graduate degree (I chose to do a masters in marketing because the world of brands, and the psychology around it fascinates me until today).
Little did I know that these decisions would introduce me to the business world. You see, I did not choose to be in business, but following my passion and doing what I love attracted amazing opportunities my way and I embraced almost every single one of them. Every door opened unlocked more doors. From psychology to working as a photographer, to freelance marketing management, branding projects, to videos and content creation, all the way to art direction... every single experience was so valuable. After a few years of opportunity exploration, there came a point when I felt that there was something missing for me to express the highest version of myself. I knew then that it was time for me to begin an inward reflection and after being chosen for various clients’ projects, it was now time for me to choose myself.
Following an introspection phase, I realized that the guiding principle behind my work is not what I do, but why I do it. I care about making a difference and having a positive impact in others’ lives -- that is my purpose. Never would I have imagined that one day, going through the process of looking inward and living this reinvention, combined with my background and experiences, would not only attract businesses to trust me to accompany them with this same process for their brand, (re-bradning, re-positioning, identity or soul searching process and more), but attract public speaking opportunities as well. Today, I’m thrilled to say that I’m living the highest version of myself and that I could’t be more fulfilled with my work.
Your background in photography, psychology and marketing is such a unique mix, but you were able to apply all this into your business? Explain how this all works so well for you and how your clients are benefiting from it. Would love to hear about examples.
I believe the best way to answer this question is by sharing some of the testimonials that I received from clients and letting them define why many refer to me as “brand whisperer” and “brand psychologist”.
“ In addition to being a brand expert she has a very heightened intuition around psychology she’s so good to help people tease out the things that are otherwise very difficult to see. She’s a true professional and a real human being who cares deeply about the success of the people involved in the project as well as the project itself.” Dave
“Vanessa is a brand whisperer. Her listening capacity, her analytical thinking, her strategic elaboration, combined with her capacity to execute all the way to the finest of details, are unequaled. Finding someone with these two qualities is quiet rare. She accompanies brands with her strong sense of strategy and execution, but she also works to help a brand distinguish itself, to help it succeed on the market, all of which while establishing a true authentic relationship with her clients and working in their best interests. And I admire her for that!” ... Pierre
"Vanessa truly is a brand psychologist. With her background in psychology, her background in marketing and her creative background as art director and past experience as a photographer, it’s a perfect combination. We haven’t even finished the brand building process and I have goosebumps just thinking of all the things we uncovered. Everything is so clear now, I feel like after 15years in business I can make the best of decision for me and and for my brand... She has a sharp eye for design and images. She enormously invests herself and immerses herself in the project, she sincerely wants me to grow. It’s incredible.” ... Julie
You can listen to the full testimonial videos on my Vimeo page - www.vimeo.com/vanessaelle
What made you take an entrepreneurial pathway? How did this whole journey start for you and what are your biggest challenges running your own business to date?
If I’m in business today, it is because I chose to do what I love, to pursue my passion and my education, to remain true to myself, to take a few risks, work hard and strongly believe that this would lead to success. It is the sum of these choices, which I made five years ago, that attracted opportunities my way, thus introducing me to the business world. This is how my entrepreneurial journey started and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Like many entrepreneurs, I’ve encountered certain challenges and every single time I learned something new. I would say that the current challenge for me at this time is determining what the best steps are for me to take my business to the next level.
What is your direction for Brand Consulting? Can you please describe what is unique about 'Vanessa Elle’.
As Dorie Clark puts it, ”sometimes it's the unexpected elements of your background that create a unique mix that enables you to see things just a bit differently from everyone else.” I do believe that my background allows me to view things from a different angle and to approach them differently.
According to my clients, beyond their satisfaction with brand consulting services, and the results obtained, they often speak about the experience with “Vanessa Elle”, how I made them feel before, during and after the process of brand consulting, the way they grew on a professional or personal basis, and the authentic relationship that I build with them along the way. And that matters to me as it is evidence of validation that I am indeed living my purpose.
Best part of your job and why?
The best part of my job is people; authentically connecting with people and developing deep and caring relationships with them. This holds true with my clients, with members of my team, and it’s also why I love business development and networking. Without people, I simply wouldn’t be able to fulfill my purpose. It aligns with the fact that I’m an ENFJ.
Who is Vanessa Elle, outside of the business world?
I am the same person, there is no difference! However, when I’m not working, I’m:
• Meditating: morning or afternoon meditation (approx. 10mins),
• Reading: I read many books, articles and listen to several podcasts. I’m always learning and sharing, which allows me to help others in my surrounding and clients grow.
• Working out at least 2x per week: gym and yoga
• Living novel experiences ranging from dining in new restaurants, activities (hiking,surfing) all the way to traveling: Can’t wait to visit Spain and Portugal this year!
You mentioned you read a lot and it is something we highly encourage our team to do. What book/s would you recommend to X NIHILO women?
Books that had an impact on my life and that I recommend to many:
Visit Vanessa's website here