Reinvent to Live: Kelis Rogers

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I’m kicking off my “Reinvent to Live” personal branding series with 2006 Grammy nominated, Kelis Rogers. The 34 year-old R&B superstar and songwriter has transformed from “Bossy “songtress to a multi passionate careerist who has successfully connected the dots between music, food and lifestyle.

There are a few things that I love more than a good old story of transformation.

In 2006, Kelis quit music and entered Cordon Bleu culinary school to pursue her passion for cooking and became a certified saucier. Most recently, the glambitious game changer re-emerged with her very own show on the Cooking Channel, “Saucy and Sweet,” launched a new album creatively entitled “Food” and is currently on tour, at times with food truck in tow.

Whether you’re a fan of her music or not, you have to give Kelis credit for how she’s stepped back on the scene, with a fresh new set of skills, soulful new music and a powerful story to tell.

Who says you only have one to life to live?

Sadly for most of us, we are stuck in fear about pushing the reset button. Maybe it’s because you were raised to believe that after high school or college you were expected to choose what you wanted to do for the rest of your life. Or maybe you just lost passion for something that once made you smile.

Whatever your scenario is, it is never too late to take the road less traveled. Reinventing your personal brand begins with a passion to simply explore.  “Passion is not what you find, it’s what you give.”

Kelis advice to the world, as told to Gold Stripe magazinee:

“ Nurture your natural talents.”

If you’re going through a period of discovery,  ask your friends or family about the value you bring. Don’t overlook what you instinctively do for others. This action could be something you can build on.

And let me be clear,  it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do.

What you do and how you do it will set you apart and connect you with the right audience.  Let’s say you are interested in a culinary career. Do you have a passion for risk taking? How can that set you apart from others  in the kitchen? If necessary, what types of courses can you take to enhance that risk taking behavior?

The funny thing is,  Kelis doesn’t credit culinary school with teaching her how to cook. Her departure from music and arrival into the culinary world was more about finding her confidence. Interestingly, her mom was a caterer and she learned to cook at an early age.

So what can we learn about reinvention from the creative power woman who once rapped the global hitmy milkshake brings all the boys to the yard?

  • Commit to life long learning. It’s nothing wrong with needing a break or departure from your daily reality. Take a class, go to a conference or reach out to someone who’s in your field of interest to gain first hand information on what a career for you may look like.
  • Stop trying to figure out what the world wants and do what you feel. At least twice a week, do something without giving too much thought about what people will think.
  • Be transparent about your transformative process with your supporters.
  • Own your truth and speak your story. Assess your situation for what it is and be honest with what needs to change. Then clearly connect your transformative story to reposition your brand. Your ability to connect with an audience and build your brand will be based on your journey–this is what sets you apart.
  • Get social and surround yourself with people who think the way you want to think. The magic happens when you step away from the computer. Be strategic, identify your key influencers and start having conversations with them. Then allow the relationship to grow organically.

Whether you’re dramatically reinventing your brand or just looking to move up within the company, the road to transformation starts within. Reflect on what it really means for you to be successful? What sacrifices will you have to make? How can you surround yourself with people who can elevate you to the next level?  What setbacks can you use as a story for your new brand? Once you realize the power is within, you’ll be ready to hit the reset button and begin your road to reinvention.

By the way, have you heard Kelis’s new track “Breakfast at Dinner Time?” It really speaks to my soul. What do you think about her transformation? Have you reinvented your personal brand? What tips helped you along the way?


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