We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia M. Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia M., what is the most important factor behind your success?
For far too long, the most important factor behind ANY brand’s success has been hiding in plain sight. It’s a brand development foundational tool that all corporations and large organizations use — and is a rarity in the entrepreneurial world: Brand Guidelines. It’s the most important (and often the most excluded) part of building a successful brand. And, it’s why we do what we do at OMG Brand Story.
Brand guidelines are the North Star of any business and help define your overall brand personality. It’s the reference guide that informs every aspect of how your brand should look, feel, and sound for both your internal and external audience. They’re used to help with the creation and development of all branding aspects, including messaging, design, packaging, employee brand materials, training materials, and much more. And, brand guidelines are the one brand development tool that every copywriter, graphic designer, web developer, and other branding and marketing creative partner prays you have together before working with them! Ask them. They’ll tell you.
Why are they so critical? Because how can anyone stand behind a brand — or develop creative content that’s supposed to be reflective of a brand — if they don’t know who the brand is or what they stand for to begin with, right?
In order to develop brand trust, authority, and recognition, you first have to know who you are, what you do to help serve your ideal client personality, where you see your brand contributing or impacting the world in a positive way, and how you’re going to get there — what values will you live by and reinforce as the non-negotiable parts of your brand, including how you run your business.
Knowing who you are first and developing your brand guidelines is by far the most important factor and has played a huge role in not only helping me develop my brand’s success but has become the key focus of what we do to help unleash authentic brand personalities for our clients.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
OMG Brand Story is my brand development consulting agency built specifically for entrepreneurs. ⠀
So, how did I end up with my own company??? Well, I’ve always been a little “different” I believed I had magic within me purposed for greatness. So … of course, I immediately went into corporate America!
I spent 20+ years in corporate and the last 10+ rocking brand development and communications. After years of cranking like a goose in a cage laying golden eggs for global giants, I felt trapped. ⠀
As I mentioned before, one day, I was complaining to my mentor about how my magic was being wasted when she asked, “Who’s in charge of your personal development?”
Then, she answered for me, “You are.”
In that moment, I decided to shatter my cage and take everything I knew into the entrepreneurial world. I was meant to help others break out of their cages and unleash their authentic brand personalities using everything I’d rocked out for global giants for so long.⠀
I developed a signature method, The BOM, to help entrepreneurs crack open the best-kept secret in the business world: How to identify and clarify their brand guidelines — their purpose, mission, vision, core values, ideal client personality, and key messaging.⠀
At OMG Brand Story, we dare entrepreneurs to believe in the power of their own story and help them skip the rookie line and develop their brands like a boss. We teach them how to unleash their authentic brand personalities and fulfill their purpose. We help them find their people and learn how to communicate exactly who they you are, what they do, why people should trust them, how they can help their clients, and where people can find them … and we do so brilliantly, with playful creativity, and a sincere desire to help develop a successful brand and keep it well-protected.⠀
It wasn’t an easy path, but it was exactly the path I was meant to explore. Having a plan, a community of support, and the courage to step out of fear and step into my greatness was exactly how OMG Brand Story came to be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit of an introvert and know my way around the kitchen; so, my BFF would most likely be enjoying some serious homecooked meals and some fabulous take-out to support our local restaurants.
Since we’re not 100% back in the groove from ol’ Pammy, this might be a tough call. BUT… hypothetically, if we were to go out safely, there are a handful of places that I think would totally hit the spot.
North Texas has some amazing coffee shops and breakfast spots to start off the day, including Cindi’s N.Y. Delicatessen, Restaurant & Bakery. We’d start there with some of their killer pancakes or potato latkes. Who knows? We may go totally crazy and get some cheese blintzes! And, we’d grab some of their amazing bagels on the way out the door on as we head over to the next place for coffee to-go. (you can never have enough coffee in my opinion)
Cultivar is one of my absolute favorite coffee bars in East Dallas where it’s all about “slow coffee” — the art of appreciating every sip and every complex layer of flavor and balance. These guys are serious about their coffee and total nerds when it comes to java. I had the pleasure of visiting with one of their roasters and witnessing the magic several years ago, and I instantly fell in love with the process and their passion for serving up amazing cups of happy.
Next might be a stroll in Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas — or even better — a stroll at the Dallas Farmers Market. We could pick up some incredible goodies to cook up later, plus it’s the best people-watching platform around. So many interesting characters are at the farmers market with so many stories to tell.
And, you can’t have a visit to North Texas without eating some killer tacos. And, boy do we have options! You have to hit Revolver Taco Lounge in Deep Elum for their duck tacos or a taste of their pulpo (octopus) tacos — life-changing. Then, you can swing by Pepe & Mito’s to grab some cheese enchiladas on the way to Trompo Tacos in Oak Cliff. After Trompo, you might want to head in the direction of Plano to snag some of the most delicious tripas doradas you can find at La Salsa Verde (of course, they’re located in a gas station – only the best place to find tasty tacos). And, if vegan tacos were on the brain, you’d take a cruise out to El Palote, THE BEST vegan tacos in the Dallas area. Holy guacamole. Their “chicharron” tacos are riquisimo!
(Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be cooking as much.)
And, you have to do the traditional visit to one of the most popular Tex-Mex restaurants in the North Texas area, Mi Cocina. Their 20+ year history in the area makes them a popular hot spot, and it doesn’t hurt that their famous Mambo Taxi cocktail/margarita-ish magic is the best way to end a long day, paired with my favorite, Nachos Locos!
If you want more fancy-pants meals, we’d definitely hit up Pappas Bros. Steakhouse or maybe just hang out at Del Frisco’s bar for some amazing appetizers.
I know I’m leaving out a bazillion other options. We didn’t even get to talk about the Chinese places we’d cover, but maybe that might be for their next visit.
All in all, those are some of my absolute favorite, palate-pleasing places!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wooooo! Does the phrase “it takes a village” mean anything to anyone??? Because let me tell you … there are a few key moments in my career when the village people showed up and showed out.
Sometimes it was a blow dart to the neck to save me from myself, and other times, it was creating a sense of belonging, encouraging me to believe in myself and in my purpose, and even providing a safe place to speak openly about the inner workings of building a business and developing a brand.
The four most influential moments of my career were crafted at the hands of four amazingly talented and brilliant women.
My mother is a fiercely independent and incredibly wise woman who always allowed me to just “be me” growing up. That freedom to show up and show out as my authentic self — while not always the norm nor popular with the cool kids — let me know I should always embrace who I truly am at heart.
That said, once I entered the real world (aka corporate America) for a number of years, I began to feel trapped. I couldn’t be me, but I blamed everyone else for not seeing my “magic!” It was a convo with Anne Varano, the chief HR officer of the company I was working for at the time, that changed the trajectory of my career and my attitude … a la blow dart.
During a complaining session on my part, she asked me who was in charge of my personal development — and she didn’t bother to wait for my answer either — “You are.” It was a shock to the system. I decided in that moment that I would shatter my self-made cage and take responsibility for my own future.
Years later, after starting my own business, I began to feel the pains of solopreneurship. I stumbled across Nicole Walters, the CEO of Inherit Learning Company and now the star of USA Network’s “She’s the Boss.” Back then, she was holding the eighth cycle of her signature business program. I decided to join, and I can tell you right now, it was the best business decision I ever made. Becoming part of her community, lovingly called Richfriends, changed my life forever. I finally felt a sense of belonging, was poured into and encouraged, and I was given a safe place to discuss the entrepreneurial journey with other entrepreneurs. She remains my friend and mentor, and my Richfriends continue to enrich my life in more ways than they’ll ever realize.
And through my Richfriends connections, I found my business bestie, Ruth-Joy Connell who is the CEO of RJC Consulting. Being able to talk shop, support one another, dream big in the presence of another visionary, and get “real talk” advice has been nothing short of transformational for me and my business. If you don’t have a business bestie on speed dial, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!