Chioma Isiadinso is a former Harvard admissions officer and CEO of EXPARTUS, a leading admissions consulting and personal branding firm that helps applicants to get admitted to top universities. She is a sought-after speaker on admissions and personal branding. She’s the author of The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets.
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- Trello – Chioma’s small business resource
- I am__: The Untold Story of Success – Chioma’s Top Business Book
- The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets – Chioma’s book
- Expartus – Chioma’s website
- Connect with Chioma via email
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3 Key Points:
- Your brand is how people will remember you – your personal story matters.
- If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut.
- Use your knowledge to help solve other people’s struggles.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:04] – Chioma was born in Africa and moved to America when she was a teenager
- [01:22] – Her dad had a scholarship for his PhD at Cambridge – which ultimately became a factor in changing their whole family’s life
- [01:33] – One of her parents is a professor, the other a teacher
- [01:43] – When Chioma took her first psychology class, she knew what her calling was
- [01:59] – Chioma worked at the admissions office of Carnegie Mellon and became the director
- [02:06] – After her work at Carnegie Mellon, she served the admissions board at Harvard University
- [02:13] – She was able to see who got admitted and who didn’t
- [02:34] – When she left Harvard, she decided to use her knowledge to empower applicants
- [03:11] – Chioma’s area of expertise is in taking applicants through the personal branding process
- [04:06] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: Your personal story matters
- [04:20] – Your unique story is what will set you apart
- [05:35] – Chioma’s strong desire to empower people is what led her to leave her position at Harvard
- [05:47] – Working for an institution means you’re bound by the communication spiel, whereas working for yourself lets you tell people the “real deal”
- [06:13] – Chioma wanted to live a life of purpose
- [06:57] – “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”
- [07:40] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Chioma and her family decided to move to Africa 4 years ago. At that point, they had been 10 years in the business without any geographical boundaries. By moving, they had to change their business model, build an office, sign a 2-year lease, buy equipment—within a few months, they left
- [09:08] – Instead of listening to her intuition, she allowed the circumstances to take control
- [09:15] – Once they moved back to the US, they shifted back to being a virtual company and did better than before
- [09:29] – It’s important to listen to your heart
- [10:42] – Learn to trust yourself
- [11:48] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Writing Chioma’s book was her greatest moment. Writing a book was daunting, as she had no previous experience. Apart from that, she was unsure as to how the institution would react to her spilling the secrets. However, Chioma decided to share the knowledge she had so she could help people.
- [13:12] – We all have a book in our niche – don’t be afraid to let it out
- [13:29] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I am fired up about living my life as authentically as possible and embracing the possibilities”
- [14:33] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Honestly, it was fear”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Pick one thing and find something that you do brilliantly and take it and squeeze everything you can get out of it”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Prayer”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Trello
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – I am : The Untold Story of Success
- [16:50] – Connect Chioma via email or on her website
- [17:02] – “Step out of the boat!”
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