The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Rebranding and working on

Graphic design by Ananda Leeke & Gwonghung Ng

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday, I had a branding and marketing conversation with my literary mentor and brothalove Ethelbert Miller.  Ethelbert is a native New Yorker who dances through life as a man of many talents:  husband, father, poet, literacy activist, and founder of the Afro-American Resource Center at Howard University. Like me, he is also a Howardite!  I affectionately call him E-bert!

I spent most of the time listening to E-bert share his insights on ways to define, expand, and market my “Ananda Leeke” brand. Parts of the conversation were uncomfortable. Why? Well, E-bert was telling me the TRUTH … I didn’t want to hear it because it meant I would have to do MORE WORK!  I resisted a lot of what he had to say, but managed to remain somewhat open.  E-bert gave me a lot to think about. He also reminded me I would find my way using my spiritual path.  His words “using my spiritual path” stuck with me. They followed me into my evening yoga and meditation practice. The end result was a clearing… an opening to E-bert’s questions and insights.

This morning I sat in meditation and focused on strengthening my inner foundation with deep breathing, mantra chanting, and a mudra practice focused on the root chakra.  Guess what happened?  I was able to be still and hear my inner voice repeat a short and sweet phrase: Yoga + Creativity + Internet Geek = Ananda Leeke.  BOO–YAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! I knew the phrase was a rebranding gift from the universe! What a blessing!

So the Ananda Leeke official marketing brand is now: Yoga + Creativity + Internet Geek = Ananda Leeke.

What do you think?

As E-bert says, “my marketing brand is my gimmick!”  You know the thing that will get folks’ attention.

I also have a new and improved short bio: Yoga + Creativity + Internet Geek = Ananda Leeke. Leeke is a lawyer turned “Jill of many trades”: innerpreneur, author, artist, coach, and yoga teacher. Her mission is “Empowering U2BU through creativity coaching, Reiki, self-care, social media, volunteerism, and yoga.”

Any thoughts?

Visit to see more of my new changes. Check out my bio too.  I still have to add a lot of content to the site in April and May.  For now, I am satisfied with the blessings.  And I know there are more to come.  So get ready for new surprises on!

Oh yeah, here is a great article I read about rebranding yourself on Times Online:

Also, Pink, one of my favorite web sites for women, posted a great blog post about “3 Quick and Easy Ways to Build an Online Presence” that might interest you. Be sure to check out Pink for the following rebranding blog posts:

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude for E-bert, yoga, meditation, and being still to hear my inner voice,


The Business of Being Ananda Leeke: Applying for Speaking Engagements at IgniteDC and BlogHer

Greetings All,

Last week I applied to speak at IgniteDC which will be held on June 16.  “Who lives inside of me?” is the topic of my five-minute presentation. Click here to read my short proposal:  My sistalove Jessica Solomon, founder of Spark Creativity and The Saartjie Project and also applied. Check out her proposal on “Perceived Weirdness Index”:  It is a fabulous concept!  I know IgniteDC will select it!

I also submitted a proposal for the BlogHer 2010 Community Keynote which will be held in August in New York City.  Click here to read why I submitted the proposal:   Here’s the link to the blog post:

What do you think about my proposals?

I am using them to prepare short and medium size talks based on excerpts from my new poetic memoir That Which Awakens Me.  I am also going to create a PowerPoint presentation that will be posted on SlideShare in a week or two.  More good stuff is coming!!!!

Have a great week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for speaking ideas,


The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Working with Publicist Xina Eiland on Branding

Photo courtesy of

Greetings All,

On Saturday, I met with my publicist Xina Eiland ( about my 2010 PR and branding goals.  Having access to Xina’s expertise and support is helping me take my time to:

  • streamline my online presence, business card, and logo,
  • develop a professional PR package, and
  • reorganize and relaunch

I have committed to completing phase 1 of this process by March.  One of my homework assignments was to test out branding identity labels.  The first one I tested was Urban Debutante Innerpreneur who promotes the practice of self-care in her work as an artist, author, blogger, coach, speaker, and yoga teacher. I put it on Twitter. I still have to create a short tag line.

So far, I have received a mixed bag of feedback. My fabulous sistalove Corynne Corbett ( offered amazing feedback on Saturday evening via Twitter.  Corynne dug deep into my wordy statement and picked it apart.  Her food for thought helped me get even clearer about the importance of adding  self-care in my statement.  I still have to do a few things to create a tag line and tweak my bio.  My creative brothalove Andrew Ward a/k/a HKB FiNN ( gave me his comments via a Sunday email from London.  My life coach Yael Flusberg ( made a great point about the use of “urban debutante innerpreneur.”  As a 45 year old woman, the title makes me sound like a young 20 something who is just coming out.  Yael  reminded me that I am an expert and want folks to see me as that.

Today I am testing out a new Twitter bio: 21st Century Innerpreneur & Self-Care Strategist who promotes authenticity, balance, and calm as an artist, author, blogger, coach, speaker, and yoga teacher.  I still gotta come up with a tag line. Any ideas? Let me know what you think.  Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Gratitude, and Compassion,


PS: Big thanks to Corynne and my dad J for helping me get clear about the use of the word maven. Corynne suggested self-care strategist. WOW this is such an organic process!

The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Part 3: Media Training 101 with Toni Blackman

Happy Thursday!

On August 7, I spent the morning with Toni Blackman (, my dear sistalove and media training coach, learning how to improve my online and offline appearance as the host of Ananda Leeke TV ( at Busboys and Poets ( in Washington, DC.  Toni reviewed and critiqued the webisodes I filmed during my Chicago adventures at the BlogHer 2009 Conference ( She also provided feedback on how to be more relaxed on camera, incorporate more gestures while speaking, improve my eye contact with the audience, and present a more polished look by selecting clothing, hairstyles, and makeup that enhance my natural beauty.  

After we talked about my webisodes, Toni filmed a webisode of me practicing my lessons learned.  I love how Toni uses experiential learning in her training sessions.  She also gave me homework to practice what I learned. My first homework assignment was a webisode I made during my plage de temps (French word for beach time) on Sunday.  I focused on making contact with the audience. Check out the webisode below.   Let me know what you think.

To learn more about Toni and her creative work, watch the webisode below. 

Enjoy your day!

Peace and Creativity,


The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Part 2: The Power of an All-Girls School in My Life


Happy Tuesday!

Today I thought I would post Part 2 of The Business of Being Ananda Leeke.  Being Ananda Leeke is rooted in the experiences I had while attending an all-girls school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  What a powerful time in my life!  

This morning I listened to a recording of WCPN 90.3 FM’s The Sound of Ideas show. The theme was “Lessons from Girls’ Schools.”  Click here to listen to the podcast:  It made me think about St. Elizabeth Seton High School (, the all-girls Catholic school that I attended in Bladensburg, Maryland .  My mother Theresa is the reason I went to Seton.  She gave me the same gift of support her mother Dorothy gave her when she decided to attend St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 1950s. 

Seton gave me the opportunity to find my own voice, dream big dreams, develop and share my own opinions, and speak my truth.  I learned to be who I wanted to be without concern for what boys might think.  My academic experience gave me confidence, promoted my creativity, and established my courage to take risks.  Seton also taught me how to manage my time, be independent, serve my community, and actively pursue learning as a passion.  The Sisters of Charity and lay teachers challenged me to be the best and achieve at very high levels.  They did not accept mediocrity.  They reinforced the lessons my mother taught me:  own your own abilities and shine your higher self at all times.  That’s why I decided to become a lawyer at 16.  That’s why I learned how to be a public speaker and entrepreneur through Junior Achievement in my junior and senior years.  That’s why I was a student leader, member of the Gospel Choir, and budding artist and writer.   

How did your high school years influence you?

Peace and Creativity,


The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Part 1


Narrative: Memories. In Your Own Words, a six-word memoir

collage by Ananda Leeke

Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Happy Thursday!

Two weeks ago my life coach Yael gave me several homework assignments.  One assignment involved me mapping my goals, priorities, and to do list activities.  Yael said this assignment would give me a picture of what I am doing in my life.  I call it The Business of Being Ananda Leeke.  Yes it is a business being me!  And it is a business building and maintaining the Ananda Leeke brand

This morning I got up early again with more energy.  I made some peppermint tea to keep me company as I sat at my kitchen table journaling about about my goals, priorities, and to do list activities for July, August, September, October, November, and December.   Several key phrases emerged from my journaling:  

  • mission
  • strategy-driven approach
  • reality check-ins  
  • desired outcomes
  • bottom liners
  • satisfaction
  • celebration

“More words … blah … blah … more thinking … more work” is what I thought when I reviewed my writing.  So I put my pen down and walked over to my yoga mat.  After doing a few restorative poses, I moved into my ten sun salutations.  When I finished, I sat on my meditation cushion and did several rounds of alternate nostril breathing.   That really opened my heart.  I took it a step further and grabbed my mala beads for a mantra chanting session that ended with several quiet OMs. 

After my morning yoga, I returned to my kitchen for breakfast.  While eating my oatmeal, I realized that The Business of Being Ananda Leeke  deserves a strategy-driven approach that incorporates my heart and mind.  There must be balance between the two.  A Yin and Yang approach to be-ing me. 

Stay tuned for more updates on The Business of Being Ananda Leeke!

Peace and Creativity,


PS:  Be sure to tune into the first episode of The Ananda Leeke Show, an online radio program that celebrates creativity in everyday life, on June 30 at 8pm EST on  I will discuss my insights on writing my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery(Summer 2009 Release – iUniverse, Inc.).  Click here to listen to the show:  If you miss it, you can listen to a recording several minutes after the show airs.  You can also download the show to your computer or iPod via iTunes.