April 2016 - Tony Astro - Advisor, Businessman, Consultant

CareerWise by Tony Astro - Bringing Your Personal Brand to Life

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Prime & Safe: Take care of Yourself First. A Personal Wellness Plan as a Counselor by Tony Astro

With the strain of our job as consultants or counselors, health and fitness or wellness is very vital to how we communicate, share ou...

Bring your Personal Brand to Life.

Express your brand and get vibrant on what is exceptional and different about what you have to offer the world.

The CareerWise Personal Branding Portfolio

Developed by Dr. Tony Astro, a 20-year career development counselor and 10-year marketing director, the CareerWise Portfolio is a personal branding toolkit. Following a proven system, it was designed to help you evaluate your skills, identify your unique areas of opportunity, and develop a plan to put yourself out there in the digital age.

Connection. Communication. Culture (Branding). Commerce (Marketing) – these 4 Cs are crucial to your personal branding and career or business success.

Building your career or attracting new partners or clients, the 4 Cs are the you’re your first impression can be misunderstood because of poor communication, connection, branding or marketing yourself.

In whatever field you are in like military or corporate or an artist or a CEO, the right personal branding establishes you as the leader in your chosen or current field, CareerWise by Tony Astro will be able to guide you or your team to stand distinctly from the competition.


Quarterly Brand Planning Outlook

Plot your annual personal branding moves quarter by quarter with goal and revenue planning calendar

The Little Book of Brand Lessons

– 30 Lessons on business, branding and social media. Get inspiration as you confront and move past the issues that typically hold new brand-builders back.

The Personal Brand Development Toolkit

70+ pages of instructional material, how to worksheets, templates and guided exercises in a custom 3-ring binder

Brand Audio Training

Get fired up with the 60-minute jumpstart audio training and learn how to build your brand around your expertise. Apply this powerful new mindset when you dive into the personal branding toolkit's 70+ pages of guided brand building exercises and create your annual plan quarter by quarter.

Who is your CareerWise Counselor?

For over a decade, Tony Astro has worked with individuals and team facing a variety of career challenges and life transition. Whether re-entering the labor force after the military or a career interruption or getting started in a new job, Tony is proficient at training, counseling, coaching and mentoring his clients on how to build their personal brand to develop a stand out contender in their selected arena. Tony also works with professionals to give them the tools to advance in their careers in their chosen fields utilizing techniques to help clients market themselves internally and to become thought leaders in their fields.

Since 1992 Tony Astro has helped military students as Educational Services counselor from the Navy. Most of them are also athletes, and high ranking military professionals and he understand how to grow and improve their personal brand using his own CareerWise technique.

Read below to learn about the benefits of personal branding, our customized program, and how Game Changer coaching can help you or your business.

Clarify Your Brand

CareerWise by Tony Astro ® will help you develop a clear personal brand by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, values and preferences, and evaluating what sets you apart in your market.

We will take the time to clarify your goals and the overall mission for your business. CareerWise will help you understand your or the company’s role in the market. Then we will learn about your current position and help you to develop the strategy for your long-term goals

Then we will do a target assessment. If you don't know your audience then you don't know your business. Knowing the target audience is crucial before implementing the most successful strategy of communications and positioning.

Find Opportunities

CareerWise by Tony Astro ® will first establish what makes you or your company exceptional and bring this to your work or customers experience.

Then we will discover additional prospects for your brand or business by developing a tactical strategy that will let you leverage social media, content marketing, and traditional networking.

You will learn how to connect your brand successfully using your elevator pitch, individual branding speech, and develop promotional products to build credibility between clients, associates, and prospects.

Build your digital presence

You will learn the strategies to grow your brand or business by developing strategic partnerships and increasing brand visibility.

We will work with you to become recognized as Game Changer in your industry while achieving a life of significance and fulfillment.

CareerWise will do a thorough analysis of your personal digital footprint. If needed, then get the opinions of other people regarding you or your company because your personal brand is not how you see it, but what other people can tell each other it is.




What is Personal Branding?

Personal Branding is your unique or exclusive promise of worth to a potential employer or to your target audience strongly expressed.

Where did it come from?

Personal Branding came about in the mid-90's from the concept that as companies have used branding successfully to attract their target audience, so successful professionals can do the same. Global thought leaders such as Tom Peters (who coined the phrase), Peter Montoya, William Arruda, David McNally and Karl Speak, have popularized the concept.

Who needs personal branding?

In today's world, everyone. From successful military personnel, business owners, athletes, professionals, and executives need a personal brand.

I don't live in Coastal Virginia, can we still work collectively?

Definitely! Counseling, mentoring and/or coaching is available via social media, telephone, email and video chat.



Pre-Client Questionnaire

60 Minute Session

Brand Strategy Plan

30 Minute Follow- Up Call


Pre-Client Questionnaire

Four (4) 60 Minute Sessions Per Month

Brand Strategy Plan

Goal Setting

Email Support



Pre-Client Questionnaire


Four(4) 60 Minute Sessions per month

Brand Strategy Plan

Unlimited Email and Text Messaging

Marketing Templates

Website Support

Content Creation

Monday, April 25, 2016

20 Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills I Learned in the Military for 23 Years (Part 1)

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20 Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills I Learned in the Military for 23 Years (Part 1)
I could've entitled this 23 skills I learned from my actual 23 years but 20 is from me and I would like to hear the 3 from you. What have you learned in your previous career (not necessarily military) that you have learned or unlearned from those past life that you will continue to do or never do it again?  Here are 5 of the 20 enterprising skills and leadership abilities I learned and use now as owner of a growing small business company.

1. Resilience - As a 23 year Navy veteran, I was structured to do all my duties and finish them in short notice and be able to recover quickly even if there is a personal issue going on such as when I have to leave my 3 month old son with my wife who happens to care for my mom's fragile health as well. Although there is a limited family support group the military can provide, there is no excuse in accomplishing a mission - I have to recover quickly from difficulties.
In my two years as entrepreneur - toughness and difficulties dealing with deadline and customers is important in order to meet our return of investment.

2. Multi-Tasking. This is a double edged sword because I can be unfocused on one task from another but when things go south, we have to be ready to do more than one task. Apart from my main duty in the Navy as career counselor for squadrons from ships onboard USS Lincoln and USS Nimitz and Military Sealift Command I was also given a major task as supervisor for administration personnel, compartment and spaces of Air Wing spaces for 2,000 personnel, Equal Opportunity Manager, training and educational officer and even Drug and Alcohol and Sexual Assault programs.
I learned to managed my time wisely and seeking the help of my fellow Chiefs (these are my Navy colleagues on almost equal rank who passionately look out for each other) in order to move on and prioritize what is important and what needs to be done right away.

In business, it is important to be knowledgeable in many areas, for example, in case something happens in my website I will be able to tweak or monitor small errors or find the best one who can do the job. Also, I can still run multiple Facebook and Instagram pages while I am sending email to my clients or waiting for clients a coffee shop. I am also an independent certified Career Counselor that needs timely response.

3. Courage. Many have said that public speaking is the major fear (than snakes) because we don't know what is going to happen during those talk. But I believe it is the "going" into the unknown is the number one fear of everyone. In the Navy, we are all given a task to conduct training once a month on average - whatever your job is. Speaking to public, doing a task that I have no experience, being volunteered to go to a rescue mission in Indonesia, shooting an M-16 or Mortars, leaving your love ones - are just some of the fearful things I did that I learned to embrace while I was a First Class at VAW 116 and twice at the Seabee battalion Five and Forty.

As owner of Mvoss Creation LLC and multiple social media sites, I courageously (some would awkwardly say stupid) conduct public speaking, create untried marketing strategy and post a video of me lip-singing Seven Years on our Instagram page. These moments that I think outside the box or go against the "rule" gets me business and big contract deals in a month.

4. Bootstrapping. Cash is not just the lifeblood of every business but everybody. Loans or investment are critical in business but during the beginning of my business we use the most of what we have instead buying or borrowing. Lately, the Navy learned how to recycle but during deployment out to sea where access to all the convenience are very limited, we learn to use a dirty blanket to sweep the floor, use coffee filter to wipe sensitive equipment, use the smallest space into something very useful and other hacks or DIY (Do It Yourself).

When Mvoss Creation LLC (a small promotional branding company me and Myla created) just started with our first trade show, we have a very limited budget, we were able to use my son's flat screen TV, some thrift store picture frames to put our flat promotional products and dollar tree items like clips. We pulled it and had a sophisticated booth and gained few followers and new clients.

5. Lifetime Learning. All Navy personnel are required to have a monthly training on their field besides the six or ten annual General Military Training. I have completed some of my college and post-graduate studies using tuition assistance as well. These training not only keeps the Navy updated but helps us Sailors get promoted, minimize our job error but also transition well later in our career.
As an entrepreneur, risk is inevitable but it can be minimize by educating ourselves. I am still a student (completing my PhD in Human Services) and continuously taking courses through Linda (an online course through LinkedIn, it is free for the first 12 months for veterans), Udemy, Coursera and other opportunities learning HTML, graphic design and public speaking through Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie or even informal workshops in our local community or DIY social media sites.
Never stop learning and never stop sharing what you have learned.

I could keep all these five items as my trade secret for the past two years as a business owner but I chose to share it because I know that it will bring me back support and comments that I can learn too. I am sure there is more than twenty (depending on how open minded you are or your willingness to learn) that I have absorbed from the military and so on my next 15 skills, I would like to get your input and share your story on it as I talk my next 15 on my next blog. Here is a preview on the rest of the 15 enterprising and leadership skills I learned from the Navy:

6. Stay and Look Healthy or you're out
7. Be a Team Player but Lead
8. Copy and Paste but personalized it (Apple, Microsoft, Toyota - they all did)
9. Sponsor and Mentor someone
10. Don't Shortcut (or in the Navy, it's called Gundecking)
11. You are Late when You come in on Time (always be in your appointment 15 minutes early)
12. Wake up Early or Else (in the Navy ship, you miss the shower time, the donut, and the omelet)
13. Meeting is not always in a Boardroom (we do it in passageway every Monday)
14. Attention to Detail (From haircut to creases in your uniform)
15. Always respect your Boss and everyone else (Never disrespect your customers)
16. Use your power to Influence (Ranking has privileges to do good)
17. Don’t break the structure but always improvise
18. Use your leverage (hookup and mafia mentality)
19. Be patient to change and wait (change is constant on deployments and lots of waiting)
20. It’s an Adventure (enjoy your port calls while you’re in it)

On the other side, there are also habits and traits I gained from the military that I would never continue to do wherein I will be drafting next could be contentious or may touch some nerves of those who practice these not-so-recommended traits for more than 20 or worst 30 years in the military that does not work in the civilian and millennial community of where some of us continues to struggle, survive or succeed.  I will show you the preview in a photo below - not necessarily true but just for laughs.

Remember whether you are a veteran or not, everything you did  - fail or succeed in doing from mopping to leading becomes a value of you, learn from it and move on like Liam Neeson here:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How To Win Friends and Influence People (Presentation to Trusted Compass Business Network)

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How To Win Friends and Influence People (Presentation to Trusted Compass Business Network)
I was honored to be asked last week to present a 20 minute presentation on a 12 week course on Dale Carnegie's Human Relationship principles held at Cypress Point Country Club in Virginia Beach last Friday.  Here are 30 principles written word by word from How To Win Friends and Influence People.  I will do another brief on the 28th April at Peking International Restaurant in Hampton Virginia at noon via Trusted Compass - a Christian Business Network publisher of Shepherd's Guide.
  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager need or want.
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  5. Smile.
  6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
  10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  11. Show respect for other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  13. Begin in a friendly way.
  14. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  15. Let the other person do a a great deal of the talking.
  16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  17. Try honestly to see things from the other persons point of view.
  18. By synthetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  19. Appeal to the other nobler motives.
  20. Dramatize your ideas.
  21. Throw down a challenge.
  22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  26. Let the other person save face.
  27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your appreciation and lavish in your praise.”
  28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

    To get the real essence and use these principles with more accountability, click this Dale Carnegie principles to get more information on how to have the 12 Week Dale Carnegie training course