Yesterday I drove to Amsterdam to meet Michelle Obama.

Me and thousands of others. Women of color, muslimas, a couple of guys, white women, young, old. . . so many women.
The anticipation felt like true connectedness. There was no pushing in those incredibly long lines outside. It moved me deeply. Because imagine what will happen when all these women will take Michelle Obama's words to heart.

Think about how we will impact our society when each one of us is brave and vulnerable, and we connect through our stories.

The other reason I was moved was that -  just last week  - I changed the name of the Wonderfully Weird Academy into Brave Branding Academy and it comes with a Brave Brand Manifesto.

Hearing my manifesto so beautifully reflected in Michelle Obama's words made my heart sing.

Watch the video. Read the transcript. Read the Brave Brand Manifesto and decide if you're the woman who will tell her stories, and dares to be vulnerable and brave.

​Join the Brave Branding Academy


Michelle Obama:

Just a reminder that you're connecting with my story, and you're connecting with my vulnerability and that's the opposite of what we're taught. We're taught to hide ourselves, particularly women and people of color, people who feel marginalized, people who aren't wealthy, who don't have status. People were working hard every day who feel unseen.

Because the truth is is that we don't all hear our stories told in a profound way, and in that way that creates a level of invisibility. So we hide ourselves.

But I think that the opposite is true, that if we can open up a little bit more to each other and share our stories, our real stories. You know, our pain and our triumphs, our hopes, and our joys and the little journeys that we all take, that that's what breaks down barriers. That's what people are connecting with. They're connecting with me because I told the story, but it's the story that's the power.

But in order to do that, you first have to believe that your story has value, and we all don't believe that. Most of us don't. Most of us think that there's one way to be human, that there's one way to be right. We've got people killing and fighting and dying over this one notion that there's one way to be human, one way to pray, one way to love, one way to look. And that's so far from the truth of how we've been created.

So we have to feel good about ourselves to tap into our own stories in order to share it. We need more stories out there of how to be human, not fewer. We need to expand the possibility of what it means to be human, not narrow it down to just a few races and genders who can do anything in the world. But in order for that to happen, we have to tell our stories.

And it doesn't have to be told in some biography that's going to be published. You can tell it to yourself, tell it to your children, tell it to your neighbors, your colleagues, your coworkers. Be vulnerable, dare to be vulnerable, and that for me, as I said, is how we find voice and how we find strength and how we become.

So my hope for everybody here, anybody who hears my voice, who hears my corny jokes, and my off-colored stuff takes away that this isn't about Michelle Obama. This is about us all. So don't be afraid to open up because people will welcome you in ways that they won't, and if they don't, there's a lesson in that too.

So be brave and be hopeful because we owe it to the next generation. We owe it to our young people to be hopeful and optimistic, engaged in the process of constantly growing and changing. We can all do this together.

Amsterdam, thank you so much.

Isha Sesay, thank you to you. You are my hero.

Isha Sesay:
No, no. Thank you for two nights with you. Thank you.

Esther de Charon

Esther de Charon de Saint Germain is the Business Doula and Soul Whisperer of brave female entrepreneurs who want success on their own terms Esther is the author of "The Wonderfully Weird Woman's Manual" a Brand Expert, certified Transformational Art Coach, Artist, Communication Consultant, Art historian, Huffington Post + Thrive Global Blogger with over 25 years experience in the field of branding, design, creativity and art. She lives with her 13-year-old son and husband on an old farm. She's also addicted to Jasmin Tea, Opera with seriously bad endings, Weird Art and Red Lipstick.