5 lessons I learned from Bukky George-Taylor’s ‘Born to Stand Out’

5 lessons I learned from Bukky George-Taylor’s ‘Born to Stand Out’

It is safe to say that Olubukola “Bukky” George Taylor is a woman of many talents, excelling as a strategic communications expert, an author, a captivating public speaker, and an insightful entrepreneurial coach.

As the founder of Robert Taylor Media, a distinguished strategic communications agency rooted in Nigeria for the past 17 years, she has pioneered innovative approaches in the industry. She has also contributed to Nigeria’s tourism industry as the co-founder of CRAWL AFRICA, thus revolutionising Nigeria’s tourist experiences.

Some weeks ago, I graciously received a copy of Bukky’s latest offering, a personal branding book for African women leaders called ‘Born to Stand Out.’ Within 109 pages and 14 chapters, she shares invaluable insights and practical strategies for everyone to position themselves as an authentic and impactful brand efficiently.

Digging into ‘Born to Stand Out’ was a transformative experience. Here are five standout lessons that every aspiring leader can benefit from.

Discover your purpose

In ‘Born to Stand Out’, Bukky emphasises on the need to ask a fundamental question: “What is my purpose?”

Finding purpose is the key to unlocking the potential of one’s personal brand, as it is the reason why the brand even exists. It is the heart of a personal brand. Once purpose has been discovered, the next step is to understand your audience and why they matter. Self-knowledge and awareness serve as the two foundational stones one needs in the discovery of purpose.

Networking is a necessity

Bukky makes us understand the importance of networking as a necessity, not a ‘need-to-have.’ According to her, it is “the bridge that connects your brand with the world and your journey with your desired destination.”

She advises that anyone networking should always be ready to share optimised contact information. This could be through the distribution of business cards with QR codes linked to your social media and website or directly providing your details.

Also, make sure to stay ‘woke’ or prepared with a polished elevator pitch, as people often have only a few minutes to spare during events.

Embrace the real YOU

One of the points Bukky raised in Chapter Three of her book was the power of self-expression. Over the years, she has learned that personal branding isn’t just about what you do but how one infuses unique excellence into everything one touches.

Ultimately, your brand becomes an authentic reflection of who you are, sparking connections beyond the surface. You can express your unique qualities without trying to be a reflection of another person.

Bukky emphasised the importance of embracing who we are wholeheartedly first before expressing ourselves. This will help every project you undertake to become an opportunity to convey your unique essence, creativity, and passion for excellence.

The 5As of Personal Branding are crucial to understand

Until now, I never knew there were five sacred ‘As’ or building blocks when it came to personal branding. This part of the book fascinated me, as Bukky gave a deep dive into these As and what they mean. They are:


As an entrepreneur, the ability to instantly earn the trust of your customers/audience through purely social factors is a coveted status for businesses and personal brands. Authority isn’t merely expertise alone; it is the confident articulation that comes from a deep understanding and mastery of your craft. You can speak not just words but wisdom—painting vivid pictures with words and making your presence felt with knowledge and conviction.


Authenticity is a virtue and an attitude that every successful person needs to possess. Now a buzzword, its plain meaning is regarding how well we handle internal conflicts inside the external world while striving to remain faithful to what matters to us as individuals.

The more aligned our values are with our authentic selves, the more success we have in business and other areas of life.

As a person striving for career expansion, one must be authentic in everything being done—with colleagues and partners, especially in branding efforts. Authenticity makes your brand unique and keeps people ‘coming back for more.’


This means building and publicising a personal brand that consistently shapes one’s image as an aspiring person on the fast track towards self-actualisation.

There are two critical elements of aspiration: identification and social recognition. Identification helps to define you in the eye of the consumer and shows how you will be perceived by either consumer or audience, while social recognition gives the impression of approval of your brand aspiration by others on social media platforms, whether on Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, or Instagram.


Although the actual word is ‘craftsmanship,’ the French word definitely fits into the 5 As. It is the ability to be entrepreneurial, own one’s work, and be proud of it. People are so bent on fitting the status quo when they should be doing the exact opposite—standing out!

This is where pride comes in, and your tendency to care about what you do and produce can be showcased. Present yourself as someone who cares about the reason behind what you do, and you will see yourself outshining the competition.

Artisanat is the pursuit of mastery, a narrative in which you are the maestro shaping the symphony of your craft.


Affinity is all about connecting with people who like the same things you do, like finding compatible friends in a crowd.  It involves forging connections beyond transactions. Bukky assures us that it works like magic and helps us connect with the right individuals and organisations!

Your brand identity evolves with time

A brand identity is essentially where your brand blueprint takes shape. For Bukky, it is the recognition that your brand isn’t just a name; it is your essence and your promise to the world.

Building a brand identity seems overwhelming, but I love how Bukky reassured us that we don’t create these things overnight. We see it as a project that evolves over time, culminating from numerous investments in self-growth, brand development, and tireless efforts to hone our communication skills.

So, there you have it—the five lessons I learned from reading ‘Born to Stand Out!’ You can buy your copy on AmazonGoodreads, and Kobo.


  • ChiAmaka Dike

    Chiamaka is the Features Editor at Marie Claire Nigeria. She is a woman who is passionate about God, women, and top-notch storytelling in all formats. Send all feature pitches her way - chiamaka@marieclaire.ng

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