Having followed the work of PR Girl extraordinaire, Aliza Licht and reading her bestselling book: “Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media,” I was curious about her take on vulnerability in the face of all her incredible professional success. She made a name for herself at fashion powerhouse, Donna Karan International, then walked away to make her name mean something on its own. And oh, did she ever. She was kind enough to answer some of my questions about how someone as successful as her handles vulnerability.

“It’s quite coincidental that you are working on this topic as I am exploring it as well,” said Aliza. “You mention that I might have felt vulnerable writing my book. Ironically, I didn’t. But now that I am embarking on new adventures post-DKNY, I am in uncharted territory. I am actually LIVING my book and I am going to document the process of my reinvention. I have no idea where it ends!”


BFD: Is your vulnerability necessary for your reinvention?

AZ: They say that if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. I believe that vulnerability is necessary for reinvention. When you are navigating uncharted territories and don’t know if you are doing the right things, you are going to feel unsure. The key is to get comfortable with the unknown. My strategy is to plant a lot of new seeds and see what grows!


BFD:  What do you do when your brain starts to whisper into your ear every possible disaster scenario, completely assuring you of failure?

AZ: It’s funny, my brain doesn’t do that. I don’t believe in mistakes. Mistakes are not only educational, they provide opportunity. I always think about Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Sliding Doors.  Even a mistake can lead you down a path that you didn’t know existed and that path can end up being the better one. 


BFD: You mentioned not feeling vulnerable in writing your book. When was the last time you did feel vulnerable?

AZ: I am starting a video series in the new year. I am sure that I will feel very vulnerable when I launch the first one!
BFD: If you could have one billboard anywhere, what would it say (let’s assume there is already one out there painted with Leave Your Mark!)?

AZ: Such a great question!  I have two

“Life isn’t a dress rehearsal; you have to go for it. But it takes hard work and dedication and you might not always get what you think you deserve. It doesn’t matter. Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”

“If change doesn’t hurt a little, it’s not change. You have to go beyond where you’re comfortable, or you’re not progressing.” 

BFD: What feeds your soul (What’s the thing that gets you excited/pumped to work on/be around/think about/do?)?
AZ: The possibility that one thing can lead to the next. I love the idea of organic evolution. I believe that you end up doing what you are meant to.

Since our chat, Aliza launched her own newsletter, BLACKBOARD, where I’ve enjoyed following along her journey. Even if you’re not in PR or marketing, Aliza has some great lessons for all professionals on humility, connection and authenticity. Sign up here to get schooled.

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