A Fool-Proof Formula

A Fool-Proof Formula to Help You Recognise Your Commercial Value

I spoke last week about one unconventional letter you can’t afford NOT to write – and how writing down your dreams and aspirations, as though they had already happened, was the quickest shortcut to achievement.

I also released a video on LinkedInsharing how my husband and I had successfully qualified for a ‘Green Card’ to live in work in the USA, and a number of people asked how we did it.

Before I share the HOW, I think what really comes first is the WHO.

You see, before any of us can achieve anything, we need to recogniseour own unique value.

Yet so many struggle with not only recognising their value, but appreciatingtheir value.

For years, I had inadvertently and subconsciously asked myself one repetitive question and believe it or not, it was across all contexts of my life…

Do I Have What It Takes?

And this question would elicit a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’… and if truth be told, predominantly a superficial ‘yes’, couched within a deeper ‘no’….

So when my husband and I went bankrupt a decade ago at the age of 50… we had to get honest with ourselves and part of that involved us asking each other two very important questions…

What value do we have to bring to the market?


What will the market pay for our value?

And I created my own little formula to help me rise from the enormous self doubt (especially after losing so much material wealth and having to start again) and own the true essenceof what value I really did have to offer.

And I would encourage you to do this same exercise to get clarity (or even more clarity) on the value you have, and will bring, to your market.

My formula is PE + FE = TE

Step 1. What past evidence (PE) do you have where you have shone? Where you have won? Where you have been proud of something you’ve done? Where you have been relied upon? Where you are super proud of yourself? List them, embody them. You have your evidence. You have solid reference points. One of my clients, a salesperson, had fallen to the lower rungs of the sales ladder and couldn’t get his mojo back. 

We talked about this component of the formula and he spoke about his love of cricket. I asked him what position he played. ‘Opening batsman’ he said with pride. When I asked him what he did to maintain that position, he rattled off his training regime, teamwork, diet and commitment. Once the penny dropped he began to embody the role of ‘opening batsman’ in his sales role. He found his reference point and the climb back up began.

Step 2. What future expectations(FE) do you have where you will continue to shine?Who is your ideal future self? What does he/she dress like? Sound like? Look like? Feel like? Show up as? Is respected for? Has achieved? Hold those qualities close to you and declare those expectations – to yourself and others if you like! Those qualities, those aspirations are already within your grasp else you wouldn’t be able to articulate, recognise, imagine or even label them. Yes, it might take a little bit of work to get their but you already have proof you’ve got what it takes! A Fool-Proof Formula

Step 3. Recognise your true essence (TE)… a combination of your past and your future successes and accomplishments. Essence meaning,

'whatever most sums up the heart and soul of something, its truest most indispensable qualities'.

When you recognise your past evidence (PE) around value and your future expectations (FE) around opportunities, it’s makes so much sense to own the value around WHO you are and what you have to offer – your true essence (TE).

OUR GREEN CARD JOURNEY and why the WHO must come before the HOW. 

Eight years ago, after returning from one of our trips to the USA, my husband and I decided to investigate how we could live and work in America – and if at all, it was even doable.

With so many different visa categories to explore, I began to dig out collateral I had in those old ‘brag files’ that MIGHT constitute a successful application…

But we put it on hold because our son was still at home and our daughter was just coming out of a ten year stint in the AirForce and we felt it wasn’t the right time. And to be honest, not sure if it ever would be.

However, fast forward to December 2018 and with a spring in our step and a dream in our heart, we decided that we would bite the bullet and start the process.

The accidental tourist, the gypsy and they nomad inside each of us had created the perfect storm and we made an application to the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) for the EB-1 Visa. With me as the primary applicant, I self-petitioned and aimed for the moon. Waaay beyond the stars! A Fool-Proof Formula

Green Card Approval

I applied for the ‘Alien of Exceptional Ability in Business (Sales Leadership)’. After all if the Pullitzer Prize winner, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Olympians and Melania Trump could apply for this restrictive visa, then why shouldn’t I, right? 😉

And I began to really OWN my past value and then got excited about the potential value I could provide for ourselves and the USA economy.

I submitted 9 categories out of a potential 12 (You only need 3) and the USCIS agreed with me.

They granted me the most restrictive category for

'foreign nationals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field, whether the sciences, the arts, education, business, or athletics. Evidence proving extraordinary is by "sustained national or international acclaim."

They accepted my past evidence (PE) and were also satisfied with my future expectations (FE) and with a two year gap brought on by Trump’s Immigration Policy coupled with Covid, we have just been granted the opportunity to live and work as residents of the USA.

Welfare Card

Here’s the thing…I could have stayed stuck in the fact that ten years ago the only card we were allowed access to was a restrictive, yellow welfare card where I could have continued to ask ‘Do I Have What It Takes?’

But I didn't!


Life and business is always a case of ‘sliding doors’ and you’ll never know what your potential is or what opportunities and relationships are waiting for you unless you knock on that door, open that door and invite change in.

We all have so much evidence of successful experiences and results tucked away in files or memory banks, just ready to be shared with the world and we all have dreams that we aspire to convert to reality – if we choose!

As for your inherent value?

Find it! Own it and Bring it!!

And on that note,

Continue to be Bold, Brave and Brilliant,

Bernadette McClelland

I bring an extremely powerful and relevant message to the front of the room or to the wider market with my keynotes – ‘The Courage of Conviction and Deliberate Disruption’.

Because if you are not disrupting yourself in the way you think, feel and act – then something or someone else will!

My message is designed for business owners, leaders and salespeople to embrace the courage of their convictions so they can step out, with deliberation, and lead with impact, overcome uncertainty, align brand messages and win more business in a volatile and uncertain economy.

Message me to speak at your next sales meeting or Association meeting.

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The Importance of Evidence

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