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While operating as the leader of her family of companies the majority of the time,

Krista is also seen regularly on the platform speaking at conferences and events and

at the chapter level for many high level peer group organizations around the globe

helping high performance individuals and companies become world-class BRANDS.


Named to the Top 40 Under 40 list of outstanding young business professionals and recognized as a San Diego Woman Magazine's Woman of Distinction, she is the award-winning author of the book 

Get Noticed. Be Remembered: Creating a Personal Brand Strategy for Success


Her first company, Organized for Life, went on to become the first Professional Organizing

franchise system worldwide - and the first employer in the industry in Canada, with

three locations and thirty-six employees in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. 


Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Krista and her husband Ryan and

their eleven-year-old daughter are partway through their fourth year-long global adventure

where this time they will be based in Durban, South Africa for three months and then six months skiing in Canada before returning back to San Diego, California in the spring before beginning their next year of travel.

WHAT I DO (in my own words)

Well now that we've got THAT out of the way (while it's sometimes necessary, I am just not a huge fan of traditional bios), let's talk about one of my favorite topics: BUSINESS!

Some people find it hard to describe what my amazing team and I do, so here's an analogy I hope will help (and if you know me, you know I LOVE a good analogy!):



When you enter through the gates of the Happiest Place on Earth, there are different "lands" within the park: Neverland, Tomorrowland, Toon Town for the kids, etc. And there is a monorail connecting the different lands, which allows passengers the ability to travel through the park and get on and off the train in order to ride different rides. 

You can think of the KCS Family of Companies as just that: a virtual theme park for people with established expertise in a nonfiction topic who want to build and run a personal brand model alongside their other companies or businesses (the model is based on my upcoming new book Personal Branding: The Business Model of the Future). 


The "lands" within our park are: Personal Branding Land, Publishing Land, Writing Land, Speaker Land, and our version of Toon Town for the kids is The Authors Academy—split into Little Authors Academy (grades 1-4), Young Authors Club (grades 5-8), Teen Authors Academy (grades 9-12) and The Authors Academy (college level and above).


And just like Disney has the monorail, we too have our own virtual "train" that helps our clients navigate the park in a guided way, offering support and white glove service as we execute the different service offerings (the "rides") within the various lands, including:

  • Thought Leader Development

  • Personal Brand Development

  • Nonfiction Ghostwriting

  • Nonfiction Boutique Publishing

  • Nonfiction Writing Support (coaching, facilitating, developmental editing)

  • Speaker Development & Support

Everything I've created from a business standpoint was born from a need I had as a consumer but couldn't find in the marketplace.


When I completed the writing of the manuscript for my first book, Get Noticed. Be Remembered.: Creating a Personal Brand Strategy for Success in the early 2000's, I set out to find a publisher. I researched the publishing industry and interviewed everyone I could find, exploring self-publishing and traditional, big house publishing and anything and everything in between (which there was very little of at the time). Finding absolutely nothing I actually wanted as an author, I felt there was only one thing to do: build it myself. Enter Merack Publishing.

When I couldn't find a framework or an innovative enough business model to reflect my vision and what I wanted to create in the world, I built one. That model is at the heart of our personal branding philosophy and the work we do at Empire Thought Leadership, where we help people monetize their expertise into nonfiction intellectual property products like nonfiction books, using our signature "one part Memoir, one part Manual, and one part Manifesto" formula. 

When I was a kid, I was a writer, but there was no mechanism to become a published author when I was little. So when I came back into business building after taking a couple of years off with my daughter, there STILL was no way to become a published author as a kid. So I built it. And Little Authors Academy was born.


Every ride, every land, and every person on the team has been curated and hand-picked to deliver a powerful, positive, custom experience and to serve you in ways I know you want to be supported as a consumer. Because I am you. I am the OG customer of every service, and I wanted something different than what I found in the market, so I built it. For myself, and for you.

Welcome to the KCS Family of Companies!


KristaClive Smith is the Founder and CEO of CLUTCH Personl Branding, which uses personal branding as a business model to monetize and leverage expertise.

Krista is the Founder & CEO of CLUTCH Personal Branding, which helps time-starved CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to increase their credibility, have greater impact, and grow their revenues to "flip the model" and write and publish books that launch their personal brand platforms while enhancing the valuation of their companies and helping them

extricate themselves from the day to day operations of their business.

For more information, visit CLUTCH Personal Branding at

Krista Clive-Smith is the founder and CEO of Merack Publishing, a hyprid book publisher that allows youto publish your book, with your vision, your way.
A Boutique Nonfiction Publishing House

A pioneer in the boutique publishing industry, Merack Publishing is a boutique publishing solution for nonfiction authors with established expertise that delivers a world-class product, white-glove service, and the infrastructure typically associated with a larger publishing house but with the nimble agility to be able to move with speed rarely ever associated with publishing in general.

Merack Publishing
CLUTCH Personal Branding

Krista's newest company, The Author's Academy (broken up into Little Author's Academy, Young Author's Academy, and Teen Author's Academy) provides an innovative and engaging empowerment program disguised as a writing program through which students write and become the published author of their very own book while they're young. Our goal is for each student to leave the program feeling accomplished and proud, empowered to continue using their voice for positive change in the world for a lifetime.

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Little Authors Academy

Unknown Voices

The heart of KCS Family of Companies is built upon servant leadership, and as such the concept of "integrated philanthropy" is one of the key pillars of our brands. In fact, our five core values as a parent company organization are: Family, Freedom, Philanthropy (we call it "Go Giver" Spirit, after the book The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John D. Mann), Always Learning, and NO BITCHES. When each new team member is onboarded, we give them an audiobook copy of The Go Giver, and we explain the concept of integrated philanthropy, which follows the idea of Pledge 1%. 



Krista learned of the concept of Pledge 1% from the CEO of, and it's a concept that invites all entrepreneurs and their companies to commit important resources (product, time, and profit) to support integrating philanthropy right into the business—right from an early stage.

That led her to start her own registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization at the onset of launching her other for-profit ventures. It was important to Krista to build the foundation of integrated philanthropy into the fabric of the way the KCS Family of Companies does business right from the get-go, and so now - even while small - we dedicate 1% of revenue system-wide and tracking and rewarding our team members' giving time and will continue this practice as we grow. is a registered California charity/nonprofit that amplifies the powerful stories of seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things and shines a light on these amazing humans and organizations that most people have never heard of. It is also a branded collective of "Unknown Voices" who are living and working in service, doing good in the world anonymously without needing or desiring credit.

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