Monday, January 23, 2012

Smart Women and The Art of Self-Promotion

One of the questions I'm frequently asked by women entrepreneurs is, "When I meet someone who is a potential referral source and/or ideal client, how do I mention my business without feeling pushy?" Great question! Being able to communicate your marketing message with confidence is key to attracting more clients, increasing your income and becoming known for your expertise.
The idea of "self-promotion" or "selling" leaves some women feeling like they are bragging, being pushy or not considerate of others. It can create anxiety and fear which in turn keeps you stuck and unable to reach your business goals. Women are nurturers by nature and the thought of putting their needs in front of someone else's may feel unnatural.
I understand the feeling (I've experienced it too), however if you are determined to achieve your business goals, it's essential you communicate your message about what you have to offer and how you help people. Do so often and to as many people as possible (otherwise, you will remain the best kept secret in town which in this case, won't serve you). People are super busy and can't read your mind so it's up to you to take on the responsibility of creating interest in how you support people with your product or service.
When I have an opportunity to share how I support women entrepreneurs, I use the R&R approach (Relationship + Results). It feels both authentic and comfortable for me and I think it will for you, too.
  1. Cultivate a Relationship - Whether I meet someone at a networking event, through social media or through a mutual friend, my first desire is to build a relationship and discover how I can be of service. I'm truly interested in people and enjoy learning about others. My goal is to find a common ground with people and if I can offer some advice or perspective on their current situation, I'll share it with them right away. This is a good time to showcase your expertise and also show the other person you are genuinely listening to them.

  2. Share Results - When it's your turn to share more about who you are and what you do (if you've truly shown an interest in the other person, this happens organically) share the results you've had with your clients through telling stories. Storytelling is engaging. People will lean in and listen intently to what you have to say. Rather than talking about the name of your company and the services you offer, concentrate on someone you've worked with that had award-winning results. Talk about where this person was when they first began to work with you and the benefits or transformation they received after working with you.
This approach takes away the "heavy" feeling of self-promotion that women sometimes experience. It has a feminine feel to it. Women create relationships better than anyone I know and sharing the results others have had when they work with you eliminates anxiety.
I invite you to get out of the office today and try the R&R approach. It's simple, easy and feels authentic to women entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Plan B Dressing - The Quick Grab and Wear Plan

A networking associate posed a question to me last week. She said that when getting dressed, she often forgets what she has in her wardrobe that can be worn together. Although her clothes hang in colour groups, this system provides no reminder and she often defaults to her favourite combination. Did I have any ideas to help her?
I like to plan ahead what I am going to wear. Not everyone is like that and even this plan does not always work. Disaster can strike at any time - clothes get ruined, you missed that stain, something rips as you put it on or you get a last-minute invitation to go somewhere.
I gave her some suggestions and decided to share them with you. I call this the Quick Grab and Wear Dressing Plan for business women over 40.
Make It Easy to Find Clothes to Wear
If you have so many clothes hanging in your wardrobe or closet that they merge into one solid block, it is time to re-organise or discard. Has the season changed and you are still keeping on hand clothes that do not suit this time of the year? If so, move those clothes elsewhere. Space out the clothes that are left so you can see all of your clothes. Sort out the clothes on your shelves and in your drawers so that you do not have to rummage through twenty items to find the one you want. Hang jewellery in clear pocket hangers and put scarves on tie hangers to make it easy to choose the best accessory that suits your mood and personality.
Enough is Plenty
Apply the Buddhist principle of Enough. With your wardrobe that means that before you buy more clothes, look at the current clothes in your wardrobe differently. Change any out-dated ideas that only this can go with that. Be young again. Play Dress Ups. Try on everything with everything. Try wearing your camisoles and singlet tops as modern outer vests. Mix patterns and colours. You may be amazed at what works and how your dressing choices have suddenly expanded. Enough will be plenty.
Create a Looks Folder
Now it is time to remember your old and new combinations. For the writers, write down all your dressing and accessory combinations and good places to wear that combination eg This item goes with that item when I go to this event.
For those more visual, take pictures of yourself or your combinations against a plain neutral-coloured wall. Create an album of your looks on your mobile or iPhone. You can also cut and paste them into a Word document as small images. Then print the document in colour at any printing place for only a few dollars. Depending on who shares your computer or laptop, you can create a screensaver of your looks. This was suggested by the networker above as she started to see the possibilities. Lastly, get creative with your own ideas.
Stick your printed sheets on the wardrobe door or wall for easy reference. Remember to check your Looks Folder before you get dressed.
Bonus Tip
When you buy something new, wear it as soon as possible in at least two different ways to imprint it on your mind. Be like a little kid. They are so in love with their new clothes that they cannot wait to wear them again and again. That might happen to you, especially if someone you admire compliments you on your new clothes or accessory.
Stop complaining about your wardrobe! Use these modern dressing tips to get dressed simpler and faster.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Preventing Domestic Abuse - Important Information and Safety Tips

Domestic Abuse and Violence towards Woman & Children are at Unacceptable Levels. 
Here are some current statistics found on the internet -

1) One woman is assaulted every two minutes
2) 4 out of 10 assaults take place in the victims home
3) Nearly 2 in 3 female victims of violence are related to or knew their attacker.
4) Anywhere from 1-3 million women have been battered each year by their intimate partner.
5) According to the U.S. Surgeon General, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States.
6) It is estimates that more than a million women each year have been stalked by an intimate partner in the United States.
7) Each day 4 women die as a result of abuse.
8) Each day 3 children die as a result of abuse.
9) In 2005, teenage women (ages 12-19) experience 1.5 million violent crimes; this figure includes 75,354 sexual assault and rapes
Domestic violence occurs to all types of women regardless of income, age, race, education, or belief system. Domestic violence is a major contributing factor to other problems including child abuse, neglect, drug & alcohol abuse, emotional problems, job-loss, homelessness, and attempted suicide. Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
Family violence costs the nation $ 24 billion annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters and foster care, sick leave, absenteeism, and non-productivity. Indirect cost raise this to $84 billion. These statistics are grim reminders that domestic abuse and violence towards women and children is a real and dangerous problem for millions. We need to make every effort we can towards stopping the increasing violence and reversing the statistics.
The good news is there are people and agencies in almost every community that are helping women. People are helping each other battle this problem, one step at a time. There are many important steps we can take to help. Let's list some of these:
1) If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, it's important to act immediately. Get away from the abuse as soon as possible. Report the Abuse to your local agency or a woman's support organization. Help is available.
2) Be aware of warning signs to prevent you or someone you know from becoming a victim. The seeds of violence are often planted long before physical abuse takes place. Remove yourself from a potential violent situation or seek help in doing so.
3) Learn Important Home & Personal Safety Tips to help keep you and your family safe.
4) Donate time, supplies, money and other resources to local organizations and shelters. They need your help.
5) Support Public Awareness and Education - Public awareness is essential in keeping these issues on national, state and local agendas. Violence prevention begins in our schools and our public agencies. Education is the key to opening the door to a healthy and productive dialogue about domestic violence.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Fit Into Your Favourite Dress - 4 Useful Tips for Women

Life is tough for everyone and being a woman doesn't make it any better. The fact is, people are often judged by their appearances, especially women. Some of you may disagree with me, saying that I am just too pessimistic. Well, I am just stating a fact.
Very often, you will hear people saying that a woman is fat even though she is just slightly plump. But you seldom hear people saying that about a man.
As a woman, we all want to be slim. We all want to maintain our figure and we hope to be able to fit into our favourite dress. So in this article, I am going to share with you some useful tips.
1. Make Sure You Get Sufficient Sleep
Believe it or not, lack of sleep can cause weight gain. How? Well, when you do not have enough sleep, you tend to get stressed up easily. When you are stressed up, you tend to overeat. You will also have the tendency to choose junk food over healthy food.
Needless to say, when you overeat, you will gain weight. Gorging yourself with junk food makes it even worse.
2. Be Happy Everyday
Yes, I mentioned that life is tough. But that doesn't mean you need to frown every single day! Learn to be happy. When you are happy, you will feel less stressed. So you will not fall into the overeating and junk food traps. And you know what? A happy woman is also a beautiful and attractive woman! Don't you want to be a beautiful and attractive lady? Don't you want to be the lady that guys will fall head over heel with?
3. Exercise Everyday
Needless to say, if you want to maintain your figure, exercise is extremely important. If you already do so, great! If not, start to consider exercising every day. Or at the very least, try to exercise 3 times a week. The benefits are tremendous.
First, you will become healthier and you will notice an increase in your energy level. You will not get tired or lethargic so easily. You can also lose weight if you are overweight. An added benefit is that you will become a more confident and attractive woman as a result.
4. Diet
Oops? Did I just say diet? Please don't get the wrong idea! When I say diet, I am not referring to starving yourself. I am simply referring to a healthy and balance diet. Make sure you cut out the junk food. Make sure you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. Make sure you get all the necessary nutrients that your body needs.
When you put all these 4 tips into practice, you will be able to keep yourself slim and fit. You will have no problem fitting into your favourite dress.