Posts tagged “Comfydence”

Listen here to a short interview I had with Brad Burton UK's #1 Motivational Speaker, founder of 4Networking and highest rated 5* Amazon business author about his YOUniform. How and why he came to be wearing the same outfit of jeans, trainers and branded t-shirt EVERY day. 
The story of when my sister needed my services...in her own words, she describes the transformation she felt having the experience of my 'hands on' Premium Package
What’s your name and where do you come from? 
 
For those of us who did most of our growing up in the 1980’s, this question featured heavily on a Saturday evening. Blind date with ‘our Cilla’. 
 
In the 1980’s, for me, it was a very easy question to answer, “Hi Cilla, I’m Linzie from Leigh, Lancs.” 
 
Fast-forward to 2019, that question wasn’t quite as easy to answer. 
 
Let me tell you why. 
 
I was born in 1967 to a working-class family. My mother made all of our clothes as they were not a disposable commodity. New clothes were as a direct result of an event, Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. My mum was a dab hand with a sewing machine and knitting machine. We were always very well turned out. 
My older sister and I were always dressed the same.  
Often, I had her clothes when she outgrew them. Fortunately for me, I grew a lot taller than my sister and dodged a few outfits as we got older. 
When I was given the responsibility to buy my own clothes, I didn’t always make the best choices, much to my sister’s amusement… 
 
Ok, I had a thing for uniforms. There, I said it. Brownie guides, girl guides and girls brigade. I loved being smartly turned out. I liked looking the same as everyone else. No judgement from the fashion-conscious peers. 
 
It was a natural progression for me to pursue a career in the police. For nearly 30 years I wore police uniform. It was designed for men. I wore men’s clothes, no make-up, nails or hair were allowed. Completely de-feminised.  
 
When I progressed into a plain clothes department, I wore a suit (another kind of uniform) I felt comfortable and professional in my suit. 
 
Three years ago, my life changed; I got married, retired, moved away from my hometown, nursed and lost my mum, and my daughters moved in with their partners…. 
 
So now, “what’s your name and where do you come from?' Felt like a difficult question to answer. I’m Linzie from LLanfechell never really took off. 
 
I didn’t have a structure to my day for the first time as an adult. I lived in the middle of nowhere and only saw my husband and the dogs. I stopped wearing make up as it was a waste if nobody saw it. I started living in fleece joggers, tops and wellies. Hair scraped back as it is too windy to let it down. Most days I didn’t care and other days I appalled myself with my slipping standards. 
At this stage I knew I needed the transformational services of my sister in her professional capacity. I’d seen the results she’d got with other women and decided it was time to ask for help. 
 
I was embarking on a new career path but didn’t know how to pitch myself. My experiences were unique and valuable, my cardigan and crocs weren’t going to sell my products...Lisa’s confident approach was inspiring – it was interesting seeing how she worked in style coach mode. I felt totally comfortable opening up my thoughts and wardrobe without feeling judged.  
 
We established my style personality and updated my colours – I’d had them done over 5 years ago. We then progressed to a wardrobe weeding session. Very liberating, all those clothes that I would ‘slim into’ were about 20 years old. In the charity bag they went. That took the pressure off, no longer were those clothes reminding me of my failed weight loss attempts. 
 
Lisa has a very keen eye for colour, she has intuition and instinctively knows what clothes suited me best. She was able to advise on how to accessorise each piece for maximum ‘wow factor’. Her vast experience together with a friendly, empathetic manner made our session much more than just being about clothes. 
 
Once we had found a few treasured pieces, she created some style mood boards for me to include them and from that we were able to style a capsule wardrobe that took the stress out of ‘what to wear’. I was armed with a shopping list - she even gave me links to shops so all I had to do was click and buy!  
 
All the clothes suited my colour and style. It lifted my soul and made me feel like me again, but a better version. 
 
I went from feeling like I had let myself go and apathetic about myself and appearance to feeling strong, beautiful and more like me again – I am Linzie from Leigh, Lancs again (even though I don’t live there anymore). 
 
 
 
 
She’s in her 50’s, an intelligent, well-educated professional woman who is really good at what she does. She’s competent, self-assured and is comfortable complaining if the food is not up to scratch when she goes out for lunch with friends. 
She’s strong, resilient and has the wisdom that you get from reaching her age. Life is short, she gets that and wants to have a bit more fun. She wants to enjoy being who she is and rediscover her identity… 
 
Her kids are older now, at university; so, she has more time on her hands but still not masses of disposable income as they’re topping up student finance loans.  
 
She’s been with her husband a long time, they’re at the ‘comfy slippers’ stage. She knows he loves her, but she sometimes feels a bit invisible to him. He doesn’t pay that much attention to how she looks so isn’t too handy with the compliments…she could quite easily change her hair and it would be a few days before he’d notice. 
 
They’re happy in each other’s company but don’t have to be in each other’s pockets so have developed separate hobbies and interests over time. She likes book club (with wine) and enjoys reading the books on her kindle while on the bus to work – Martin takes the old Volvo. Rock choir and yoga are her weekly nights out, she’s made friends by going to them but doesn’t see them out of those environments. 
I was asked recently if I'd thought of chatting with people in a networking meeting situation, being a bit more pro-active in my approach, and asking if they'd be open to a bit of feedback regarding their image/style/personal brand. I recoiled in horror! This is just not my way at all...I'm more about getting to know my client first, their likes, dislikes etc so that any advice I give is more likely to be taken. it reminded me of this story... 
I met a lady one time called Kate who was presenting at a conference I was at. She’s a very successful businesswoman in her field and is an inspirational author and speaker. She refers to herself as a fat lass with a laptop and a pack of tarot cards – it’s tongue in cheek, I don’t sense any confidence issues. (But who knows?) 
 
Anyway, she told me that one time when she was presenting somewhere an image consultant had approached her at the end of her talk and said something like ‘You know what would suit you better? A wrap dress.’ I would call this uninvited ‘style advice’ downright rude! She knows how to ingratiate herself with people – not. This is the type of person that gives colour and image consultants a bad reputation as being judgemental fashion police types. 
 
Being kind, I would like to think that this woman thought she was being helpful by sharing some of her styling knowledge and passing on free advice. She was giving away something that she would normally charge for and I expect she was keen to demonstrate and share her expertise with a view to gaining a new client. In truth I think this was quite presumptuous. 
Personal branding means different things to different people. 
To some people in business that I’ve met it’s about being known for wearing a particular colour, always wearing yellow socks or dressing to match their logo. This is all well and good, it might help you be remembered and gets you known within your network. It will say something about you and affect how you are perceived. 
 
To marketers personal branding means something completely different; to a graphic designer it may be more about choosing one font and colour over another because of the psychology and what that particular sans serif says compared to that one.  
 
What we would all agree on is that personal branding is about keeping your message cohesive. 
 
To me, in my profession as a colour and image consultant it’s about looking the part – whatever the part means to you. 
 
I deliver a talk about it. My talk is called “If it looks like a duck…” 
 
There’s a saying “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me… 
Remember the ditty from school? 
 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What bollocks that is...on my Facebook feed recently an article came up from Twitter July 2017 with the hashtag #TheySaid. 
 
#TheySaid 
The article is basically women relaying stories about comments made by parents or other people during childhood or teenage years that stuck well into adult life. Quite often offhand, throw away comments from our nearest and dearest that weren’t necessarily said with malice but have an enormous impact for a very long time. 
 
These words have cut deep. 
 
There are scars. Some are still open wounds, twenty, thirty or forty years on...comments made about our bodies, our physical appearance, our weight, perceived inadequacies related to our appearance. 
 
Tree trunk legs 
 
There are women in their 40's and 50's in my client group who have avoided showing their legs because of a comment a parent made when they were young. Legs like tree trunks. Legs like two pieces of string with knots in. Look at the size of your arse. You’d be pretty if you weren’t so fat and all kinds of other hurtful remarks. 
 
It’s hot, hot, hot and you want to stay cool.Long floaty maxi dresses are great, but for many of us (who don’t have a thigh gap) hot weather and dresses just don’t cut it because of the hell that is often referred to as ‘chub rub’, inner thigh chafing. 
If you suffer from this you know how uncomfortable it can be. 
Me and my trusted gang of researchers in the Let's Chat Wardrobe Wobbles group on Facebook have been on the interweb for you and found a few possible solutions that might help widen your wardrobe choices this summer and beyond. 
 
Talc/talc free alternatives 
A low cost, portable option that your nana might have used back in the day 
 
 
Longline pants/cycling shorts 
Not the sexiest thing in the world but neither is red raw skin 
 
 
Bandalettes 
The ‘sexy’ solution - make sure you order the right size though or they roll up or fall down 
 
 
Do you know Tryer Tracey? She’s always on a diet of one kind or another.  
She’s tried WeightWatchers, Slimming World, Rosemary Conley, 5:2, the F Plan, Cambridge, Lighter Life, Cabbage Soup, Dukan, Paleo, Slimfast, Atkins…you name it. She’s even been for hypnotherapy, had her thyroid checked, wonders if she’s got a slow metabolism and heavy bones…Bless her, it doesn’t matter what she tries, she can lose weight but then just can’t keep it off. But you know what? She’ll never give up trying because she REALLY wants to lose weight....She wants to lose weight so much she’d do anything, but life keeps getting in the way.. 
 
It’s October now, it’s half term next week and she’ll have the kids off school. They’ll need entertaining, that means days out and treats, they love pizza hut and the lunchtime deal is really good, the dough balls are delicious too. She’ll just have the salad though (those bacon bits make it worth it) and a diet coke, then perhaps nick a slice off the kids. The kids have pick and mix at the cinema but she resists and just has popcorn because that’s better for you. 
Halloween is a nightmare these days too! Where did the trick or treat thing and big parties come from? She just had a hollowed out swede as a Jack O’ Lantern when she was a kid. 
 
The supermarkets don’t help either, putting those big tins of chocolates on offer. She buys them to give to the kids on the estate when they come knocking –one of them is just full of empty wrappers by the 28th. It’s just the odd one here and there with a coffee and before you know it – gone. The tins are getting smaller every year though too. 
I’m in a really supportive coaching group. It’s run by a woman who really walks her walk and talks her talk.  
I really admire her integrity and passion and want to emulate her business model. She has completely nailed the know, like and trust factor in my eyes and I am happy to invest my hard earned cash with her for my current business development needs.I have recommended her to many friends and other women in business because she comes across as very real and truly authentic. I want to be like her in business. 
 
She hosted a conference earlier this week in Manchester. It was amazing and I came away totally inspired...bloody knackered but energised at the same time. She had a guest speaker who also has the same qualities (another very successful business woman in her own right) who has been coached by her for the past 18 months and is living proof that being true to yourself and your potential clients’ works. She generated £30k of business in August!!!She was telling us that her goal not that long ago was to bring in £400 a month to pay the Aldi bill and put petrol in the car... 
 
These two role models had a roomful of women in business at the conference – so it’s not just me being creepy or having some kind of weird girl crush. They both have literally thousands of followers on Facebook and some of us were there yesterday to listen and take inspiration from them and each other. It was in a nice hotel, proper conference facilities and everything. There was quite serious group of ‘business men and women’ in the next room having their own conference – they were all suited and booted and ‘looked the part’. There was not one business suit in our room – we probably weren’t the usual type of conference delegates they get, treading on their soft carpets and eating the pastries presented with the morning coffee...why am I telling you this??? 
 
 
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