You Are Your Shop Window as a Woman in Business
Project FAB! No More Making Do - Your guide to confidence with colour & clothes
This week sees the first anniversary of me becoming a published author. I recall the excitement I felt as I took a screenshot of my book being available for sale to the public on Amazon. I’d been wanting to write a book for some time. I’d started writing several years earlier but had shelved the project because I wasn’t crystal clear on the message I wanted to convey.
I had wanted to share some of my ‘why’ and my background because it all seemed very relevant to ‘how’ I approach my business. It felt important that some of the painful stuff I’d gone through to get to where I am now was acknowledged. However, I knew that I wanted it to be more than a memoir and for it to have a self-development/teaching element around my colour and style work.
It seemed like a mammoth task and too big of a project to all get into one book and very nearly got put on the back burner again. The wise words along the lines of ‘it doesn’t have to be the book; it can be a book’ gave me permission to release some of the pressure I was putting on myself – thank you Sheryl for being my sounding board. I am happy to say that I’m very proud of what I produced.
I did include a few personal stories which hopefully illustrate my understanding, empathy, and compassion to the reader without it being too much like an autobiography! One of my Amazon reviews says this ‘Lisa Newport has a way of writing like she’s your best friend having a chat over a coffee and panini. There is a complete absence of the superiority and smugness that appears in a lot of books aimed at helping women discover their power. ‘
This means a lot to me because empowering women to proudly embrace their authentic selves is where my passion lies. Whether it is through their personal style, brand identity or the FAB Network, or a combination of both – I love how rewarding my work is.
Marketing & Self Promotion for Women in Business
I recently asked my FAB community what they thought the the best and worst things were about working for yourself. Many of those who responded enjoyed the freedom, flexibility, and the unlimited potential of being your own boss. Quality of life and being able to do something rewarding that provides a sense of fulfilment was also mentioned.
The down sides of self-employment were feeling isolated, being responsible for all aspects of the business and wearing all the various hats required to keep a steady income. Keeping a positive mindset when clients and cashflow are inconsistent can be tricky too. There was a sense of the pros outweighing the cons though. And, of course, the FAB Network has been created to provide a circle of sisterly support for those days when it feels a bit shitty.
Marketing and self-promotion need to be ongoing and consistent to keep the clients and cash coming in. My accountant always says that only 50% of your marketing works, the problem is knowing which 50% it is! It can feel a bit like sticking your finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing at times. The stuff you are putting out across your social media is effectively your shop window. It’s almost like you are permanently attending an interview – will you get the job?
Attracting potential clients so they are drawn to you
If we go with the ‘being at an interview’ analogy it could be quite tiring if you feel like you must perform and put on a show constantly. Therefore, in my opinion it is best to show up as your authentic self. However, I do think there has to be a standard that you set yourself to get the best results. You want your potential clients who are looking in the shop window to be drawn to you and feel that you are the best fit for them, so it’s important to get the balance right.
You want to appear comfortable in your own skin, so your authenticity shines through, and you’re aligned. This is when clarity around your personal style and brand identity comes into play. When you look and feel like you are totally expressing who you are, you attain an air of confidence that promotes self-belief. When you believe in yourself others follow suit. Think of your personal style as a short cut to communicating who you are.
‘Style is a reflection of your attitude and personality.’ Shawn Ashmore
I’m sharing this excerpt from my book around creating your own style recipe it can really help you step into your power. When you OWN your look as a woman in business you show up differently. You’ll shine and flourish not only in your business but in all your day-to-day dealings with family, friends. It’s about so much more than what you are wearing.
Your style recipe is about your essence; it’s very personal to you and encapsulates your identity, how you see yourself and how you want to be perceived. You then translate it into your personal appearance, and it gets tweaked depending on the flavour required for each day.
It’s just like cooking. You have your basic recipe; you know the ingredients needed and you can experiment with the finer details, adding spices and putting different twists on it depending on your mood. You’ll be able to put together a cohesive wardrobe that reflects your personality and lifestyle and can be dialled up and down to suit the occasion.
How to create your style recipe so you reflect who you really are
So, how do you go about creating your style recipe?
Assess your personal style as it stands currently. Think about how you appear today, and what your clothes say about you now, and then consider what you want them to say about you in the future.
Point A is your starting style. Point B is where you are aspiring to be. How much of a gap is there between the two? The gap between the two will vary from person to person and with the four step Project FAB! framework you can work out what needs to happen to bridge the gap.
If the gap is enormous or seems a stretch too far then remember, this is a journey. Whilst B maybe your final destination you can also create some pitstops or milestones to celebrate along the way. For example, you might want to get your whole wardrobe sorted for every occasion and the first milestone could be to get your work wardrobe sorted, then casual, then smart. You get the idea.
Remember to be realistic and authentic. Your style recipe is not just about your public persona. The aim is for it to be sustainable across all areas of your life.
Your style recipe reflects how you want to be perceived. What action do you need to take so that you and other people see you that way? It’s not about you having a makeover and looking like someone else. It’s about being more you than you’ve ever been before. No more making do or pretending to be someone you are not.
WARNING! I know someone who had beautiful naturally wavy hair and usually wore just a little bit of make-up. She had a photo shoot for her business and was primped and preened by a hair and make-up artist; she had the full works with perfect foundation, contouring etc., straightened her hair into a sleek bob – she looked amazing! However, it wasn’t how she normally looked, nor could she recreate it daily on her own. Her photos came out brilliantly, but she didn’t look like herself at all. The images were so incongruent with everything she usually represented in terms of her business that she didn’t seem authentic. Nor did people recognise her initially once they met in real life after seeing the photo first.
This kind of thing can, at its worst, make some people think you are fake or putting on an act. Either way, it does not bode well for building connection and trust – least of all with yourself, when you look at the photo and other people tell you how lovely you look but you don’t even recognise yourself. None of that is great for the relationship you have with yourself.
Feeling comfortable in your own skin as a 50+ woman in business
When you’ve done this work and feel totally comfortable in your own skin you no longer automatically walk into a room and kneejerk into comparison with others. It’s so liberating. If you’d like to learn more about how my 4-step framework could impact you and your business you can buy my book on Amazon or direct from me here. I also have self-study, group and 1:1 coaching packages.
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