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Why Your Personal Brand Needs To Be Both Fierce & Feminine

Do you ever feel like somewhere along your corporate career you've disconnected with the real you?

This was me in 2004. At the time, I was working at Roche, travelling the globe and working on cutting-edge cancer therapies. Whilst I loved what I did, I had this deep desire to want to "SERVE" in a bigger way. Wanting to be of service, sounded weak and vulnerable and I was too afraid of what others might think. So I pressed on and continued to ignore the whispers.

After a significant turning point at work, I realised that I needed to listen to the whispers. For the past ten years, I've been privileged to have served over 3000 professional women and c-suite executives and have helped them create a personal brand that overcomes bias and allows them to lead with confidence.

During this time, it became apparent to me that many of them had become disconnected. They no longer knew who they were. They were dressing like men, sounding like men and acting like men. Yet, I would catch glimpses of their deep feminine energy during our many conversations.

When I'm working with professional women including c-suite executives, creating their personal brand always starts with an in-depth discussion around their values, what they want from their careers and wardrobe and why often they feel disconnected with who they are, what they do and how they do it.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have adopted their own “leadership look” based on wearing vibrant shift dresses and heels. While these women’s styles vary, the focus is the same, their clothes fit perfectly, they wear high-quality fabrics, and pay simple attention to accessories and grooming.

When I take my clients through a yin/yang exercise, I discover that many of them have hidden yin leadership qualities that are buried away and are only ever seen at home. Many professional women reject the feminine parts of themselves for fear of not being taken seriously.

Have women been conditioned to be more masculine in a corporate world? I think so! In the past, for women to wield power in what was historically a man’s world, she had to pretty much dress like a man. This is no longer the case and we’re free to present a new image of what leadership looks like.

If I were to ask you, "What qualities do leaders possess". It's highly likely the Masculine / Yang qualities will surface first.


The good news is that the world is changing. We are starting to embrace feminine energy. In the "Athena Doctrine", the author’s proprietary survey of 64,000 people around the world shows, traditionally feminine leadership and values are now more popular than the macho paradigm of the past.

The most innovative among us are breaking away from traditional structures to be more flexible, collaborative and nurturing. All over the world, people are deploying feminine thinking and values to make their lives, and the world, better.

So when it comes to your personal brand, how do you strike the balance between feminine and masculine energy?

Let's look at Oprah as an example.

Oprah naturally exhibits more yang physical characteristics due to her build and dark features. However, when she wears her hair curly, she instantly looks softer (more yin). When she wears her hair straight paired with dark solid frames, she instantly looks more yang as seen below. You'll notice in the top left image, the curved frames of her glasses, although dark, help her look more yin than yang.



When it comes to the overall picture, let's review how your outfit can shift you along the yin/yang continuum.

You'll notice in the images below that Oprah is wearing softer fabrics, no frames, her hair is curly and is wearing feminine colours. All of these elements teamed together make her look more feminine or more Yin.



In the images below you'll notice that Oprah is striking a great balance between yin and yang. When her hair is straight, her clothing has softer edges. When her hair is curly, her clothing is darker in colour and carries more angles. In a corporate context, professional women in positions of leadership need to strike a balance between yin and yang so they appear confident and strong, whilst also appearing authentic and approachable.


There will be times in your corporate career where you will need to exhibit more yang than yin qualities. You'll notice in the below images that Oprah is wearing block solid dark colours teamed with strong angles and straight hair. These looks carry more masculine energy.


Overall, as a professional woman, don't be afraid to embrace your feminine energy. Aim for your outfit to strike a yin/yang balance and remember to always remain true to yourself. When you deny a part of yourself, you lose your POWER!

If you'd like to learn more about our Personal Brand Creation Program for professional women,  please click here,  and let's have a chat to see how I can best serve you.

Styling Your Success

Janette

We Are All In This Together

Women love to talk things out, right!

I always feel better when I speak with my girlfriends about an issue or situation. 

They help put things into perspective and the issue no longer seems as bad as what I thought it was.

For me hosting live events,  is like coming together with my girlfriends.  

We talk about our style dilemma's, getting to the c-suite seat, how to be heard and seen walking the corporate corridors, our wardrobe woe's and our shopping catastrophes.

More often than not, most women in the room have either experienced the same issue or at the very least empathise with the situation.

It just shows me that we are all in this together. 

I've often asked myself, "Why do I love hosting live events"? Why am I so drawn to them? 

For me, there is nothing that beats the open honest communication and connection that all women make in the room. 

Here are some images taken from my very first workshops in 2008/2009 at Bondi Westfield, Sydney.

I've been running live events for nine years and our workshops are sacred places where we get to talk freely about our challenges and know that we won't be judged. 

We're not perfect and we all have areas of our lives we want to change or improve. Life, after all, is a journey of personal growth, learning, and reflection.

Being able to create a safe place where we can talk freely is so important and that's what we've created at, "The Art Of Self Packaging For Success" workshop

As professional women, dressing to reflect your position, values and personal brand is no longer an option. 

In this world of choice and change, you need to be the agile leader of your life. 

I want you to think of your personal brand as your ASSET. 

Come and join me and twenty other women on July 22nd for the #1 Style + Branding event for professional women.

Hope to see you there. Click here to register.

Styling Your Success

Janette x

Does Your "Attractiveness" Impact Your Pay?

It's been reported that "attractive" people seem to have a higher earning potential.

I have to say, one of the most common questions I get asked during my corporate personal branding workshops is, "Can the way I dress have an impact on my earning potential"? The simple answer to this is YES.

BUT....

Does your level of "attractiveness" in addition to the way you dress further enhance your earning potential?

Well, let's start by defining "attractiveness". I think it means different things to different people. To me "attractiveness" is about making the most with what nature has given you. A person's humour can make them attractive, a person's determination and persistence in a corporate context can also make them more attractive.

Fascinated by this topic, I've put my scientist's hat on and I've set out to see what studies have been done to support the argument that "Attractiveness can increase your earning potential".


Daniel Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, has written a book, "Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful", which reveals these startling statistics about the importance of appearance in the workplace:

  • Thin women earn $2,000 more each year than the average woman on the job.

  • Thin men’s salary averages $9,000 less per year than their average or big-boned brothers.

  • A six-foot tall man earns more than $5K more annually than a man who is five foot five. 

  • Taller women earn 5-8% more than average women.

  • Blonde women earn $870 more on average than brunettes and redheads. Sixty-three percent of bald men report earning less than guys with a full head of hair.

According to his research, attractive people are likely to earn an average of 3% to 4% more than a person with below-average looks. That adds up to $230,000 more over a lifetime for the typical good-looking person.

My thoughts are that "Looks" are only one of many things that affect how much we earn, including education, age, health, company size and so on.

I do believe that clothing choices affect and reflect a leader's self-image and how they feel about themselves.

I also believe that every interaction you have with your boss, key stakeholders and peers is an opportunity to sell yourself. After all, we are all in the business of "selling".

We literally only have 2-4 seconds to open the trust door with our clients be it internal or external clients. In that time they have already put a dollar value on what we're worth and have decided if they will hire us, promote us or give us a pay rise.




Your client's subconscious mind has already decided how much they are prepared to pay for you or your companies services. In seconds they are deciding if they like you, trust you and want to do business with you and your organisation.

So how can one improve their attractiveness?

  • Dress impeccably and in context to your role: The fit and quality of your garments will speak volumes. Does your image signal you're leadership material, that you have what it takes, that you're ready for that next big opportunity? Every style decision you make is an opportunity to express a quality of your leadership image.

  • Maintain good posture.

  • If you’re a man, shave. If you’re a woman, consider makeup in line with what is appropriate in your office culture.

  • Give yourself a modern hair style. If you have an outdated hairstyle people will automatically assume your ideas are also outdated.

  • Keep your shoes in excellent condition. Its all in the detail.

  • Review your digital footprint: In this new digital age, the first impression you make is most likely going to be via Google! When was the last time you did a Google audit?

  • Consider a regular manicure and teeth whitening.


A closing comment: There is no substitute for self-confidence, which is what really makes people shine.

If you're an ambitious professional woman and would like to elevate your personal brand, come and join me and 20 other ambitious women and learn, "The Art of Self Packaging For Success". Click here to register.

P.S In case, you're wondering, the only time that being "unattractive" works in your favour is if you're an armed robber or theft!!!!!

What does happiness and success look like for you?

"The most important journey that I think all of us will go through is the journey within ourselves, to find the truth, who we are and what makes us happy". - Cara Delevingne

As many of you know I have been on an incredible journey of self-fulfilment over the last ten years. In 2007 I left my corporate role to start my business, Image Consultants.

All I knew at the time was that I couldn't ignore the whispers anymore, I had to find and live my truth.

Having served over 3000 professional women, I've come to realise that the most fundamental need that all women have is the desire to be happy, fulfilled and heard. Would you agree with that?

As we've hit the midway point for 2017, I challenge you to really unpack what it means for you to be happy and fulfilled. 

For many years I was afraid to tell others that I loved to "serve". I used to think they would consider me to be submissive and not confident.

As I've grown and evolved I have come to recognise that this is actually one of my strengths. 

It explains to me why I've always had strong client relationships both past and present. I have always been so naturally and genuinely interested in people.

I think all the conversations I 've had with people around the globe has helped me to realise that "being of service" demonstrates my own personal acceptance of who I am and the confidence it gives me to own that. 

Here's a great quote I recently came across: "Service is the highest form of loving you can do on this planet" - Joe Hubbard

So how can I be of service to you?

I want you to give yourself permission to work on your most important project, YOU. 

How can you stay or even feel positive if you don't feel good about the way you look? The answer is, you can't. If you are not taking care of your body and putting your best foot forward, you are dishonoring yourself and risking your chance at success and happiness. How can you excel at work, take care of your loved ones or go after your big dreams if you don't love and respect yourself?

Deep down, you know you are affected by how you look. If you don't like the way you look, it impacts your self-esteem. And it definitely impacts your attraction factor which has all kinds of implications on life AND business. Not good. On the other hand, when you feel like you look good, you have more energy, confidence and sex-appeal. HELLO! 

As we approach EOFY, I want you to give yourself permission and gift yourself something special. 

As they say, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear".

I would be honoured to serve you and to be a part of your personal brand journey in discovering your truth. Click here and let's schedule a chat.

Before you leave, please watch this powerful video.

Until next time.....

Styling Your Success

Janette x

How To Create An Image That Elevates Your Leadership Brand

Irrespective of the number of organisational restructures you will face in your working life or the ups and downs of the economy, your personal brand will help you overcome many professional hurdles. Your brand is your ASSET.

As a personal branding expert and internationally accredited image consultant, I work with professional women privately and with organisations collectively to help them craft an image that truly aligns with their leadership brand.

A strong brand creates an experience for others. It creates an emotional connection and goes well beyond a transactional mindset. Women need to claim a leadership brand early to counter stereotypes and lead from a place of authenticity.

Being able to deliver your brand clearly and consistently will create a memorable experience in the minds of those you interact with and can open doors to new opportunities for you.

Let’s dive in and review the process I go through in helping professional women craft their unique image and brand.

1. Decide what you wish to be known for

Write down six to eight qualities that come naturally to you. Consider your:

Values: this will help develop an authentic brand
Strengths: what is your super power, how do you make people feel
Personality traits: what do people compliment you on?
Natural Style: how do people benefit by working with you?
Once you have these qualities and attributes you will be able to craft your leadership brand statement.

2. Create a visual signature to support your leadership brand

Once you know what your values, strengths and super powers are, you can start to think about ways to visually express those through your style.

For example, let’s say one of your super powers is your high attention to detail. The easiest and most effective way to portray this is to create a look that is aligned from head to toe. It’s all in the detail. This also creates trust in your ability to follow through.

Let’s say your super power is being approachable and collaborative then avoid wearing closed up tops and jackets. In body language terms this is equivalent to crossed arms. So ladies try and show some of your collar bone without being too revealing.

Next you want to consider colour placement in your outfit. If colour is the very first thing our eyes notice then colour placement becomes paramount. Our main communication portals are our eyes and mouth. Ideally, when talking with someone, we want them focused on our message. Placing colour high up in your business outfit will ensure the focus is on your what you are saying. Consider a high placed accessory such as a pocket square, lipstick, earrings, tie, glasses, brooch or scarf as your vehicle to direct others to where you want them to look.

Then you want to consider your audience. Do you work in a male or female dominated industry? There is a great image concept I use with clients called "Yin / Yang". We all exhibit Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) qualities in our physical characteristics. Once you know where you sit on this continuum you can start to select pieces in your outfit that will either make you look more yin or more yang. This should be determined by your audience and your professional objectives.

If for example, you will be meeting with a mostly male group then wear darker colours, angular lines and stiffer fabrics. If you plan to meet with a group of mostly females then wear lighter colours, softer prints and softer fabrics. Ultimately you want to exhibit both yin and yang elements so that you appear approachable and credible.

3. Consider your grooming habits 

Like it or not – we all notice grooming (or lack of it). Research shows that the first thing people remember about us are elements to do with grooming, rather than the specific clothes we wear. When we meet people our eyes quickly scan and take in the whole picture and then our eyes typically rest on a portion of the body known as the influencing triangle. So we notice such things as hair, skin, eyes, teeth and breath.

Ultimately we are visual creatures, we operate at an ever increasing frantic pace. We use our senses to help us decide if:


  • would like to do business with them
  • we trust them
  • we like someone


So if you are serious about your career then it's time to crystallise your leadership brand and make your image work for you!

What's your leadership image score?

As a professional woman, your leadership image can impact your career trajectory. Click here and discover your "leadership Image" score and how you can create a personal brand and image that will help you achieve the business success you deserve.

Styling Your Success

Janette





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