Fabulous Friday – Being Professionally Fabulous!

Success in any part of your life not only depends on your preparation and hard work, but also on your attitude.  You have to truly want something and be able to see yourself achieving it for the best to happen.  You have to find it within yourself to set goals and make a consistent effort to bring them to fruition. This is just the beginning of the recipe for success, not just doing well but being truly, fabulously successful!

So what does this very practical advice have to do with being fabulous? The combination of the practical steps plus passion, a sense of humor and joie de vivre makes the difference between someone who is good at what they do and someone who is great at what they do.  It makes people talk about you and their experience working with you. It makes you stand out among your peers and become a role model to up and comers.

If you only equate being fabulous with the exterior – looks, fashion sense, the right toys – then you are missing the most important part of the equation.  Have you ever met someone who hits all of those marks and is just incredibly boring, self-centered, vapid or a hideous combination thereof? On the other hand there are those who are at the pinnacle of their professions in terms of knowledge and skill but who can put a room to sleep faster than it takes to get their power point presentation up and running. The hard work, preparation and sweat equity is not enough nor is just the exterior presentation – fabulousness is achieved at the point where all of these qualities meet.  At that point the true sign of fabulousness that shines through is the personal achievement and pure joy of someone who has reached their personal best. Others want to be around this person, work with them, learn from them and refer them. The positive attitude, sincere curiosity, warm concern for others and professional polish naturally draws others in.

The truly, sincerely, bone deep fabulous person is not only a leader but a teacher. Someone who is continually learning and at the same time mentoring others. Someone who always is setting new goals  to achieve new  personal heights while looking for opportunities to do good with the resources they have earned.

Being professionally fabulous elevates you to a place where  financial success is a by product of personal achievement. It may take you longer to reach some of your professional goals, and certainly the way you go about it will not be similar to those around you.  Sometimes holding on to your integrity, core beliefs and personal ethics while working hard in a competitive environment may be frustrating – but don’t give up! This is a marathon, not a sprint and staying true to your path will ultimately provide you the rewards you have worked so hard for. Being professionally fabulous is not a popularity contest – don’t be discouraged by others who are not supportive or don’t understand what you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes others are envious of the skills you have worked hard to achieve and the talents you may possess, sometimes others unwillingness to put in the same effort results in frustration as they see you achieve results. At the end of the day the only measure you need to consult is your own stated professional goals and personal wishes. Those who you meet along the way who are supportive, who are great professional allies, who see the same value in reaching their own personal best will become your core group.

Finally, once you have the substance down don’t forget the style! Now that you have the professional tools and personal goals you need to move forward take the time to address the package you will be delivering your skills in. Are you taking care of your health, do you have an exercise routine in place, are all of your basic grooming needs up to date? Don’t forget the value of polished shoes and clean nails! Do you have breath mints and a lint remover handy at all times? Are you dressing with purpose or throwing something on in the morning?  These are all basics that make a first impression and if you aren’t paying attention you may never get to share the skills you bring to the table with an attentive audience.

What hobbies and activities make you happy? What was the last book you read, movie you saw, museum you visited. You cannot be fabulous without being interesting, well rounded and curious. Unless you are interested in the world around you you will not be an interesting person to be with. Uninteresting people are definitely not fabulous!

How can you take your fashion sense up a notch? Are your clothes well taken care of, altered and  up to date? Do you look at other professionals you deal with and think about what kind of an impression they are making by how they are dressed?  Is their clothing adding or subtracting from their professionalism?  Look through magazines and online and note what appeals to you, what makes the statement that best matches your idea of what your personal and professional best would look like. Now use those as guidelines when cleaning out your own closet and purchasing new items. If this is not your forte, or an area that holds little interest for you, find a personal shopper, consultant or friend who can guide you through the process and save you time and effort. In the long run the return on your investment of time and money in this area will certainly be returned to you.

Some of these last items may seem elementary or perhaps even insulting – but often these are the things that others may be embarrassed to say to someone. They may at times even be the reasons that people with excellent skills are held back from being professionally fabulous. Take a minute to go through your basics, or find the most truthful person you know and ask them to give it to you straight. You may uncover something easily fixed and ultimately valuable.

Are you ready to be professionally fabulous? Do you have the attitude, determination and willingness to work hard to make it happen? Then go for it and know that nothing will be as satisfying as achieving your personal best!

 

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Fabulous Fridays!

When was the last time you went on a treasure hunt?  You don’t need to sail to the Caribbean – just go through your closets. More specifically your bathroom closets, linen closets, under your bed, in shopping bags,  in plastic bins or wherever you put impulse buys and samples. 

How many hair products do you currently own? The ones you use everyday, the ones you needed to create the hairstyle you saw in a magazine, the ones you bought because your stylist used them and they would magically give you the same results, the ones you had a coupon for, the inexpensive ones you bought to be frugal and the crazy expensive ones you bought on a retail therapy bender. Now just for fun add in the samples, travel sized products and the souvenirs of every hotel you’ve ever stayed at. 

Next, take stock of your skin care cache. Again the stock pile ranges from your daily routine, the splurges that promised the miraculous results, the inexpensive products promising high end results, and samples. Move on to lotions and creams – from the layering properties of our favorite scent to the vat of store brand because we couldn’t resist the value many of us could moisturize a small nation. Speaking of scents – how many bottles, vials, towelettes, atomizers and samples do you have?  Whether you are loyal to a signature scent or spritz depending on your mood I challenge you to find at least five different options at your fingertips (at least!). 

How often did the promise of a tan to envy the spray ons sported on Dancing With The Stars motivate you to buy a self tanning product? Lotions, sprays, mousse, towelettes – in every shade from day glo orange to caramel coffee and everything in between. Don’t forget the exfoliators, moisturizers, extenders and correctors that promise to make you look evenly sun kissed. For many of us the promise just didn’t deliver, or the time involved in preparation, application and maintenance just didn’t make the bronzing worth it. Add these products to the good intentions gone bad pile.

Finally take a moment to consider your make up collection.  The go to products used daily, the professional work look, the evening look, the “going to a gala/black tie/wedding” look, the drugstore collection promising to give you the same results as the air brushed movie star in their ads, the high end collection promising to make you as hip as the tattooed, pierced sales person that convinced you the edge was only one brush stroke away. Now factor in the samples, items you bought for the beach bag/store promo and the various shades that just didn’t work in real life.  Quite a haul!!

If I were mean I would tell you to calculate the value of your personal stash, but the point here is to positively move forward and not calculate how many shoes/bags/groceries you could have bought instead.  The task here is to take stock, evaluate and take action.  The whole point is to move toward fabulousness, not wallow in the past when we didn’t know any better (or chose to ignore our wiser inner voice). Now that we have owned up to the staggering arsenal of beauty we have amassed it’s time to sort it out – honestly and brutally. 

First group, what you use everyday. These are the products that work and give you the results that make you feel best about yourself, or at least good enough to leave the house. Second group – what you use when you step it up and  really feel good about yourself. You can keep all of these things! Put them away and take stock of your supply – keep no more than one back up on hand and know that you have a system that works for you.

Now look at what remains and separate into the never used/opened pile, the gently used, sample sized and the way past expiration date group.  Ditch the last group, throw it all out and do a dance of joyful accomplishment (always celebrate small accomplishments, waiting for big ones is self defeating!). Take a look at the never opened/never used pile.  Do you know someone who swears by any of these items? Pass them on as a random act of kindness. Do you know of a woman’s shelter or of a group helping those reentering the workplace – your extras would be greatly appreciated there. You might also consider community centers or donations for the military for practical items that might be sent in care packages or be a small treat for someone relying on support right now.

Any make up you have sampled throw away – as a germaphobe I shudder at passing those items on – even to your best friend (especially to your best friend!). If what is left isn’t something that is snatched up in your communal sharing effort ask if local school or community theatre groups would be interested. Often these groups are running on a tight or non-existent budget and would greatly appreciate some free stash. You might also ask women’s shelters or groups helping women re-entering the workplace if they accept unused make up as donations – they might truly appreciate it.

Gently used items are purely to pass on among friends and family, run it by them and see if anyone else wants to give what didn’t work for you a try.  Perhaps this swapping of product could be a great way for all of you to get rid of what you don’t use and perhaps try something else at no cost.

Sample sized/travel sized items take on a life of their own in that we are saving for a future use we are sure will come – most likely it won’t!  If you don’t use that deodorant or toothpaste everyday why do you think you might want to use it on vacation or business travel? If you wouldn’t buy that shampoo at full size why is it attractive in the tiny bottle – does it just look cuter to you? Twenty q-tips in a cardboard box really aren’t necessary when you have the warehouse sized crate in your closet and zip lock bags. Finally, the lure of product in hotels is something we just can’t avoid. Often we look at them as a boon for our next trip, or a benefit owed to us for the cost of the room.  Therefore, we have collections collecting dust waiting for a trip that sadly for them will never come. These are perfect for military donations, pack them up and ship them out. Many local scouting groups or school groups organize shipments – look into it and do some good. These are also good items to donate to shelters and community centers – our family program also made up bags of sample sized basics and donated them to the pediatric hospital for parents staying overnight with their children.

This exercise takes time and will power, but holds great promise.You should now be able to look at what you did decide to keep and know what works for you and what makes you feel good. Fabulousness should be part of who you are and fit into your lifestyle seamlessly. If  your past efforts to be fabulous have resulted in  clutter, depleted cash flow and disappointment it is time to move on!

 

 

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Work It Wednesdays!

My friend Felix Mercado, celebrity stylist and self proclaimed “style surgeon” has a great blog –  Shut Up And Wear It! that coins a fabulous term: recessionista.

Now more than ever we need to be aware of our finances and use the dreaded “need versus want” test when considering new fall fashions, delving into the beautiful jewel toned make up and the delicious coats and boots that herald the snap in the air coming on.

Check out Felix’s sight, chock full of ideas, advice, couture and coupons!!  See how losing snob appeal and becoming and informed shopper can not only save you pennies but boost your style quota considerably.

When you know you look your best that confidence carries through everything you do – take the time to work it!

Today’s Work It Wendesdays! insider’s tip: myhabit.com – Amazon.com’s new fashion site that offers up to 60% off designer must haves.
 

 

 

 

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