What an amazing weekend in Nashville with the BAM Conference and intelligent, gorgeous women who make a difference every day in the world! Yes, personal style is partly about how we package ourselves on the outside, but predominately about how we are on the inside.
“Hi, my name is Beth. I read your blog every day. Do you have a card? Here is mine!”
One simple sentence I heard over and over again. It is actually a step of courage, because I know for many women just approaching a stranger is out of their comfort zone. However, in a room full of women, all around the same age, with similar experiences and hearts, there were no strangers. It is the same as meeting a group of pen pals all at once!
As I listened to presentations and conversations, I was struck with the depth of intelligence and talent in the room…everyone exuded their own personal style. Image consultant Debbie Wright says, “When you respect yourself, others will respect you every day.” Speaking out with confidence either in a presentation or writing; handing out your business card; entering a room with a smile and head held high – these are all ways we show respect for ourselves. Many of the women were vulnerable and shared difficulties in order to encourage perseverance, because in this room were women well aware that life is short and getting shorter.
“You deserve to improve with age,” is another Wright statement. We do this in so many ways, but I learned this past weekend to remember to improve with these steps:
- Enter every room as if it was a BAM conference – with smiles, confidence and ready to meet every stranger there. This might be conferences, or dinners, or events…but treat them all the same. Always have those business cards with you wherever you go.
- No matter what age we are, be teachable…always ready to improve our products and work. Even if it is volunteer work for a non-profit, learn ways to do it with excellence.
- Read, read, read! The theme of my elementary school remains the same for life. Keep informed and read often…never stop.
- Do not stereotype – ever. I enjoyed so many ladies this past weekend from different lives, different parts of the country, and different belief systems. They were amazing. We learn from each other and bottom line, usually have similar experiences. Be willing to spend time with all ages and cultures. That is stylish!
- Choose joy. There are times life is overwhelming and it is good to share those struggles at the proper time and place; however, learn to walk with optimism and hope. Yes, I am going to say it. Look for the silver lining! Please do not scoff at this because I am a Pollyanna…consider how much time is wasted focusing on the bad. We heard women this weekend who did not stay there, and worked tirelessly to get out of dire circumstances. They are overcomers and we all can be.
- Remember in the movie The Holiday when Kate Winslet realized she was the supporting cast for her own life and not the star? It is true – live as though you are the star of your own movie! What story line do you want it to be? Don’t shrink from it….don’t be content to stay in the supporting cast. Time for top billing, ladies!
I enjoyed meeting everyone, and hope many more will be at the next. Yet, we need to take these principles home with us and learn to be this confident every day. Debbie Wright also has great advice for how to dress when we are representing our own brands. I will share those next time, but for now join in the conversation around our Joy Boutique table…
What did you learn at BAM that will help you every day?
Have a wonderful, warm week…and keep smiling!