How the WEF Grant Helped Me Sustain and Grow My Image Consulting Business
Most women and men are curious about what I do. All, without exception, that have come to my studio appreciate what I have done for them, their presence and their personal branding. Some people I meet have the misconception that I am the walking “What Not to Wear” police whose objective is to destroy their closet. Nothing is farther from the truth. In hiring an Image Consultant, my objective working with clients is threefold: (1) I give them power to look their best and project who they are; (2) Instruct them on how to dress well within budget; and, (3) Provide the tools to shop with ease.
I recently read the following headlines and froze: “Wardrobe Advice for Men as Office Fashion Returns to Casual. Saks Fifth Avenue courts male shoppers replacing suits with polished sporty looks; the surprising cost of an office-casual ensemble.” Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2016; and, “A casual way of doing business: Why more law firms are dressing down.” Phoenix Business Journal, December 28, 2016. The styling advice I give on the continuum between business boardroom and business casual was rapidly changing. Clearly corporations were redefining their dress codes.
I was offered an opportunity by Fashion Feng Shui® International to enroll in their new facilitator training class Work Your Element™, Business Success Your Way. Here was the perfect way to expand my image consulting business by working with individuals in executive coaching and within corporate teams.
It’s apparent that we cannot make assumptions about clothing within the work environment anymore. Today we need to consider having screen presence, standing out and communicating from a distance. Leadership will now be about influence, warmth and trust as well as power and respect. Building strong, sustainable relationships has never been more important. For me, this is where Work Your Element™ came in.
Besides being expensive, my experience with Fashion Feng Shui® training is that it is difficult, focused and assignments need tons of research. I didn’t want to make this just about the money, it was an opportunity. I made the initial deposit. And frankly, I did not know where I was going to get the rest of the money for the class.
Through the NAWBO Phoenix newsletter WEF circulated information about its Grant and Scholarship Programs. I thought, “why not” and applied. Best of all, I received the WEF Grant last fall which helped pay for most of the cost of the Work Your Element™ class. Having completed the prerequisites for promotion to Fashion Feng Shui Master, and while preparing my WEF Grant application, I simultaneously prepared the application for Fashion Feng Shui Master. I received the Fashion Feng Shui Master Facilitator license the same day as receiving my Work Your Element™ Facilitator license. Since I am one of ten Masters worldwide, this is quite an honor.
More holistic than other programs in business coaching, helping corporate teams identify their business archetype makes the environment harmonious. Yes, it will take a special person who is on the VP promotion track as well as a thought-provoking corporate leader who will buy into this training. But, the plus factor with the Work Your Element™ Business Success Your Way coaching is a business environment where the employees’ fundamental skills play an important role in the success of that business and the teams therein. When each one understands the others, and acts with positive intent, the workplace becomes a place of harmony. If the differences are perceived as negative, the opposite occurs.
Since receiving the Work Your Element™ Facilitator’s (WYEF) License, I have made proposals to a Fortune 500 Corporation to present a Work Your Element™ training class at the executive level. I am still waiting word for fourth quarter, 2017 or first quarter, 2018.
As the WEF mission explicitly states, “Our mission is to support and inspire such enterprising women with scholarships and grants that enable them to further their education, leadership skills and opportunities to succeed.” I thank the WEF for giving me the same tools in obtaining my Work Your Element™ Facilitator License to take Executive Coaching and Corporate Team Coaching into this next dimension, a holistic approach to leadership skills and opportunities to succeed.