Sunday, May 30, 2010
In Step 1 Tyra spoke of the need to take a moment and reflect. Here is a snapshot of my journal where I endeavour to consistently record what has happened, how well I have performed and what else I could or should be doing.
Step 9 discusses that all important thing - Time Management. And here is a snapshot of my diary with the now ever-present To Do List as well as the day's appointments etc.
Step 3 was about dressing to impress. Now that I am about to start a new position and a whole new chapter in my professional life, I updated the wardrobe with everything all washed, ironed and put away for the week ahead, rather than the last-minute snatching things from the ironing basket for a frantic rub over with the hot iron. But no, I'm not showing you a picture of that.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Stay in the know! If you want to be successful in a certain field, you have to stay up to date with all the latest news! I may not model anymore, but I still read all the fashion mags to keep up with the latest trends and news in the biz. When it comes to my businesses, I try to read the newspaper and business magazines whenever I have time. In order to be the CEO of your life you have to know what’s going on in the world, especially when it comes to your work!
1. Subscribe! Get the news sent right to you and save money! It’s way cheaper and more convenient to subscribe to a magazine or newspaper for a year than it is to buy it every day or month. Or go even cheaper and subscribe to your fave news network's e-newsletter and get it sent right to your inbox!
2. Tune in! Don’t have time to read everyday? Instead of wasting your time watching reruns, turn on the news. Whether you watch E! News or CNN, television is a great way to get your daily dose of what’s going on in the world.
3. Log online! Ya’ll know I love Twitter! I follow all kinds of companies and people so I don’t miss a thing.
Knowledge is essential in anything we do. I subscribe to various newsletters to inform me about my industry and the world, but do not always get around to reading them. I commit to consistently reading this information in future.
Time Management! Being your own CEO can make for a very busy life. Managing your time is important if you want to stay on track and accomplish your goals. I keep a schedule for all day, every day and I carry it with me everywhere that I go! Whether it’s a business lunch, a night out to dinner with friends or an appointment with the dentist - it’s all there on my schedule. Here are some tips on how to manage your time and schedule your way to being your own CEO!
1. I already said it- schedule everything and write it down! Put it in your cell phone, in your computer or on your calendar. This is key to making sure you know where you need to be and when you need to be there.
2. Don’t over-commit! If you stretch yourself too thin, you’re never going to be able to give everything 100%. Only take on what you can handle for the day.
3. Don’t ever be late! Time is valuable when you are busy. Don’t waste your time (or other people’s) by being late. Give yourself enough time to get where you need to be on time or even early. Don’t forget- the early bird gets the worm!
I have previously recommitted to using my diary to properly plan my life, and I have continued to do so, along with detailed To Do lists. How well I have managed things is then noted in my journal as part of my assessment of the past day.
This point about over-commitment is one that I really need to watch. I have had a habit for years of being too happy to say 'yes' to things - end result: over-commitment and failing to deliver properly, if at all. A pro doesn't do that.
Don't be late - how well do I know that to be true yet how poorly do I so often live up to it these days. I commit to being much more consciencious about being on time as part of my time management.
Budget! No matter how big or small your bank account is, you need to run your financial life on a budget. Last week I told you to get organized and part of that is budgeting (aka organizing) how you spend your money. You have to work hard if you want to earn the big bucks, but if you don’t know how to handle your hard earned $ you won’t be able to hold on to it for very long.
1. Start by writing down everything that you spend. Seeing exactly where your money is going will help you figure out where you need to cut back.
2. Open a bank account. You should not be keeping your pennies in a piggy bank or under your mattress. Open a checking account and a savings account. Put only the money that you need right now in your checking account.
3. Look for bargains! I like to sign up for the club cards at places like CVS and the grocery store. There are lots of things that you only get a discount on when you use your card!
Oh dear - this is something that I am notoriously bad at. For someone who was good at managing other people's money as a banker, I have utterly failed to take that forward into my own life. The end result is patently obvious. I commit to being scrupulously careful at budgeting in my life from now own.
Get organized! If you aren’t organized it is impossible to be successful- both personally and professionally. From my home to my office (check out our supply closet) I am super organized! It’s simple- if your stuff is a mess, you are going to be mess. You don’t need an assistant or a professional organizer to get your life in order.
1. Take a day (or two or three) to get your life organized. Clean out everything from your desk to your closet. Don’t be afraid to throw out what you don’t need.
2. Everything should have a place. From my files to my shoes- all of my stuff has a place that it belongs so when I go to look for it, it is always there!
3. It’s all about labels (and I’m not talking designer). I like to label where things go. This way, if anyone else is looking for something, they can find it too. This is especially important if you are working with a team of people.
Being organized is a lifestyle and a way that you need to live if you want to be your own CEO.
Looking at that picture put me to shame. I have gotten into the bad habit of being terribly disorganised in my own life. The challenge is for me to transform this into the good habit of being organised. My desk is now kept in much better shape with things put away when I am finished with them, rather than littering the desk with increasing mess that I can never find things in. The next step is take that forward into the rest of my life. I had already started using my diary more to organise myself, but there is always room for improvement.
Practice humility! Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to meet lots of super successful people and they all have one thing on common- they all are the most humble people that I know! It seems like the more successful you are, the more humble you become. Not sure what that means? Being humble means that you are modest about your accomplishments and never arrogant (who likes a bragger??).
Being humble is something that you should try to be no matter how much you have accomplished. Here are my top tips on how to practice humility every day:
- Take credit for what you should and give credit to those who deserve it.
- If you think that you already know it all, you’re wrong! There are always things you can learn by listening to others.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously and be able to laugh at yourself! I may have been a supermodel, but I can always put on a silly face for the camera!
1. Always bear in mind where I have come from and who I owe things to.
2. Listen to those who have been there before.
3. Be able to laugh at myself - in moderation
Build Relationships! Networking is so important in building your business and your brand! All good CEOs got to where they are because of the relationships they built throughout their careers. Part of the reason I am where I am today is because of the all the great people I have met along the way! I never would have accomplished my dreams without the help of others. Here are some of my best-kept networking secrets!
Number ONE is treat every relationship like a business relationship. Always be professional! You never know who you are going to end up working with. I met André years before I ever dreamed he would be a judge on ANTM!
Go to industry events and put yourself out there. Meeting other people who work in your field is key. Identify the top players and introduce yourself.
Always carry business cards! You never know when or where you are going to meet the person who could change your life, so you better be prepared at all times!
1. Business card
2. What industry things can I use for further exposure?
I had become aware of this before. Since starting to actively pursue my dream of being a working writer, I have been getting out there in the writing community. As a result, opportunities are starting to open up for me. My existing business card design was nothing terribly impressive. I discussed things with a graphic designer friend who gave me some good ideas about how to be both simplistic and yet memorable and a new card will be printed quite soon. I always have business cards in my wallet, with more in my cardholder in my backpack or whatever else I may be carrying on the time.
Make a Plan! How are you going to make your dreams a reality? You need to have a plan for how you are going to be in control of your life! I plan out every day to make sure that I stay on track and in charge. Here are some hints on how to plan to be your own CEO!
Set goals and make timelines. You should set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Breakdown what you want to accomplish and how long it’s going to take you.
Hit the library. Research what you want to do. Learn everything you can. You can’t make a plan if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Don’t be afraid to change your plans. Not everything in life goes according to plan. Don’t be discouraged if you get off track. Reassess your goals and make a new plan!
1. Review my plan
2. Update my plan using the above – what do I need to know more about?
I started this year off with specific goals, written down. I have now revised and updated these, putting action plans together that are achievable and meaningful. I have a printed copy placed prominently in my bedroom so that I see it every day.
Dress to Impress! You represent yourself and your company. When going to work or meetings you should look clean and polished. Like I said last week, first impressions are key and clothing is the first thing people will judge you on. I don’t always like to be dressed up, but I wear heels to all of my meetings. Here are some tips on dressing to impress!
1. You should own at least one nice blazer. A blazer is something that will dress up any outfit and make you look professional.
2. Have a pair of classic pumps. They don’t have to be stilettos, but a little added height is always good. Your heels should be a professional color like black or brown.
3. Be comfortable! Whatever you are wearing you should be comfortable. You need to be able to concentrate on what you are working on and not worrying about what you wearing.
1. stop dressing like a hippy bum all the time
2. start dressing like a professional once more
As I am neither female nor a crossdresser, the specifics about actual dress are not applicable to me but the intent of the steps certainly are.
I think confidence and appearance can go hand-in-hand. If I want to be a professional, I need to look the part as well as act the part. This does not mean designer clothes and always in a suit. But taking care to look at least neat at all times can make a positive impression, rather than the sloppy habits I have gotten into. Being aware of this makes me more likely to continue to keep it mind. So far, I am putting it into practice.
Build Confidence. When walking into a room, or meeting a new person, your confidence must shine. First impressions are key in being your own CEO. Here are some tips on how to give off a fun, fearless, powerful woman vibe.
1. Flash a Smile. Not one of those super-fake-“I’m-trying-to-impress-you” smiles, but a genuine-mouth-closed smile. It will boost your mood and your attitude.
2. The Perfect Handshake. Use your right hand. Face your shake-ee directly. You need the perfect grip – between overbearing and limp fish. Only one to three up and down movements, don’t over-do it or you’ll seem overly anxious.
3. Point Those Pumps. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and point them at the person you’re talking to. Make sure you keep eye-contact too!
1. practice walking, shoulders back, head up
This is a real issue for me. Over the past few years I have had ever so much of the confidence knocked out of me. On critical self-analysis, I realise that this is evident in poor posture, taking less care with my appearance and avoiding contact. I am making a concerted effort to keep that posture upright, ironing all my clothes and not just throwing on a tshirt out of the ironing basket and interacting more. Also now on my list of things to do is get hold of Carnegie’s Making Friends and Influencing People and reading it. I used to have a copy but have no idea what happened to it. I am also conscious that I have let my body deteriorate as well so am now exercising more to drop that excess roll around the middle.
Take a moment. Everyday take a moment to reflect on your day. Did you miss out on an opportunity for something? Did someone else steal your thunder? How about making plans? Did you let a friend decide what movie to see even though you really didn’t want to go see it? Think about all the things you need to change to take charge of everything you do. In order to run your own business, you need to run your own life. Write it down in a journal/your phone’s memo pad/post-it notes/etc EVERY DAY.
1. keep using my diary to organise and determine my life's direction
2. keep journalling the results for review.
I now use my diary to properly plan my day. I think about what I could be doing as well as I what I should and need to be doing. Each evening I reflect on the day in my journal, which in turn helps to focus my mind for the next day as well. I am gradually taking control of my own life.
I have blogged a number of times in the past about the influence Tyra Banks has had on me. I have also previously noted that she is running a Be Your Own CEO series over at tyra.com. I have been collecting these pearls of wisdom and experience, collating them into a single document, making notes about how I could and should be using these.
As I added the most recent - Step 10 - I reflected on how I have been endeavouring to monitor these steps and use them. Creating a blog just for that purpose then seemed to be a logical step. So here we go...