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Atlanta Jewish Times article: Mother-Daughter Style Spans Continents

“Mother Nadia Bilchik and daughter Julia Kesler, are as colorful, outspoken and accomplished, and as different as they are alike.”

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Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

Your PHYSICAL Space — How to OWN it to Persuade and Influence

We’re often told not to judge a book by its cover. But the truth is, that’s precisely what most of us do a lot of the time. We make judgments about the people we encounter very quickly. Therefore, it’s important to make a strong first impression. And to do that, you need to learn to own your physical space.

Own Your Style

While we may wish we could go to the office in yoga pants, in reality, your style speaks a lot about you. So be sure to look professional and put together. This will signal to others that you’re organized and competent. And you can still express your individual sense of fashion with accessories.

Own Your Wardrobe

Dressing professionally is the first step. Dressing in a way that’s best suited to you – your body type and clothing preferences – will help you appear even more chic and put together. Always be sure to use a full-length mirror when assessing your outfits. Don’t dress provocatively – no short hemlines or low-cut blouses. Make sure your hair, nails, makeup, and skin are tended to. And remember, a simple blazer and pair of pumps can go a long way toward making you look professionally stylish. You’re not going to a fashion magazine photo shoot, so this doesn’t have to be something that causes you unnecessary stress. But keeping up with the basics and maintaining your appearance can have an important impact.

Give Your Wardrobe the SPF

Structure – Clothing with defined lines will almost always look sharper then outfits with a looser fit. It looks more tailored and professional.

Proportion – Learn to balance your presence. Tall and large women already have a more significant presence, so bright colors and big buttons may be unnecessary. On the other hand, accessories on more petite women can help to create a larger presence.

Fit – Know your body and how clothes fit you. You don’t want to be popping out of your outfit, but you don’t want it to look like you’re wearing a curtain, either. Know how outfits fall on your unique body. And if you have any doubts, consider working with a professional image consultant.

Own What You Say

Your appearance is just one aspect of your overall presence. Another important factor is your ability to communicate. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t effectively communicate them, you won’t succeed. But not to worry, in my book, Own Your Space, I discuss methods of becoming more articulate and developing greater charisma, both in front of a crowd and in everyday conversation. Here are a few tips:

-Be your authentic self. Speak from your heart.

-Be polite and mind your manners. Say thank you, and remember names. Don’t interrupt others.Don’t always be the one saying no and shutting down other people’s ideas. Instead, propose ideas of your own.

-Steer away from gossip.

-Cut out filler words like “um” and “you know.” And of course, avoid expletives in the workplace.

-Enunciate clearly, especially if you’re speaking in front of a group.

-Be mindful of the emotion reflected in your tone of voice

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

Playing with the Boys (Literally!): A Lesson From Alice Cooper’s Guitarist

PlayingWithTheBoys newsletter 1

Earlier this week, I saw Alice Cooper live in concert. It was a great show! It’s remarkable that at age 69, he’s so energetic – a real showman, and a true professional. He gave an excellent performance!

But while Alice is, of course, an amazing musician, what impressed me most was his guitarist, a young woman named Nita Strauss. Nita has been involved with a number of rock groups, including the band Femme Fatale, and the musical backing group for the Arena Football League team LA KISS.

One of the friends I was with remarked on how hard a female guitarist must have to work to get to that level. Like many other industries, rock and roll is male-dominated. So, reaching Nita’s level of success requires a lot of dedication, navigation and talent.

After the show, I was able to talk with both Nita and Alice. I said, “Nita, as a female musician, do you think you have to work harder than your male counterparts?” Her answer? “You bet!”

And Alice added, “Yes, I only surround myself with the best!”

“People don’t think about the time that it takes and the work that it takes to put in,” she observed in an interview on the No Guitar is Safe podcast. “You have to sweat it out,” was her advice. “That’s how you get good.” [Source: time: 25.59]

The hope, of course, is that one day women and men in the workplace will truly be on an equal playing field. But for the time being, women often have to work extra hard to prove we deserve to be there as much as the men.

Advancing your career is not just about the work, but also who you know, and who knows what you are doing. Every successful woman in business has connections, work associates with whom business is the basis of the relationship, as well as strategic relationships that are helpful to both parties. Women who want to advance their careers need to develop a network of smart, influential people who are familiar with their knowledge, accomplishments and strengths. And if you are one of very few women in the upper reaches of a corporation, it means learning to network with men.

You have to work hard, stay disciplined, and meet the guys where they are. This means being able to comfortably converse with them, and show them you’re an equal.

Whether you’re in a rock band or in corporate America, it’s harder for women to get ahead. You have to know how to navigate the landscape. Be like Nita. She truly owns her space and holds her own – even alongside a renowned male rock star like Alice Cooper. She seems to be totally comfortable with herself, and everything about her says I deserve to be here! She truly OWNS her space!

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

Are You Checking In With Yourself?

As I checked in for my flight this morning, I couldn’t help thinking the following:

We check in for travel, we check in with our significant others, we check in at work, but how often do we check in with ourselves?

So, all I encourage you to do — starting today — is to ask yourself the following three questions:

What right now in my life do I need to STOP doing?
What do I need to START doing, and what’s stopping me?
What do I need to CONTINUE doing?

I recommend beginning by listing the sabotaging behaviors you want to STOP, really thinking about ways to implement what it is you want to START doing, and looking at what you want to CONTINUE doing.
And remember, we are often so busy thinking about what we want to give up and what we want to accomplish that we forget to look at all the things we already doing that work well for us.
As leadership expert John Maxwell says, you will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

I urge you take a moment and reflect on all THREE: what to STOP, what to START and what to CONTINUE as you embark on a fulfilling, productive and hopefully VERY happy remainder of your summer!