Lifestyle 22 March 2018
Just in case you didn't already know it, I'm just going to say it - female entrepreneurs, you are a force to be reckoned with. According to the State of Women-Owned Business Report (commissioned by American Express OPEN) in 2016, there were an estimated 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States.
These businesses employ almost 9 million people and generate over $1.6 trillion in revenue. Women-owned businesses have also increased 45 percent between 2007 and 2016, and there are no signs of this growth is slowing down.
The amazing women at the helm of these companies know that there are many pieces involved in building and growing a business. From starting with the product or service, to marketing it, to selling it, to everything in between. They are also keenly aware of the fact that they are the face of their company and personal branding is critical. Successful leaders understand that through networking, business promotion, social media and many other outward facing outlets, they can bring awareness to themselves and their businesses. One way women entrepreneurs can showcase their personal brand is to dress to their brand and personal style. Personal style is a culmination of one's interests, lifestyle, experiences and clothing preferences. What she wears is her social armor for the day - dressing to her unique style helps her tell her story and more about who she is, all without saying a word.
So, what does that mean for all you fabulous female entrepreneurs who want to develop a strong personal brand and style? My advice is to first understand your company's message. Next develop a personal brand that fits your company's message and finally determines your personal style (hint: it'll be in line with your company message and personal brand) and dresses to it.
Need some entrepreneur style motivation? Here are some Spring 2018 trends that can help women entrepreneurs express their personal style and be the best versions of themselves.
Worn as pieces of an outfit or head to toe- bright colors can bring any outfit to life.
1. Primary Colors
Worn as pieces of an outfit or head to toe- bright colors can bring any outfit to life. Dubbed the “new millennial pink" by fashionistas, Pantone's color of the year for 2018, Ultra Violet (#18-3838) brings purple tones to the forefront. Pantone's description of the color is, “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, (it) communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future."
The perfect shade for entrepreneurs. In addition to ultraviolet- yellow, red, green, orange and blue are big for spring as well. Looking to stand out at your next networking event? Pair an ultraviolet or yellow blazer with a grey pencil skirt and pumps for an eye-catching look.
2. Sparkle and Shine
No need to wait until the holidays to wear your sequin again because this shiny embellishment is carrying on right through spring. That also doesn't mean you need to wait for an event or evening affair to wear sequin, go right ahead and wear it during the daytime at work. Stylist tip: The key to daytime sequin dressing is to let the sequin item be the focal point of the outfit and not overwhelm it with too many accessories or other glittery items. For example, you can wear a sequin skirt with a lightweight blouse, pumps and little to no jewelry.
The key to daytime sequin dressing is to let the sequin item be the focal point of the outfit.
3. In the “Trenches"
One item that can instantly convert any outfit to a power outfit, and just happens to be a big trend for spring, is the trench coat. There are many versions of the trench coat for spring that can fit into any personal style. There's always the go-to classic trench, but if you want to switch up the trench wear it in an updated material like shiny vinyl, plastic or denim. Or move away from the classic silhouette to a sleeveless trench coat or an oversized coat. Any way you wear it, the trench coat will communicate your confidence and personal power.
4. Dark Denim
Paired with anything from hoodies to blazers, denim has become a staple piece for entrepreneurs. The great thing about dark denim is that it offers a comfortable yet polished look. Denim is perfect for the multi-tasking entrepreneur as it can take her from a day of meetings to working in the office to an evening of networking and then home to the family. A fun way of dressing denim this spring is denim on denim.
An easy #bosslady look is to wear dark denim jeans with a chambray top, a yellow or red belt for a pop of color and slingback pumps.
It's small enough to not get in the way, it has the ease of being hands-free and it can carry all the necessary items.
5. You say Belt Bag, I say Fanny Pack
Yes, ladies belt bags, AKA fanny packs, are a big trend for spring and they are here to stay. I know this is a controversial one so hear me out as to why I believe this is a great item for women entrepreneurs. First, we love pockets, right? They are a great place to store your phone, a lipstick, metro card, keys, etc. But unfortunately, dresses, blouses, and some pants don't always have pockets. So, in comes the belt pack to save the day. It's small enough to not get in the way, it has the ease of being hands-free and it can carry all the necessary items. If you're not into the traditional look of wearing the belt bag around your waist you could wear it like a cross body bag or even fling it over your shoulder.
6. Check Mate
A trend from fall that is still going strong is check prints. These prints can be anything from plaid to gingham to being mixed with other prints, like florals. The wonderful thing about this pattern is that you can dress it up or down. Pair a plaid dress with slingbacks for a dressed up look. Or go for a casual office look with a plaid blazer, jeans, and sneakers.
7. The Slingback
The slingback, once known as the 80's standard boring office shoe, is completely re-invented for 2018. Updates for 2018 are in the fun styling and colors. Whether your personal style is classic, modern or even trendy the slingback can easily be worn with your outfit of choice. From kitten heels to floral prints to pastel colors and even wearing them with socks, these shoes will allow any entrepreneur to let her style and personality come through.
8. Statement Earrings
When it comes to earrings this spring the motto is go big or go home. From tassels to hoops to full out bling these earrings can help you make a splashy entrance and get noticed quickly. And what entrepreneur doesn't want to get noticed?
Stylist tip- When attending networking events wear a bold accessory, like statement earrings, to get noticed quickly. That necklace or earrings or bag serves as a great conversation starter and it may be what you need to get the ball rolling on a possible joint venture.
There you have it, some spring trend suggestions that can help women entrepreneurs dress to their personal style, allowing them to showcase their strong personal brand.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.