It's no good being a well kept secret when you are a woman in business 

HIDE AND SEEK - Coming ready or not! You’d count to a 100 or whatever and everyone would run off quickly to find a good place to hide. I used to love playing hide and seek when I was a kid. But when you’re in business hiding isn’t a great strategy is it? Being a well-kept secret isn’t serving anyone. 
I remember at the beginning of my business, when I traded under a brand name (another way of hiding?) I would post at least once a day on my social media using graphics but rarely sharing photos of myself. It took a client to say that she wanted to see more of me, that gave me the courage to start sharing my images. 
It seems crazy now, but I think a lot of my reluctance to put myself out there was to do with the fact that when I worked at the prison, we had to keep everything private. You can add being conscious of my weight to the equation too. Even when I did start posting pictures of myself, they would perhaps be headshots only. This was despite me being quite open about being overweight in my blogs etc. 

50+ Women in business need to show up in their power 

These days I recognise that I need to walk my talk and be even more visible if I’m to encourage others to be themselves and show up in their power. 
It know it can be hard as you get older. I speak to some women who have lost the confidence they had in their younger days- menopause is often a factor. They see themselves as ageing in a culture that celebrates youth. We seem to lose our visibility in society. I say rather than quieten down, fading into midlife mediocrity, it’s our time to dial things up a notch. Proudly being comfortable in our own skin... 
According to Collins Dictionary feeling comfortable in your own skin means 
'Relaxed and confident in one's manner of presenting oneself and interacting with others/ contented and happy with the way you are' 
So, being comfortable in your own skin is about attitude. Sometimes that involves years of inner work but believe me when I say that clothes can be a shortcut. When you OWN your look, you show up fearlessly and more powerfully than ever. 
When society is championing youth and the media is showing us unnaturally line free faces with puffed up pouty lips it’s easy to look in the mirror, focus on the wrinkles and those pesky chin hairs that pop up overnight and convince yourself that you are past it...but you’re not. 
You are just getting going. 

How Should Women Over 50 Present Themselves 

It’s time for you to take ownership of who you really are and stand in your power. 
There’s no need to fade away. You might need to push yourself out there and be even more visible than ever before though, because society will expect you to become invisible. Thinking about your appearance – what is that saying about you? Do your clothes and how you look on the outside reflect who you are on the inside? Could your personal image do with a few tweaks to nail who you actually are? 
It’s been a gradual journey, taken a while, but you might’ve found yourself in the land of Midlife Mediocrity. The journey often begins when there is less time for you, the family taking up your time, your priorities change and before you know it you are here. 
Here’s how to recognize the signs: 
You’re not ready to be ‘old’ in your head but looking in the mirror tells you that you’re in a rut. 
You want to be comfortable in your clothes and shoes, but you sometimes feel frumpy and bored with those choices. 
You’re blending in. 
That wardrobe full of ‘slimming black’ is boring. 
No happy dance for you as you get dressed each morning 
Your body shape has changed and the clothes that used to suit you are not quite right anymore. 
Fed up with hiding behind how you or other people think you should be now you are a woman of a certain age. 
Wanting to show up as your true self. 
You know what lady? Your time is now! 

Weight Shaming and Other Barbed Comments 

Maybe none of the above resonates? 
But I still see you 👀 
Not quite as comfortable in your own skin as you’d like to have people believe. 
But what is it that’s holding you back? There was conversation in my FAB* Network community about how words and other people’s opinions have affected confidence. 
Quite often these words have been uttered by mothers, fathers, siblings, friends etc. – people who we are very close to. Now I’m not talking about quiet, shy wallflowers here. I’m talking about strong, independent bad ass women who *still* have to brace themselves before family visits! 
Barbed comments about appearance. Weight shaming is a recurring theme for many, comments made about clothing choices, gifts given as “hints”, the list goes on. 
I often meet women whose clothing choices have been influenced since their teenage years due to throwaway comments about their “tree trunk legs” or “elephant arse” made by family. 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me...remember that little ditty from the playground? What codswallop that is! 
Words do hurt. Words affect worlds (thanks Paul McGee for that one). 
What is also interesting is that so many of the women I chat with, who are in their 40’s and beyond, also say that they feel more comfortable in their own skin than ever before. Yet despite this, these words/unsolicited “feedback”/barbed comments still get under their skin at times. It’s a complex topic. 
How Does Confidence Affect Your Business as a 50+ Woman 
So, how might this affect your businesses? Could it be that those little niggles, your SID’s (self -image demons) are holding you back from putting yourself out there as much as you need to? When YOU are your business, like so many of us are, we need to build rapport. We need people to feel like they know, like and trust us before they commit to investing with us. They need to see us and hear us. 
This means a multifaceted approach which includes your personal appearance and showing your gorgeous face. Your personal style is saying something about you before you even open your mouth. Clothes are a powerful way to visually communicate and convey messages to the subconscious. 
Whether we like the idea or not we are all judged and judging on first impressions. There's a common misconception that we have 7 seconds to make a first impression, however it's much less than that. The latest research I could find suggests we have 1/10th of a second- and that was in 2006! It’s probably even less these days.Anyway, the point I'm making is this, consider your "audience" and *what* you want them to think about you. This includes your social media stuff, photos on your website etc and when networking – both on and offline. Honing the language of colour and clothes can go a long way to helping you feel comfortable in your own skin. Which will help you show up authentically as your best self and stand out in the overcrowded marketplace. 
Couple this with representing your brand with powerful images that tell a story can be game changing. It will elevate you and your brand to the next level. Which is why I’m looking forward to hearing the talk ‘Stop the Scroll - Create Impact with Images’ by Vicki Head at our FAB meeting next Wednesday. We’ll also be hearing from Margaret Sheppard who will be helping us to understand why numbers are so important in your business and showing us easy ways to keep track of them. 
I’d love you to came along and see what we are all about. You can visit for just £10 – the full details are here. 
If any of this resonates with you and you are ready to be even more comfortable in your own skin and elevate your visibility I can help. I have products and services to suit all budgets. You can see what's on offer here or get in touch for a virtual coffee and we can chat about what is best to suit your needs. 
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