The lovely Jenn Falik (check out her blog here; she also contributes to Saks Fifth Avenue's POV blog) took her Five Rules assignment so seriously, she actually told me in a Flywheel class (a cult of which I'm very much a part, thanks to Jenn) that she was mulling it over and wanted to ensure her rules weren't overlapping with anyone else's. So Jenn put a career spin on hers, which is apt, as hers is inspiring. In fact, when she announced she was moving to the 'burbs of Connecticut recently, gals came out of the woodwork asking if they could take over her morning show segments on all things fashion and beauty. If only it were that simple. I admire Jenn's self-made vocation and the hard work that went into it--this gal spent years straddling a full time gig at Alison Brod Public Relations and establishing herself as an on-air personality. She's also one of my favorite people and I'm deva that our lunch/coffee/Flywheel sessions are far less frequent since she moved out of the neighb. Here, her Five Rules for life, from a work perspective, in Jenn's words. Get schooled.
1. Be authentic.
It took me a long time to get to this place--I look back at decades spent as a people-pleaser and realize how far I have come. Like what you like, don’t like what you don’t like, and be honest (and okay) with who you are. There is always going to be someone who you think does what you love to do better than you--and they may. But the only thing in your control is that they aren’t you. And by trying to be them, you will inevitably dilute the one thing that will always make you succeed--authenticity.
2. Be easy (to work with).
So many people are a pain in the a**. In my experience, the biggest divas (in the workplace, the grocery store, the green room) are the most insecure. Everyone wants to be around someone who makes life easier, and in turn, more pleasant. Being that person will get you more work, and more work means more opportunities to craft your own unique brand and hone your skills.
3. Have go-to outfits.
Often there is just way too much going on to take the time to piece together a great outfit. But what you wear, as superficial as it sounds, is who you are--at least to anyone you meet in person (or heck, Skype with for that matter) on any given day. Looking the way you want to look a key component in telling the world who you are- having a few go-to outfits for different occasions insures that you will never be too busy to present yourself perfectly.
4. Have a kid.
Okay--well maybe not a kid (unless you are ready for one, then by all means, don’t let me stop you.) But find something else major in your life that can offer perspective when you need it most. For a decade, my work was the center of my universe. If I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to in a day, I would fall to pieces. Then, I had a kid. And I realized that if I didn’t get through my 10 page to-do list, or a segment got cancelled after I spent weeks pulling it together, or some other girl got a gig I was pitching, life would go on. And that life would include Play-doh and snacks. Which is sometimes just as nice as getting invoices out and professional hair and makeup.
Read Andrea Lavinthal's Five Rules
5. Connect good people.
In business, as in life, who you know is, well, (almost) everything. When you know really great people, but they don’t know each other, and you think they should know each other, introduce them. Don’t hoard your contacts. Bringing good people together isn’t going to make you irrelevant (like that old middle school fear of your two best friends becoming best friends and not inviting you to the sleepover party), it is going to make you essential. Don’t hoard your contacts. But do protect them. Hence the whole “good” adjective in the first sentence.
Thanks, Jenn! Stay tuned for more Five Rules.
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