6 women, 6 challenges, 6 solutions: Highlights from our mastermind dinner

Welcome to “What I Did Last Week (and what I’m looking forward to),” a newsletter where I offer actionable tips, based on what I am doing personally and professionally.

Today at a glance

  • An instant hack that will make you a more powerful storyteller (inspired by the Met Gala)
  • Recap of my Mastermind dinner this week
  • The Guide for Packing for Professional Activities in the South of France

 

What I Did Last Week

Tuesday. Held the monthly SheSuite roundtable, which prompted this post on how to craft a 10 year vision, but advance the 3-5 year goals

Friday. Had drinks with my friend and author Kelly, a maven on networking. As she departs to Ireland and I to France, we grabbed drinks at Carne Mare in South Street Seaport.

 

1 powerful hack to becoming a more powerful storyteller (inspired by the Met Gala)

My Instagram feed has been rife with gaunt models and actresses in over-the-top fashions from the “Sleeping Beauties” exhibit (inspiration behind this year’s Met Gala.)

Since I’m not an actress or in fashion, I’ll never be invited.
But I do live in New York City, so I could see the exhibit in person.

Last Saturday, I got up at 6:30am and headed uptown from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side to visit the hallowed halls of the Met. During member hours, I have the entire museum to myself.

Once inside, after standing in a terrible long line, I got see it.

I was delighted to find “Sleeping Beauties” wasn’t just an homage to gowns and fascinators.
The exhibit was designed to engage all of my senses:

↳SOUND: Speakers were trained above to mimic the sounds a dress made of clamshells made when the model was walking in it.
↳SMELL AND TOUCH: There were walls to rub, releasing the scents from the dresses worn in the 1860s.
↳SIGHT: CGI animations so you could see dresses from the 1860s in motion.



As a public speaking coach, I teach my clients to become better storytellers by recording these daily observations.

Here’s how it works:

The Sensory Quadrant:

↳Hear: What sounds captured your attention today?
↳Smell: What scents did you encounter today?
↳See: What did you observe today?
↳Do: What actions did you take today?

My clients often ask: How do I persuade and influence?
By creating “an experience.”
“How do I create an experience?”
By picking a micromoment in time, and getting really descriptive.
Take your audience by the hand and describe the above facets of the experience.
It forces the audience’s mirror neurons to fire in their brain and fill in the gaps.
As if they were there with you.

The “Sleeping Beauties” exhibit reminded me of the power of storytelling and the importance of being fully present in every moment.

Download my cheatsheet here on how to become clear storyteller: https://lnkd.in/gcScjP5G

Wednesday. I hosted a 6 woman Mastermind dinner.

5 women presented their current business challenges

  • We had a CEO of a digital community startup
  • We had a owner of speaking agency that places candidates on big stages, like TED
  • We had a social media manager who imagines starting her own coaching business
  • We a leader from the financial services industry, who has her sights set on the C suite
  • We had a video and motion graphics editor seeking to get more women on her talk show

Their challenges were

You’re underestimating how burnout you already are.

95% of business owners need to reorganize the way they spend their time

  • STEP 1: paint the 10 year vision. It helps inform what activities you should be doing now
  • STEP 2: Time track for a week on an excel or Toggl.com. Find the 20% that drives 80% of your business
  • STEP 3: Figure out your zone of genius. Dedicate time to strategy and you’ll be much more efficient (and rested).

 

You’re underestimating the network you already have

95% of new ideas need a proof of concept and branding to make the creator look serious.

STEP 1: Don’t just create a talk show. Create a movement. Get people behind the vision

STEP 2:Create a proof of concept landing page to share with future guests. Share your why.

STEP 3: Publish thought leadership about why this medium creates tangible results for your guests

 

You’re underestimating the network you already have in order to build brand you want.

95 % of my clients don’t know how to make the ‘mentor’ ask to someone they don’t know.

  • STEP 1: Figure out the top 6 traits of the C-Suite role you want. Interview those who already have the role.

  • STEP 2: Do a gap analysis: Where are you falling short? What skills do you need to develop?

  • STEP 3: Appoint a mentor or coach who will be the hard mirror. Asking 3rd degree connections is sometimes easier.

You’re underestimating the culture you have already built at your company.

95% of folks, when hiring, don’t think about the cultural fit a ‘new hire’ may be

  • STEP 1: Could a current client become the evangelist and ambassador to sell your service? They already have skin in the game and intimate knowledge of the product

  • STEP 2: Ask an interviewee what their expectations are? Are they different from your expectations? If yes, adjust in the interview.

  • STEP 3: Culture starts with hire #1. Ask questions to see if the candidate is a ‘culture fit?’

 

You’re underestimating the power of a niche.

95% don’t do their due diligence in researching both the niche they serve and what the world needs

  • STEP 1: Find your niche. What is the problem you solve for in the world? (pick one)

  • STEP 2: Find your ideal client avatar. Define their demographics and psychographics

  • STEP 3: Become recommend worthy for one super power, repeatable in rooms you aren’t in

The evening was a testament to the power of the 7th mind created when 6 women leaders come together. Each participant left with actionable insights, with clarity on how to tackle their business challenges head-on. We look forward to seeing the incredible achievements these women will undoubtedly accomplish in the near future.

 

What am I Looking Forward To

In 15 days, I’m heading to the South of France to work with clients on their storytelling strategy. I lead with my programming with a big dollop of adventure.

Harsh truth: Most people pack last minute.

….at least most people I talk to do.

You usually end up overpacking things you never wear and paying extra baggage fees you never intended.

You do get somewhere by planning ahead, especially if its a professional outing (and you don’t want to make a misstep in front of colleagues, who aren’t friends)

  • mapping complete outfits to activities
  • creating a capsule wardrobe
  • picking one color scheme

I find investing time in mapping out my wardrobe on paper ahead of time (rather than last mnute) reaps the most valuable long term rewards–I’m present, professional, and confident.

Here’s a confession: I was presenting on stage about 12 years ago. I had to wear a traditional Indian “saree” which is about 9 yards of fabric tucked artfully into a petticoat. Guess what I forgot? The petticoat. It gave birth to this packing methodology I’m teaching now.

In this piece today, I’ll share my core principles of building a solid wardrobe from scratch for a trip somewhere warm and in a professional setting.

Whether you are taking a 2 month work trip like me or doing a weekend away, this guide can help.

 

My 3 core “packing” principles

 

Principle 1: Map outfits to activities

I once had a client show up to a skydiving retreat in a suit jacket and ballet flats.

To avoid this on future retreats, I offer this manual (really)

Write down all the activities you will be doing. Account for the temperature extremes day and night.

-Cooking class (dress where I can have my arms free, but won’t worry about getting food on it)

-Perfume-making class (Dress where I won’t worry about getting oils on it)

-Writing and deep reflection work: Something comfortable and long, in case the choice is to sit on the floor.

From there, I have a few go to items that I found that create reliable confidence for me. I can “set it and forget it.”

Principle 2: Find a color theme

The best advice I ever got when it comes to building a wardrobe for a trip is to pick one color theme and pack items that only fit in it.

What this means: Think about your core color base and add pops of color with accessories

An example: My core color base is a Santorini blue and white. I can accessorize with straw bags, gold jewelry. The point is that I pack less by picking items that all go together.

For client work, where I have to look professional for the South of France (not New York), I make sure I”m not wearing anything too short, too revealing up top. For a fun jaunt to St. Tropez, still with a gathering of entrepreneurs poolside, I have a fab one piece swimsuit, and a wrap skirt.

 

Principle 3: Map a capsule wardrobe.

This article talks about the “what.”
Below is the “why.”

“Me” Thinking: Imagine packing for this trip and selecting pieces that are all about your personal style, comfort, and routine. You focus on what you already own and what makes you feel good. While this approach is familiar, it may not fully prepare you for the new environment and experiences awaiting you.

“You” Thinking: Now, consider the lifestyle and culture of the destination. Think about the climate, the local fashion trends, and the types of activities you will be engaging in. By doing this, you’re tuning into the context of your destination and adapting your wardrobe to fit seamlessly into your surroundings. You’re not just packing for you; you’re packing to be prepared for anything.

“Us” Thinking: Finally, think about how your wardrobe choices impact your interactions and experiences. A well-curated capsule wardrobe can enhance your professional presence and ease in building relationships. It can include versatile, stylish pieces that make you feel confident and put-together, no matter the occasion.

By doing so, you’re not just preparing for a trip; you’re preparing to fully immerse yourself in a new experience, making the most of every moment in the beautiful South of France.

Joya exploring the vineyard

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Join the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 7 other women leaders in the core program that sits at the center of my business model. The Mastermind teaches you exactly how to build a powerful person brand and the mindset to support it. It culminates in a TEDx talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end.

I only enroll for this program once a year.

The waitlist is open for the Class of 2025.

2. Download my E-book   Join 50 women in reading this comprehensive book where I teach you how I landed my own TEDx Talk in 2013 and break down, step by step, how to land yours.

3. Take my “Art of Influence” masterclass  Join 3500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Join the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 7 other women leaders in the core program that sits at the center of my business model. The Mastermind teaches you exactly how to build a powerful person brand and the mindset to support it. Learn how to do storytelling for business. Then harvest 1 thing that is universal and needs to be heard now for your TEDx talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end. The waitlist is open for the Class of 2025.

2. Download my E-book   Join 50 women in reading this comprehensive book where I teach you how I landed my own TEDx Talk in 2013 and break down, step by step, how to land yours.

3. Take my “Art of Influence” masterclass:  Join 3500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

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