Projecting the Culture of Your Brand


Article by John Scardina
Photo Credit: Dasha & Mari
Magazine: Issue #31

Projecting the Culture of Your Brand

Projecting the Culture of Your Brand

As entrepreneurs we sell our brand, our business and ourselves in order to solve a problem. How we project our business and ourselves to our customers today is of the upmost importance. How our customers or clients perceive us personally and as entrepreneurs is what can make or break us. The difference between success and potential failure.

The most important thing to remember that is we have so many tools available to us.

The days of owning a brick and mortar business, and just running an ad to bring business to us has been over long ago. But we all know that, we have every app, social media and so many other avenues to bring customers and clients to us and we need to project our brand equally through each resource.

I have seen many entrepreneurs project larger than life on the internet and social media only to work closely with a client and not be prepared to provide product or services as stated in this larger than life projection. If we project magic products or project that we are experts in any particular field, then we need back up these events. A customer or client will see right through it, if you are not what you say you are. We need to be real and prepared with every client every time, so the importance of being exactly who you are is important.

Since social media is a huge must have for business owners, we need to be cautious upon how we are perceived to each and every customer or client. I have noticed totally by accident that we all have three personalities when reaching out from behind a computer.

Three personality traits:

Our social media personality.
Our actual personality.
Our perception of our personality.

When we project our brand or image on social media we can sometimes create an image that is much bigger than we actually are. It is so easy while tapping away at your laptop to enhance our product or talents. This is easy due to the fact that we as humans have been desensitized to the event of simple everyday contact, eye to eye contact. The event of being and the energy felt from this type of contact is not always transferable through electronic means.

Those who know us well most likely know our actual personality better than ourselves. They will experience the energy of your personality on a daily basis and can be a great resource in assisting you in informing you on social media events prior to releasing them.

Most people with have a perception of who they are, we live this every day! But when trying to exist in business this perception needs to be real and in close alignment with the other two personalities. When this alignment of all three personalities closely match one another you are projecting your culture properly. We need to be real in all platforms in order to succeed, be conscious of your projection to the world.

The Empress Festival

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photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
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3 Secrets to a Perfect Brand

{That World-Class Branding Experts Know that You Don't}

Article by Yetunde Taiwo-Shorters
Photo Credit: Nancy Schoenmakers
Magazine: Issue #30

3 Secrets To A Perfect Brand

3 Secrets To A Perfect Brand

Who’s got an A.P.P yeah you know what!

There are 3 secrets to the perfect brand that world-class brand experts are not telling you. Shssshh. Don’t say a word to anyone, but you’re now in on the secret.

1 :: Authenticity
No one is telling you that your authentic self is what people will tune in to. Authenticity is that special something that only YOU have. The truth is everyone has it, but we are too busy trying to be packaged like everyone else, or packaging the “idea” we have of us that we forget the gem that is already in us. You are an original, being a copy or like anyone else is a dis-service to what you have to offer the world. How do you tap into your authenticity? Be true to your gut, your style, your thoughts, and your truth, even your poses in pictures. Doing it because it is the norm is very different from doing it because it works and it feels like you. If you’re great at making people laugh, organizing, analyzing, writing or talking etc., that special gift is your money maker, plus there are people waiting for you to step into it so they can pay you for it. The bonus is doing the work to be the higher, better version of you, and the best version of you. And you can only do that when you master YOU. Practice, invest and do your part to be the master of your authenticity. Be your best self often and unapologetically. When you get comfortable with you, it encourages others to do the same.

2 :: Purposeful
So it’s one thing to be authentic, it’s another thing to know why your authenticity is important to you, your family and the world. To be “purposeful" means: [pur-puh s]

1| the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. 
2| an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. 
3| determination; resoluteness. 

Your time is your most valuable asset. It is nonrefundable, you can’t pay for more of it and you can’t get an iota of it back. You can however maximize it and be intentional about how you use it. According to Forbes, Oprah has 10 self made sources of income. Probably more by now. She spent years daily, doing the thing that is her purpose that she loves and helping people, building profits and daily she became a master at it, at HER. She is a billionaire and she, just like you only has the same time in a day as you do (24 hours). Committing to purpose means stepping fully into your Why. “why is this important for the world, to you” then spending your time doing the important stuff. The good news is, in spite of the challenges that you will face (designed to help you become a master at YOU), it will be more fun because you are doing the thing you love, helping people and building profits.

3 :: Profitable
There are 7.3 billion+ people on this earth. If even 0.001% (that is 73,000) of them are the people you are meant to help and you charge them a dollar a month for what you’re great at, that they need, that they will gladly pay for, you will make $73,000 a month and $876,000 a year. 

Here is the truth “the whole world is not your market”. Yes, you may have a product that everyone could use, but accepting and understanding that only the people that value your product or service will pay for it. Why not market to those people. This is what we brand professionals call NICHE marketing. Close your eyes: imagine your ideal fan, customer or client. What does he or she look like? What do they do for a living, where do they spend time online, what kind of book, shows, audio books do they read? etc. Whomever you pictured that is the person you need to market to, to help you build profit. Start today

So, you officially got the A.P.P, Oh yeah! It takes daily practice. Start now, why wait for tomorrow. Be present in your authenticity, live with purpose, be intentional with your time and the people that you need to help and support, will pay you. 

The Empress Festival

All images appearing on the Holistic Fashionista web site are the exclusive property of our partnered
photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
the written permission of the photographers.

Entrepreneurship: Bridging the Gap Between Business and Art


Bridging the Gap Between Business and Art

Bridging the Gap Between Business and Art

Article by Darlene Dunn
Photo Credit: Dasha & Mari
Magazine: Issue #30

I used to think of artists whenever I heard the word ‘muse’; not anymore! I have come to realize a fundamental truth about entrepreneurship- there is the ‘business’ of making money and then there is the ‘art’ of making money. To be truly successful you need both business acumen and a connection with art. So, what inspires you? 

Do you realize that a muse is not necessarily a person?  

 :: When you are designing your logo, your office or just about anything else, you may need some inspiration. Many go to Pinterest for ideas. If you do this, then Pinterest is your muse!

 :: When you want to freshen up or create your website, you may need some inspiration. Many look all over the Internet at other websites to get ideas for their website. If you do this, then the Web is your muse. A big word of CAUTION- do NOT copy someone else’s website or program... they are NOT YOU… your website and programs must reflect who YOU are in order to work and be successful.

 :: Of course, your muse can be a person-- who inspires you? Who ignites your creativity? There is definitely no shortage of amazing entrepreneurs here at Holistic Fashionista!! Any one of these amazing folks could be your next muse.

So, take a minute to reflect on your business and decide where you need to get in touch with the ‘art’ of making money, then take time to find your inspiration; you won’t regret it and neither will your POCKETBOOK!!

The Empress Festival

All images appearing on the Holistic Fashionista web site are the exclusive property of our partnered
photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
the written permission of the photographers.

Tres Branifique! Building a Brand Heritage


Article by Lynne Dominick
Photo Credit: Hailley Howard
Magazine: Issue #29

Tres Branifique! Building a Brand Heritage

Tres Branifique! Building a Brand Heritage

Branding has almost become colloquial these days, yet I bet that when you think about branding, the first thing that comes to mind is some type of product or business. Yet when it comes to branding, the scope extends far beyond products or services. Just about anything can be a brand these days. Let’s take cities for instance, and, for the sake of this article, let’s take Paris!

Steeped in a history rich with art and design, The Paris Brand has been developing for centuries. Its gorgeous architecture, pristine parks, extraordinary cuisine, and exquisite fashion all contribute to a global brand image of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.  

Even before stepping foot in Paris, years of browsing through fashion magazines and watching old movies helped me conjure up images of romance, beauty, and sensual delights. 

Fall is an incredibly wonderful time to visit Paris.  Here are some reasons why the brand heritage is alive and well:

Savor the Experience
For my husband, Paris is all about its history; the crypts of the Cluny Museum, the underground maize and macabre past of the city’s sewers, the audacity of Napoleon; endless hours spent in L’Ecole de Militaire and Musee D’L’Armee.

For me, Paris is taking a walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg, eating a croissant on the I’sle St       Louis a Sunday morning, having afternoon tea at Marriage Freres, enjoying a chocolate chaud at Angelina, or riding the number 6 metro line just to get that first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as the train speeds along, running outside, as it nears the Bir-Hakim stop.

Before You Go
I often find the planning stages of a trip almost as fun as the trip itself.  Maybe it is because I immerse myself in the process.  This includes reading books that take place in the country I am about to visit, watching movies that were filmed in that city and creating a playlist of related tunes on my iPhone.

Here are some recommendations to enhance the planning portion of your trip to Paris:

Book List|
    The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
    The Book of Lost Fragrances
    Hidden in Paris
    It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris
    The DaVinci Code
    Murder in the Marais
    Lesson in French
    The Hare with the Amber Eyes
    A Tale of Two Cities
    The Chocolate Thief
    Lunch in Paris
    Paris Was the Place
    Anna and the French Kiss
    French Lessons
    Suite Francaise
    Paris, a Novel

Film List|
    An American in Paris
    Before Sunset
    Everyone Says I Love You
    Funny Face  
    Love in the Afternoon
    Midnight in Paris
    Moulin Rouge

Recommended Listening|
    April in Paris
    The Last Time I Saw Paris
    La Vie En Rose
    The Soundtrack of Midnight in Paris

Spending time online is also a great way to get the most out of a vacation.  

Here are some very good blogs to peruse as you plan your trip|
    French Essence
    Messy Nessy Chic
    Girls Guide to Paris

Once You Arrive
I recommend that you start your site seeing or exploring immediately. DO NOT TAKE A NAP. Seriously, this is Paris!
One of the best ways to see Paris than is on foot.  Here are USA Today’s best walking tour recommendations:

Those with an independent streak and no patience for groups can run their own walking tours with directions that are either printed on paper or downloaded to an MP3 player. An example of the former are the free tours offered by Paris Walking Tours. Depending on what you choose, you can visit such favorites as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Tromphe and the Champs-Elysees. The tours are quite basic, explaining directions and the names of what you are seeing but giving no historical background. Travel guru Rick Steves adds humor and explanations to his free MP3 audio tours, which include a historic Paris walk and specific tours for the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay.

If you prefer being guided by a human being but don't have a lot of money, then free guided walking tours are for you. These trips are characterized by enthusiastic, native Parisian volunteers and very large crowds who come and go throughout the narration. One example is Discover Walks, whose walks take you to several Paris landmarks, specific areas such as the Latin Quarter or to specific sights like Notre Dame. Walks typically occur two or three times a day, rain or shine, and require no reservations. Simply show up at the appointed place and time, and look for the pink outfits. Being volunteers, the guides appreciate tips at the end of the walk, though they are not required.

Companies that run commercial walking tours may offer smaller groups, greater selection, gift certificates and souvenirs. Reservations may be required, though some also allow you to just show up. As an example, Classic Walks covers such broad topics as Classic Paris, the French Revolution and World War II, or more specific areas such as Montmartre. If you want the intimacy of a walking tour, with the speed of a vehicle, the company also offers tours on Segways and bicycles. These types of trip cover more ground and enable you to reach widely spaced sights in shorter times.

Private tours cost the most money but allow you to focus on only the topics that interest you. You can take pre-planned itineraries, but take detours and skip sights you find boring. Or you can have the guide plan an excursion for you from scratch. Advanced reservations are necessary. An example is Context Paris Tours, which is endorsed by such travel luminaries as Fodor's, Frommer's, National Geographic and Insight Guides. They call their guides docents because they have advanced degrees in such subjects as art history, cuisine or archaeology, and feature a large educational component in their tours. Their planned itineraries are divided into themes like architecture or gastronomy and offer unusual views such as the belly of Paris and Modernist buildings.

Taking the Metro or the Bateaubus in season are other great ways to take in the city.

What to See
You can spend weeks, months even years getting to know The City of Light, but if your time is limited, you can still get a great feeling for this very special place in a short period of time. Here is your highlight list.  If you are a museum person, browse the list for the ones that best suit your taste, if your someone who prefers being outside and mingling with the locals, focus on the site list and the neighborhood list. 

    Eiffel Tower
    Notre Dame
    St. Chapelle
    Sacre Coeur
    The Paris Opera (see if you can get a tour)!
    Paris Cemetary
    Blois de Bologne
    Arch de Triomphe
    Champs de Elyesse

    The Louvre
    Jaques Marte Andres
    Victor Hugo
    Jeu De Palme
    Musee du quai Branly

Flea Markets|
    Porte de Vanves
    Marche d”Aligre

    Isle St Louis
    Latin Quarter
    Fouberg St. Honore
    Latin Quarter
    St. Germain des Pres

Where to Stay

    Hotel Le Bristol
    La Royal Morceau Raffles Hotel
    Hotel du Louvre
    Hotel Lancaster
    Hotel Le Burgandy Paris
    Hotel Castille
    Hotel Fouquet’s Barriere

Won’t Break the Bank|
    Hotel des Grandes Ecoles
    Hotel Arvor Saint Georges
    Mama Shelter
    Hotel Saint Thomas D’Aquin
    Hotel Mayet

Rent or Stay in a Paris Apartment|
    Good Morning Paris
    Alcove & Agapes

Eat/Drink/Be Merry
When it comes to dining, the French know how to do it right.
Here is an eclectic list of places that will not disappoint.

Hot Chocolate|

Ice Cream|

Afternoon Tea|
    Marriage Freres

Lunch Outdoors|
    Ralph at Polo Ralph Lauren
    Le Tresor

    Neighborhood Bistro - Chaumette
    Fun, Hip, Good Food - Ze Kitchen Gallerie
    Can’t Go Wrong – Market
    Very Special Ambiance - Les Ambassadeurs at Le Crillion

Pick Up and Eat in the Park|
    Bon Marche Food Halls

 Best Views|
    The Terrace Restaurant at Printemps
    Kong Restaurant
    Centre Pompidou
    Institute de Monde Arabe


The Empress Festival

All images appearing on the Holistic Fashionista web site are the exclusive property of our partnered
photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
the written permission of the photographers.

4 Designer Myths That Keep You From Discovering Your Design Voice


Designer Myths That Keep You From Discovering Your Design Voice

Designer Myths That Keep You From Discovering Your Design Voice

Article by Jennifer Nesbit Holt
Photo Credit: Dasha & Mari
Magazine: Issue #29

If you’ve sought out self-help tools to re-align with your creative process, or quietly tracked the success of other designers, you have firsthand experience of the power creative flow has to not only engage and ignite a following, but also to produce better bodies of work to support a life of freedom and creativity you desire.  There are many myths we tell ourselves as designers, not to mention a pile of mistakes.

Maybe you’ve even been one of those people who secretly feels you're not good enough because you didn't get your design education from the most elite school. You might even suffer from low self-esteem when it comes to thinking you can grow your design business to the next level. You know in your bones you are doing what you love (and your good at it) but you want in on the secrets of award winning designers.

So why does the idea of putting yourself first have you quaking in your boots?

Let me guess…

  • You don’t mind a little grunt work, but you don't know how to grow a successful design business in such a saturated market.
  • You love the idea of delivering high quality projects to more prestigious clients, but you bite your nails, second guessing if you're 'good enough'.
  • You’ve got foolproof concepts in mind and you're tired of playing small .

Ready to unlock Pandora's box to release the blocks holding you back from being seen and heard as a designer?

Busy designers (like you) don’t have a SECOND to waste on activities that aren’t directly linked to profit. If you’ve ever tried creating a regular self-care routine before, you know that sinking feeling of guilt that you 'should' be in your creative zone rockin' out projects through to completion. (Ugh! It’s the worst, isn’t it?)

In my experience, I’ve found that four major myths are to blame for designer doubt and not feeling like your good enough. I’m going to debunk those myths for you, and show you how to replace them with truly simple, effective practices that will not only reward all your hard work, but have you doing kart wheels in the grass with excitement.  

Myth #1: Creating is organic, easy and effortless.

Now this myth, for the most part, is not how we see ourselves as designers but how non-creatives view our process. Our work is always fun and our ideas flow abundantly. Sheesh!

Now there are some artists who do fall into this mindset but we call them amateurs (or egotistical ass-hats)! However, a word of caution...if you are seasoned in your career, you can slip back into this mindset when you start berating yourself for not being good enough. The more creative blocks pile up, the more you ask, “Why is this not easy anymore?” Boo hoo, boo hoo (been there).

Self-care must take priority and should be treated as a delicacy that you infuse into your day, EVERY day.

Specifically, my Creative Life Series includes holistic strategies designed for the hard working designer in mind.  It also includes actionable components that you can use while you work! This is SO not about studying the best graphic design books.

And when everything lines up perfectly, your business grabs hold of a healthy and effective productive machine that acts as the backbone of your growing design business and gives you the opportunity to grow and soar at will.

Myth # 2: Every project you create should be perfect.

I hear ya, sweet thing!  Designers are notorious for perfectionism because...well, it goes with the territory of getting a concept through to completion.  Also, depending upon your field of design, it might even have to do with the safety of others. 

But here is the thing....if you don't feed that nasty little critter called 'perfectionism', the flow of ideas comes easier and the stress starts to disappear.  Imagine for a moment that you design in a peaceful state and not a reactionary-took-some-no-dozz state?

How? How can you be gentle on yourself, how can you stop nit picking every idea apart?  I'll tell ya how... Just to name a few, some of the best sources of for self-care are things like yoga, mediation, sound healing (that's my fav), movement, etc...  I want to encourage you to find something this week that helps take you out of the series-must-do-it-right mode and into some peace and serenity. Yes! This does require action...but you've already proven that you’re willing to put in effort–you just need the reassurance of knowing that every bit of energy you put into yourself IS for your business and will come back to you tenfold.

What you CAN’T afford to do is waste time and energy in perpetual “figure it out” mode.

Myth #3 – Designers must struggle, must suffer and always put the client first to be truly successful.

When you put self-care first you are able to communicate effectively through your work as well as to your clients.  Concepts become fluid.  You can not longer operate on the notion that hard work means misery. When you focus on your own sanity, you will attract the right clients and projects to enjoy your life with confidence and gumption!

Hint:  You are a treasure trove of abundance and when you open the doors to more business abundance, you will know JUST what to do when things get shaky.  (Scroll down to grab my freebie and discover exactly what I do to recover my footing)

Myth #4 – “What if I fail to produce or get stuck? Will my career will fall apart?”

False, false false! Self-awareness and Self-care strategies are a must if you are looking to grow your design business.

And if you’re reading this post RIGHT NOW, then you’re in a unique position to catch wind of this new strategic approach before anyone else in your niche does, and in doing so, claim your stake in the rich blue ocean of growing your business to the next level, and it's not about where you got your education.

So chances are that even if your competitors are already using these holistic strategies, you can gain a competitive advantage by being the FIRST to build a design business backed with full intention, creative flow and magnetic energy based on some of the proven techniques, and strategies that I’m about to share with you. Keep reading . . . now that you know the 4 designer's myths, I’ve created a DETAILED, free cheat sheet to help you with your first (or next!) step to finding your authentic design voice . . .

My wish for you is to sidestep the countless traps that make most designers burnout, and instead learn how to create a masterpiece called your own design biz.

It’s a Sign is a compilation of self-improvement articles written by entrepreneurs seeking to bring holistic solutions to everyday problems. Read more articles from this feature.

Jennifer Nesbit Holt, CEO/Founder of Flow Creative Design, is an expert in instilling masterful evolution in professional designers seeking to let go of perfectionism, stop stalking influential designers to unleash your design voice. 

Stop Resisting and learn how To Become an Award Winning Designer. Grab her new freebie "Mistakes Every Designer Makes" (when they desire to be an industry mover and shaker).

The Empress Festival

All images appearing on the Holistic Fashionista web site are the exclusive property of our partnered
photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
the written permission of the photographers.

Let's Get Uncomfortable, Embrace Change & Become a Business Trendsetter®

Let's Get Uncomfortable, Embrace Change & Become a Business Trendsetter®

Let's Get Uncomfortable, Embrace Change & Become a Business Trendsetter®


Article by Tamisha Ford
Photo Credit: Fabiola Zamora
Magazine: Issue #24

I talk a lot about individuality because I love self-expression. I spent over a year mentoring, teaching, and interacting with just introverted people and clients before re-branding my business. 

One of the things I learned during that time was that our (yours and my) individualistic natures are extremely paradoxical. 

On one hand, we want to be seen. We want our work to be known by all that need it, we want to serve in our highest capacity, and we want visibility and confirmation that we’re actually helping someone. 

On the other hand, we want to retain our ideas and keep them close because we live in an age where it’s too easy for them to be stolen. Guarding our intellectual property as business artists has become a prime investment of time and mind share. 

How do we express our individualistic ideas and natures and simultaneously reserve our right to keep them close and original?

I’m here to bring clarity to this question for you as you express yourself through your business. 

1| Recognize the Spiritual Space You Create Within

There is an element of space you create within that no one else can. It’s a unique combination of discipline you’ve ascribed to, time it takes you to complete a task, creativity, experiences, and vision. 

That specified equation is not able to be duplicated in any sphere. Someone else may identify with it, but your energy of creativity belongs solely to you. When you really learn this, no one can do or say anything to compromise that space, and your individuality gets liberated in amazing ways. 

2| Embrace the Power of the Capacity for Change

Even if someone wants to copy every single thing you’re doing in your business, eventually they will tire of following the visionary instead of being the visionary. 

I always give people the benefit of the doubt that they really do likely want to be a leader in their niche, they just may not have figured out how to do it in their own expressive voice yet. 

So their best bet (in their mind) is to follow what someone else is doing to the letter because they think it will also work for them (see #1). 

What this means for you and I is that we have to always be leading and embracing change. Consistently looking for new ways to serve keeps your business fresh and on target to be a Business Trendsetter®, as Angel calls it (which I love). 

Embracing changes in your business and understanding your why behind those changes is the understanding that fuels your individualistic creative space and keeps you in a leadership role.

The Empress Festival

All images appearing on the Holistic Fashionista web site are the exclusive property of our partnered
photographers and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without
the written permission of the photographers.

How to Build a Brand Without Stressing Out



Article: Angel Quintana
Photo: Dasha & Mari

If you've attempt to start a business, you know what I'm talking about. The voyage into entrepreneurship comes with quite a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride or decision-making and emotions. Over the course of nearly two decades of starting and running a business, stress is and will always be a factor not to take lightly because when it comes to building a brand, the to-do list nearly seems endless.

But let's face stress dead in the eye and come to the conclusion that stress is part of the journey. However, as a holistic business, we know better than to punch walls or scream at the dog-- it's just not very zen of us, but let's not pretend we are super humans. We have emotions too and well, stress, can take a hold of us from time to time. The goal is to reduce stress and to find your sweet spot (a balance where stress keeps you motivated, yet doesn't interfere with how the business is functioning, ie: customer service, customer retention, + others.)

Here are some sweet spot stress-free tips to keeping your eye on the prize and your luxury brand stay sparkling and organized:

1) Mind Your Own Business, Peeping Tom

There is nothing for stressing (or distracting) than spending your time snooping on what every one else is up to in your industry. In fact, the more time you waste focusing on anything other than YOUR business, is an instant way to add more stress into your life and business. I know, it's hard not to compare yourself to someone who's claiming to be more successful than you, but it's just a trap.

Even if you think checking out someone's website or following their social media feeds are harmless, take note to when your stress creeps up again. I'm pretty sure you'll find it was the second you stopped minding your own business and started paying attention to someone else's. Stop this dirty habit in it's track by keeping a to-do list next to your computer, for the next time you feel like being a peeping tom, remind yourself you have a lot of things to get done.

2) Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Instead Sweat it Out!

Look, I'm the last person to be giving fitness advice, but that's only because I learned the hard way. After working myself to the bone, 7 days a week 14-16 hour days, it wears you down. Being susceptible to stress attacks happens when the pressure appears too daunting and alas, a freak out is in order. However, breaking a sweat at the gym or for 20 minutes at home with a couple dumbbells introduces a euphoric high.

I'm not saying breaking a sweat is going to cure all your worries, but it just might be enough to prevent you from telling Sally Jo to go shove it where the sun don't shine. As luxury brand owners, we have to keep our cool-- after all, we've got an image to uphold and having an stressful episode is not demure, sexy, or professional. When nothing else works, go for a walk or a sprint to get that blood moving through the veins. Then come back to your desk and ask yourself, "was she really worth all that effort?" Of course not.

3) Buy a Big-Ass Board, And Make a Long-Ass List

After drooling over beautiful offices in Rue Magazine, I started noticing a trend. That trend was the handy, over-sized chalkboard. This wall sized chalkboard not only looks way cool in an office environment, it also serve a dutiful purpose: list making. Function paired with aesthetics is a great combo, especially when it comes to reducing stress.

Use the big-ass board to not only draft your to-do's, but to visually pat yourself on the back by crossing those important tasks off the list. Your brain will produce Serontin (the good mood chemical found in our bodies), which is an instant mood booster! I can't tell you how many times myself and my team are skipping yankee doodle dandy by the end of the day from just crossing out completed tasks! By the workday comes to an end your batteries are recharged and your ready for a great evening! Give it a try.

4) Practice Gratitude: Remember, It's NOT So Bad

Just the other day I felt a stress attack coming on and I really did NOT want to go down that road. I knew my brain was playing tricks on me again, and as that silly rabbit says, "Trix are for kids." Instead of letting Negative Nelly take over my emotions, I started talking to myself out loud. What I said was, "I am thankful for my dogs. I love my clients. I'm so lucky to have married the right man. I have a lot. Don't forget how much you really have."

I said this over and over again, and you know what? It worked. I started focusing my attention on everything that was going RIGHT, instead of the one thought that was looking to stir the pot. It's amazing how powerful our brains are and how tricking those little turds can be at any given moment. It takes a lot of willpower and strength to see past the money mind and move forward with poise and gratitude.

The next time that icky stressful feeling start coming on strong, tell it to beat it. Find ways to reduce stress while building your luxury brand so you can grow it into what you always dreamed it could be: magnificent. Remember this if nothing else, no one can run your business like you can, even if someone else in your industry is claiming to have super powers-- we know you can't trust everything you read. Plus, you've got a long-ass list to accomplish this week and you can't let anyone stand in your way from accomplishing your goals.

Once you start seeing that chalkboard full of cross out tasks, that happy hour cocktail will taste that much better because there is nothing more rewarding to an entrepreneur than reaching a milestone, increase profitability, and remaining calm as you reach for the stars.

The Empress Festival

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