Wear Your Values – A journey with purpose

I’ve been absent on social media, as I’m sure you noticed. My blogging has been sparse at best. Why? because I’ve needed time to go back to some important pieces of work around my purpose, vision and values. So I didn’t want to start posting again until I was clear about where I want to be and where I take Roberta Style Lee. When you’re a creative woman in business it’s easy to get distracted, get excited about new things or trust your flow, follow your instincts and kinda tell yourself this is my untraditional path from A to B. The truth is Roberta Style Lee as a business has been on an extraordinary journey, because I have. When you are your brand – its inevitable that that your personal experiences, learning and state of mind will be reflected in your business. It’s probably worth mentioning that my non-profit project Ethical Brand Directory turns 1-year old this month, and honestly I could not have anticipated how much work, money and time that I would be invested into it to making it to where we are today. But hey, it takes time and hard work trying to save the planet and do good 😉

Fashion helped me discover my values

From a fashion/style perspective learning about Ethical Fashion has been really interesting, nearly 3-years in and a lot has changed, it’s not such a niche. People are more aware that fashion has a darker side to it, sweat shops, pollution and waste are a big part of the industry – even though we don’t see it,  it still goes on.  The ethics and integrity piece from fashion has really influenced the values I set for myself and my business, the way I see clothes and how I want to present myself, how I want to coach and who I want to work with. It’s been really impactful, the sense of ethics and wanting to work with integrity has been intense. So much so that it made me not want to go into certain places and work because it posed a direct conflict to my new belief system.

The type of women I want to work with 
What’s really interesting is how I moved away from my original client avatar I created at the beginning, and became more fluid around who I wanted to work with as I explored the polar opposite to the corporate environment.  I was around more creatives, visionaries, non-traditionalists, home-workers, non-profit owners, social enterprises, charities and activists fighting for the things they believe in and giving less of a damn about materialist things in life. What’s super interesting is how I explored a lot of new values and tried to see if any of them would fit with me, some of them did and some of them didn’t.  Ironically I have come back, full-circle, but as expected, along the way I picked up some new perspectives on life and business.

Some of the things I have learnt to truly value and incorporate into my life: 

  • Being sustainable and resourceful, minimising waste and my impact on the environment – ✅
  • Investing my money into people and products made by people who care and charge a price that reflects the true cost – ✅
  • Self-presentation is a reflection of self-worth and investing in yourself is a sign of respect  – ✅
  • Surrounding myself with people who lift me up, inspire me and help me reach my full potential –  ✅
  • It’s OK to let go of people or places that don’t make you feel like the person you want to become – ✅
  • Mistakes are par for the course – ✅
  • If I want the best guidance and support then I cannot expect to get things for free – ✅

As I have evolved personally, I have identified clear attributes of women that I can work with effectively, and who I want to work with. That’s really important because I am not a perfect fit for a lot of women, I am the perfect fit for a small select number of women who see the world differently.

Conscious Professional Career Women
These women know they want to make a difference, they want to make an impact and but not at the cost of their financial freedom or the cost of others, the environment or animals (just pretty humane stuff really). These women are multi-taskers, they have the means and resources to take themselves to the next level. They are smart, savvy, beautiful and empathetic women, who know that by taking care of themselves they can do more to help others and fulfil their mission. This woman could be you.

Knowing the type of stylist I don’t want to be 
Over the past year I started looking at other stylists posting new outfit pieces everyday from fast-fashion retailers and I realised
a) that’s just not me and
b) that would be in conflict with my values and everything I have learnt about the fashion industry and being an ethical coach
c) I want to empower women to do more good through confidence that stems from the inside out, so I need to get that inside outside balance just right
Aspirational images of an instagram lifestyle are great. I like them too. But there’s no way I’m not going to be another one of those people that posts pictures of my outfit hauls from cheap stores like Primark on my instagram, for me there is no beauty in fashion if someone else and the planet is paying the price. Cheap fashion has its place. It’s not with me. There are 10000 other stylist doing this every day – I want to be different and wear my values.
Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I have to buy things from the high-street as I cannot find a petite alternative in the style, shape, colour or size I need from an Ethical Fashion Brand, but that’s a last resort.  I’m still human and cost, value and convenience are still important factors in my life, but not the only ones I consider when making decisions. And that’s what I want to do, empower women to look good and make great choices, because what we wear matters.

Finding true authenticity in myself 
Being authentic in yourself means being true to your values, what you say, do, wear, act, buy, eat and everything in-between is a reflection of your beliefs. You don’t wake up overnight and just go “ta-dah, I’ve found my vision, I have purpose and I know my values”  it’s like a slow cook… your experiences are the seasonings that get added over time, you add some, you take some away, it intensifies and then it simmers down. Finding your why and feeling TRULY CONFIDENT in who you are takes time ladies! It really doesn’t happen after 4-coaching sessions, you evolve and trust me the journey is incredibly empowering.
When I see a lot of coaches online, they seem to be selling the same story ‘be your best self’ and I often see a lack of depth  and true understanding of what it takes to be your best self.  Is it found in having the perfect body? No. An unstoppable mindset? No. Is it found in eating a pure vegan diet? No. Is it about paying someone to tell you how to find yourself? No. is it about hiring a image expert to help you dress wonderfully and a marketing expert to curate your personal brand? Again, no.  The truth is its a combination of so many things and not one person can offer you all of it and it won’t just happen because you throw some money at it. You’ve got to be ready to go through it all, to make mistakes, to learn, to evolve and come out the other side. Clarity hits you square in the face – you’ll know when you arrive.

Coming full circle and bringing it ALL together 

Now, the next step for Roberta Style Lee is pulling together those 10-years in marketing into context with my current business offering. I’m taking confidence, style, purpose, values, and integrity and introducing authentic personal branding workshops for women still working in corporate, or running their own business, or planning on starting a side hustle.  Everyday I am reminding myself that I have a LOT to offer and I have already helped so many women feel better about themselves and find a new direction – I just look back over my success stories and I think, wow – I should  be doing so much more.

My experiences are what make me unique. These are the things I should be leading with and another lightbulb moment for me was realising that turning my back on the corporate world and all my strategy and marketing experience, whilst it was something I needed to do to find my true calling, it’s not something I should have removed from my offering.
⭐ My Confidence – My own journey of developing my self-confidence is a powerful story. The struggles I went through the sacrifices I made and the investment into myself has been SIGNIFICANT. I sometimes forget just how much I can offer when it comes to rebuilding confidence. I grew up in the care-system, I had nobody there to offer stability, offer real guidance or support me. I was a painfully shy child who craved praise and love, but rarely got it. I used my career to validate myself and channeled all my energies into the wrong things, like my salary,  which resulted in me becoming overworked and undervalued, that’s when I had the big confidence crash back in 2014.  This is how the confidence rebuilding and how my coaching side of the business all began … after I came back from what seemed like the pits of hell. I found more strength and compassion in myself then ever before.
⭐ My Appearance – I don’t keep it a secret that I have had my battles with weight gain, weight loss, eating disorders acne and skin confidence issues. But at the same time I probably don’t share enough of that part of my life. I’m far from perfect – it’s why I used my sense of style as a tool to give me that extra boost of confidence when I needed it. Clothes and dressing for the part has been a part of my life for over 22-years. I used to focus on the outside and it wasn’t until I found myself, that I was able to feel beautiful, strong and powerful on the inside too – not just when I stepped into my killer pencil dress.  This is why styling had to be part of the mix, it was a tool I had adopted for many years to make me look more confident (and allude people from how I was really feeling inside). It gave me the courage and opportunities to start feeling more confident – and as a result my shyness and lack of self-esteem started to improve.
⭐ My Purpose  – I don’t think that I could have ever anticipated that I would be here, 4-years on. Confident with myself from the inside out, clear about the type of person I want to be, speaking on stage about knowing your personal style and how finding my why and wearing my values is empowering me to be be the best version of myself.  After working on the myself from the inside out, something was still missing that TOTAL clarity on what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.  Finding purpose and setting out values is such an empowering piece of the puzzle, I have decided to to incorporate that into the Roberta Style Lee offering, along with personal branding. So this is what’s new for 2018!

So watch this space! My courses, new workshops in London, exciting new collaborations are all in the making!  If you have any questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to add a comment below and I will get back to you.

Empowerment, Confidence, Branding & Styling for Women