O Style | Putting Yourself Out There, Literally

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A lot of us feel naturally confident in front of the camera, and by a lot of us, I mean the Millennials and Generation Z. They were born into the selfie trend-- and as much as I partially fall into that age group category, the Xennial part of me still has some resistance when it comes to taking selfies. Having to place the camera directly in front of me and snap a photo isn’t something I am used to doing. 

Now more than ever, if you have a business and are selling a product or service, having to put your face (+ story/voice) out there to represent your brand is not just the norm, it’s a necessity. But thank God, selfies aren’t the best and only way you can get your face out there. You can hire a professional photographer to get your headshots and branded photos taken to help market your services and/or products. Without bias (lol), I’m going to add that option is the best one in my humble opinion. 

When I first started to blog about my personal style about seven years ago, I knew that getting my photos taken would be part of the schtick. So, I had one of my close friends (who had a professional camera) snap photos of my outfits while on my lunch break or after work hours. It wasn’t an easy thing at first, but the more I did it, the more it became fun. By putting myself out there, getting used to writing and publishing posts after posts (although it felt very vulnerable and different), my confidence level increased more and more. Even if the only people who read my blog were my sisters and best friends, it felt freeing and motivating to share the creative side of me, and I was proud to have actually acted on something I had always wanted to do. It was such a small endeavor at the time -- but yet its transformative impact on me was tremendous. I then felt confident (enough) to launch my personal styling business. 

Fast forward years later, one of the perks of my work at TBE is to provide styling advice to clients of The Branding Edit and get them prepared for their branded photoshoot. One thing that people quickly learn after a session with me is that my job goes way beyond the selection of outfits and on-site assistance. As a personal stylist, my job has always gone beyond shopping and styling. In essence, I am a confidence shaper (both aesthetically and characteristically), and because of my past experiences, I know how vulnerable it can be to have a stranger go into your wardrobe for a fitting session-- let alone select looks to get your photos taken. With that said, I also understand many of us, creatives, are still catching up with the new ways of social media marketing and putting our face out there to represent our brand may still feel odd-- “And you’re telling me I have to look stylish too?! My personal style is blah!” First of all, this has been said to me too many times that I can count, and yet I go to their closet and will find hidden treasures, like pieces bought months ago with the price tag still attached or items they never thought to put together. 

I am telling you all of this because sometimes we are so deep into our work and life routines and responsibilities, that we hardly take a hard pause to take stock of where we are and who we are. We don’t even realize how powerful we are. How much we’ve overcome. How much courage we hold inside of us. How much imaginative play is within us, looking to bust out. 

Or we simply don’t know how to get off the doing-life-as-usual hamster wheel because we are not willing to stop the wheel to begin with. We subtly resist the change. 

When I started to blog, I was only looking for a creative escape to share my love for fashion and maternity style journey. It was important to me, so I went for it. I invested in my joy and in myself despite the fear and self-doubts. Because if not me, who else will invest in me and what I have to offer? 

I learned that gaining confidence in life and in business often means that you’ll need to invest in yourself and do something outrageously different for real movement and progress to happen. Confidence gets shaped when you take actions on things that are out of your comfort zone, out of the ordinary -- and yet still in alignment with who you are becoming and where you want to go. 

If taking that selfie and posting a compelling story of yourself and your business on your social media is going to help the goals you’ve set for yourself and your brand -- then that’s the new (scary) thing you can do this week and scratch it off your list! And do it again tomorrow or again the following week...

Or perhaps it’s taking the leap and reaching out to the photographer whose work you’ve been following to schedule your shoot... 

Or it’s asking a friend who has a great eye for style to help you with switching things up a bit… or hire a stylist! 

You’re bound to see a change happen. And when you do, watch your confidence grow a little deeper… a little stronger. 

~ With Love, 

Olivia 

P.S.: Thanks so much for reading this post, which is part of the new O Style blog series, where I get to talk life+style as an entrepreneur AND transformer of The Branding Edit! Cheers!