Why Boxing Up Your Stilettos Is Bad For Business


Several years ago, I was a member of several local clubs for women in business, and often got invited to speak at meetings and events.

One day, an invitation rolled into my inbox asking me to give a talk. I told the event organizer, “Sure, that sounds great! I’d like to title my presentation ‘Think Like A Stripper’, and base it on my upcoming book.”

If emails could express ‘stunned silence,’ that’s exactly what her reply would have sounded like.

She wrote: Actually, we’re hoping you can choose a different title for your talk – and not mention your book. We don’t want to potentially offend anyone.

If you’ve known me for about 5 minutes, you’re probably aware that “don’t want to offend anyone” isn’t a part of my vocabulary.

If you have to tone down your magic, you’re working the wrong crowd.

So I wrote back: I’m willing to change the title of my talk, if that feels absolutely necessary, but I’m not changing my content – or my story.

Let’s just say . . . that speaking gig didn’t pan out.

Nor did the speaking gig where I was asked to speak to a group of commercial real estate industry professionals – but if I wanted to bring my book to sell at the event, I’d have to hide the book in a brown paper bag so participants wouldn’t be embarrassed to walk out of the venue with it. No thanks!

Or the other time I was UN-invited to speak from a national women in business group – after I had already promoted the event on my website and to my mailing list.

Turns out I was too edgy for the board of directors. Too bad for them!

My street smarts are what helped me co-create a multi-million dollar commercial real estate investment company and a successful business coaching consultancy. Their audiences could learn a thing or two from me.

Here are stunning results from one of my speaking presentations where I showed the audience how to create bold viewpoints in their business.

– One participant sold $4000 in jewelry THAT day.

– One participant closed a $20,000 consulting deal a few weeks later.

– One participant got featured in the Washington Post.

And one participant had her article featured on Fast Company’s website.

I could have boxed up the stilettos and toned down my message to score more speaking gigs, but that’s not who I am.

Hiding your true self halts business growth and keeps you constantly second-guessing your magic. So again I say, if you have to tone down your magic, you are working the wrong crowd.