Sunday, March 1, 2009

Suddenly it Appears We Are Totally “Au Fait”?

My apologies in advance, for my incorrect spelling in French, if that is indeed the case. I’ve only heard it spoken. To be “au fait” is to be in the know or doing something that is cool. The reason I brought this up is that while reading the NY Times this morning. (This being my very favorite thing to do on Sunday mornings, especially happily ensconced in my favorite place.) I noticed that there were several articles in the Style section, for crying out loud, talking about the recession. One article was about how it is affecting New Yorkers in their decisions for school choices; private or public. There was also a piece on the Women for Hire job fair, which I went to last week. Reading the article “About His Deposit…”, by Jan Hoffman was rather interesting. It points out how many people are affected by the recession. Being someone who not only doesn’t have children, but who probably wouldn’t send them to private schools even if I did, I did find it really interesting as to how these people, never mind their kids are being affected. The other article “Generation B: Boomers in a Past Boom Economy” really hit home. Not only am I a Boomer, yes, but actually was at this particular job fair. Here’s the link incase you want to read it: Now mind you, I went to the breakfast before, which didn’t have any food, to hear Tory Johnson speak. Found out later that it wasn’t breakfast after all, but “Coffee with Tory”. For those of you who might have attended the coffee and enjoyed it, I will try to contain myself. But, it won’t be easy.

What I am talking, or some might say ranting, about is the Women for Hire fair, preceded by “Coffee with Tory” for which I, and my best friend, paid $20 to attend. If I had gotten anything, I repeat anything, from this coffee; any words of wisdom or uplifting ideas, I might not be in such a snit. Basically I do not agree with anything Tory was saying. In fact, some of it I found downright insulting to women. I will stop myself before I go too far down that path. There are two things that I really disagree with that I would like to clear up. First, Tory told us that we should be working at finding a job, slogging away, eight hours a day, five days a week. She said that if you want to take time off, that’s what weekends are for. I don’t agree. It is so important for our wellbeing that we remain positive and focused. In order to do so, we need to get out of the house. Maybe it means going to a museum, or taking the kids or grandkids to the park. What ever it means to you personally it is important to do this. Not only will it provide you with an opportunity to meet people and network, but it will keep your mind fresh and active. You’ve gotta get out of the house. You’ll never meet anybody there. Plus, we all will go back to work and we need to use this time as a very special time. The second thing Tory said which really bothered me, was that we women needed to learn to negotiate as it pertains to terms of employment. It really pissed me off that there she was speaking to an audience of professional women (and a few men that she decided to invite at the last minute) and telling us that as women we don’t negotiate. Never mind that this may not be the best time to start asking for more money. Granted we can all ask for something else when offered the job, but if what they offer sounds good, jump on it! Myself, concerned as I am about Cobra running out, will probably ask to make sure that health benefits are effective first day on the job. The worse thing about what she said was that she was telling us that we as women were all poor negotiators. I thought those days were over. Maybe there are many women, and men too that aren’t that good at negotiating for themselves, but you don’t have to reinforce it. We can do it and we are doing it. All of us, men and women both are taking care of ourselves and our own. OK, that’s in on Ms Tory,. Wait, one more thing. Her entire delivery was in this high pitched voice. For those of you who may have like what she said, let me give you a piece of advice. Lower your voice pitch to make the sale. Look at Hiliary and most successful women. Years ago I managed a Telemarketing Department and a Collections Department. For those women who weren’t meeting their quota, many times I asked them to lower their pitch and it worked like a dream. I used it myself. I remember going to a requirements meeting and when it came time for me to question the requirement, I always really lowered my voice. My friend Bob told me I got the attention of every guy in the room. Hey what ever works. My basic concern or queasyness with this "Coffee with Tory" was that at $20 a head, with 650 people in attendence, that works out to $13,000! This is all from people who for the most part are out of work. In addition, I believe they may have paid $1,000 for the room. There's just something a little bit to mercernary about this whole thing. OK folks, I'm moving on.

I have to say, last week was a tough one for me. To my delight, I had so many people stand up and provide me support. We are in this together aren’t we? Not only those of us who are currently unemployed, but also those who are still employed and may not only be fearful of losing their jobs, but also may be suffering through survivors guilt. It’s a really hard time. Here is something a friend sent me last week:

Step Up To Success: The Language of SuccessLuminary Circle Founding Member and former chair of the Los Angeles Board of Directors Liz Dennery Sanders offers Step Up members insight each month into key steps to success.

I had lunch with an old friend the other day and couldn't get a word in edgewise. For almost two hours, I heard about the problems she has with her husband, her friends and her ailing health. I also realized that we had the same conversation a year ago and the year before that. In fact, I can't remember a time when we had an uplifting conversation (I'm not sure I can call it a conversation since she was the one doing all of the talking). It dawned on me that not only had my friend bought into her own sob stories, she was creating real-life versions.
Most of us understand that the actions we take (or don't take) lead to our success or lack thereof. But I wonder how many people actually stop to analyze the words that regularly come out of their mouths. We seem to be a society of such fast talkers that it's hard to believe we are truly that thoughtful about our daily diatribe.

The words that come out of our mouths actually set in motion self-fulfilling prophesies. Our words are the impetus that directs our lives. I think most of us know a Debbie Downer - she's the friend who's always complaining and telling you her sad story or depressing drama. How do you feel around her? Probably not so good, right? What fabulous things are happening in her life? Not too many if any at all. Most likely, Debbie sucks the life right out of you.
People like Debbie are stuck in a scarcity mentality that creates their negative reality. You will often hear things like, "I can't," "I should" or "I'm so upset because..." Not taking personal responsibility and placing blame on external things keeps us stuck and small. Taking full responsibility for everything that happens in our lives keeps us moving forward. Take a look at these small but powerful language shifts that move us from naysayer to confident go-getter: "I can't" to "I choose""I don't want" to "I intend" or "I want""My problem is" to "My opportunity is""I should" to "I would like to" Shifting both our self-talk and the words we utter to others from scarcity to confident, prosperity thinking will have a huge effect on the decisions we make and the actions we take. It will not only affect our own energy, but the energy of those around us.

I am reminded of a wonderful quote from Gandhi:

"Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny."

Be thoughtful of the words that come out of your mouth. They could become your destiny.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2009
Liz Dennery Sanders wants you to build your buzz and be successful beyond your wildest dreams. As the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a brand development and celebrity outreach firm, she founded SheBrand, to help female entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners market themselves, attract more clients and position themselves as experts in their industries. You can reach Liz directly at

Isn’t this great? This is just one example of the great things people send me to post on my blog to help us all out. Never mind, that she gave me the best hug Tuesday when I really needed one. Oh, along those lines there was another article in the NY Times this morning, Preoccupations, “In a Job Hunt, A Good Attitude Beats Bad Times”. I’ll include the link Hopefully you’ll be able to access the article on line. The title says it all. Finally, I will end this with a link to a networking calendar that the same good friend who sent me the article above, also put together. She does this every month! She really is incredible. Here’s the link. I hope you all can access it. I apologize to those of you who don’t live in the NY metro area. I believe if you go to the linked websites you may find the events for areas close to you.

Good luck all of you! Remember always feed the positive wolf!


  1. I attended the same event as you did -- also with my best friend and her husband -- and it seems like you're describing a totally different event. As someone who was laid off from a major Manhattan hotel, I can tell you that such ballrooms of that size actually cost many thousands of dollars. You'd fall out of your chair if you asked the Sheraton what they get for that room. Further, they charge $99 - plus tax and 22% gratuity -- for one gallon of coffee! There's no way to make money; Womenforhire either broke even or lost money on that. Don't take my word; call the Sheraton for rates yourself before you go spewing such incorrect information. But more importantly, I got many wonderful pieces of advice from the lecture. She did say GET OUT OF THE HOUSE every day. That was one of her main points. Don't stay home all day. You must've been someplace else that day or you chose not to open your mind to the great information that was out there. Perhaps you should go back to telemarketing.

  2. Anonymous - Perception is reality to those who perceive it.