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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

  • Lisa Lou

Image: Story of an Interview



I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. Her son is in his 20s, and he made it to the final 3 for a job he is seeking. After a one-on-one interview with one of the executives, her son relayed an interesting conversation that had occurred. The executive told him, “You are smart, a go-getter and you know what you are doing, but the thing that has set you apart from the other two candidates is the way you dress. Whether we offer you the job or not, I want you to know how important this is. The other two guys showed up in sports coats and no tie. You have always been dressed in a suit and have shown us that your image matters. This is important, because if we hire you, you will be representing this firm, and we have to know you will represent us well.”

Whoa!!!! I felt like this executive had been reading my blogs! This is EXACTLY why image matters! You can read some of my other articles that talk more in depth about image, but I just wanted to use this example as an important reminder that how we present ourselves can make a difference in our level of success.

Our bodies are like a billboard on the main street of a busy intersection. When we walk into a room, we are telling people what they should think about us. A first impression will be formed about you in 2 seconds, EVEN if the other person never speaks to you. I often hear people say, “But that isn’t fair. Someone shouldn’t form an opinion about me without getting to know me first.” Wrong! The other person is forming an opinion about you, because you are telling them what to think about you! It is not the other way around.


When you are groomed, and your clothes are tailored to fit your body type it shows you care about yourself. It shows you take pride in who you are as a person. I always clarify when I speak of image, I am never referring to what one person might perceive as physically attractive. What constitutes beauty in modern society changes with each generation and is based on what is promoted in pop culture. In the Marilyn Monroe days, a curvy figure was what the world desired. Then came the toothpick-thin era where boney, narrow hips were all the rage. Now, we have moved to the bigger and more voluptuous “behind” as a sign of what others find attractive. Hey, that is good news for me. My pear-shaped body means I am back in vogue!

When we take pride in ourselves, groom ourselves, and wear clothes that fit, it does not matter what size we are, we will be seen by others as beautiful! Why? Because it is the pride and confidence that shines from within that is the real gem.


Counseling offices in universities across the country have begun bringing back etiquette, image, and protocol courses for their graduating seniors. Why? They have begun noticing many graduates are not being offered jobs in the work force, even when they have well-rounded resumes that appear to make them a desirable candidate. When these departments began asking companies why their students were not being hired, the common thread that was missing among the applicants was a basic knowledge of soft and social skills. These include dining and business etiquette, good communication, a well-groomed image, along with other intangible skills. It was not uncommon for an employer to say, “The candidate looks great on paper, but there is no way I can put them in front of a client. They would not represent us well.”

Nicholas Wyman with Forbes, stated, “Sadly, many college graduates lack both practical work experience as well as soft skills. These are the crucial people skills you need to land a job…”

Professor Cary Cooper of the Manchester Business School said, “…some graduates lack social skills and the ability to conduct face-to-face conversations.”

Image matters, because first impressions matter, and when you take pride in yourself you are portraying confidence in who you are as a person. As we have seen with my friend’s son, the positive portrayal of his image, along with his soft skills, may be the deciding factor to him securing his dream job.

The best news about obtaining soft skills and portraying a good image? It is 100% in your control!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

© 2021 Lisa Lou by Kaio

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