Stand Out From the Competition With Handmade Holiday Cards

by Jacqueline Whitmore

It’s that time again. Time to send out the proverbial holiday card to clients, customers and friends. If you’re like most people, you’ll search for a holiday design through a card catalog and place an order. Or you might pick up a box or two of cards from your local store, sign your name and send them out.

But if you want to be different and set yourself apart, send a handmade card instead.

While a holiday card is always appreciated, many arrive with only a signature or (heaven forbid), a printed name that doesn’t say much for a personal touch.

Crafting a handmade card is a great way to stay in touch with your clients. It also offers you the opportunity to show your true personality and creativity.

Most receivers of handmade cards keep them for a very long time (or forever) and often share or post them for others to see. Your thoughtfulness will always be top of mind. Here are some ways to get started. Read more.

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The Business Benefits of the Handwritten Letter

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Photo credit: Adobe.com

You open up your email in the morning and you are greeted by dozens, if not hundreds, of emails. You meet the postman and collect the day’s flyers and bills. Every day it’s the same old thing, so why not break out from the norm, stand out, and make an impact? Bring back the handwritten letter.

Because the Internet is so convenient, it is easy to dash off an email. But electronic messaging simply does not have the same impact as a carefully-composed letter. It is a thrill to find the hand-addressed envelope hiding amidst the junk mail. You can guarantee that your letter will be the first item opened.

It has become so rare to receive a handwritten correspondence that the receipt in itself is a celebration to be savored. In the words of writer and literary critic Anatole Broyard, “In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.” Read more.

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Etiquette Errors That Can Sink Your Career

by Jacqueline Whitmore

business meeting
When I was growing up, I craved positive reinforcement and would do anything to get it. Instead of expecting it, I had to earn it.

If you’re under 30, you grew up in an age of positive reinforcement. Coaches gave you trophies for showing up; parents said you could do or be whatever you wanted. These accolades gave you extreme confidence as well as a sense of entitlement.

Now that you’re entering the real world — and negotiating the complex issues it presents — you may be in for a rude awakening. Almost any job you take (assuming you find one) demands that you learn and apply new skills. Doing so will be difficult, time-consuming, and at times demoralizing. This process is normal — and so is the anxiety and frustration it evokes.

The trick is to master some basic etiquette essentials so your transition to adulthood is as smooth as possible. Here are some errors to be sure to avoid, as well as tips to try — after all, your life will be simpler if you know the rules. Read more.

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6 Steps to Turn Your Passion Into a Career

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Jacqueline Whitmore and her students at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, China.

Jacqueline Whitmore and her students at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, China.

Are you tired of showing up for work day after day just because you’re supposed to? You go not because you want to, but because you have to in order to put food on your table and keep a roof over your head. You’ve clearly lost that loving feeling for your job and now you don’t know what to do about it.

I, too, was in the same boat 18 years ago.

In 1998, I got laid off from my job at The Breakers. “What am I going to do now with my life?” I thought. That’s when I decided to buy a computer, printer and fax machine and turn my 300 square-foot attic into an office. I applied for a business license and opened The Protocol School of Palm Beach.

I also hired a web designer to design a website for me and I acquired the highly coveted URL, EtiquetteExpert.com. I’m happy to report that my website is my number one marketing tool.

From that point forward, I was well on my way to living my passion. Today, I have taught business etiquette to thousands of men and women around the world, including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Turks and Caicos and Switzerland. I write for numerous publications including Entrepreneur.com and I produce a monthly newsletter.

Each day is exciting and challenging at the same time and I’m glad I was brave enough to take the leap of faith. It certainly has paid off in more ways that one. I continue to meet fascinating people and share my passion with others.

Maybe it’s time to find out what you’re really passionate about and turn that into a career. If you’re interested in starting your own etiquette business, I can help!

I offer a “Train To Become a Corporate Etiquette Consultant” course throughout the year. This course is customized to meet your individual goals and needs. If you’re thinking of taking that leap, give me a call.

In the meantime, here are six steps to turn your passion into a career. (Read more)

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Minding Your Manners When Dining Abroad

by Jacqueline Whitmore

A Tea Discussion

Lack of preparation seems to be a shortcoming for many U.S. executives who conduct business overseas. Few people take the time to do their homework so they can learn to interact comfortably with people of other cultures. Executives from other countries, on the other hand, often spend substantial time and money researching U.S. businesses and social customs.

To stay competitive, cultural competence and a global mindset are a must. You must be willing and able to adapt to the client’s culture and ways of doing business. Of particular interest are the nuances of dining out in a foreign country, since we all must take meals, often together. Here are some of the cultural differences you might encounter. Read more.

 

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The 7 Qualities of People Who Are Highly Respected

by Jacqueline Whitmore

We are judged by how we treat people who have less power or status than we have. Be nice to everyone you interact with and your kindness will come back to you in abundance.

It’s also important to show respect. Respect is something not automatically given. It must be earned. When you’re in a leadership position, it is imperative that the people with whom you work respect you. They might respect your work habits, your intelligence, or your ability to close a deal. Yet, there’s more to respect than that. If you can earn their respect as a person, then you’ve really won the game.

Here are seven qualities of people who are highly respected. Read more.

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9 Ways to Adopt the Better Habits You Know Will Help You Succeed

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Every year, I set goals for myself. Some people call these goals resolutions. Among my many “wishes,” I strive to be fitter, eat healthier, write more and play more. This means I have to alter an existing behavior and insert a new one in its place, and this takes discipline.

Change is always difficult, but it can be done, with a little bit of willpower. Above all, it’s best to be patient and kind with yourself as you make your desired changes.

If you want to achieve your goals, here simple steps to get you on track to better habits. Read more.

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8 Ways Leaders Spend Their Time After Hours

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

When I’m not at work, I love going to the gym, taking long walks with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cooper and Abigail, and traveling. I learned a long time ago that it’s important to play as hard as you work.

When I started my business in 1998, I worked all the time, night and day. There was so much to do to get my business up and running. In the process, however, I forgot to take care of myself and I got very sick. Now I know better.

Today, my motto is “Health is wealth.” If you don’t have your health, you can’t work. And if you can’t work, you can’t pay your bills. If you can’t pay your bills, you’ll go broke. Overtime, you’ll find yourself caught up in a downward spiral.

If you want a healthy mind, body and spirit, it’s important to cherish your leisure time.

Even the most successful people find the time to balance work with play. I hope you’ll enjoy a recent article I wrote for Entrepreneur.com titled, “8 Ways Leaders Spend Their Time After Hours.”

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2016 Winter Mastermind Program

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Could you benefit from a change in perspective? Want to grow your business and become more prosperous in 2016? Take action and join my 2016 Winter Mastermind Program!

The Consultants Connection allows members to share and discuss business needs and concerns, as well as steps and stumbles in a warm, friendly, and supportive environment.

This interactive forum is designed to help you build your business through continuing education, camaraderie and inspiration.

The Consultants Connection is for you if:

  • You are a business owner, trainer, consultant, coach or executive leader.
  • You are serious about taking your business to the next level and are willing to make the investment and do the hard work it takes to get there.
  • You are willing to share and exchange ideas and business strategies with other high-level partners.
  • You are tired of trial and error and want clarity and focus on the proven systems and strategies of high-performers.

There will be three, 75-minute teleconference sessions every month for three months and one 30-minute private session with Jacqueline.

2016 Winter Mastermind Schedule
Monday, January 18 at 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST
Monday, February 22, 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST
Monday, March 21, 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST

The topics of discussion will help you expand the way you look at your business, deepen your relationship with your clients, increase your fees, and transform your inner critic.

Each call will consist of not only an inspiring topic, but also a feedback forum where a participant (or two) can get the group’s collective brain trust to focus on his or her goal or challenge.

If you miss a meeting, that’s not a problem. All meetings are recorded. Group size is limited to 10 people.

Investment is $499.00. To register, email info@EtiquetteExpert.com or call 561-510-1029.

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3 Ways to Receive a Compliment With Grace

by Jacqueline Whitmore

It seems like compliments are exchanged as much, if not more, than gifts during the holiday season. If you’re like most, you’re eager to receive a compliment — especially from someone you admire — but aren’t sure what to say in response.

Many people downplay compliments to avoid the appearance of conceit. It’s so common that sociolinguists have categorized the three responses to a compliment: acceptance, deflection or rejection. Rather than humbly accept or outright reject the kind words, individuals often choose to deflect or dilute the compliment.

You may be tempted to respond with denial or self-insult. It’s easy to say something like, “Thank you, but this pie recipe is so easy, a monkey could have made it,” or “Thanks, but I’ve had this outfit for 10 years; it’s practically falling apart!” Others ask for additional reassurance: “Really? I felt like I completely botched that introduction.”

Though you may feel as if you’re responding appropriately, it only undermines the compliment or insults the giver. When you devalue a compliment, you can send the message that you have a low self-esteem, aren’t confident in your work or don’t respect the opinion of the person who gave you the praise.

If you frequently respond negatively to a compliment, retrain yourself to show gratitude. Here are 3 ways to accept a compliment during holiday gatherings and throughout the year:

  • Be gracious. Any time you receive a compliment, reply with “Thank you.” It’s a simple, but powerful phrase. The person bestowing the compliment will be most receptive to a humble response. Say something like, “Thank you, that’s very kind of you,” or “Thank you, I appreciate the compliment.”
  • Take one for the team. If the compliment is in regards to a team effort, acknowledge the contributions of your colleagues. Some powerful executives reach a point where they no longer publicly recognize or give credit to those who helped them succeed. This is the quickest way to lose friends.
  • Never undermine the compliment. Receive every compliment with unassuming gratitude. Avoid phrases like, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” or “Thanks, but it was nothing.” When you downplay a compliment, you may feel that you’re showing humility. Instead, it may make the person who gave you the compliment feel personally rejected.

For more tips on How To Receive a Compliment Without Being Awkward About It, read my article on Entrepreneur.com.

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