In 2007, I was still working in corporate America where I had a successful career as a National Marketing Manager at a large consulting company. I decided that it was time for a change. I wanted to become an image consultant. I took vacation time to go to NYC for a seven-day intensive training course to become a certified image consultant. I knew at that time, at some point I wanted to also receive specialized training in the area of corporate etiquette. During my image-training course I inquired about recommendations for where I could receive this training. The Protocol School of Washington (PSOW) came highly recommended.
I joined the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) in 2007 and attended my first conference in 2008. PSOW had a table at the conference vendor expo. I was of course was anxious to talk to the PSOW representatives. I was impressed with what I learned about PSOW but knew I couldn’t invest in the program at that time. I attended AICI’s conference the next year, and there was PSOW again.
I began to occasionally reach out to Sarah with a phone call every few months and then to Pamela directly with a slew of questions. This went on for several years! I remember once having a conversation with Pamela about integrating business etiquette into my personal style service offering. I’ll never forget she said to me there are people “You can dress up but you can’t take them out.” My sentiments exactly. I knew that Pamela understood my vision for my business. I wanted to be able to offer my clients a full suite of services that would allow them to “show up” – and that meant it would be crucial for me to teach them proper business and dining etiquette and social skills.
In 2012, I finally decided to take the course. It was one of the best decisions and investments in my business I’ve made to date. The only regret I had was waiting so long to take the course. I began generating income as a result of my corporate etiquette and protocol training right away.
In 2013 I took the leap of faith to step out of corporate and into my business, ShowUp! I use the knowledge, information and tools I received from PSOW training all the time. My work over the last three years has been an uphill battle – it’s hard when you are in business alone with limited resources; I have had to be very creative with time and money. There are moments when I have to remind myself, “faith over fear” which gets me to the next day.
As I stay the course, new opportunities continue to come my way. Most recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed on the local news in the DC metropolitan area twice to showcase my expertise. I am looking forward to the opportunity to have an interview that focuses on business etiquette. I am expecting more great things to happen. If I did it – so can you.
Annette Harris a 2012 Graduate of Train to be a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultantand the president & founder, ShowUp! | showupllc.com