“What makes you great?”
The CEO of Neiman Marcus catalog asked me this in 1998 when she was interviewing me for a buying position.
They were recruiting me from Saks Fifth Avenue. The CEO flew to NYC to meet with me in the lobby of The Plaza Hotel.
We both showed up wearing the same outfit- black pantsuit, black high heel boots, “Tiffany” colored blue top and a fancy costume jeweled pin — in “Tiffany” blue! Jeweled pins were all the rage in 1998. Oh! And we are both blondes.
To say I was nervous and sweating through my suit jacket was a understatement.
They had called me.
I had built an incredible reputation as a buyer for the designer bridge market. Top labels such as Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Isaac Mizrahi had started letting me pick the looks before Neimans, which caused a stir.
If you know anything about catalog or online buying, you know the look has to be perfect for visual shopping vs. store front. And sometimes a collection only had 1–2 looks that would be dynamic and visual enough for being photographed.
I had upset a well-established “apple cart” and they wanted the best talent.
So here I was, sitting in the lobby with a top player in retail. Our conversation was going well until the very end when I was derailed…
She asked me,
“What makes you great?”
I can still hear her voice in my head.
I was stunned.
At age 28, looking back, I barely knew anything , even though I thought I did.
I sat and starred at her. Crickets. I didn’t know what to say.
After a few minutes of awkward and embarrassing silence. How was this not covered in Best Interview Tips for Dummies? She piped up and told me why I am great.
I was extremely impressed with her impression of me. But still embarrassed. Why couldn’t I respond? PS- I am so grateful I didn’t cry.
— Was I not self-actualized? Likely
— Was I afraid to appear like an ego-maniac? Likely
— Was I lacking ‘true confidence’ in owning who I am? For sure!
Now, 24 years later, I finally feel I am in alignment. Yep, it takes awhile.
I could write forever on this topic but I decided to teach it instead in one my Masterclass | Workshops called 360 Confidence Alignment. This class will be coming back in December 2022 as it had an amazing first response in August. I am offering workshops 2x a month.
But in the meantime, here is a list of at least ten qualities that make me great.
And I challenge you to create yours too! I would love to read them in the comments and cheer you on!
— Extremely intelligent and insightful. I have been told “I get it.”
— Mystical and magical
— Fun, funny, and even sometimes, yep — sarcastic
— Loyal, supportive, your best cheerleader
— Driven and focused without wracking my nervous system
— Creative; gratefully crediting my spirit team for guidance
— Abundantly loved and capable of loving abundantly
— Important and worthy of importance
— Lovingly generous
— Confident- I am confident enough, finally, to claim these.
Much love to you on your journey!
PS- In case you are wondering, I did get the position but I turned it down to work for Victoria’s Secret Store who were recruiting me at the same time. I recently podcasted about this experience which was incredible! Click to listen. I haven’t made it an article yet. Crush It In Sales- Ep 147 Extreme Ownership.
Interested in 1:1 coaching to improve your mindset and confidence? Click here for more details.
Photo via Pexels – Andrea Piacquadio