Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Work life Balance

The new year rabbit hole

alice-wonderland-rabbit-clockThe beginning of a new year makes it easy to go down the rabbit hole of: what did I accomplish last year? That’s because we tend to look at the things we did not achieve instead of the things we did do.

So, how do we stop ourselves and look at the future? First is to recognize the signs or triggers that start you down that rabbit hole. Once recognized, use three tools: talk to someone, write down your feelings and three distract yourself.

• Talk to someone – Call your go to person to help walk through this feeling
• Write it down – Journaling can also halt the downward spiral
• Distract – Do something that will instigate feelings of control and joy

Each of these different methods will help prevent the journey down the rabbit hole and bring long term benefits.

Workout clothes

Many companies have gyms in their buildings for employees to conveniently work out during lunch or before / after work. While this is your private time, it does not mean that you should wear clothes that look like you are ready to clean your garage. You never know who you will bump into!

In fact, you can use working out as an informal way to network. You don’t have to wear the latest matching workout clothes and shoes (which I find a bit contrived but I do like the fun shoes men are wearing!).  Just look clean and smart. Also, make sure the clothing is not too small. I recently saw women wearing leggings that left nothing to the imagination – not an appealing sight.

Is success defined by the achievement of a measurable goal? Absolutely!

targetBen Wechsler writes a newsletter on success and has developed The Wechsler Leadership Program, Creative Problem Solving, and Strategy & Innovation. I recently interviewed him on what experiences led him to develop his coaching and leadership tenets.
Besides Ben being certified in all the above areas, he used his thirty years of technology and life experiences to craft the programs.

What I found refreshing, because, often we don’t appreciate our own steps towards achievement, is that he feels completing one goal can be a significant success. Sometimes, we expect to be the next Steve Jobs or the Oprah’s of the world which can be so defeating. He firmly believes success is when you achieve any measureable goal. Ben

Working from Home? The good, bad and ugly

24Recently in workshop for a Fortune 100 client, the questions came up on how people stay engaged when working from a home office, especially for months on end.

1.Dress as if you are going to the office in business casual attire. Not in pajamas or clothes you would clean the garage in. Dressing up will make you feel professional especially in an isolated setting. Ugly is working in your pajamas. It starts out feeling good but ends up making you feel unaccountable.

2.Do not eat lunch in your home office. Dining out keeps your socialization skills active.

3.Talk to folks in the office. Use FaceTime or Skype so you are on decision makers minds for any projects that may be good for your career mobility.

4.Take on special projects that will keep you visible with leadership.


Purging the wardrobe

Purge20140607_132441_resizedIt can be difficult to purge when we hold on to clothing pieces because they may bring back good memories or we think they are in good condition and we will wear them again. My rule of thumb is that if you have not worn piece of clothing in the last three seasons, it may be time to say goodbye to it. The only exception is formal wear.

Pack your clothing items for the season and then review them the following year. If you have not worn a piece – get rid of it. I took my own advice, cleaned out my closets and gave way numerous pairs of pants, tops, sweaters, coats and handbags. Goodwill cried because many were on hangers and in great condition!

Now, instead of crowding my closets, the clothing and accessories are going to hopefully bring success to those who end up owning them. It was not easy to do and it took two people to help me. But in the end, it felt wonderful. I even created an itemized list with pictures so I can claim a deduction for them.


Are you a good fit?

tape-measureToday, it appears that a majority of folks in the work world are unhappy but do not know what would make them happy at their job. For my clients with this concern, I ask that they begin a log with five columns.

A column that:

– Lists an activity they do

– Indicates if they like it and why

– Indicates if they don’t like it and why

– Suggests what would make the activity they do not like turn into one they would like

– Totals the number of likes and dislikes

At the end of two weeks, they need to review the log. The purpose of this activity is to determine a direction of what would make work a good fit or to help decide if it may be time to move out of their current role.


Are You a no limit person?

I recenPartyimagesCAH8OO89tly purchased a four-CD set on “Be a No Limit Person”. What I found so inspiring and at the same time very challenging was how to be in control of oneself instead being defined by the environment. Oh, we can still complain about everything from the cold weather to the challenging economy. Beyond that, however, Wayne Dyer is saying to be optimistic and control your own well-being by having a positive attitude.

It is much easier to walk around with the gloom and doom attitude. It takes effort to self-talk into control of the outcome. Having a positive attitude will be better for your health and at the same time you will draw folks to you who want to be around you. If you continue to worry and predict the worst, it will happen.

You can purchase the CD at Amazon or go to You Tube to listen to Wayne Dyer on “Be a No Limit Person”.


Entertaining in the business world

entertaining-foodist-484Choosing the right venue absolutely shows the person on the receiving end you want make this a special event and that it is about them.

Here are some guidelines to help you pick the right time and event:

– Lunch is best when you have a limited time and it’s a simple thank you gesture or the beginning of a business relationship.

– Dinner should be for those who have gone out of their way to help you develop business. It should be a special venue (cuisine and entertainment).

Some folks love long dinners and an event. For others it is about their favorite foods.

– If an event is important, do the research to select the appropriate play, game or concert.

Following these guidelines will always make the happening a personal one.


Are you stress free while getting ready for the holidays?

White Gift Box with Red Satin Ribbon BowThe holidays can be a wonderful time if one can manage the stress of trying to get too much done. Appearing and feeling rattled could take the joy out of this wonderful time.

These are a few things I consider to ensure I will enjoy this season:

1. Do not over schedule, Steven Covey says to allow time in a day for the unexpected.

2. When you are faced with a lack of time to complete a task, complete it on another day.

3. Taking deep breaths really helps when you find yourself in a stressful moment.

4. This is very important: do one at least one thing each day that brings you joy. For me it is in the morning when I hug my dog and make plans to have lunch or dinner with a friend to celebrate the holidays.


Is honesty a good thing?

honestyOften, we think honesty is a good thing. However, it is only good if it leads to a solution to the issue. Many times we want situations to improve but we can’t quite pinpoint why. Honesty can be effective if you follow these guidelines:

– The opinion is based on facts not emotions

– Is this fact a new one? If it has been discussed before – what is the purpose of sharing it again?

– If it is a retread issue – do you have a solution this time around?

To help hold these and other types of serious discussions, I highly recommend the book: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition, Patterson and McMillan.