Coach You

coach you



coach you

coach you


Resting Bitch Face

“Jill are you alright?” I keep being asked recently.  I’m usually walking or deep in thought but absolutely fine.  Most recently I was having a bit of an underwear crisis but usually I think nothing of it, smile and waive them off.  That was, until I renewed my passport …


Caught between two trips, without ten weeks to wait, I decided to plump for the fast-track digital option.  The application form was so easy to complete online I wondered at the security of it!


However, this meant sending an unsmiling, colour digital photograph that would accompany me on every trip for the next ten years.  I couldn’t fall back on Maya Swann’s professional headshots because I had forgotten to ask for a mug shot.  So early one morning I did a trial selfie in my dressing gown.  “That’ll do”, I thought.  Then my husband gamely volunteered to help, mansplaining that there is only one camera for a selfie and three to take the shot properly and preferably in front of a natural light source.  I nodded patiently thinking blurred would be preferable frankly and candlelight better still …


So, lippy on and properly dressed, I adopted a “neutral” expression and hubby fired away. He returned my phone for me to comment, I squealed in horror.  Far from neutral, my expression looked like I’d had a stroke, that I was terrified and had no idea what was going on! 

Duncan suggested some facial exercises to relax my face and make me look less anxious, then proceeded to giggle and take pictures as I took my face through every human emotion available to me.

We tried again and I just looked snarly. 


I revisited my lipstick in an attempt to lessen the lopsided mouth. I tried a Mona Lisa smile which at least turned my mouth up … into a straight line. 


Still, I looked utterly exhausted.


Thanking my unerringly positive, somewhat concerned husband I stumbled off to see what they’d look like on the passport.  Yes, you can have a play, trying out different pictures to find out what the end result will be. 


I ended up opting for my first selfie, expecting it to be rejected.  It passed!

So, what’s the gift or opportunity here, you may ask.  Well it got me thinking about being in business for over twenty years and how often we take a good, hard look at ourselves.  Perception is reality.  If I am perceived as a grumpy, exhausted woman, anxious and distracted it is not exactly good for business as a coach.  And anyone who spends time with me will know that is not the case because I am highly animated, something of a face ache in fact. 


Those single moments on camera are sometimes used by people on LinkedIn, “It’ll do” but it really won’t do.  This is your shop front, it’s the old cliché, people buy people.  They may be looking to recruit you, hire you, collaborate with you but they will still be asking themselves, “will this person fit in my team?  Can I work with this person?”


Yes, I do sometimes tell clients to change their LinkedIn profile picture because it does not represent who they are at their best or indeed who I know them to be. Yes, sometimes they are a bit put out but it is for their benefit, I want people to see what I see in them! Safest bet is a professional headshot. 


Myself?  I shall be practicing in the mirror an expression that does not have people asking if I need medical attention.


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