In this episode, Alycia interviews Megan Gordon, Miss South Carolina USA. Megan, a native of North Augusta, SC, is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Armstrong State University where she’s earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. In her spare time, Megan loves trying new foods, traveling, meeting new people and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Having begun her pageant career at fourteen, Megan appreciates all that she has learned along her journey and she looks forward to encouraging and sharing her experiences with other young girls who aspire to achieve their goals as well. Becoming Miss South Carolina USA and placing Top 5 at Miss USA has been a dream come true for her and she is excited to see what all her future holds. Megan’s main message and words of advice to young girls hoping to be in her position one day are to simply “have faith, work hard and always remain true to yourself; everything else will fall into place.”
Miss USA 2017 was this past Sunday – did you watch it? The women that compete in this pageant are so well prepared and extremely polished, so there is so much to learn from watching the Miss USA pageant. In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you the top lessons you could learn from this year’s pageant.
But first, I’d like to share some love that my client, Rita shared about her experience with the #1 Best Selling book Beauty Truth and Grace. She writes, “Alycia’s book is phenomenal! She breaks everything down so anyone can understand how to excel in pageantry. Her lessons are also connected to her podcast so you can get even more details on what she is talking about!”
Thank you for your review, Rita! If you want to get your hands on the book, go to WinAPageant.com/book.
Now, onto the Lessons from Miss USA 2017.
Lesson #1: Success comes first, then the title.
Application: Live your best life NOW. Don’t wait for the title to make’ you. Start pursuing your dreams, your career, your desires. You are designed for something great, you know that. Don’t wait to be great!
Lesson #2: God’s plan is the best plan.
Application: Pursue what God wants and He’ll take you on a wild adventure!
Lesson #3: Share YOUR story in your answers.
Application: Look for how your unique identity helps to convey your message
Lesson #4: Your personality is your selling power.
Do I get a microphone? like, you know…
Application: Be authentically human and people will be drawn to you.
Lesson #5: Step into the role of Miss USA.
Application: Tie your answer back to you in the role of the titleholder. Help your judges to visualize you in that title.
Lesson #6: We need wonderful women in our life to straighten our crowns and be our supporters in this life.
Application 1: Remain humble no matter where you are in this journey of life so others desire to be near you and support you.
Application 2: Be the girl to straighten the crowns of the women around you.
Lesson #7: Other people’s negativity is about them, not about you.
Application: Ground yourself in the truth of who God says you are.
That, my dear, is how you win a pageant.
I’d love to hear your comments about what you learned from watching the Miss USA pageant. Please leave me a comment on Instagram @WinAPageant and let me know your greatest lessons.
Thanks so much for faithfully listening to Win A pageant podcast every Wednesday. If you are so moved, please head over to iTunes to leave a rating and review and a comment about what topics you’d love to hear about on the podcast. WinAPageant.com/itunes will take you straight there.
Super Congratulations to Miss USA 2017, Kara McCullough, and to all of the ladies that competed this month. Cheers to your success this year and every year to come!
On March 25th, I had the pleasure of attending the Beauty, Brand Believe Expo in Bellingham, WA, produced by the leaders of Pageants NW, Maureen and David who own 4 Miss USA pageant states in the Northwest.
There were over 100 people in attendance and about 25 or more sponsors and speakers that were there to lift up the woman of pageantry and share some insights to help them succeed.
After the event, I reflected on all the great information that was shared and I wanted to summarize the event by giving you one major take-away from each of the 8 topic speakers.
The first segment included 3 pageant directors representing pageants from Miss USA, Miss High School America, and Mrs. America. The resounding advice that they shared was the importance of carrying an attitude of kindness.
Kathy M of Bridal Elegance, which is a very popular gown store for women in all pageants, gave the specific advice to NOT focus on what is trendy, but instead to focus on what flatters your body the most. Your body may or may not fit into what’s trendy, so don’t be so narrow-minded that you are influenced by trends.
Jenny shared a great tip for avoiding camel tow. She suggested using a nipple cover or belly button hider over top of your who-ha to seal the crease. That is a much better idea than what we used to do which included cotton balls and scotch tape! Here’s a link to where you can buy these covers.
Jorge Esteban shared that one of his biggest pet peeves is a contestant that stands firmly in her stance and remains stiff as a board. I agree! What’s better is to stand and move naturally to make everyone more comfortable.
Lu Sierra, the great walking coach, encouraged everyone to know their own best feature and your worst. When you don’t know your own best, you may copy others thinking you look great. If a girl has spent time knowing she looks amazing with her hands on her hips and then you put your on your hips just to copy her, you might be unknowingly showcasing your worst against her best. Know your strengths and don’t copy.
Allyson Rowe talked about bullying. She said how when you don’t know the truth, it’s easy to believe what someone else says about you. She encouraged everyone to know what they are great at, what value they bring, and who they are so that they don’t start to believe the bullies lies. It’s true. If you’re wearing a red dress and someone calls it yellow, you’re gonna think they’re crazy. The same should be true of your own self-labels. If you know you are smart, beautiful, and caring then when someone calls you dumb or ugly you’ll just chalk them up to being crazy and not believe their lie.
National make-up artist, Austin Ryde, suggested the best place to put your money is in your make-up brushes and your foundation. He said he’s found many drugstore brands of make-up that work great, but brushes and foundation are worth the splurge.
Kerry Damiano gave a great tip about branding. She said to think of one word that you want other people to think of when they think of you. Maybe you want to be known as glamorous, or athletic, or young. Whatever your word is, try to dress like that so that when people first meet you that’s the first impression you give them.
Next year, the expo will likely be on the west coast in early March, so make a note in your calendar sometime early February to look it up at BeautyBrandBelieve.com
Today we are celebrating the 100th episode of the Win A Pageant podcast! You’ve heard about many of my clients over the last several years who have published books and used them to catapult their platforms, get media appearances and change lives. I published my first book, which was a business book, several years ago.
In celebration of the 100th episode, I wanted to launch this book with a special pricing for you. Today and tomorrow, you can get the book for only 99-cents. That is, Wednesday, March 29th and Thursday the 30th, the book is available at this special celebratory price. On Thursday at midnight, the price will reset to the actual price. To get the book, go to WinAPageant.com/Book – that link will take you straight to Amazon and you can buy it for less than a dollar. I would be honored if you’d be a part of our book launch by purchasing the book today.
Now, let’s talk celebrations!
My husband, Randy, has a gong in his office that says Celebrate All Wins on it. Every time his company has a win they gong the gong. A win is any action step they complete that moves them closer to their ultimate goal. The sound of the gong is a declaration of celebration and everyone cheers!
A simple celebration system can be found in many high-achieving companies throughout the world. My chiropractor has a “well-bell” that we ring after a great adjustment. When I was a kid, if I had a good check up at the dentist I got to choose a toy from a treasure chest. As an adult, I get a toothbrush just for showing up. In junior high, the class that sold the most zap-it pizzas went on a field trip. Subway used to give away cookies for a straight-A report card. Celebrating accomplishments even as an adult is pretty typical. We celebrate graduations, new jobs, promotions, and of course pageant wins.
When you celebrate wins, your subconscious seals in a pattern of success.
You release dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and your mood and focus increase.
What would happen if you built a pattern of success in the small wins along the way toward your big goal? This is what positive psychologists around the world promote. To accomplish a big goal, you have to successfully complete a series of small tasks and actions as milestones along the way. I call these actions process-goals. These are the things you achieve en route toward your big goal they are a part of your process and they honor the journey toward the destination.
I believe this is the secret sauce of winners. When you celebrate process goals along the path toward your dream, your subconscious becomes trained in a pattern of success. You begin to live life from one celebration to the next.
For example, if you created a series of process goals en route to winning your pageant, they may include things like meeting your trainer at the gym 3x/week consistently for 2 consecutive months; closing your first $1,000 of sponsorship funds; completing your wardrobe selection for every phase of competition with accessories; launching your platform blog; solidifying a partnership with a relevant charity; and completing a professional mock interview and opening receiving feedback. Do you see how all of these things need to happen along the way to your big pageant win? These are process goals that need to be celebrated to train your brain for success. Achieving each of these doesn’t guarantee you a win at your pageant, but without them your guaranteed to lose.
In 2015, a started a course that taught me how to launch a podcast. In less than 4 weeks, I had learned all the steps, purchased and set up the technology, wrote and recorded 11 podcasts, designed my artwork, and got approved to produce through iTunes. It was a big project that took a lot of work, but fortunately, I had the full strategy laid out for me in the course and all I had to do was take action.
I knew my big goal was to educate and inspire women around the world to win on stage and in life.
When the first episode of the Win A Pageant podcast launched on iTunes that Saturday, Randy took me to his office and cheered as I banged the gong! I’ll never forget how good it felt to celebrate that win the reverberation of the gong in my body, the bright smile Randy had of excitement, and the hope of the future vision coming to pass.
I didn’t have any listeners yet, I wasn’t even ranked on iTunes… but the first process goal getting the first batch of podcasts up on iTunes was complete, and that was worth celebrating! Flash forward to today, Win A Pageant podcast has over 40,000 listeners in over 10 countries, ranks as the #1 Pageant Podcast on iTunes and is reviewed at a solid 5-stars. All because, I got the course, I followed the steps, and launched in the direction of my dreams.
One success leads to another and celebrating your process goals tells your brain that this is a good path and worth your effort.
Right now, wherever you are, you’re somewhere between the start and the finish line of your big dream. What is the very next step you need to take to move you closer to that dream? Do you need to buy the course? Start the blog? Or Schedule the interview?
Now is the time to begin. And when you do, be prepared to celebrate all your wins.
You don’t need a gong. You just need to do something that you’ll remember so when you’re working toward the next goal, you can smile and know you’ve made it this far.
You could turn on your favorite song and do a wild happy dance; host a movie night with your girlfriends; buy yourself that handbag you’ve been eyeing; or simply spend an extra 15 minutes in the yoga studio after class just to bask in the glory of completeness.
Remember, this is not a race. The first one done doesn’t win that’s not how winning works. Winning comes from dedicating yourself to taking action toward your goals and honoring your actions along the way. Don’t rush to the finish line, celebrate all your wins along the way.
Last week we talked about fundraising for pageantry, this week we’re talking about what to do with the money you raise how to make wise investments.
There are lots of things to spend money on in pageantry from wardrobe, shoes, earrings, to not to mention week-of stuff like dvds, gala tickets, special seating, backstage roses, contestant gifts… it gets expensive.
And, when you’re working from a budget (as we all should be to be good stewards of our money), it’s hard to know what’s important and what’s not.
Today, I’m going to break down how to choose your investments wisely so you reap a life-long return.
First, you need to know the concept about how money flows.
Money is like a river. It flows through people from one person to the next and through them to the next and so on. If money flows to someone and stops with them (like, they are hoarding it or aren’t using it for increase and to serve others), then it will cause a dam in the river and pretty soon the river will re-route to flow around that person, but no longer to them and through them.
When you are part of the flow, your job is to steward the money. Some you’ll save so that when you’re out of a harvest season you won’t become a burden on others. Some you’ll give away to help others when they need it. And some you’ll invest, which is what we’ll talk about today.
A great analogy for financial flow is to think of the game you may have played as a kid. Imagine 10 kids standing about 10 steps from each other in a line. The first kid gets a bucket of water and takes it to the second kid and comes back for more while the second kid takes it to the third kid in line and comes back in time for the second bucket of water and so on. If the third kid doesn’t pass the buckets along to the fourth kid, and instead keeps the buckets sitting there for himself eventually the second kid is going to skip over the 3rd kid and just take it to the 4th kid himself to keep the flow going. It’s goig to take longer since there’s this greedy back-up happening in the middle, but the job will eventually get done.
God paints a picture of resources similarly.
God is our source and money, time, energy, gifts everything He gives us is a Re-source to use for the greater good.
Don’t be a pack-rat with stuff He’s given you or He won’t trust you with more. If you want more money, time, opportunities, cool people, energy, gifts, experiences to flow to you (like when you win a pageant), then you gotta learn how to steward what He’s given you. If you win your pageant, you are likely to be able to touch more lives and support more people. This investment is important to you, but really important to God since He gave you these gifts to begin with!
When you send some of your money, time, or gifts (any resource) out of your hands, it goes to work for you. Sending your resources out from you is like creating an outlet in the river so that you don’t cause a backup that forces the river to go around you. It further waters the land and helps other rivers flow around and through others.
I feel like I’m in a dizzy of kids moving buckets around and rivers carrying money through people! Haha! The lesson you need to walk away with here is that sending your money out isn’t a bad thing if it’s to the right place.
When people make financial investments, they seek to improve their financial standing through real estate properties, growing businesses or stocks. They don’t just buy what’s cheap or what’s available, they find what’s best and wait until the time is right and when the time is right, they pounce.
When people make educational investments, they seek to improve their education through things like college, Rosetta Stone, or an online program. They find what’s best and then invest. An investment in personal development might be through books or attending a Tony Robbins event, whatever is best for them to receive greatest return on their investment. Find what’s best, and then invest.
The cool thing about pageantry is that because you are judged across multiple areas including your intelligence, communication skills, fashion sense, and social savvy, there are lots of ways to invest in pageantry. And, because of the nature of the role of a titleholder, when you invest wisely, it pays off over and over again at appearances, future pageants, job interviews, social circles, travel, tons of places!
A wise investment is something that will give you a lot in return.
Where you should invest is unique to each individual, so I’m going to share with you 4 steps to discover where you should invest and how to invest wisely.
Step 1: Write Your List of Investments
Write down the things you want to improve about yourself and your pageant presentation. Maybe you want to be calmer on stage, understand your fashion style more, have the most jaw-dropping wardrobe or walk like you have sexy giraffe legs. Maybe you want to level up your interview skills, learn how to do professional make up, or be a current events wiz. Or maybe you want to soak up every moment of the experience so you have memories that last forever.
Don’t get too carried away here. You could list everything under the sun to be perfect but Rome wasn’t built in day. Narrow it down to the top 10-15 things you are looking for in this pageant. Be super specific.
Step 2: Look for Opportunities
For each area you want to grow in, research 3 opportunities you could invest in that would get you a high return. Take your time here. It’s likely you’ll first think of things that are free and/or cheap. Like, watching a bunch of YouTube makeup tutorials and buying cheap products from CVS. If learning to do professional makeup is important to you this year, then this is not the way to go. There are better investments that will get you to your goal faster and better than you could on your own. For example, calling up Austin Ryde and scheduling a makeup lesson. Will that cost you? Yes. Will it be a wise investment? Yes! You’ll know how to do your own make-up now for every pageant, event, and appearance you ever do in the future. That’s a smart investment.
Step 3: Research each item on your list
Choose the best option to learn, perform, practice, or meet who you need to in order to increase the skills on your list. Think more about the long-term payoff than the short term. Some coaches charge just $20 for a mock interview. Don’t spend $100 for a series of bad mock interviews. If it’s not helping you dramatically then, it’s a bad investment. Instead, spend $200 on something you can walk away knowing you did it once and did it the right way.
Find what’s best, and then invest.
When you invest your money wisely you’ll know because it will have an impact that outlasts the immediate results. You’ll make new friends, learn new things, grow in multiple areas, and best of all: reach your goals. If something isn’t helping you reach your goals, then it isn’t even worth $1.
A wise investment is one that will yield a high return. If you waste your money on a bad investment (like a dress that isn’t appropriate for the pageant system or a coach that doesn’t know what they’re talking about), then you will lose that money and instead of your investment helping to create greater success, it’s just gone.
Your pageant investments must be wise. Don’t rely on your mom and dad to tell you whether you can or can’t buy something. Instead, set a budget for yourself, decide what is important right now, research your opportunities and invest wisely.
Don’t let the river stop at you. Be mindful where you invest and you’ll create new paths of success in areas you never even knew you could!
Find what’s best, and then invest.
And that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.
There are people out there that want to help you. They know that they can’t be the place the river gets stuck and they want to over deliver on your happiness and give you more than you pay for. This is one of my mantras in my coaching business. I vow to always give my clients more than they pay for. I over-deliver with additional programs, support, and connections because I don’t want the river to stop at me.
I hope this very episode demonstrated that for you; that today you experienced me sharing my knowledge with you. I invested in everything-pageant for many years, now I’m able to share that wisdom with you and create a new river of connection between us.
Pageantry, if you are performing at a high level is not any different than someone pursuing professional golf or Olympic ice-skating. Anytime you want to perform at a high level, you’ll have to first commit to an initial investment. In pageantry, your investment is an entry fee, fitting wardrobe, coaching, and a host of other expenses. Your investment is the seed you sow before you reap the great harvest. Even so, it’s expensive.
I did a 4-part series, starting at episode 27, that talks in detail about how to get sponsors, but there’s another way to get financial support for your pageant and that is fundraising.
In elementary school, you probably sold candy bars, Christmas wrapping paper, and lollipops to raise funds for various charities and school functions. The most popular fundraiser these days is Girl Scout cookies mm…thin mints are my fav! Put em in the freezer and… oh… these are amazing. Plus, they help young girls develop professional skills and support their organization.
However, there are other ways to fundraise, ways that can bring you far more profit in a shorter amount of time with a smaller group of people.
That’s what I’m going to teach you to do in this episode. I want to change your mindset from what you may have known in the past. Pageant fundraising isn’t candy bars and bake sales – think bigger! Think Valuable!
First, let’s talk about why thinking small is harder than thinking big.
Let’s say you want to raise $1,000 for your pageant. That’s not much in Pageantland, so it’s reasonable to assume you can do this. If you buy candy bars for 50-cents and sell them for $1, you make 50-cents each sale. You’d have to sell 2,000 candy bars to make your goal. Have you ever seen what 2,000 candy bars look like? Each box usually contains 10-20. Imagine 100 boxes of candy bars! That’s crazy! And do you know many people who eat candy bars anyway? I remember in school when I’d sell candy bars and someone would buy a box of 10 and I’d be like WOW I’m rich! But seriously, I only made $5, I have to find 200 buyers like that to make it work. Do you see what I’m saying?
That’s the hard way to your goal. I want to teach you the smart way.
Fundraising is a lot like negotiating your salary at work: you get paid in direct proportion to how much value you provide.
Candy bars are sold everywhere for pretty cheap. They don’t solve major problems or offer lots of value. Therefore, your profit is pretty low.
But, if you provide something of truly great value, people will be willing to invest in you to receive that value.
For example, let’s say you are an artist and you love painting. Could you paint a beautiful canvas of someone’s beloved pet and charge more than $1.00? Yes.
Have you ever heard of someone doing that in your hometown? I haven’t! But everyone I know with a dog would think that’s just the cat’s meow! (hehe, see what I did there?)
Canvas wall art at TJMaxx is around $30. Custom artwork is commissioned by famous artists for thousands of dollars. Depending on your talent, turn around time, and elegance of delivery, you may be able to charge $100 for a custom canvas of someone’s pet. If you did that, you’d only need to paint 10 pets.
Do you see what I mean? You get paid in direct proportion to the value you provide.
If you are a trained yoga teacher, you could host an hour-long Thursday night yoga class at your apartment complex or YMCA and give peppermints out at the end. You could even say it’s donation based and if you were truly excellent and provide insane value, you’d have a lot of people coming and paying you big bucks! I once gave $50 in a donation yoga class when I first moved to LA because she was that good!
My brother used to write and rap lyrics about a family member or friend of his and record it for their birthday. It was so awesome! He loved rhyming and had all the equipment, and he was so good at it! I kept telling him I wanted to start a business with him to sell them. It’s huge value and no one else is offering it at such a high-quality level, so you can charge more.
Before Uber, there was a guy at my college that was a designated driver. You could call him at any time of the night and he would be sober and use his own car to pick you up at a bar and drop you off at home. For college kids living in 2 feet of snow, that’s extremely valuable.
Maybe you can help a teen pick out her prom dress, redecorate someone’s home, or teach Spanish to the homeschool kids in your neighborhood I’m sure parents would love that!
Here’s your homework:
I want you to make a list of 10 things you can do that bring massive value to others. Think about what you do at school or work, but also creatively what do you enjoy?
Then, for each one of these 10 things, think of 1-3 ways you can apply it. Don’t rule anything out yet. This is all the brainstorming phase. As you go through this process, it’s likely something will jump out at you.
Once you have that ah-ha moment of what feels right, create a 20-minute outline of how you’ll pull it off. What resources you’ll need, what examples you have to show your work thus far, where you can find your donors, and what will get in the way. Don’t over think it. This is where lots of people get stuck. Don’t get stuck thinking of all the reasons to hold you back. Instead, when it feels right, go for it!
Because that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.
We’ve got a lot of great stuff unfolding this year for Win A Pageant. Our 100th episode is coming next month and I’m preparing several goodies for you to celebrate! I’ll have more announcements to share with you next week. In the meantime, the Pageant Interview Game Plan is open for enrollment. It’s $297 and offers a step-by-step program to help you nail your pageant interview in 4 weeks, plus I provide individual coaching for all the members of the Game Plan inside our Private Facebook Group. >> Now is the time to get in while I’m still giving so much away. <<
If you’re ready to take your pageant coaching to the next-level, visit WinAPageant.com. I’ll see you on the next Win A Pageant Wednesday!