Return on investment or ROI is a financial term used to describe the benefit an investor receives in relation to their investment cost. And do you know what has given me a great ROI? Style. And that's what we're talking about in today's episode, so let's dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here's your hostess, master life coach, Tonya Leigh.
Hello, my beautiful friends. How are you doing? I just came back from the most beautiful walk with Fonz. We were walking around the neighborhood where I'm renting this townhome, and I was telling him I feel so good in all the ways, but really physically. I don't know if it's the altitude. I don't know if it's the humidity. I don't know if it's just being in a different location, but I am feeling so good here in Charlotte. Before I left, I had been dealing with this cough for almost two years while I was in Colorado. And since I've been in Charlotte, within one week, that cough started to clear up and I'm just full of energy.
And this is why I teach about the environment to my friends because the environment matters. Not only can you heal emotionally in certain environments, but you can also heal physically. Our environments have the ability to make us stronger or weaker, and sometimes we have to play around and experiment with different environments to see which environment we feel best in. Now, yes, you got to change your thoughts too, but it's crazy how putting yourself in new environments gives you access to new thoughts. So that is not what this podcast is about today, but I just wanted to share that with you.
Today, I want to talk with you about the ROI of style. I don't know if you saw it, but I announced my brand-new program called The Style Experience. We are starting on March the 4th. This is the first program that I've created in almost, what, two and a half years. And it's been a long time in the making. I've had women for years who want me to teach them specifically about style. Now within the School of Self-Image membership, we talk about style and we have some classes on style, but I've never gone as deep into style as I will be doing in this experience.
And I'm calling it an experience because it's going to be very experiential. It's not going to be me just teaching, but it's going to be you taking that content and going out and experimenting so that you can figure out your unique expression in the world. And since we launched the program, we've had some women email us and say, "I really want to join, but it's very expensive." And they're not wrong. It is very expensive. And I thought long and hard about how to price this experience. And one of my dear friends whom I've worked with around style, she told me, she was like, "You should charge at least 25K for this." And the reason why she said that is that she has experienced the ROI of elevating her style and working with me and helping her to do so. She has more than 10X-ed her business. Her life has just gotten better and better. And she attributes style to be a big reason why that's happened.
And I know in my own personal life that as I have elevated my self-image and therefore my style because they're both interconnected, it's had such a positive impact on every area of my life. And so it's expensive. But I want you to trust that there is a return on your investment when you invest in not only your style, which is what we'll be doing within The Style Experience but also using style to elevate your self-image, which is my ultimate MO always. Because I know when you change how you see yourself, what you see begins to change. How the world treats you begins to change. What the universe brings to the table for you begins to change in a positive way if you are seeing yourself in a more positive way.
So when I started to consider not only how in-depth this experience is and the amount of time we are all going to be spending together and the level of coaching that I'm going to be doing within this experience, but I also started to consider the ROI of investing in your style. The investment that I decided upon was a no-brainer. I feel so good about it and I want the women investing in this experience to feel good about it too. So if you want to come and join us within The Style Experience, all you have to do is go to schoolofselfimage.com/style. You can read all about it. We start on March the 4th, and I cannot wait to see you in our Style Lounge.
Okay, so let's talk about the return on investment of your style. And it's always interesting to me when I do these types of podcast episodes what the reaction is. So last week I did an episode on what are your clothes attracting? And I received many, many messages on Instagram of women saying, "Love today's episode. I agree. I've noticed that since I've stopped dressing up, my life has gotten worse." Others of you shared, "I've noticed that since I started dressing up, my life is getting better."
And then some of you were a little angry and you were telling me that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what you wear. What matters is what's on the inside. And I agree 100%, but the outside is a reflection of the inside. And what's on the inside will be revealed in some way to the outside, and it's going to be revealed in the clothes you choose to wear. It's also revealed in the state of your home, in the state of your relationships. The outside world reflects the inner world. And the inner world is just a collection of thoughts and feelings. And those thoughts and feelings will drive what you decide to wear, what you invest in, how you keep your home. And that is a reflection of how you think and feel. And it's no different with our style.
It's interesting that we can be so easily triggered about an episode that says what you wear matters. But if I were to say to you your home matters. If I were to say to you what you eat matters, how you keep your kitchen matters, the state of your office matters, a lot of you wouldn't agree with that. Some of you that are upset that I say your clothes matter wouldn't be offended if I said, "Hey, listen, your home matters." And why is that? Why is it that we as women don't want to accept, for the most part and I think it's a very small minority, but still that what we wear matters? And do you know why it matters? Because you matter.
When I think about someone who cares for their home, and they care for their home because that's where they live, that's where they spend their time, it's where they raise their families, it's where they make memories. Maybe they work from there, but they care for their home. They want to dress it up. They want to decorate. They want to keep it clean. They want to present it well to the world out of a place of respect. Now, there are people who do that to impress the Joneses, just like there are people that dress up to impress other people. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about you doing it because of how it makes you feel. There's a big energetic difference.
And I want us to think about style in the same way. When you care about you, you want to take care of you. And you do that through eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, delighting in pleasure, getting enough rest. There's so many different ways that we can take care of ourselves physically. And then there's also taking care of our appearances because we care for ourselves and we care about how we present ourselves to ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. We know that it matters. I'm always fascinated when people say to me, "Yeah, but what's inside matters." And as I just said, I agree with that. But if I'm looking at you from across the room, I don't know what's on the inside. I can't look at you and say, "Oh, she's got a good heart. Oh, she respects herself." I don't know that. I'm just looking at your appearance.
And so what the brain does is that we do look at someone and we make judgments based on how they are carrying themselves. Now in Nirvana, if we were all super enlightened, we would not do that. We would not be judging. But that is not 99.999% of us. We are all human beings. And if you're not on a high horse, you will admit that you do it too. If you are looking at a woman, let's just take an example. Let's say you're at the airport and you see a woman and she has dirt all over her face. She has holes all in her clothes, and she has no shoes, you're going to have a story about her. Now, it doesn't mean that you're judging her in a bad way, but it might be, "Wow, she must have a really hard life. Maybe I can do something to help her. Does she need help?" You'll look at her appearance and you'll create a story because that's what we do. That's what the brain does.
So all I'm suggesting is let's take that fact of life and let's leverage it for us. Let's leverage it to get a return to make our lives better. So when I think about the ROI of style, I used to think that it meant buying a lot of expensive clothing to appear to be wealthy, to appear to be high status, to appear fill in the blank of how you want to be perceived. And when you believe that, what ends up happening is you go out and you spend a lot of money. You may go into debt trying to appear a certain way. And all the while you don't feel like that on the inside. And so it ends up backfiring on you because the ROI of true style is emotional. It will feel good. It will make you feel abundant and confident and great in your skin. It will make you feel powerful. It will make you feel a positive emotion when you will go about this process in the right way.
So it's not about investing a lot of money into things out of a place of scarcity and not enoughness because that's never going to work. You can't get to abundance through scarcity ever. A Gucci or Chanel handbag isn't going to change your life unless you change how you see yourself. Now, for some people investing in Gucci or Chanel will allow them to change their self-image. And I know that happened for me. I spent so many years thinking that I first of all couldn't afford a designer handbag. Then I went to, once I could afford it, that it was impractical. It was frivolous. To I'm not good enough. To, if I go into the store, they're going to think I'm a fraud. For sure they're going to call me out. They're going to see that a woman like me doesn't belong in a store like that. And so when I finally mustered up the courage to go in and buy a designer handbag, it was life-changing.
Now, at the end of the day y'all, it was just a handbag. And as much as I love handbags, I really do. I think a handbag can make an outfit. I don't have to have designer handbags. I've been actually looking a lot at vintage bags recently. But for me then, that was the purchase that I needed to make. I needed to make that purchase to debunk all of the beliefs that I had about myself that were born from not-enoughness. I don't have enough. I'm not enough. And so buying the bag without changing those thoughts would just left me as a woman with a designer handbag feeling like she wasn't enough. But I used that bag to provide evidence for what I wanted to believe about myself. I used that bag to help me change my thoughts about myself.
And that's why action alone isn't enough. You have to use the action purposefully to change a thought about yourself. And so starting to believe that I was enough, that I could afford it, that I was a woman of style, that I belonged in a nice store, that was the beginning of an incredible transformation. To the point that I am completely unrecognizable to that woman years ago who walked into a Louis Vuitton store in Aspen. The ROI of that one handbag has been huge, but it wasn't the handbag. It was who I became as a result of buying that handbag.
Now, one could argue that I could have done that without buying a handbag, and that is true, but I'm going to use the material world to help me create what I want to create. It's just like some people will tell me, "But Tonya, you don't have to move. You don't have to change jobs to be happier." And this is true. But why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you place yourself in new environments and give yourself a better shot at it? Why wouldn't you place yourself in those new environments and speed up the process? Now, at the end of the day, we don't need new environments and we don't need handbags to change. But while we're spiritual beings in this physical body in a very material world, why not enjoy it? That's all I'm suggesting.
So the emotional return on discovering your style is a sign that you've taken the time to get to know yourself, that you know what you love and what you don't love, and how you feel when you put in the effort. We all know that we feel good when we have taken a shower, we've properly done our hair, maybe put on a little makeup, and chosen an outfit that feels good and looks good. We feel better. I don't know why we want to argue this point, but some of you all love to message me and tell me it doesn't matter. But you can't tell me you don't feel better when you've put in the effort to take care of yourself.
And so when you think about it that way, you're feeling better, you're feeling more confident, maybe you're feeling sexier, more feminine, more wealthy, more fill-in-the-blank. Because we can dress to fuel whatever emotion that we want to have. But a lot of people are waking up feeling bad, feeling anxious, feeling worried, feeling depressed, and they let that emotion choose the outfit of the day, and that just feeds the emotional state. What I'm suggesting is that we choose an outfit to feed how we want to feel, and then when we feel that way, think about how you show up in the world differently. Maybe you have a business. How do you show up in that business? How are you with clients? Are you hiding from Zoom? Are you hiding from your IG stories because you didn't take the time to get dressed for the day? Or are you always ready? You're like, "Pull that camera out. Let's go. I am ready to talk about all the things." And so you can see how having this emotional return can lead to financial returns and huge amounts.
I had one of my members of the School of Self-Image share with me that since she started the membership and she started dressing up intentionally, she's received not one but two promotions within the last 18 months. And she says, "I know it's because of how I'm showing up. I'm getting attention. People are noticing me. People are assuming things about me that they didn't assume before in a positive way." I had another woman tell me that's in the membership that since she started dressing up, she's getting men asking her out on dates. She's like, "I wasn't getting that before." Because our appearances matter. They matter not only to us, but they matter to the world. We live in a world where we see things, and as I said earlier, we make assumptions based off what we see. Let's leverage it and use it for ourselves.
When you invest in your style, you have the ability to grab attention. And I know some of you all are uncomfortable with attention. I was for years and it was all from fear and lack. I was afraid of what people would think if they got to really see me. I felt like I wasn't good enough, and so I would try to hide. And so I was living my life built on a foundation of fear. And when I cleaned that up, I realized, "Bring it. Y'all can look at me. I'll talk. You won't agree with me all of the time, and that's okay. Some people won't like me and that's okay." But I can stand in a room right now with thousands of eyeballs staring at me and hold space for that because now I have a life that's built on enoughness. I know even if I trip and fall on stage, I know even if I stumble with my words, I know if everybody in the audience hates the talk, I'm still enough. Maybe I had a bad performance, but I'm still enough.
So when I hear people say, "I just don't like attention. I don't know why people want so much attention." It really is the energy driving it always. There are people who are seeking attention because they don't feel like they're enough and they need that attention to fuel that. And then there are other people who don't want attention because they feel like they're enough. So I'm not saying it's wrong or right to want or not want attention. That's actually irrelevant because it's the energy underlying it that really matters. I love not being in the limelight. I love being private at home and not being out there, but I also know that I want to share this message, and I don't mind getting on Instagram and getting attention in that way too because it's about something so much more.
And so when it comes to style, you can dress in a way to avoid attention or you can dress in a way to grab it. And I've done both. There are moments in my life where I don't want attention. I want to be able to run into Whole Foods, grab some strawberries, grab some creamer, and get out of there. Now, I'll still dress with intention, meaning I'll still choose an outfit that feels good to me, but most of the time what I enjoy wearing, what I love to see myself in are outfits that grab attention.
I think I mentioned it on the podcast. If not, I was sharing it in the membership, but Fonz and I were at the airport and the TSA agent was like, "You guys look like you're from Hollywood." And I didn't wake up that morning thinking, "I want everybody's attention." But the clothes that I choose, especially in a place where people don't really dress up, I could see how people would look at it and be like, "Oh, these people are fancy." Even though my outfit wasn't that fancy, it was pretty casual actually, but I had detail. I had a hat on. Fonz was dressed really well, and it grabbed attention.
Once you have that attention, you can decide how you want to use it. You can use it for good. You can use it to help you get promotions. You can use it to help you get jobs. You can use it to better your life. It's not a bad thing. Now, if you need the attention, that can become a problem. But if you are dressing in a way to honor yourself and it happens to grab attention, then use that for you. Don't back down from being true to yourself because you're afraid of having attention. Instead, do the work to be comfortable with that attention because as you expand, as you grow, your willingness for attention for bigger emotions are also going to expand and grow. So I'm inviting you to step into it.
The ROI of style also impacts your first impressions and making a great first impression matters. I often think if you joined my membership and the very first call that you had with me, I showed up late, my hair was a mess, I have a terrible background, I'm in a T-shirt, what would you think? I have a friend who has her own business and she often does this, and I'm perplexed by it. She does it in the name of being laid back and feminine and going with the flow, and I just see it as unprofessional.
And we talk about this. I see this as her not caring for her clients enough to be on time, to put in the effort to present her best self. And I feel like she's doing not only them a disservice, but her. And I know if she were to elevate this one area, it would have such a positive impact on her business because you only get one chance to make a good first impression. So if your first impression is someone who's late, who doesn't present herself well, who acts like she doesn't care, people will remember that. What do you want people... This is a great question. What do you want people to think about you when they first meet you? And that answer right there will inform how you should dress.
The other ROI of style is style has the ability to help you display a certain level of status. Now, I know this may ruffle some feathers, but it is true 100%. And why not use this for you? Now, some of you all may not care to be seen as high status, but what I know from some of the women that I'm working with, you're trying to grow your business. You are trying to increase your net worth. You're wanting to attract quality men. You're wanting to place yourself in quality environments, and therefore it's important that you match the energy of that of which you want.
And style has the ability to help you do that. I have had doors open for me based on how I showed up. Not only in my clothing, but in how I presented myself. Because you see, style isn't just about what you wear. It is about how you communicate, your body language, your conversational skills. And so when you learn to elevate those things, you will be seen as a person who has high status. And don't be surprised when doors start to open for you.
I will never forget being in Monaco one of the very first times and having conversations with many different people. And there was this one particular gentleman that I was having a conversation with, and I was talking with him about my love of luxury. And I had studied it enough that I knew a lot of the bigger umbrella brands and the companies that fell underneath. I knew the CEOs. He could tell I had done my research. And after that conversation, I get a call from him and he asked me if I wanted to be a part of the Monaco Luxury Network. It was a think tank that he was putting together at the time. And he was like, "I'll fly you back out here if you will consider being the ambassador in America for this think tank."
And so I flew back out and I ended up being in the Prince of Monaco's office thinking, "How did this country bumpkin get in this room?" And not only that, most of the conversation was in French. And I would've never ever been invited into that room had I not presented myself well, meaning I had nice clothing on. And when I say nice, it was not expensive. I didn't have a lot of money at the time, but it was well-styled. Because listen, y'all style does not mean expensive clothing. I know a lot of people who have a lot of money and they have no style. They try, but they have no style. They think style is wearing a bunch of designer logos. And to me, that is the opposite of what I believe style to be. But I did present myself well, I was well-spoken, I was confident, and I dressed in a certain way that I know was a big reason why I got invited to be a part of that experience.
So style helps you to make incredible first impressions, but it also helps you to make lasting impressions. A strong sense of style makes you more memorable. It could be a bold red lip. It could be wearing your hair slicked back in an elegant way. It could be a glitzy pair of shoes or an amazing scarf worn in an interesting way. But finding your style and making it you makes you more memorable and you deserve to be remembered.
So when you think about the energy that you will receive when you, number one, take the time to get to know your style, which is about figuring out what you love and what you don't love, and you start to choose things that feel good on you, that you feel like, "Yes, finally what I'm wearing reflects who I really am." And you start to show up in the world in a way that's in alignment, you can see how the return is immense. The confidence, the respect, the energy that you will be embodying will be returned to you because it's like a boomerang. What you throw out always comes back. And yes, you can use style to throw out bigger energy.
And if you want me to help you to do it, my friends, come join us within The Style Experience. You can go to schoolofselfimage.com/style and I will see you inside. And I will see you on next week's episode. Have a gorgeous week, everyone. Cheers.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.