I recently interviewed Walethia Aquil, CEO of Grace and Charm, international coach and speaker, author and regular guest expert on ABC and NBC and one of the top 100 Who’s Who Women in e-commerce, about her upcoming webinar for translators, her company, her comitments, what is business etiquette and why it matters.
Among others, Walethia has authored the highly anticipated book Women Who Win: Business Etiquette Tactics that Lead to Success in Life and Business. (Fall 2010). She is also co-Author of “Sister to Sister: A Guide for African American Girls” (July 2011), “Madam CEO: How to Think and Act Like a Chief Executive” (December 2011), “Think Like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider Before You Write a Business Plan” (2012).
Hi Walethia! Tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you and what do you do professionally?
As a child and young adult I was really shy and insecure. I knew that if I was struggling with a lack of social skills and success, others were also. I wanted to create something useful to help others, so they wouldn’t struggle as I did.
My skill, knowledge and expertise grew along the way and I created the Grace and Charm Success System. The Grace and Charm system is quick and easy to implement, it is designed to “Transform professionals from Invisible to Impeccable.”
What do you enjoy most about your profession and why did you choose it in the first place?
What gives me the most pleasure is seeing the change in people, seeing them empowered, living the life they deserve. I know what it is like to walk into a room of people and feel intimidated, I know what it is like to miss opportunities because of a lack of social skills.
Tell us about Grace and Charm: what does your company do? What services it offers?
I have developed techniques, tips and tools that people can use immediately for immediate results. I show people how to break down the barriers around them, to move easily in all social circles and to interact with people who can really make a difference to them, both professionally and personally. If you can make people comfortable in your presence, then you have an opportunity to really connect with them. And in today’s shallow world, a genuine connection is such a rare thing that it – and you – will be remembered. We offer private coaching, group coaching, workshops and seminars as well as speaking.
Why did you start Grace and Charm – what pushed you to become an etiquette coach?
I started Grace and Charm to empower others. I did not want to see others suffer the embarrassment and humiliation I endured or miss opportunities because of a lack of social skills.
Why is etiquette so important when it comes to business?
Success in any industry relies on relationships, whether with co-workers, clients, suppliers or investors. When you’re well-mannered and considerate in dealing with others, you create engaging, productive and long term business relationships. As such, it is important to learn, not just the technical side of a business, but how to conduct one’s self in the company of others. This is where business etiquette comes in. This webinar will introduce participants to business etiquette, as well as provide guidelines for the practice of business etiquette across different situations.
What were the challenges/difficulties you encountered when it came to starting and developing your own business?In terms of significant challenges that I faced, I would say differentiating myself in the market place was huge challenge. And that is the challenges most entrepreneurs/career professional face. Every business owners should ask themselves “what makes me different?” If you are just like everyone else, why should someone spend money on you? The most important investment any business owner or career professional can make is an investment in personal development. When you invest in yourself, you offer quality products or services and you can command a higher price.
Your company supports two organizations – “My Dreams Do Come True” and ” Ideal Girl Global”. What do these organizations do?
I created My Dreams Do Come True for high school students from my own personal experience. I grew up in a household where resources weren’t there, and I had no way to overcome being shy and insecure. In terms of impact, I would say that at least ten high schools have benefited from the organization’s contributions, although that number is just an estimate–many more schools are requesting our services each year. To get more information about My Dreams do Come True , you may call me toll free at (888)610-3746, or email me at email@example.com.
Ideal Girl is still being developed, however both programs are designed to empower girls.
Why do you support them – and how?
I have experienced first hand the impact of not having social skills, it does make a difference in the way people perceive you, the amount you can charge for your products or services and the quality of people you associate with.
I don’t want anyone to have the pain and embarrassment of not knowing what to do in social situations. That beliefs drives me to help others.
You have your own business segments on ABC/NBC, right? How did it all start?
Simple, I give back. The media loves warm and fuzzy stores. Find a need in your community and publicize it through the media. For those who would like to learn more, I have a training “How to Rock the Media” that gives all of the who, what, and where.
As an international coach/author/speaker, were you ever confronted with language barriers? What happened (frustration? funny situation? how was the barrier overcome, etc.)
Yes, I have and it is frustrating at times, I just laugh it off. I’ve learned when you can laugh at your mistakes people are forgiving.
What concrete skills or ideas will translators get from your upcoming Alexandria webinar?
Many people think etiquette is all about the fork you use. It is not! Developing your social skills will:
- Increase your earning potential by opening doors of opportunity
- Enhance your relationships with clients and colleagues
- Attract better and higher paying customers or clients
- Clients become raving fans
- Increases self-esteem
- Positions you to attain power and influence
- Win the support of others who can help you achieve your goals
- More media opportunities
- Establishes immediate trust and credibility
- Participants will learn:
- How to expand your presence
- How to reposition yourself to magnetically attract clients
- A much more sophisticated way of differentiating yourself in a cluttered marketplace
- Strategies of influence you can quickly begin using for immediate results
- Why create your signature image
- How to make connections that count
- And much more…
Thank you very much for your time Walethia! We’re looking forward to learn from your experience!
Grace and Charm Success Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/walethia
Walethia will be giving a webinar for translators on April 2nd on the Alexandria platform – for more info and to register, click here.