‘Never leave home without it’: Lipstick not feminism makes a successful woman, says Manchester life coach

Feminism has nothing on lipstick when it comes to pursuing success, according to a Manchester life coach who contributed to a best-seller aimed at ‘inspiring women’.

Success University for Women is a new book designed to motivate women in their quest for success by sharing the stories of inspirational women from around the world.

Amanda Brown, a Manchester-based Transformational Trainer, author and coach, is one of the 23 ‘winning women’ who have contributed a chapter to the best-seller.

Amanda’s Manchester-based business, The Leading Ladies Company, is a life coaching programme and network which she set up last year after ten years of training and research.

The LIPSTICK principles, which are an acronym of Leading Ladies’ success strategies, were never intended to be just for girls, Amanda said.

She told MM: “I work in a couple of organisations that have adopted the LIPSTICK principles and there are men there – so it’s Chapstick to them!

“The company is called the Leading Ladies because the word lipstick came up and it was fun.”

Launching her business in Manchester, Amanda discovered that the women she was meeting were facing problems that she had never encountered.

“I had never personally experienced any of those kinds of challenges when I was working in an organisation.

“I did climb through the ranks, but now I am hearing it from both women who were feeling it and younger ladies who are complaining that there aren’t any women role models or mentors.”

She described the magic of being able to teach these women personal leadership skills to help to create confidence and how her network is really about girls helping each other out.

So far, so feminist. But Amanda doesn’t see it that way.

“My organisation is empowering but I wouldn’t think it was feminist,” she said

“I think it’s about really owning who you are and being authentic and having the confidence to be yourself.

“Whether that’s being feminine or, some ladies are less feminine because they feel like they have to behave like a man in a man’s world.

“They’re not being authentic because they’re not really acting in the way that they would want because they’re acting like they think they should rather than acting as they really are.

“When people really connect with who they are, and with what they represent then everything comes naturally to them because it’s coming from the heart and they know who they are and what they represent rather than acting how they think people want them to.

“I want my members to get to the point of feeling that everything is ok; the confidence to be yourself.”

The word LIPSTICK came to Amanda after she was advised to create an acronym for her success principle, to encapsulate her brand.

The LIPSTICK principles are: Love, Imagine, Passion and Purpose, Step In, Truth, Invite Others In, Celebrate and Keep It Simple.

 “The word lipstick just came to me,” she said.

“I thought well, I really love the word and women wear it and I never leave home without mine.

“I wear lipstick to make me feel good and in that way my LIPSTICK principles are inside out feel good; something that you can put on every day.

“What the acronym stands for is doing the right things for you.”

The glass ceiling experienced by so many women in the workplace was not an issue for Amanda, whose career on the corporate ladder was on the up and up before she found her calling whilst on a training workshop.

She explained: “I worked in the corporate world, for GlaxoSmithKline, I was chasing the grade, never quite knowing what it was I was supposed to do.

“I went through a time when I started doubting myself, I’d left school at 16 and I’d got in as a bit of a lucky break.

“It was all going well, I kept getting promoted, and was in quite a high leadership position when we changed all of our recruitment – it had to be graduates and I don’t think I’d ever been open about the fact that I wasn’t one; I wasn’t proud of it.

“I went through this period feeling that I wasn’t good enough but then I went on a one-day workshop through work that was all about mind-set versus skill set and I felt amazing.

“It made me realise that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to make other people who have the same challenges as I’ve been having feel like I do right now. That was what kick-started my coaching career.”

Amanda’s success seems bound to keep on coming as she described the enthusiasm for her events that she has experienced since launching The Leading Ladies Company.

She said: “When I was launching people were saying ‘is Manchester ready for this? You’re really ahead of the game Amanda’.

“Manchester is ready for it; people are coming to my events and when I ran my first ever membership meeting there were almost tears because the women there were saying ‘I am worth it and I’m committing to myself’.

“It’s been lovely to see women saying ‘I’m important, my personal development is important’.

“The Success University for Women book was just perfect for me; it’s absolutely everything that I’m about.”

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