I’m Too Sexy For My Book Cover

Some have hemmed and hawed over my book cover, debating whether a classic Louboutin would have done the trick (trademark, shmademark). Still others winced at my hope of luring male readers with a shapely turn of ankle. (But sexy is better than dowdy, no? And them’s some sweet sticks).

I’ve been chided countless times in the nicest of ways by women who remind me that… this networking thing? It’s really not about the shoes and clothes. And ladies, I hear you.

As a journalist and former businessperson, it took me a while to get comfortable with this. But I ended up stuffing Stiletto Network with lifestyle details because these are the things women notice. These are things I notice.

So hear me out. Before I could figure what was happening, I had a gut feeling that the world was changing in important ways. Why? Because I walked into a conference room of 50 hard-core, successful women who actually looked like women. Women with chic shoes and healthy hair. Women for whom the requisite intro was: “I love your shoes!” or “What a fabulous dress! Is that this season or last?”

Stiletto Networks emerge because ladies find fast affinities. Sure, businesswomen talk about transactions, but they also do girly things like hosting baby showers and swapping Manolos. Where men might fall back on sports, women use clothes and shoes as an icebreaker, the initial step to a more substantive relationship.

“It’s okay to compliment another woman on her dress or shoes,” Heidi Roizen says in Stiletto Network. “Just because you admire what’s happening on the outside doesn’t mean you’re not interested in what’s going on inside her head.”

Stilettos might just grease the wheels…

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To Heel or Not to Heel? A Sartorial Romance / Tragedy

The other day, the awesome Rachel Payne—CEO of Fem, Inc., serial entrepreneur, former Google exec, and all around rock star—reached out to share a blog post she’d come across: I Refuse To Wear Heels.

Having just written a book called Stiletto Network, I get a lot of this.

One wonderful CEO posted my Barnes & Noble pre-order link on Facebook with the promise it was relevant to her crew—“whether we wear stilettos or not!”

Yet still the question remains: to heel or not to heel?

By Canyon Castator

By Canyon Castator

I’ve always loved wearing really high heels out because, well, they’re so pretty and they make me feel pretty too. Peep-toe booties? Check. Red-soled pumps? Check. Silver sequin Manolos? I’m a new woman.

I love my stilettos, and now that I’m hustling like mad doing PR for my book (with the geniuses who’ve nudged me toward this foray into “personality”), I’m embracing them again. I’ve escaped my writerly warren and hurled myself into the world to shamelessly hock my wares. I am positively running around town in stilettos, and reveling in that false sense of importance an extra 3 or 4 inches bestows.

(A sense of importance rivaled only by the spectacular narcissism of a blog).

And with every step I take, I’m cursing this callous, cruel mistress for the sting she inflicts. And I’m wondering—while feeling pretty and really quite important—just how fast I can get home to change back into my flats.

As the kids like to say, my dogs are barking.

Down girl. Heel.

So ladies, I leave it to you: is it pointless?

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No one thought it would work, but we’ve gone all over the U.S. and brought hundreds of women along. Our women’s initiative was the most successful pilot in the history of the Red Cross. This is a global movement, and women are now asking other women. It’s our golf course—these strong, vibrant, powerful circles. And we’ve hit the big time.”

Melanie Sabelhaus, entrepreneur, executive, former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Vice Chairman, The American Red Cross

Stiletto Network (Page 210)