This post is part of a series where we’ll be getting to know members of our outstanding Fascinate Certified Advisor™ team. Our Advisors are expertly trained to coach individuals and groups on how to use the Fascinate system to improve communication and build better relationships, as well as add unique value by embracing our core message: Different is better than better.
Toi Sweeney is an award-winning fashion stylist, brand image strategist, speaker, entrepreneur, the author of Secrets of a Well Dressed Brand and creator of The Well Dressed Brand TV show. Drawing from her experience managing the images of almost 30 television personalities and leading her own design firm, Her Majesty the Queen, she uses her background to tell original stories through fashion.
Toi’s passion and talent have earned her a variety of honors and acclaim. She was presented with a prestigious Telly Award and has been featured on Forbes.com, BBC News and other media. For the last four years as a Fascinate Certified Advisor, Toi’s been incorporating the Fascinate System to help people tell their stories and build their personal brands. She has recently relocated from Philadelphia to Houston, but works with clients worldwide.
We wanted to learn a little more about what brought Toi to Fascinate, and how she uses the Fascinate test with her clients.
What value have you received from taking the Fascinate test?
The value that I've received from taking the Fascinate test is immeasurable. I first learned about Fascinate in 2013 when I heard Sally Hogshead on a podcast. I immediately rushed to the How to Fascinate website to take the test. I was working in corporate America at the time, underpaid and undervalued. The Fascinate test gave me the verbiage to communicate my value as well as the value I add to the team. I began to use the test in my yearly review, the justification for the pay increases I deserved.
After leaving my corporate job in 2015 my first order of business was to become an Advisor. The day I became certified I was giving a keynote at Arizona State University where I talked about the Fascination Advantage to a group of fashion students for the first time. I was definitely in my wellspring! It was a very exciting moment for me. I am very proud to be a part of such an elite team of coaches.
How do you use Fascinate in your business?
The value to my business has been a game changer. I get to wake up everyday and help extraordinary women and men build exceptional personal brands, as well as understand that their wardrobe is a business strategy. I get to help teams level-up by understanding that the company is composed of individual personalities, and that those personalities are shaped by understanding the entire team’s advantages. The Fascinate System helps founders and CEOs understand how the company is perceived by others. Once you understand how the world sees you and your company, you're given the rare chance to lean into victory in the best possible way.
What inspired you to become an FCA?
I became an FCA because I know what it feels like to be considered a commodity, powerless and replaceable. I wanted to guide people into knowing how powerful and unstoppable they truly are.
Sally always says “Different is better than better.” What does ‘different is better’ mean to you?
I have spent my entire life focusing on being different. I don't think you can have a name like Toi and run the same race as a Jennifer or a Kimberly. And being a Black person in America I was taught from childhood to be prepared to work twice and hard, often for less pay. Hard work and being better is still not enough. The jobs most of us have are commodities. I am not the only brand strategist and fashion stylist in the world. So I have a huge canvas to paint something different. "Different" is the foundation of my Archetype, The Connoisseur! Better is sometimes subjective. But different is undeniable, unapologetic and freeing!
How can the Fascinate System help people navigate today’s business and social climate?
Most people say they want to be different but they really just want to fit in. Fear and the lack of self awareness suck them into the black hole of "sameness." It makes me sad. The world is teaching people that their story makes them different. This is not entirely true. It is what you do with your story that makes you different.
The social climate and business may change, but if you focus on who you are and who you're becoming, this small difference can have a huge impact. Like most entrepreneurs, I needed to make some adjustments to my business during the pandemic and civil unrest this last year. No one wanted to talk about their brand or their wardrobe, or so it seemed. I remembered the highest and best value of The Connoisseur. In Sally’s words, "They intuitively understand what others need. Almost effortlessly, they excel at selling products, services and ideas." I took this information and used my online TV show "The Well Dressed Brand" to truly serve my community in the best way I knew how. I focused episodes during this time on the mental health of the Black community and the trauma that we continue to face everyday. I focused on faith and why Sunday mornings are the most divided mornings in America and I closed the series out with self-care. Fascinate reminded me of how the world sees me at my best, an approach that I wanted to share with my community.
You can learn more about Toi and watch episodes from The Well Dressed Brand on her website.