Business Mentor Notes: CAROLINA D. TAN, AICI CIC – Former runway, print & commercial model for projects such as American Standard, Wella International, Sunsilk Taiwan, Coca-Cola Vietnam, Emporio Armani, Louis Vuitton and MasterCard among others.
She co-hosted Philippine celebrity talk show “Oh No! It’s Johnny” from 1997-1999. Also a PRC Licensed Real Estate Broker from 2006 to present, Carol is a Cum Laude graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Communication Arts from the University of Santo Tomas.
Her extensive travel overseas in Asia, North and South America has helped shape her diplomatic experience, as well as her sales work exposure with BMW Philippines from 2005 – 2007 handling the expatriate market. She’s an alumna of John Robert Powers International and has been its active consultant at the school for 16 years; her areas of expertise are fit for One-on-One Coaching, Group Trainings and Customized Corporate Workshops.
She is a Certified Image Consultant and at present is also a member of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). In 2011 ENHANCE YOUR IMAGE Training Consultancy was formally established.

“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”
To captivate is to attract and hold the interest and attention of something or someone; in one word it’s charm. How does one develop this?
On the other hand, there’s the word confidence. Is this something overused? We know well that it is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others. Rather, confidence is quiet. Confidence is a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard. Ambitious is another word used to characterize confident people simply because they know what they want. They easily define their goals and strive to achieve them. And this is their most significant trait that makes them stand out.
Let’s take a look at the five obvious signs: 1) Confident people are not afraid to be wrong. It’s alright for them to be corrected and they know how to acknowledge it. Backing down graciously is one mark of a mature person. 2) They are able to let others shine. A confident person does not have to hug the spotlight all for himself. It is truly a confidence boost to let another rise and help others become such too. 3) Use words to reinforce one’s positive image. When you meet someone new, whether in person or over the phone, always give them your complete name. Doing so tells people that you are respecting yourself and being considerate of others too. 4) Avoid self-promotion. Bragging comes from a lack of self-confidence and a desire for external approval. Conversely, genuine modesty is a characteristic of someone who is confident in, and secure with, who they are. People who brag are calling attention to themselves because they don’t feel worthy of respect. 5) See everything as a positive opportunity. When you choose to see setbacks as opportunities your whole perspective shifts toward the positive. Your ability to create this shift will make you feel much more confident in yourself.

Confidence is bearing and behavior. When I see someone walking whether at the mall, or in the street, and the person is able to walk with positive strides, energetic in movements, with head held parallel to the ground not looking down or snubbing others along the way, shoulders square, it makes me give the person a second glance. Nothing beats a strong presence like that. The question now is, is that something sustainable? Or just happened by chance because the person is in a hurry? Do you know that a confident image can be developed? Not by accident or trial and error, but through training, practice and ultimately inspiration.

Growing up in the province of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, music (playing the piano & bandurria) and dance (ballet) were the activities I was doing as a young girl at school. I still remember clearly well my spiel during our kindergarten graduation, “When I grow up, I want to be an international flight stewardess.” Times changed. When I was forced to transfer to Metro Manila to be with my university studying brother, I ended up in a traditional Chinese school. The only way I knew then to standout was excelling in academics. So I literally inched my way up from 4th place to 1st in class. Still blessed to have supportive parents who would typically enroll me in various activities during the summer break, ranging from children’s speech & personality development, voice lessons, typing, organ lessons, and finally modeling. Little did I know that I had talent in runway much less walk in a 3” classic pumps. Being tallest in class usually and underweight thin, this proved to be a positive factor. I end up dong modeling from 16 years old onwards until my late twenties. During this time, little my little my concept of image also evolved and grew.
Transitioning from teacher, instructor and facilitator for the premier personality development institution with an international brand name attached to it in Manila proved to be very positive. Here I saw myself learning more, teaching and transferring knowledge to early learners as kids. Seeing them go through the awkward teen years is something temporary that eventually they outgrew and that today they are fine, young adults in their respective fields.
How do we use image to inspire others? It is in one sentence “You have to live the part and do the talk.” Now in my early 40’s, being a Certified Image Consultant is a blessed privilege. A lot of people may not be familiar yet with what an I.C. does for work. In my case it’s servicing individuals, groups and corporations in the areas of appearance, behavior and communication. The transformation afterwards is what truly matters. And this happens not by force, but by voluntary will and choice of the individual. Time is our best friend here as nothing can be achieved overnight. When a person has labored in time, efforts, heart and sweat into the mandatory home works, activities, videos, practical applications – you can be certain that he or she is serious enough to make it through.
Gone were the days when an Image Consultant just relies on the particular needs of a company, uses available materials and works around that. Today we’ve leveled up using accepted global standards such as through the Institute of Image Training and Testing International (IITTI, pronounced as “ET”) – this is a non-profit, open-source, educational organization. We believe soft skills such as image and etiquette are the first steps in creating a more peaceful, civil world. Our vision is to support professionals around the world to interact in a universally acceptable and civil manner. We are able to achieve that by providing the global standard in soft skills, related to professional image bridging the gap between different cultures. And we made it happen right here in Manila Philippines, with our pioneer batch last 31st August 2016 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart!” (Proverbs 15:30)