Monday, June 29, 2015

Relationships and Pageantry...Is Your Boyfriend REALLY Supporting You?

Relationships and Pageantry...Is Your Boyfriend REALLY Supporting You?

By Trinity Nicole Miller
Petite Elite MS National Queen
Today's International/American Woman Pageants

Pageant preparation takes a lot of time and a lot of work as every pageant queen knows. At the national level, there are ALOT of experienced contestants and it is not an easy task to win. I personally prepare for an entire year before a competition. Since I own a marketing company and regularly promote my business and title, it is relatively easy for me to sit behind the computer from early morning to late evening. That is what I do. I'm a nerd, business woman,community servant, beauty that order. I do indeed spend a lot of time on my computers, but I am also able to balance that with family/friend time..Until the last year.

I had a boyfriend this year when I was trying to win my TAW national title who I assumed would support my pageantry, being that we were in a committed relationship and I supported the things that he was interested in on a regular basis.

It was going to be a very tough competition and I needed to be way on top of my game. I practiced my platform speech daily while cleaning house, working, gardening or hanging out in the pool. Any chance I got to practice, I was giving my speech. For several months before the competition, I went to appearances and meetings for the pageant as well as my business. Every time I would leave the house, I would get accused of not being where I said I was, even when I came home with photos. I got very tired of having to fight every time I went somewhere, so the last few weeks before I left for the competition, my appearances suffered. I noticed that the closer I got to the competition, the more distant and rude he became about it. The week before I left he barely spoke to me. I left for the trip and thought that once I was at the pageant, everything would be OK. I had a very long 38 hour trip and was ready to begin my quest for the crown and have someone I loved to talked to and encourage me in between rehearsals and competitions. I was in for a big shock. This guy who claimed to love me, called and texted me every single day and evening accusing me of cheating and partying rather than the activities going on at the pageant. He actually called right before evening gown competition and told me I wasnt about to get on stage, that I was "out partying".....yelling at me.... WOW. After all of the effort I put in so far, and I am about to walk on stage for the final time in my beautiful gown, I get yelled at that I am cheating.....that I am out partying....that the last year of my efforts as he watched me prepare, were just a joke to him. It broke my heart and truly knocked the wind out of my sails.

If there had not been about 40 women in the dressing room at the time listening to this, I dont think anyone would believe me. It rattled me for a minute and then one of my pageant sisters, Selma Johnson, Golden Ms Texas, talked to me and suddenly all was well with the world again. I went on to rock the stage and win my crown, however it could very easily gone the other way. The truth is, I have never had a husband or boyfriend that supported my pageantry. That incident could have ruined my attitude and cost me the crown. Thankfully, that did not happen. I now represent Today's International/American Woman Pageants for the next year as the TAW Petite Elite Ms 2015 National Queen. With this crown, I will be able to put my platform charity, Panhandle Mothers Against Methamphetamine, as well as my other causes on a national platform and get them the attention they need to find new sponsors, donors , volunteers and funding. I trained for a year and competed for this crown for the simple fact that I want to use it to help as many people in my community as I can. I think of the many goals I wrote on my goal board and I am so happy that I am going to be able to do so much good for so many people....its a dream come true.

I began to look back and see some things my now ex-boyfriend said and did that should have told me that I needed to disconnect from this person. As a survivor of domestic abuse for over 20 years, I know better. I know that mental abuse can be even more devastating than physical abuse. You don't have to be hit to be mistreated. There are some things you can look for in your relationships (and even in your family members) that will tell you if you are being sabotaged.

Does your guy..

  • Discourage you from attending events and appearances?
  • Barely listen or ignore you when you are discussing your title and upcoming competition?
  • Tell you that you are 'too involved' with your causes/pageant?
  • Make you feel guilty for taking time away from them to practice, make appearances, etc.?
  • Accuse you of cheating or partying when you are at events or appearances?
  • Make conflicting plans at times you are appearing/volunteering/etc?

I came home from the competition, moved back to my house, and started over...2 hours after arriving home after 36 hours on a bus. 'Sometimes when you win, you lose'. He was still accusing me of cheating as he left my house. He also kept my new kitty. Rude. Luckily I have a very good friend who talked with me all the way home, and cooked some amazingly good and healthy food for me knowing I had been on that bus very stressed and had not eaten or slept. He also talked with me from a man's point of view and encouraged me to get back on my goals and move on. Its interesting to find out who your real friends are when you are in this situation.

The bottom line is, if you don't have the right guy in your life, this will hinder your efforts, which will be the difference between a win and a loss. I like to look at it this way, "Its better to have NO boyfriend than a BAD boyfriend"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Competing in Pageants when you are OVER 40--- A Great Place to Blossom!

Competing in Pageants when you are OVER 40---
A Great Place to Blossom!
by Trinity Nicole Miller, Elite Petite Ms Texas 
Today's International/American Woman Pageant

My first experience with pageants was in Wyoming.  I was selected as “Mrs. Cheyenne America” and this was the beginning of my personal quest for the crown… In my opinion, the pageant was lots of fun and I had performed my best as I had no idea what I was doing, I simply wanted to be able to raise more money for my charities and this was an awesome avenue to accomplish that goal.  After the pageant one of my competitors mentioned to me that I was “too old to be there and they were not sure why I had bothered showing up”.  I knew why I was there.  I had successfully raised money for a local animal shelter using my title and decided this was the way I wanted to help my charities.  What in the world does age have to do with that?

In the last 10 years, I have competed in a lot of different systems.  I have met some of the most intelligent, charitable and successful career oriented women in the country. 

The over 40 pageant woman in the 21st century is not what she used to be. Today, she owns her business or is at the top of management and works as a spokeswoman or chairperson for some of the finest charities in the country.  Many of these women even have their own non profit organizations.  These beautiful and intelligent women are in politics, entertainment, business, legal, military, medical… and most are at the top of their field. 

Participating in pageants after age 40 has greatly helped my business life.  I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to give it my best.  I looked for pageant coaching online and found many great free resources as well as things I could order. I watched videos of previous pageants, listened to workshops about how to speak better, learned how to ace the pageant interview, developed better stage presence, did lots of interview skills work, …and much more!  Adding these tools made my business presentations better and helped me to communicate to my clients and potential clients in a more effective manner.  This of course produced more sales and more happy clients.

In my charity world, I am now able to use the skills I learn from competing in pageants on a larger scale to make me a better and more effective volunteer. I found skills that I never knew I had and starting doing things I had never tried with a new enthusiasm.   All of the time I am discovering things about myself that I never knew and I am finally becoming the woman I have always wanted to be.  Competing in the Ms Civic” division  I learned how to scrapbook an entire year of charity events!  Now I want to scrapbook every year and it is an amazing tool to show potential donors. 

Being a national beauty queen (and even as a  state queen) I find that I am able to get through doors and get to decision makers much faster than before.  It is much easier to solicit donations and get support for events with my crown.    So get out there and WIN your title ladies!  It will bring out talents and skills you never knew you had!

Find Your Perfect Pageant System and Start Winning

Find Your Perfect Pageant System
and Start Winning
by Trinity Nicole Miller, Elite Petite Ms Texas
Today's International/American Woman Pageant

When first starting competing in pageants, I had no idea that each system had a different purpose.  Yes, I said “Purpose”.  Women who compete in the Miss America and Miss USA system seem to gravitate toward TV careers, Galaxy and International winners seem to gravitate toward a modeling career and then there is Today's American Woman Pageants, (Voted "Top 10 Ms Pageant for 2015" by The Pageant Planet)  "ALL inclusive pageant of ALL women of ALL ages ALL sizes ALL abilities using the crown to shine a light on what is important to us!"  

This will be my 11th year competing in pageants.  I have competed TONS of systems in my career.  Pageants have been a blessing and sometimes a curse.  I have come up with some things to look for when deciding on a pageant system to help weed out incompatible systems and find the right one for you.

Finding the perfect pageant system is easy with a little targeted research.   

To begin, go to the website of the pageant you are interested in applying to.  Look for a pageant overview or summary.  It should give you an idea if you need to read on or move ahead in your research.  It is important to find a system that matches your talents, skills and goals. I advise reading the entire website and looking over everything you find.  This is a large investment in time and money and you want to find the best one for you. If you don’t find enough information on the website, e-mail the director and ask question…LOTS of questions!

Specifically, check out the areas of competition and the criteria for each one.  Take care to look into each area of competition and see what each one asks for.  Do they have a ‘Swimsuit’ category?  Are you comfortable with that or would you rather compete in ‘Glamwear’ or’ Aerobic Wear’?   Also look at the percentages of each category.  I tend to do better when interview counts 50%, as it is the area of competition I enjoy the most and excel at.  Specifically, find a system where your strengths are scored high and then work on the rest.

Rules & regulations are a very important thing to carefully look over.  There are residence requirements, age, marital status, and many times much more.  Read the agreement very carefully and be sure that you are in compliance with each one, or you could lose your crown if you win. For instance, many systems frown on posting questionable photos on the internet or not making required appearances.  Be careful to be sure you can fulfill all of the system requirements before applying.

Finally, contact former contestants that did not win and see what they thought about the pageant.  They will give you a better overall picture of the system and the people involved.  One thing to look for, do they have a high return rate?  If so, you can bet there is a good reason for it!  You could also contact former queens and see how their reign went.  Many will be happy to give a great referral or will steer you in a better direction.

It may take some time to find the system where you simply "fit" so Don't Give Up! There are LOTS of pageant systems for a variety of different goals.... so go do your homework and find your perfect pageant!

Check out    My personal favorite!

Successfully Promoting Your Pageant Title with Online Marketing Tools

Successfully Promoting Your Pageant Title with Online Marketing Tools… 
by Trinity Nicole Miller, Petite Elite Ms Texas- Today's International/American Woman Pageants

Promoting your title is tantamount to a successful reign.  Whether you are a City, State or National Queen, is is crucial to get yourself as well as your platform and pageant system information to as many people as possible.  

Today, marketing online is a fantastic way to quickly get your message to a large audience. Following are several avenues that a pageant queen can use to market a title and the majority of them are FREE. 

A Personal Website- There are many avenues to get a personal website.  You can hire a web design company like my company, Nicole Miller Marketing, or use many of the free sites that are available.  The bottom line is, the more PR you have out there, the more sponsors and supporters you can reach.  Be sure to list your sponsors, supporters and causes!

Google+ -  Show the world who you are and what you’re passionate about. Choose a beautiful cover photo, share some fun facts, or even add some bragging rights. With the Google+ Circles, it is easy to share the right things with the right people, just like in real life. 

With the Hangout feature, you can 'video hangout' and make free video calls with up to 10 people.  A great example of this is PageantLive.   The show revolves around the pageant industry – preparations for fashion, talent or whatever topic presents itself surrounding the industry. The host and guests log onto Google+ Hangout where up to 10 people can participate at the same time from the comfort of their homes. All you need is a computer(desktop or laptop) that has a webcam and internet connection. I have personally been on this show several times and it has been a great tool for me to use to show potential sponsors what I am about!

A Blog- A blog is a personal diary ---A daily pulpit--- A collaborative space--- A political soapbox.--- A breaking-news outlet.  Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules. In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write anything you want and post photos on an ongoing basis. Your new information shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Your visitors can comment on it or link to it or email you. I use  the free Google Blogger....Since Blogger was launched in 1999, blogs have reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.  You can use this as a integral part of your title marketing campaign! Connecting your blog to Google+ is a great way to attract new readers, as well as build lasting relationships with your followers. For example, you can easily share your posts in the Google+ stream, as well as enable blog visitors to recommend your information in a single click.

Facebook-  Most people have a Facebook account these days.  This is probably the best way to get your message to lots of people in a very short amount of time.   Facebook has over one billion active users and a January study ranked Facebook as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users.  Obviously, this is a wonderful tool for promotion! You can create a 'celebrity page' in seconds and start your promotional campaign right away!

Pinterest- Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard... the goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting.  My personal Pinterest is called 'Marketing your Pageant Title' and I 'pin' photos of things that I do to market myself.  With millions of new pins added every week, there is no telling who will find me and help me with my causes!

Fabulously 40- This is totally cool!  Fabulously40 was created for every woman 40 and beyond, who is ready to celebrate this exciting stage of her life. It is a fantastic social network of women 40 and over.  I think this is a great place to not only promote my title but hang out with other women like me and get some good 'soul food'!!

Finally,  my friend Tamika Hall, International Radio Host of the Tamika Hall Show has a great avenue for business cards and autograph cards...  Pageant Paperie & Gifts--  -- Tamika created Pageant Paperie so that pageant queens could easily design their own beautiful materials. She has done the hard work for you by designing great templates, all you have to do it drop your headshot/pictures in the appropriate places, enter your information, and voila...your marketing materials are done! All of her materials are produced and shipped within 24-48 hours!  This is great because the designs are beautiful and professional without spending alot of time and money on them!!!

I was also a special guest on her international radio show several times and it truly helped my platform as well as my business to promote in that avenue.

These are only a few of the places you can use to promote your title!  Using the Google search engine, you can find LOTS more and start promoting yourself!  You CAN NOT promote yourself too much, but be careful when promoting.  Always consider where you are promoting and what you put out there about yourself.  For instance, steer clear of places that may be questionable regarding your reputation.  Once you put something that could be viewed an 'inappropriate', you can’t take it back! Judges are always watching you whether you know it or not, so be careful and have FUN promoting your pageant title!