Monday, August 13, 2007

Becoming A Black Socialite

What makes America great is that you can be whoever you want if you work hard. You don't have to be a ravishing beauty, super intelligent, married to a wealthy man, or mega-rich - although all of those things sure can help.

You must be is charming, loyal, and graceful. While this sounds easy, it isn't.

Most Americans are crude and tacky. We tend to ask for more than what we give. We talk way too much and produce very little of substance in terms of conversation or work.

So it is like a breathe of fresh air to encounter someone who possesses grace, loyality, and charm. How do you think con artists continue to flim-flam the rich? It's because they have become masters of deception in terms of these principals.

Your ability to be a successful Black socialite rests on these three principals - charm, loyality, and grace. I can't repeat this enough. Any invitation you desire will come if you work on developing these three principals.

Most questers don't have a clue about these principals. So, they get shut down at every turn because they are grasping and climbing without consideration for others. They tend to be users and see people as a means of getting their goals achieved. They often have to buy their way into the social set rather than being asked to table based on their own merits.

And, even if the questers "get in" by way of various organizations, they will still be marginalized and will never be true insiders.

Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to be born into socialite status with the Black Elite. Therefore, your ascension can happen pretty quickly if you plot your course properly.

Be prepared to kick out some money to appear at various events and activities. However, this is manageable if you factor these costs into your overall budget.

When you get invited to events, show up. And, you may have to get comfortable going out by alone. Susan Fales Hill of New York (pictured above) goes out alone often as her husband is a homebody reportedly. Many socialites attend events alone because men tend to not care about social activities as much as we do. So, if you are one of these women who have to clutch onto the arm of a man whenever you go out, true socialite status may not be for you.

Look to give more than you receive and your network will explode. Offer to chair fundraisers for both Black and White organizations if you have this talent. This will raise your social profile if you do a good job.

Don't spend too much time hanging out at happy hours/alumni reunions/business card exchange parties targeted towards for "Black professionals." Most of these events are quick cash generations for the event planners and the people who attend them tend to be big yawns. Their connections are minimal and these events will rarely help you to achieve your goals.

You can go to some of the more interesting ones periodically, but don't become a fixture at these events. Spend more time of your time attending parties for political campaigns so that you can make REAL connections.

Socialite barflies go to top rated hotel bars like The Ritz Carlton and The Four Seasons. The clientele is more upscale and you'll meet some interesting people. But again, don't make these places your version of 'Cheers' where everybody knows your name.

Go periodically and always dress to the nines!

If your strategy works, your social status will rise to the level where you will begin to get invites for hot events that are free (or at least free to you). I get invited to restaurant openings, parties at Cartier and Tiffany's, nightclub openings, and other chic events.

When your profile rises, you will also get invited to join non profit boards and advisory committees. Be selective in terms of which invites you accept as many non profits are cash and staff strapped - so you can end up working like a slave! Make sure it's a cause that you are really interested in and that the organization has a good mix of board members.

Once this happens, know that your 'brand' has become a marketable asset. Your presence is a signal to your hometown that this (event, organization, activity) is worthwhile. People who want to emulate you will break their necks to buy tickets and donate money to anything that has your name attached to it.

Now, if you are questing for WASPy social elite status, you will have to spend a ton of money unless you can score tickets to premium event through your employer or other connections.

Getting into that crowd requires that someone "anoint" you into socialite-dom. This goal can be achieved as well. It may take a bit longer that climbing the ranks of the Black social elite and you will more than like need to hire a publicist so that you can land in all of the right publications.

Be on the lookout for more tips on becoming a Black socialite!