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Conversations with the Inspiring Mary Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Williams.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the Founder of Your First Impression Authority headquartered in Saint Petersburg, Florida. As a business strategist and etiquette expert, I help businesses, universities and organizations teach rising stars the modern business etiquette skills they need to stand out and build authentic relationships in today’s digital world. I am passionate about helping ambitious women develop the skills they need to reach their goals, whether starting a new business or shattering glass ceilings.

With 30 years of executive leadership experience in both the corporate and non-profit world, I am now focused on guiding the next generation of leaders to strengthen their first impression and enhance their business etiquette and social skills. I have made it my mission to bring a different kind of business training to anyone who strives to reach their full potential and achieve their biggest goals.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Everything takes longer than you think it will! And more money too! However, do not let this stop or deter you from pursuing your passions and creating your dream job whether you are starting your own company as I have just recently done or working for someone else.

Surround yourself with people who you trust and who truly support you and have your best interests at heart, especially in areas where you may be lacking in expertise. Find a mentor or several.

There are so many more women-centered networking groups today. Join one that feels right for you. Starting your own business can be a lonely endeavor. You need to stay connected and create a strong support network to get you through the long and tough days. Having said that, never let anyone discourage you or steal your determination to succeed.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
The most rewarding part of my work is raising awareness about the power of first impressions and social and soft skills which we also call business etiquette. They are easily identifiable, and if you are disciplined and focused and put these skills to work for you in a sincere and meaningful way, this adds tremendously to the impressions you make and will positively affect your business and quality of life.

I am proud of having the courage to step away from the security of my corporate career and launch my own firm.

Having said that, I am most proud of the positive feedback and beautiful follow up messages I receive from those who attend my speaking engagements, training and workshops. It is very meaningful to have an impact and make real-time differences in peoples lives.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Hang in there! It’s not a straight line to success experience. Be open to where the journey takes you, and embrace the journey, even on tough days. Never, ever give up. Believe in yourself. And never let your confidence wain. Stay strong. And call me if you need help. There’s nothing more rewarding for me than helping other women succeed.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 734-546-4559
  • Email:
  • Instagram: Marywilliamsfia
  • Facebook: Mary Williams FIA @marywilliamsfia

Image Credit:

This was a networking event for female entrepreneurs held at Bulla Gastrobar located in SoHo Hyde Park Tampa, FL and hosted by Athleta. I am in the front row in red and black. The presentation was entitled “Modern Business Etiquette For Women Who Refuse To Be Average.”

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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