Today I want to talk about something a lot of people are talking about. It’s the concept of “Keep it real”.
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I’ve had an experience that will make you want to re-think that “Keep it real” thing. I’ve been interviewing assistants and salespeople in my office at my publishing company in Virginia Beach, Virginia people are coming in dressed very shabbily and very, very casually. Meanwhile, my office staff and I have dressed up for them and we’ve cleaned the office to make a good impression. We’ve shown some effort. These interviewees are showing up in yoga pants and sweaters for professional jobs. I was going to interview a professional sales person and this gentleman showed up in shorts! When I got to the door and I saw he had shorts on, I instantly had no desire to interview him. You see, if someone cannot take a little bit of time or put in the effort to show me they respect me, I have NO desire to invest in you, hire you or present you with an opportunity.
So, let’s think about this “Keep it real” phenomenon where people are showing up on webinars with stubble, looking like they just got out of bed and looking disheveled and they don’t want to dress up. I read this article the other day about wedding dresses and the bride said, “Oh, I didn’t want to look like a tried too hard.”
This new trend of “keeping it real” is not REALLY serving you if you’re a professional, a business person or are looking to work with other people. Here’s why: We make our first impressions in the first 30 seconds of meeting you. In that 30 seconds we decide:
- How old you are.
- What you do for a living.
- How much money you make…. and the KEY decision is:
- DO I RESPECT YOU?
If we don’t respect people, we will not buy from them, we won’t trust their opinion and they will have no influence on us.
Yes, there is this thing in the business world where it’s appropriate to have a “good enough is good enough” for reports, etc. To get the work out the door. I believe in all of those things, but we’re just taking it too far. Like the concept of casual Fridays becoming casual “every day.” I’m not saying you have to dress up in a suit every day, you don’t have to be OVERLY dressed. What I am saying to you is putting out a little bit of effort, energy, and respect for other people is very, very needed.
Not too terribly long ago, I was interviewing someone for my Millionaire Smarts® group on Skype. When my AV guy got him up on the screen, he looked like he had just gotten out of bed! He looked sleepy, his hair was messy, he was unshaven and wearing a crumpled up t-shirt. I was mortified! If it hadn’t been live, I would have pulled the plug on this guy because he did NOT show respect for the people who were taking the time to listen to what he had to say.
So, we’ve heard this for a long time: “Dress for the job/ position you want.” I never go to an event that I am not “dressed to the nines” for. I put on nice jewelry, my hair looks nice and I look good because I actually CARE about what people think of me and I want them to know I spent some time, energy and effort to dress up, to look nice and to present myself in a professional way.
Don’t get lured into “Let’s keep it real” because what they are really saying is “Let’s just lower our standards.” I totally disagree with that! So, mold this into your own style and personality and what you do, but I will tell you – you probably have a lot of nice clothes rotting in your closet, going out of style just because you’re “keeping it real!” It’s a trend I am not going to fall into. That doesn’t mean I dress to the nines for everything I do. But when it comes to people, clients or anything like that I do put on my best face for them and respect them because you can NEVER change that first impression!
I hope you start to dress up more. You have nice clothes! It will improve your confidence and you will feel good. When you feel good, you’re actually tapping into the right and left sides of your brain which will leave people with a much more powerful memory and impression of who you are.