As the saying goes 'you get no second chance to make a first impression'. While idealistically we would all want to be judged by our innate abilities rather than the superficial packaging , unfortunately we still mostly tend to pick up a book by its cover . Whether we finally buy it might be dependent on how engaging the back summary is but that only comes to play once we have been tempted beyond that cursory look. The situation off course is different if we already know the author and their work or have been primed to form an preconceived notion of the quality that is to be expected .
As an entrepreneur looking to make your mark on the business landscape it is imperative that you learn to make the first 5 minutes of your meeting count whether it be with the potential brilliant employee, the Venture capitalist or the business partner that you have been wooing .
Nothing spells you better than how you carry yourself. Make sure that your attire always compliments the image you want to convey in a given context.
As a personal styling platform , at elanstreet we often get queries from young entrepreneurs looking for assistance with personal styling. While the exact reason might differ, the subtext is always about the need to enhance their image or to rework their personal brand.
For example Arvind ( name changed) a tech entrepreneur, felt he had a highly casual dress sense and needed help with identifying the right formal wear for interaction with his international clients.
Priya ( name changed) a dynamic business women in her thirties ,wanted someone to help her dress according to her bodytype and personality .She felt that her attire tends towards boring rather than classic and wanted to make an impact .
Impact !! As an entrepreneur you need to make all your available resource work for you and being able to sell yourself is the most important of them all . Lets look at how you can build up the right arsenal for creating the impact.
Dress for the Image you to want to project
If you are addressing a bunch of young team members and want to make them feel you are one of them, go for an casual approach ( the Mark Zuckerberg look). However if you are a women entrepreneur stepping into the board meeting or for meeting with the CEO of the fortune 500 company , go for power dressing with a vengeance( think Sheryl Sandberg : Note same company as Zuckerberg but very different style) .
Always ensure that your attire does not become the focal point of the conversation it should act as an enabling prop.
Leverage your personality
"'Create your own style unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others '" -Anna Wintour .
Let your attire speak for you . Don't let it suppress who you are . Being yourself always works better than trying to be a clone of someone else. You can make allowances for the context while still managing to mix in elements that stand out . For the modern gentleman formal business suit does not have to be black ,explore possibilities- charcoal,navy,light grey ,brown mixed with ties in interesting patterns. . For a women , your best friend is the accessories that you can work with and go for that red/fuschia suit with elan.
Make a subtle statement
Nicola Sturgeon , as head of scottish national party -who recently celebrated a massive victory in the U.K. elections--grabbed the public's attention with a signature, bright red pencil dress. "Red is power," says Seaman. Likewise a lot of politicians wear blue as it denotes trust . In business it is imperative to understand the cultural undertones specially while meeting associates from a different background and dress accordingly . In certain cultures , your casual look for a meeting might be taken as an insult .
Invest in essentials
Do not wear ill fitting , non ironed clothes . Build up your wardrobe one versatile piece at a time. Going for luxury is not essential but quality is. Wait for the sale and get that genuine leather laptop bag that will last you years. Get 2-3 bespoke suits in classic colors. Wear comfortable yet smart shoes that can be worn for more than one occasion.Spend money on the watch - that gets the eyeballs and can be a conversation starter ( your parent's priced vintage one is even better ) .
Ask for advice or assistance
It is quite possible that as an early stage women entrepreneur with a young kid at home, you have absolutely no time available for spending on yourself. In another scenario, it could also be that you are a techie with no interest in anything beyond the lines of code buzzing around in your head and having to think funding, marketing, employee management is more than enough. The good thing is that unlike earlier, there are enough avenues and professionals around to make sure that you still get to look good on an everyday basis and it only takes a little effort to ask for help.
You go conquer the world and accept the young global business leader award while you let the experts work for you.