I went to a food market today where a cookie delivery truck was parked outside. Even though I did not come there to buy cookies, the ads on the truck caught my interest and I planned to look over the cookie display inside. However, when I saw the extremely unhealthy and unkempt cookie salesman working the display, I immediately changed my mind. My reaction reminded me of how important our image is and how people make business decisions about us – justly or not – based on our image.
Image is a measurable dimension of versatility. How we dress, groom ourselves, our hair, our posture, and how we move our body all affect our image. Our image is interpreted by others as high or low. High image makes people around us feel more comfortable and respected. Low image makes them feel uncomfortable, and we are perceived as being selfish, strange, or undesirable. Our personal and business success is subtly determined by our image in ways we may not be aware of.
Some people are very aware of how image creates success. Celebrities maintain their image with great care. I suppose some politicians and high school cheer leaders do too. Think about how odd it looks when see someone famous without their normal cultivated look!
The picture above is Margaret Hamilton in her most recognized role. Reportedly, she dearly loved children and spent all the years after her famous movie reassuring them she was kind and not really a witch. She had to do this for over 4 decades! That’s how powerful that image was to children. I remember seeing her when I was a child. She scared me to death.
So, how can we manage our image better? Let’s talk about clothes, fitness, grooming, and body motions.
Wear well fitting clothes that reflect how the most successful people in your industry dress. Studies show that the proper fit of clothes matter much more than fabric choice. Choose clothes you look your best in and purge your closet of all the rest.
Fitness matters. We’re not all athletes and you don’t have to be. But good nutrition and regular exercise matters to both your health and your image. Make a habit of exercising to build muscle and aerobic capacity. You will look better and increase your image.
Don’t neglect grooming. You may or may not care about how you look and smell but it matters to everyone else. And those people have a big effect on things that matter to you. Make sure your face, hair, and the rest of you are groomed well.
Body motions. Maintain good posture at all times. Keep your body motions smooth and confident instead of quick and jerky. Face people with confidence and respect. Smile whenever appropriate.
Give me a call if you would like some coaching or training on creating a better image. Increasing your image creates more sales and more influence. It creates success for you in ways you cannot see. Other people appreciate your efforts and often try to help you. Focus on your image and watch your personal and professional success zoom! Bob R