There is a piece of marketing and personal branding advice going around out there that really bugs me.
It's goes like this, “Want to be successful? Dress like you're rich.”
A colleague of mine said it was one of the key pieces of advice by a highly prestigious coach she hired for a year long, big-ticket program (read: tens of thousands of dollars). The problem was, she experienced the coach to be demeaning, attention-hungry, and not in full service of her clients. The comment about “dressing like you're rich” also really bothered her.
I heard another colleague this week tell me she got the same advice from another well-known Marketing coach. Wanting to be the best of the best, this colleague swiftly hired a personal stylist.
Now, before I tell you what I really think of this (get ready!), I want to say that OF COURSE there is value in presenting yourself nicely. There are contexts when it is inappropriate to NOT dress thoughtfully or formally, as you would if you were going to a wedding or other formal event.
Beyond that, I think this advice is misguided at best.
I didn't go into working for myself so I could dress like I “should” to be perceived as wealthy. In fact, I didn't go into working for myself to prove anything. My worth radiates from every once of my being, from the way I have a conversation, to the way I create opportunities out of obstacles, and everything in between. And your worth does too, when you are AUTHENTICALLY you. You don't have to “dress like you're rich” or pretend to be something that doesn't resonate with who you are and what you stand for.
Did you know that some of the richest people actually DON'T flaunt it? They drive regular cars, wear clothes that feel good to them, and manage what they spend so they can re-invest in what matters.
Isn't investing in what matters what a fulfilled, truly rich life is really about?
Does “Dress like you're rich” imply that if you dressed another way you wouldn't be perceived as good enough?
I'm here to tell you that the opposite is true.
We are living in a fast-paced world of over-stimulation and high doses of technology. Go go go. What most of us want, what most of us are hungry for when we stop and take a breath, are REAL connections with REAL people who are being AUTHENTIC. We hunger for authentic, real relationships.
This is the basis of great marketing and true wealth.
I mean, I know how to dress up and have a good time when an event calls for it, but I love dressing like casual/biz-casual ME. I love wearing what I want to wear, creating my own schedule, and choosing my perfect clients and partners who excite me.
And my clients love me- for me. Even on Sunday, the kickball team I created, a full team of people who are mission-driven and work from themselves, gave me loads of support when I blew out my quad (read: OUCH!) at the game.
I was in workout gear, I couldn't walk, I even cried because the pain was so intense. Feeling unattractive and undesirable in my injured state of shock, even I was surprised when a potential client who I really wanted to work with said, “Take care of that leg. And count me in for your next group program.”
Your ideal clients will love you for who you are. Even your injured, crying self...they will still love you. But you have to love yourself first. You have to know that your worth is BIG and your value runs deep.
Do great work. Believe in yourself. And wear what you like!
When you do, you will be truly rich.
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Now, I want to know:
What do YOU think?
- What's YOUR take on "Dress like you're rich" advice?
- (And if you like) How do you AUTHENTICALLY attract perfect clients for you?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!