Yup. Sorry to break it to you. Even in the “city of weird” — a safe harbor for the creative souls of the world, where expression is so encouraged — first impressions still matter. You know how they say “there’s no second chance at a first impression?” It’s true.
Recently, a study showed that a first impression is actually formed in the first three seconds after you walk into a room. Three seconds! So, unless you can figure out a way to burst into a room and scream-list all your strengths, passions, and talents at a potential client without seeming deranged, you’re going to have to use the visual tool at your disposal: your style.
As a wardrobe stylist based out of Portland, and an entrepreneur myself, I’m here to encourage Women with Moxie business owners to rethink their relationship with first impressions. Often my clients will plead with me that their work speaks for themselves; that they shouldn’t have to kowtow to any societal standard, and that their value is more than their appearance. To this I wholeheartedly, scream it off the rooftops, agree!
Yes! Create work that speaks volumes about your value to the world and your customers.
Yes! Societal standards for women are bonkers, and keeping up is one route to madness.
Yes! Your value to this world runs deep, real deep, and you are so much more than your appearance.
But sorry, you still have to show up. You’re an entrepreneur, a lady boss, and YOU have to show up. What do I mean by that?
Just because you are “putting your best foot forward” doesn’t mean that foot has to be wearing a shoe you hate. You can only be the most confident (and the most successful) version of yourself if you feel like YOU. When you feel more polished, you will always be more productive. So my suggestion is to play a little dress-up, and dress up as the uber-successful version of yourself you’ll be five-years from now.
Here are three steps to help you start thinking about how style can get you to your goals. Grab a pen and paper or open a notes app:
Describe the things you love about your style that make you YOU and help you feel confident.
Is it your fiery red hair? Is it your love of cat eyeliner? Is it your super casual vibe? Is your knowledge and expertise in your field being portrayed? I’m asking you to really think about how people most likely describe you to others, or what they see first when you walk in the room.
Describe where you want your business to be in five years.
Will you have a brick and mortar location? Will you have more than one location? Will you have 1-million followers and a TV show? Will you be pulling in six-figures? Will you have a certain number of clients per week? These goals can be as big or small as you wish.
Describe what the woman that achieved the above goals looks like when she walks into a room.
What do clients see? How are you dressed? How does your style have to evolve to look like this successful women, but still be you? Do you look savvy enough to have completed the goals you named above? What gets to stay and what has to fall away to start playing the part of your successful future self?
As my clients can testify, thinking about what you’d like to achieve is just the first step in starting to use style to your advantage and owning your first impression. Image is an invaluable part of your branding. When you take control of your image with style, and show up as the most confident version of yourself, you also show the world how to treat you and perceive your business.
|Rose Jubb is a Wardrobe Stylist in Portland, OR who helps women tap into hidden confidence through their style. For more information about style, a free download of these steps, or professional help visit stylepdx.com|