Written By: Brandy Miller | April 5, 2017 | No Comments

The Business Weekly had an interesting theme last week- dress for success. It made me think about how true it is that image does matter. I can recall starting out as a young attorney owning my own law firm, and the number one obstacle I had was convincing potential clients that I could do a better job than my more experienced colleagues. Three years or so later after starting the firm, I was able to get rid of my old Toyota and purchase a brand new BMW. My profits at the firm dramatically increased immediately after purchasing this car. It’s always very difficult to get a firm hold of each aspect of the reasons for increases in business, but I was told by several people that the car I was driving really helped my image. Why? Because it indicated to people that I was having success in my career. If I was having success, I must be a good lawyer, leading people to trust me with their major issues to be resolved. Image does matter.

Of course, I have spoken with many individuals who own various kinds of businesses who own exotic cars after saving hard, working hard, and budgeting tightly to afford the upkeep. Most of these people are quite secretive about the cars they own. Why? Because the average person, sadly, assumes that someone else who owns something a little beyond their means must be doing something improper to be able to afford such a nice car. You see, image is everything.

Along those same lines, I always shake my head when a driver with his business name on their vehicle drives aggressively and cuts people off. Clearly anyone who sees that kind of driving will immediately associate such behavior with the attitudes connected with the business.

Image can control you, both positively and negatively.

Which is why I do not understand people who fail to dress for success. It is, without question, important to present an image of respect for yourself, so that customers and others can assume you will have respect for them. In the legal field, it boggles my mind how many times people show up for criminal hearings or major lawsuits wearing t-shirts and jeans. Doing so presents an image to the Judge that you do not respect the Court. That can absolutely affect the way a Judge sees you, which will absolutely affect the opinion a fact finder has of you. To present anything short of a respectful and professional attire is inviting results that are less than flattering to you.

No matter what profession you are in, be mindful of the image you present to others. Don’t cuss in professional environments. Be organized on your desk. You need your boss to think you are an excellent employee, don’t present your superior an image of disorganization and lack of respect for others. This should go without saying, but it doesn’t.

Also, using proper grammar in both your speech and your written communications is more important than you understand. In this day of acronyms and short hand when using electronics, the ability to know and be able to use proper grammar is becoming alarmingly scarce. You can set yourself apart instantly with a well written and grammatically correct text,
email, or letter. In any profession, you are in control of the image you give to others, and in turn how they see you. Make sure that your image is always a positive one. It’s the best advantage for success you can give yourself.