This is day 27 of a 30 day New Year’s Resolution.
Really good heros and villians leave a card.
Whereas you have an advantage: you have a card that goes before you into new places. It doesn’t require a macabre love of mayhem and death, nor training in rapier/whip combat.
It’s whatever you put on in the morning.
Recently, I designed and printed some business cards in preparation for an Education Conference, and I was struck by a few things: notably, how much more ready for interaction I was, toting my new business cards. I’m a pretty approachable guy, good with conversation, but with cards in my pocket, I probably tripled the number of new folks I spoke with because I was excited to hand over a card.
It helped me feel accessible. It helped me connect to my professional me.
This, too, is true for your clothes. You’re at a meeting or conference. Or at the airport. You’re standing in a room full of people, all with limited time and energy. You want to leave a good impression, of course. But also, you want to create a good impression. Your business card says much more than how to contact you. It communicates why to contact you.
Or, to play with italics, why to contact you.
And whether you’re new to business or you own a brand-new business – if you’re young and trying to figure things out or starting a third career, now’s a good time to put some thought into your new business cards. This is not about “fake it ’till you make it.” It’s about make you into who you want to be.
And others will see that new you, too.
Some things to think about as you put together your outfits:
1. Some people are afraid to Style-Up because they work in a field where everyone dresses “comfortably” (you know what that means). In reality, though, in order to have a style-edge, you only need to kick it up a couple of notches. Start with a great fitting button up and good shoes. No one will think you’re getting snooty.
2. Once a week, go full-on styley. I suggest monday, when everyone could use a little extra glide-in-their-stride. I swear, nothing chases away the Sunday Night blues like a great outfit. Blue or otherwise.
3. When travelling, or at a conference, have an outfit or two that you know are your “power-looks.” Not only will it build confidence, but also it will help make you recognizable to folks who only see you now and then. Not only will you look familiar, you will look awesome.
4. A talented chef told me that she always tries to find a way to add “crunch” to a dish. I always try to find a way to add one point of flair to my look, no matter what. The red laces, the pocket square, the causal, denim tie – those things get noticed and set you apart. And you only need one.
5. If you are speaking in front of a group, have an amazing blazer to give you shape, definition, and to project confidence. It doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) a stodgy, heavy suit-jacket. Pick something unstructured and light.