Appearance is everything
Did you know that we judge a person by the way they look within the first 5-12 seconds of meeting them? In those first 5-12 seconds, we perceive how a person is purely by how they appear to us. It is known as the unconscious bias theory. That is why is it so important to look your best every time, no matter the situation. People will discriminate even when they do not realise they are discriminating against you.
How do you think you appear to others? When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Better still do you look good naked? If you answered no to the last two questions, then you read on my friend, if you do that is awesome, keep doing what you are doing. I bet you look amazing.
I was sitting in a shopping mall the other day, observing people as they walked by. I wasn’t being judgemental. I was just being observant. However, I was astounded at the countless men and women I noticed, many very shabby, dirty and overweight. What was even more astonishing to me was that the men were dressed in business suits. To be honest I was shocked at how many men are not looking after themselves or taking pride in their appearance.
Did you know that the key to your success lies in your appearance? Studies have shown that men and women who are well-groomed, appear neat, have clean pressed clothing and who look reasonably fit have been known to have greater self-confidence, personal pride, walk taller and attract more good things in their life.
Grooming is the number one thing everyone should be doing, to make the best impression in life. Being professionally groomed not only shows others that you take pride in your appearance but also can help with many other areas in your life, including business, career and personal relationships, besides when you look good you feel good. There is nothing more off-putting than someone who does not take care of their appearance. What can be very distracting to others could be the difference from a sales negotiation, landing your dream job, meeting your ultimate mate so on and so forth. I am sure you get the picture.
Over my many years as a manager, I have interviewed many people for positions from sales consultants, personal trainers, managers, administrators all jobs involving customer service. It is astounding to me just how many of those people I have said ‘NO’ to before I have even spoken to them, based on the way they present themselves at the interview. Trust me when I say this, if you expect someone to look good in the job and they arrive looking shabby or late, do not hire them, you will regret it. If you can not make an effort to look your best for a job interview do not expect to get the job and stop wasting everyone’s time. Would you take the time to look your best for your or a friends wedding? Of course you would, why is a job interview any different?
When meeting someone for the first time you have between 5-12 secs to make a good impression, and the first 5 seconds are the most crucial; usually, when you are sitting waiting for the interviewer or greeting the reception, you are being judged. You only get one chance to impress so do not mess it up.
Ask yourself these questions. Do you make a good first impression based on how you look? Would you hire you based on how you look? If your answer is yes, then you are on the right track, if not it is ok, read on.
Up until I was sixteen, I did not care about my appearance. I rarely brushed my hair or teeth. My fashion consisted of Adidas tracksuit pants, runners, and t-shirts; you know those funny printed t-shirts from the markets. I had random acne as every teenager does, and I may have had terrible body odour, as I do not ever remember using deodorant. I showered but I do not remember how often. Hey, I was a teenager boy!
Then one day something in me changed. It was my older sister Simone who instigated this change. She taught me a valuable lesson in how important it was to look your best. My sister always looks great. When we were younger it would take her a long time to get ready before she left the house. One day we were both going to the shopping mall to hang out. She drove, and I wanted a lift, so I had to wait for her. It took me about five minutes to get ready, and it took Simone more than forty-five minutes to get prepared. Frustrated with the wait I turned to Simone and asked her why it takes her so long to get ready, and she replied, “You should always look your best whenever you go out the door, as you never know whom you might meet”. She may have also said “looking this good, takes time”.
My sister is beautiful, always has been. She has a natural beauty, a beauty that doesn’t require much makeup, even to this day. What she said that day was so true and has stayed with me always. From that day forward, I made a massive change to the way I looked. In retrospect, I think that having low self-esteem played a big part in my appearance. After I turned sixteen, I gained self-confidence and made some significant changes to my fashion. I stopped wearing tracksuit pants and those silly t-shirts. I began to use moisturiser and use deodorant. I also starting showering twice a day, sometimes three or four times. I went to the dentist and had my teeth fixed. I began to wash my hair and brush my teeth religiously. I started to try foods I had not tried before and started to drink water and lots of it.
I began to educate myself on how to look professional. I observed how professional people dressed, how they talked, what they ate, where they ate. I drunk the latest fashionable drink and partied at the trendiest nightclubs. What I learnt in those early days has opened many doors and opportunities for me.
You too can change the way you look to attract more into your life. It is never too late to start. Start with the following:
- Get a good haircut- When it comes to cutting your hair, haircuts should be done at least once every 2-3 weeks. Make sure you find yourself a good hairstylist. Over the last ten years, many good barber businesses have set up to cater for manscaping. These are usually a bit higher priced than an average barber but are catered to men wanting more than just a short back and sides haircut. These barbers are perfectly ok, but please avoid the cheap barbers and hair salon. Cheap haircuts are cheap for a reason, and there is nothing worse than a bad haircut. Unless you are balding or going for a number 1 crew cut than avoid the cheap barber or hair salons like Just cuts, Express cuts etc. These are ok for kids, but if you want to look sharp and professional you need an expensive haircut, any price from $50 – $80 will suffice.
- Join a gym- If you cannot afford a gym jump on Utube for free workouts and incorporate this into your daily life. See my blogs on Health and Fitness for how to exercise.
- Buy a new suit- Buy yourself the most expensive suit you can afford. If you do not wear suits, buy a brand new outfit that will look a million bucks in the office. Make sure you purchase for men- four new shirts and four new ties, a new belt, matching socks and a new pair of shiny shoes, the equivalent for women.
Three fundamental steps to point you in the right direction, here are and additional pieces of advice to aid you on your journey;
- Visit the dentist every six months. Get your teeth fixed and whitened if needed
- Brush your teeth and floss after every meal. Take a toothbrush to work if need be
- Trim your nose and ear hair
- Trim your eyebrows
- If you have a beard and/or moustache, keep it clean and well-trimmed
- Wash your face with a good face cleaner every day, use a scrub once every three days
- Style your hair, use a superior product
- Ladies, wear light makeup that enhances your features, no heavy makeup
- Wear a superior fragrance Eau de parfum or Eau de toilette
- Wear a deodorant, not an antiperspirant as it wont stop the smell only the sweat
- Visit a dermatologist and have unsightly skin tags, moles or bumps removed from your face and neck
- Educate yourself on the best fashion that suits you
- Make sure your shoes are new, clean, neat or shiny
- Make sure your belt is new and clean
- Your sock colour should match your shoe and belt colour. The exception to the rule; wear different socks if you wish to stand out
- Eat healthy, nutritionist meals, get rid of that belly fat
- Always eat breakfast
- If you are a messy eater, avoid foods that splash, like spaghetti bolognese on white shirts
- Have mints on hand in case of bad breath
- Before you shake someone’s, hand ensure your hands are not cold, sweaty or clammy
- Do not drink alcohol at business lunches; you will become tired
Be the best you can be- Physically