When it was brought to my attention that I might have a ‘uniform’ I was dubious at best.
I work from the comfort of my home office. Most days are mostly comprised of morning workouts, finding my most comfortable pair of leggings and a flowy tunic, making a pot of the most perfect black tea ever blended (Bigelow’s Earl Grey in case you were curious), and sitting down to stare at my blinking cursor for a few hours before buckling down on the household chores.
I was a woman constantly short of time and living life at a dead run, always rushing from one place or task to another. I often couldn’t be bothered to change clothes before I left the house much less to spend time doing my makeup or styling my hair in anything other than a quick pony tail or messy bun.
You know those women you see in the store who are wearing baggy ‘comfy’ clothes, and looking like they just rolled out of bed?
Yes, I was that woman.
It worked for me though. I was comfortable, and not in the least concerned about what anyone might be thinking of me. What did it matter to me if I didn’t look ‘put together’ enough for the masses? It’s not like I looked bad enough to be featured in a people of Walmart photo. That’s what I thought anyway.
What I didn’t realize was that it was negatively affecting my self-esteem. I didn’t feel pretty, or put together, or successful. Not feeling those things individually is bad enough. Not feeling them in their entirety lowered my overall feelings of success and self-empowerment which led to a drop in my production.
Those are all exceptionally not good when you are self-employed.
A change in my outlook on my day to day ‘uniform’ brought about a much larger change than I could have thought possible.
I had to revamp my wardrobe. It had somehow changed from looking like the closet of a fairly successful woman into clothing owned by someone’s drunk Uncle Jim who might possibly have bought new socks sometime in the past decade, but no one would be willing to bet on it.
The new clothes made me look and feel better, and I was suddenly happy to take the bit of extra time it took to change into something nicer. Then I realized that I couldn’t just leave my hair in a messy pony tail, and would you look at that? Makeup makes it even more cohesive!
Aside from the obvious boost in self-esteem that dressing better will give you, there’s a little quote that I’m sure that most of you have probably heard at least once in your life.
“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
What this means in the grand scheme, is that no one is a better advertisement for you than you! Everyone around you could be a potential employer, investor, business contact, or future friend. We surround ourselves with people who are most like us, so you certainly want your new friends to know that you are successful and trustworthy!
In addition, if you are in a position where you are selling your thoughts and ideas, you will want to ensure that the people who are going to be buying find you to be trustworthy and well put together.
Do you have a uniform?
It turns out that yes, I, and you, really do.
Dress your best; dress for success; Dress like you’re off to conquer the world!