You know all the cliches: put your best foot forward, dress for success, the suit makes the man and so on. All true, I suppose, but I've never liked suits and ties, and have managed to do fine without them. If you want somebody with a tie, there's plenty to be had. If you want the work done, well, I don't wear ties.
There's a bit of arrogance here, but successful people need a little of that. You need to back up arrogance with ability, but if you are good at what you do, you can sometimes afford to be iconoclastic.
Marching to a different drummer can freeze you right out of some work, though. There are plenty of people who just won't hire you if your hair is the wrong length, or your clothes don't make them comfortable. It's all about conforming: if you don't conform to their social mores at the simple visual level, who knows what awful things you might do.
But individualism can also signal creativity, so sometimes being "different" is just what they want to see. It can also make you memorable: your non-conformity makes you stand out from the sea of the properly dressed and coiffed.
Most budding entrepreneurs are probably well advised to take the safe route. Dress and act as your customers expect and you may get better results. But if you have a bit of chutzpah, indulging a bit of your real character isn't necessarily harmful.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence