Recently in the Small Business Network for Startups and Entrepreneurs group on LinkedIn, Manuel Ochoa, President at Agency Matrix, asked the question, “Do you think appearance factors a person’s level of success?” The answers that came through were in response to not only the question, but Manuel’s blog post.
Dawn Fountas, an inventor from Chicago, said “a gentleman I recently met looked liked an ordinary guy. Blue jeans, gym shoes, but the minute he spoke you knew he was very smart and very very successful. Appearances mean a lot but if you don’t know what you are talking about your looks don’t matter either.”
Howard Kaschyk seemed to know a lot about this topic and he responded twice with two lengthy answers that basically said that there have been studies done on this that show that men over six feet tall tend to outperform men under six feet. For women, average height to six feet had an advantage over shorter women and too attractive women. He also said that clothes mattered too. Sloppy, old out of date fashions had a more negative impact than fashionable clothes. In summary he said that tall, good looking, well dressed, physically fit people did better and that this wasn’t a matter of opinion, it was a matter of fact. And Harold Mansfield chimed in with “women who have skills in what they do, don’t try to over compensate by distracting with their looks. They tend to just stay professional so that their skills and personality are the focal point.”
“Work more on yourself than you do on your business.” ~ Jim Rohn
A few people sided with Dawn and said that looks can only get you so far, you still need to know what you are talking about to move ahead. Then there were others from the entrepreneurial side who said, looks play a part, but if you don’t have passion about what you do or sell, then “it’s just window dressing”.
All of these are good points. Studies do show that 95% of people judge a person on what they first see such as clothing, physical hygiene and appearance, confidence, voice inflection and body language within the first 30 seconds. (Tweet this stat)
“Don’t wear clothes that represent the job you have but wear clothes that represent the career you want.” ~ Adaliz Borges
You only get one shot to make that first impression, so make it count. Remember that sometimes that first impression is not in person. That’s why you need to make sure your digital profiles are polished and up to date, have a good profile photo, and concisely say what you do well and why you are unique.
Bottom line: “What do you want to be famous for?” that’s how you need to act, that’s who you need to promote, and that’s how you need to present yourself from head to toe both ON and OFF-LINE.
What do you think factors into a person’s success? Leave a comment below.