Whatever you do to make a living and whatever you do to make your life happy and enjoyable, you want to be perceived as successful. We don’t always like to admit it, but how other people perceive us matters, especially when we work for ourselves. We need to be able to project an image of success at all times in and outside of work. It’s not just for the sake of vanity (although you shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to feel good about yourself), it’s an investment in others’ confidence in you. Clients and customers who know that they have a choice are unlikely to take a chance on investing in you, your skills and your business if they don’t believe that you can deliver a return on that investment.
Still, there are many who over-invest in their image, buying flash cars that decimate their personal cash flow and buying fancy clothes that bury them in personal debt. Here are some ways in which you can project an image of success without breaking the bank.
Find affordable ways to buy prestige items
First impressions are everything in both your business and your personal life. And you know that you only ever get to make one. Still, you don’t need to throw away a fortune on looking successful. For example, a Rolex is the very epitome of prestige, but you can buy a Used Rolex GMT-Master for much less than you may think and with flexible financing options! Likewise, there are lots of great ways to save money on stunning suits when you know where to shop. Esquire has some great advice on buying affordable suits but if it simply has to be designer, you can save a fortune by buying pre-loved.
Lease rather than financing your fancy new car
Car ownership is on the decline. With so many ride-sharing and leasing options available fewer and fewer drivers are beginning to consider car ownership viable. If you want to always be behind the wheel of a new prestige vehicle and aren’t particularly concerned about owning it, leasing may be much more affordable and satisfactory than owning. The car will never be yours but your monthly payments will be significantly lower than if you finance a new car and you’ll be able to get a brand new vehicle every couple of years when your lease expires.
Stop taking your clients (and prospects) out to lunch
The business lunch has long been considered the engine that keeps the cogs of commerce moving. But the truth is that there’s really no need to take clients out to expensive lunches to impress them. It’s the personal connection that makes these meetings meaningful, not the quality of the handmade artisanal goat cheese and pine nut tartlet. And you can make that connection just as easily at a fraction of the price over a good cup of coffee.
Remember- it’s what’s inside that counts
Nice cars, sharp suits, and shiny suits and stunning watches are all great ways to make an impression but don’t forget that these are just window dressing. It’s your confidence, your attitude, your knowledge, insight, and expertise that really project an image of success.