It never ceases to amaze me how shallow people are, they take a quick at what you’re wearing and make a quick decision about what sort of person you are… based on whether you have on jeans or a suit and a tie.
30 odd years ago I said to myself, when I own my own business… I’m never going to be forced to wear a suit just because somebody else thinks I should. I should be able to wear what I’m comfortable in and just be ‘myself’. I’m intelligent and articulate and professional, I just don’t ‘conform’ to the dress standards set by ‘society’….and if I want to have a pink Mohican hair cut – then that’s exactly what I’m going to have …
Fast forward 30 years and I’ve achieved pretty much everything I’ve set out to do (even a pink Mohican) – I have a series of reasonably successful businesses, I employ 30 odd staff over a variety of companies – yet I still get people calling me a scruffy bastard….!
What amuses me more is that the people that often call me ‘scruffy’ are wearing Marks and Spencer suits with a crappy shirt, cheap shoes and an unreliable watch. They turn up in their Vauxhall Astra or their cheap Mercedes thinking they are the dog’s bollocks when truth be known they have so little imagination about anything worthwhile that it’s amazing they manage to get dressed in the morning.
Anyway, putting all this to one side, having done exactly what I want for the bulk of my business owning career, I now find myself as chairman of the Invasive Non Native Species Association (INNSA – www.innsa.org) and as such I find myself having to ….conform….
I was due to give a presentation to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (the CML) last week and asked my fellow steering group members as to whether they would prefer me to wear a suit?
They responded with a loud ..YES…(…you scruffy bastard)
On arriving in London at my Hotel I noticed a new Bentley parked in front of the main doors – on enquiring what the car was for, the hotel advised that it was for guests to use instead of black cabs….
So it was that last Friday I found myself wearing a suit and tie, being chauffeur driven in a brand new stretch Bentley* to a meeting at one of the smarter London boutique hotels….and boy can I tell you does it make a difference to how people treat you!
I had gone from suspected criminal …to Royalty…nothing was enough trouble for the obsequious staff who treated me as if I was god’s gift to business… and…bear in mind this was the same hotel that wouldn’t let me in when I was wearing jeans and a shirt…I’m the same person goddamit…
So what do we conclude from this little episode…hmmmm…not sure really?
Maybe I need to learn a lesson and wear a suit if I want to make the right impression?
…but… do I really want to make this much effort?
To be honest I’d rather just be myself and lose a few arsey clients…
*NB all paid for my me personally not by INNSA!