The following article features business coach Clay Clark (US Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year) teaching business savvy and the importance of a first impression on Thrive15.com, one of the most entertaining business schools in Florida!
Clay Clark: So he pointed out to me, “You have two earrings in, that’s like two reasons not to hire you to be my business coach. Then what are you wearing, what does your shirt, it says Wu-Tang Clan. Why are you wearing a Wu-Tang Clan shirt? What are you doing? Where are you meeting people?” McDonald’s. “McDonald’s. Why are meeting at McDonald’s?”
He’s like frustrated for me. Right? Now I’m just telling you this, have you been over to that Walmart, over by here? Have you seen a group of people you would not hire? Oops, groups of people you won’t hire, massive slues of people, herds of people.
All right, so now, is it offensive if we were to tell them; “Holmes, race aside. White, black, Asian, Indian; I don’t care you walk up to them and say “hey, you can’t wear that and get a job” and then he’ll turn and his as only god can judge me tattoo will show you he doesn’t care.
Right, but I’m just saying we’re in a culture where people do make a first impression, they do, it doesn’t matter whether they should, they do and its not going to change because that’s how people are. Does that make sense?
So I’m asking you the question is what does your personal marketing say, when I look at you, what do I think? Now I’m going to give you this little nugget, okay, you want to dress the way you want to be addressed.
Dress the way you want to be addressed. Does that make sense? You want to dress for the role that you want as a business coach, not the one you have and I’m just going to be really critical cause I know that I can just blast Joseph with the truth cannon and he won’t even care, he’ll just grow back.
I assume that you’re still in college and that you are a upwardly mobile guy but that’s just my assumption. But there could be little changes in the way that you dress that would make me think you’re out of college and ready to be hired. There’s just little subtle, small, changes that could … I assume that you’re a certain here but then I would … know if you do it right; people will start calling you sir, ma’am.
People will say “excuse me, ma’am do you work here?” Some of you girls will say do you work here, they’ll go “do you work here?” You’ll go “no, I’m a student.” We need to blur that line where people are confused, they don’t know. Make sense?
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You have to do it though. Right? If you go on my Facebook page, would you have … you’ll see, you’ve been on my Facebook … we’re Facebook friends now, right? Are we?
Student: Are you putting me on a business coach?
Clay Clark: No. Is Eminem a business coach?
Clay Clark: Okay. So we’re business coach Facebook friends. No, no, no. This is good, this is good, this is fine but if you guys … you know I’ll be Facebook friends; but I’m saying if look me up there, you’ll see, like, when I’m at home. You know, I’m really, completely sold out into professional sports. I own probably fifty jersey’s, you know what I mean. I’m just into it, you know what I mean, business coach.
I think today, I have an Oklahoma state jersey underneath my shirt here, see, I got a Oklahoma state jersey, oh, boom, see, but the thing is like if I came in here wearing O State jersey; you would have a certain opinion. So we have to look at it and go “gosh, you know, its in my house. I can wear what I want to wear” but even I’ve noticed there’s … when I see people at Walmart and I’m not in my … uniform. People will go (weird glance) cause they’re just use to certain perception. Does that make sense?
So we need to focus on the personal commercial. Imagine you have a commercial that runs as a thirty second commercial before you … before I even hear you talk. You’re walking down the hall and I watch this commercial “hey my name is such and such brought to you by horrible, don’t hire me” and I’m like oh that’s a … or “such and such very creditable, could be a good person.” And … I’m … these are little … do we not do it?
It happens all the time okay so we have to make that first impression a big one. Right? Okay. Third thing is: does your appearance scream credibility or don’t trust and buy from me. Okay, now some of you, we just need to be real. We need to be real with ourselves.
I remember my good friend business coach from college. He used to say “axe at every moment. Axe” and I’m like “what are you doing? Are you wood chopping? What are you saying? What are we talking about? Are we talking about wood chopping?” He’d “no.” I’m just like “stop it, seriously stop it.” Because I can’t … I am coming at you from a certain angle.
Another friend of mine … a certain world view and I will perceive it a certain way. Now another friend of mine, he is a music artist. That’s what he does, he’s a performer, he has won a Grammy, he is a music guy. He is performing with the stars. Is it possible that a musician have a different uniform than a non-musician?
Okay, hear what I’m saying, please hear me. If you are a musician, you probably want to dress differently than what I would recommend for you dress like based upon what you told me your goals are.
If you saw a musician, always in a suit and tie and all … unless there was a certain style going on there. You would probably have a different perception. Does that make sense and you have to be careful about the perception you want to have, maybe you’re like Timberlake and you want to have a perception that you’re a certain way and you want to wear a suit and tie. I don’t know but you have to think about it cause some of us are not even thinking about the commercial and running it all the time. Does that make sense?
We’re not thinking about what the commercial says but we have it on blast, playing all the time. Does that make sense to you guys?