Founder Of Cogito Wealth, Thinking Differently About Creating Wealth.
Have you ever been about to walk into a meeting flustered, panicked and stressed? Not because you are underprepared in your knowledge but because you are not exactly sure who your client is expecting?
In my corporate recruitment life, I wore a suit every day (which I hated), I wore heels (which were uncomfortable), I wore my hair a certain way (because it was “on brand” according to my boss) and I had absolutely no idea who I was when I was in that space. I always felt a little lost, like I couldn’t really own my delivery.
I am a hoodie, jeans and trainers girl. My employer’s insistence on me to dress up and look the part (that they felt was suitable) meant that every single conversation I was having was positioned on top of false beliefs.
There is an argument positioned by many that to be considered “credible” in business you need to wear a uniform of suits, ties and shiny shoes. I would say there is a far better strategy to build credibility with your audience, and that is to simply be you.
In my business, we believe that every individual must put their own stamp on their contribution to our clients. We embrace an “Authentic You” ethos. Our experience has shown that when we talk to our prospects and customers without having to compromise on the underlying principles of who we are, our results as a team is far better.
Presenting to the world a confident and accomplished authentic version of you can command an aura of respect. It isn’t a suit that commands the respect, it is how the person feels in themselves that commands respect. The outfit isn’t that important.
Being the authentic version of you simplifies life. Squeezing into an uncomfortable dress and getting blisters from walking to a day full of meetings in heels seems like a waste of time and energy, and how well are you really going to deliver that presentation if your feet are killing you before you even arrive. That being said, if you are super comfy and at your best in a beautiful dress or well-fitted suit, then you absolutely want to wear it every time. Authentic You is about feeling great so that you can be incredible at what you do.
Since starting my own business, I have delivered every important presentation in jeans and trainers. It is where I am at my absolute best, confident and comfortable with who I am and what I can do for my client.
A study from 2017 discovered that approximately 80% of people who work in an environment with a dress code did not find them useful, and 61% of people are more productive when they have a relaxed and personal dress code in the workplace.
Comfort and confidence are the linchpins of high morale. High morale can lead to more focused and productive teams. More focus and more output can increase performance. Allowing people that autonomy to express themselves in what they wear can also pave the way to a more creative thinking environment.
In our business, the intention behind the choice is more important than the choice itself. For example, if you are throwing on scruffy jeans and trainers because you “can’t be bothered” or are acting in a lazy way, then the intention is a negative one. When I present to an audience, sometimes large audiences of over 1000 people, I do wear jeans, but I wear my best jeans. I do wear trainers, but I wear my best trainers. The intention is to feel my best and feel like me, and so I deliver a far better service and experience to my customers.
Being the authentic you will always be the best version.