Earlier this summer, I was prepping for one of my first new business meetings at my agency. In these meetings, we meet with potential clients and try to sell them on our work.
Every business has a different business development strategy.
Some spend hours sifting through public and highly-competitive RFPs,RFIs, CFPs.. you name it. Some rely solely on relationships they have cultivated over time and others do a mix of both. The process can be very rigid or fluid, and I’ve seen it done both ways.
After a solid week of research, analyzing their current strategy and re-reading our written proposal, it was the day before our meeting. My boss (who successfully started the agency prior to our combination and is
probably the best boss I’ve had) came up to me at the end of the day saying, “No need to look fancy, but wear whatever you’re comfortable in for our meeting tomorrow.”
In college, we were required to wear business attire every time we had to give a presentation to the class. When I got my first job, my mom took me shopping for work attire (similar to back-to-school shopping). It has always been stressed to us that we need to look our absolute best to feel our best and make a good impression. So, for my boss — the successful business man that he is — to say no need to look fancy for a meeting that could win the company money was really interesting.
Our car ride together sparked the conversation of attire in our industry, how to dress and personal style.
You see, my boss wears shorts. Even in the dead of New England winter. He loves his t-shirts, too. For some of the important meetings, he will wear a button-down and jeans. Why? Because that is what makes him feel his best and most confident. “If someone doesn’t like the way I dress or the way I behave, then they aren’t for me. That’s okay – I’m not everyone’s cup of tea,” he said… well along those lines. And it made so much sense. He was right.
We have put so much emphasis on the way we dress, style our hair and makeup, that we have become so superficial and hold people to a sometimes unattainable standard.
Last weekend, I spent some time with one of my roommate’s friends. Having just met her, she tried to dress me and mold me into an image similar to hers. Our styles are vastly different and naturally, she didn’t know that. By trying to keep up and sort of take her advice, I took a look in the mirror and felt very uncomfortable. It wasn’t me. I changed back into my comfortable flats and colorful wrap/shawl and felt much better.
What works for her didn’t work for me. What works for CEO of XYZ doesn’t work for my boss. Makeup doesn’t work for Alicia Keys, while others don’t leave the house without it. We are all different humans, bodies, faces and minds. It’s important to stay true to yourself and create your own personal version of “Glam“.
For me, my glam (or “Slam”) is flats, cropped pants, a blouse with a statement necklace.
For others, it’s a dress with heels or an outfit you wear to yoga.
As I’ve grown as an individual, I’ve learned to stop giving myself so much grief on my style, my clothes, the way I look, etc. Life is too short to spend your time crying over trying to keep up with the Joneses. You look your best when you feel your best.
What’s your version of Glam?