Monday, March 23, 2015

For Small Business Owners: Dressing Like a CEO

Suited business owner, dressing for success
A well-fitting suit helps you stand out.
I recently responded to a journalist's query: "What are some tips for dressing and behaving like a CEO or top executive (even if you aren't one)? How can emulating top executives help you to be more successful?" My full response is below. 

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, was a large proponent of dressing and behaving as if you already are what you want to be. Napoleon Hill's overriding belief was that, “Thoughts are things.” You must be, do, have, in that order. In other words, in your mind and thoughts, you must be who you want to be. You must adopt now the mindset and mental characteristics of how the person you will become would be. Then you must engage in the applicable behavior. Finally, you will have what is you want. I completely agree with this order of things.

Believe You Are a CEO

A kid in a suit, with a briefcase, on a cell phone
Acting as if can be powerful!
When you believe that you are capable of being a CEO (chief executive officer) and you believe that it is just a matter of time before you are one, you develop an inner confidence that you exude to others around you. You notice more opportunities to use or develop your skill set and help your firm, and you follow up and act quickly to convert the opportunities to something meaningful to you. Wearing a suit or wearing business attire that conveys authority and confidence that augments your presence can lead you to stand taller, walk with a more purposeful stride, and be more direct and succinct in your communication. Your clothing is a way of taking your inner thoughts and projecting them outward. When you stop in front of a mirror you say to yourself, “I look like I run the show” (or whatever works for you) and you feel it.
Act As If
Sometimes you must “Act as if.” This means that you act as if you have already acquired that which you are pursuing and you begin to believe it. Thus, dressing like a CEO creates a positive cycle that feeds on itself. You want confidence, so you dress to look like you are confident. You feel confident, so you dress to look like it.
What are your thoughts on dressing like a CEO?

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