Map the Clothes

We’ve all heard the saying: “dress for the job you want.”

sidney-poitier---later-years-in-hollywood

I get that and have always believed it to some extent. Times are changing though. Today, the delineation between “success” and nice threads are not as correlative as they used to be. The successful, young tech executive has spawned, or is to blame for, this revolution…depending on how you look at it. For example, Mark Zuckerberg wears his seemingly patented t-shirt almost everyday. He does it for good reason and it works well for him. Of course, that won’t prevent people judging or criticizing those decisions.

My new role at Atlanta Ventures includes meeting many new, fascinating and dynamic people in the community. Often times, these are people who may or may not be living in the technology world. Regardless of industry, I enjoy meeting people where I instinctively think about my dress the day before.

This doesn’t mean what many may think: pressed suits and tie.

It’s quite the opposite. For example, if I’m going to SwitchYards, my t-shirt game better be very strong that day. If I’m headed to the Atlanta Tech Village with a suit, people will stop me and ask “what’s the special occasion?” If I’m meeting with Fortune 500 folks or anyone who works in local politics, I’ll put on a jacket or throw on a suit.

The main point has absolutely nothing to do with the clothes you wear or when. It’s one level higher.

Get people on your calendar where you are naturally thinking about your clothes the day before. It means you’re meeting with people you respect, admire, and want to make a good impression on — whether it’s in a clever t-shirt, a comfortable pullover, or a dialed-in suit.

If you’re going through the motions with your clothes, you’re not pushing yourself or extending into new relationships.

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