What does the ideal entrepreneur look like? Don’t be fooled by those novelty “success” Instagram accounts that show off gold watches, Ferrari sports cars and three-piece suits worth thousands of dollars. When was the last time you met a real hustler who has any of that? Social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk can be seen in New York City wearing casual sweaters or T-shirts and entrepreneurial leader Tim Ferriss is always doing his best work in jeans and a pair of Vans.
The threads and habits real entrepreneurs use are far from cliche. So if you’re looking to change up your style and attitude in 2017, the following are a few power moves to help motivate you and get your mind right for the new year.
1. Be True to Your Style
While Gary Vaynerchuk might look unusual in a suit, Tony Robbins would appear out of place in jeans and a T-shirt. There’s no “one way” to dress for success, but there are ways to maximize your style for a winning appearance and attitude.
- For the Casual: A clean, solid-color T-shirt, nice pair of dark jeans (Lucky Brand is a personal go-to) and a fresh pair of Chuck Taylors is a can’t-lose combo for young professionals working in digital marketing and social media. Avoid a beard and high fade if you don’t want to appear too hipster.
- For the Business Casual: Keep the Chucks, replace your jeans with a pair of tapered chinos from Bonobos (great for an athletic fit) and throw a tailored blazer over the T-shirt.
- For the Dressed-to-the-Nines: One word: tailored. A suit off the rack is worse than no suit at all. A modern suit from Indochino is made to order with your measurements and sent to your front door. Easy.
2. Spend More on the Right Pieces
Have you ever been to the bar or club on a Friday night and seen that “entrepreneur” wearing a $300 shirt at a bottle service table he probably went into debt to pay for? There’s nothing wrong with a pricey shirt if you can actually afford it, but focus your money on the items that really matter. Some items to consider are a nice pair of wingtip leather shoes, a tailored suit in black, gray or navy blue, a good leather belt and a nice leather band watch (Shinola is an up-and-coming favorite out of Detroit).
3. Practice Your Sales Skills
The art of selling is just that, an art. Selling your own brand is tough when you don’t have the skills or experience. Many entrepreneurs sharpen their sales skills through a multilevel marketing company like Amway, where they can essentially run their own business or earn an income on the side. After you spend some time selling with another company, you’ll have the confidence to go out and pitch your own brand.
4. Never Underestimate Giving
Do you ask a woman for her hand in marriage on the first date? Of course not. The same idea applies to your business. You shouldn’t ask someone to buy into your product or brand on day one. Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” teaches young entrepreneurs the value of giving first and asking second. For example, if your business is building email lists for small businesses, start out with some free work and make it so valuable they want to pay you for more.
This is a post by Jim Burch who is a copywriter from Phoenix and an avid admirer of alliteration. His goals are to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, see all 30 baseball stadiums, and eliminate the improper use of “literally,” but he figuratively can’t even.