Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Dress for Success

I realize this title might suggest to some “that I need new, stylish clothes to be successful or to be considered successful.”  Perhaps it suggests to some that I believe that “the clothes make the man/woman.”  Still to others it could hint that I subscribe to the “fake it ‘till you make it” philosophy.  Well, you would be wrong on almost all counts.  I do advocate looking professional in dress, but I also advocate several other things as well that we will also add under the “Dress for Success” title.  Some of those other areas of concern include;    

Neat appearance; when I was a little kid I had a grade school teacher that always told us that it didn’t matter if we only owned 1 pair of jeans, we still didn’t have to be dirty.  Being dirty was a choice.  Today as a grown up, with more than 1 pair of jeans/slacks, being unkempt is still a choice.  We can take the time or make the time to ensure we present ourselves in the best possible manner.  

Clean nails; we must ensure our nails are clean and trimmed as necessary.  Men, I completely understand if you choose not to get a manicure, just keep in mind, the requirement for clean, trimmed nails still remains.  Ladies, this sounds like another reason to visit the spa!  YES!     

Hey, here’s an idea, let’s use the buddy system we all learned during our service in the military.  Have your friend give you a once over and provide feedback of corrections if necessary.  It is our responsibility to do the same for them.  

Having just returned from the 6th Annual National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo, this next observation is almost in real time.  Often we’ll return to the Trade Show floor after a meal.  Imagine how embarrassing it would be to walk up to your future client’s booth with spinach salad still stuck between your teeth.  Ouch!  Not exactly how we planned this engagement.  Make time to stop by the Mens/Womens Room and check yourself from head to toe.  Floss before going to the Trade Show floor and speaking with your potential future customer that you’ve spent weeks researching.  Don’t allow something like this that is clearly within your control to ruin all those weeks of hard work, research, planning and preparation.  

Another critical part of the “Dress for Success” is to ensure we always have our Marketing Material; business cards, capabilities statements and our well rehearsed elevator pitch all at the ready to pull out in a moments notice.  

Finally, we want to dress ourselves with plenty positive self talk, can-do attitude and a mindset of success.  You have something the U.S. Government and the world desperately needs, they just don’t know it yet.  Everyday before you leave your residence, be sure to Dress for Success!


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