Image consulting, for me, is a real wonder. My clients have made very important business deals, gotten great jobs, big promotions and raises, become more self-assured and successful in their romantic and family relationships, and have felt propelled to meet other personal challenges head-on – all because they’ve learned how to see their true personal style from the inside out. This is the wonder of image consulting.
While each client will always have their own special reasons for working with me, their reasons are much like your reasons, too. Many times, it’s about boosting self-esteem. Why? When you see yourself wearing a great outfit, and your hairstyle and face look strong and healthy, you can’t help but feel good – even better – about yourself.
Don’t get me wrong. Clients don’t usually reach out to me complaining that their self-esteem has run out of steam. Usually their interest is bound up in wanting to experience clarity in what their image is conveying and what the potential is by making improvements. Working on personal image and looking better on the outside absolutely correlates with feeling better on the inside.
Sometimes clients say they feel awkward wearing clothes they have in their closet because they don’t know how to coordinate them. It’s very often the case that their existing clothes no longer correlate with their actual personal style. They look – and therefore feel – trapped by past purchases of clothing and accessories. It’s like opening your closet and feeling like you’re walking into a jail cell instead of it feeling like walking through the gates of style heaven [queue the music].
I can’t tell you how many wardrobes I’ve reviewed – owned by men and women of all ages – that are simply not current. Young professional adults often still dress like they’re in college. People over 40 have come to work with me quite often because their wardrobes are trapped in the past, too. When you’re a young professional and still dressing like you’re in school, you’re preventing people from seeing you in the next level of leadership. Likewise, if you’re over 40 and dress in clothing from the last decade, you’re showing others that you’re out of step with current styles. Moreover, those clothes are seen as “old” and they silently say that you are, too. Ouch!
The thing is, many people know this deep down, but are trapped by demands on their time and energy. How can you maintain a dynamic, up-to-date image while working long hours, taking care of family, and socializing? Add to this the problem of not having the skills to build a wardrobe that exudes your personality and style so you’re not right back where you started. It can be a very costly mistake.
A decade ago, after a dozen years working in Chicago’s high-end retail environment, I knew it was time to move on and into the next phase of my life as an image consultant. Frankly, I didn’t even know how much demand existed for the work I wanted to shift into. It didn’t really matter. The desire to help people at a deeper level was so compelling that I left behind a secure career and took a risk in order to experience the wonder of image consulting.
Back then, I was a rare breed of sales professional who would talk clients out of items that did not look great on them, even if the clients thought they liked what they were taking to the dressing room to try on. Limited to where I was happily employed, I would find better alternatives that would help the clients see their best selves.
All these years later, having studied image consulting and personal branding, I not only help my clients do what they say they have no time to do, but help them be their best selves. Who doesn’t have time for that? Successful people want to improve themselves and not settle for second-best.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.