I had a Mastermind meeting with a very successful entrepreneur who also has a growing professional speaking business. We met to trade ideas with the goal of making each other more successful.
One of the tips this successful businesswoman shared with me stunned me. She said, “I never speak in a suit that costs less than $3,000. As speakers we have to look the part.”
Wow. I don’t own a $3,000 suit.
She went on. “My makeup artist has carefully trained me to apply my makeup almost as good as she does. We have to look the part.”
Unless you count the free makeovers I’ve gotten at Mac, I’ve never had a makeup artist. Well, my 14 year old daughter gives me makeup tips.
Immediately I felt small. So regular.
Yes, I believe I need to look good on the stage. But do I really need to drop $3,000 on my suits and work with a makeup artist?
According to this businesswoman, yes, I do. She told me that when she’s preparing to speak at an event, she calls up Sak’s Fifth Avenue and tells them to bring 5 suits to her office. She’ll then choose a suit. Or two.
I don’t have it like that. Not even close.
So, I left feeling small. So small, that a few weeks later I went to Sak’s and looked at suits so that I could “look the part.”
I found 3 suits that I loved. One of them looked like a suit Oprah would wear. I totaled up the price of the three amazing suits: $13,600. (Of course this includes shoes, accessories and matching handbags. Of course.)
I didn’t buy even one. Suits like this are not in my wardrobe budget. I don’t even know why I went to Sak’s looking for suits. Oh, wait. I went because I was feeling small, like I needed to step my suit game up.
I thanked my lovely sales lady and left. On the drive home I was still feeling small.
But then I recalled that my fellow businesswoman is not like me. She is a millionaire. A literal millionaire. She can afford to look like a million bucks. Her clients may expect her to look like a million bucks. Maybe.
Do my clients pay me to look like a million bucks or do they pay me to deliver value?
My clients pay me to deliver a message and they expect me to deliver that message in an engaging, energetic and entertaining way. I put a lot of energy into designing and rehearsing my keynotes so that I captivate every member of my audience and exceed my client’s expectations.
And I deliver that value while still looking nice in my Talbot’s suits and Dillard’s shoes. I do my own makeup too. Unless my daughter is on the road with me. In that case, she does my eye makeup.
I don’t know that I walked out of the mastermind meeting with ideas to help me be more successful. Or maybe I did. I learned that the suit does not make the woman. Not this woman.
Some nice things clients have said about this woman who wears suits that cost less than $3,000. 🙂