Critical Areas of Image for Entrepreneurs

April 28, 20200 Comments

As an entrepreneur, your image should present a uniquely personable and professional appearance and act as your anchor for total confidence in any situation.

Eight Critical Areas of Image to Evaluate:

1. Self-Perception
Self-Perception is the relationship you have with essence, purpose, roles, passions, and competence. Essence, this is your choice, you have free will to accept and purify your true substance, your inward nature, your essence. Purpose – overall, what are you here to do – as you define it you can begin to pursue it, as you pursue it, it will become more defined, more focused, and you’ll realize that it has always been there, however, now you’re more purposeful with living it. Roles – how you actively serve in whatever capacity you have been called to do so in order to live your purpose – you’re a sister/brother, a mother/father, a daughter/son, a teacher, a professor, a doctor, a nurse, a manager, a gardener – you have many roles-sit down and list them out and in each role, you are actively living your purse through each role. Passions – are guideposts for how you pursue and live your purpose through your roles. Competence – do you think and act with your emotions or do you think and act with wisdom?

2. Integrity and Credibility
Integrity is the personal statement that describes your values, morals, and beliefs. These determine your ethical standards of living that are true and consistent in all that you do or say. The values, morals, and beliefs lead to specific behaviors and ultimately your reputation or outward perception-this is how you convey credibility. Integrity and credibility, you already have it, whether you define it and be it or whether you let others define and be it for you is the dilemma.

3. Communication 
Communication is the delivery of a message through verbal and non-verbal techniques. Talking is easy; communication, which means an exchange or communion with another, requires greater skill. It requires listing to comprehend and engage, vs listing to determine when it’s your turn to talk.

4. Protocol and Etiquette
Protocol and Etiquette define the acceptable or required behavior in business and social situations. It is your public statement that sets your ethical tone. Your professional approach can be a starting point to evaluate. There are many ways to approach business from an image standpoint, but we tend to make mistakes that can be avoided very easily. Problems happen when we forget to pay attention to the details.

The following are some basic image mistakes to avoid regarding the way you approach acquiring your career:
• Sending out sloppy materials.
• Not doing what you say you are going to do.
• Failing to say “thank you” in writing.
• Not being punctual, nor informing of an absence
• Not answering important emails and voice mail messages in a timely manner.

And what about in-person or online interactions
• Not dressing appropriately for the occasion
• Not greeting people based on the impression you want to make
• Word choice, verbal entanglements that are inappropriate
• Being unprepared for the interaction

These are simple things but sometimes we get caught up in bad image habits. Just be aware and work on avoiding simple mistakes.

5. Color Analysis
Color initiates the process of cultivating your image. Color plays an active role in image projection. It communicates subconscious messages of health, power, culture, and environment. It unifies the image message from an emotional standpoint-color directs our feelings. Close your eyes, picture the color blue –how does it make you feel, now, picture the color orange, how does it make you feel. Let us try something else, close your eyes, picture your favorite solid color shirt, what color is it. Do you wear gold or silver jewelry? Why? Is your wardrobe made up of mostly black colors or brown? Why, is it really your favorite color? Color drives emotions, feelings, it is a crucial element of your image.

6. Style and Wardrobe
Your personal style is expressed as “form” in your appearance. It includes clothing, accessories, hairstyle, makeup; it also conveys your health and wellness, your lifestyle, and profession. Personal style can be a tactical weapon when used the correct way. Today, I want to focus on your style expressed through your clothing (wardrobe). The wardrobe that works best for you and your image is less about fashion and more about function-this is where you can express your “true” style. Thinking of wardrobe based on your style, consider what lifestyle you live, your body type (athletic, slim, etc.), our skin coloring, and fashion personality – for example if you go to a fashion show are you more attracted to the dramatic looks, casual looks, romantic looks or classic looks – these are all fashion personalities. When thinking of style, do not allow your clothing to “wear” you and always support your style with foundational garments.

7. Finishing and Grooming
Finishing and grooming are the physical manifestations of alignment. We are talking about your body care regimen, your skincare regimen, nutrition and healing regimen, your food, and alignment regimen. Finishing and grooming are the cohesive support that smooths the jagged edges of your image elements together.

8. Image Influence
Image Influence is persons, places, or things that influence our perception of individuals, products, companies, and entities. Therefore, the analysis and active pursuit of YOUR image elements create the appropriate attitude, character, and professionalism that can deflect certain influences that can be detrimental to your career and your image.

Your goal is to express your company’s goals by aligning appearance, behavior, and communications, which includes etiquette and international protocol.  Take a quick inventory of these critical areas and map out a plan to get them in check.

Sherese Duncan

© Effició, Inc.

p.s. Share what image areas you need to work on below…

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