How Changing Your Clothes Can Change Your Life
by Elizabeth S. Millen
Photography by Tanya Boggs Photography
One of Lee Heyward’s clients had his eye set on being promoted within six months at the engineering firm he worked for. Lee, an Image Stylist and author based in Charleston, SC, worked with him on Friday, and on Monday, his boss called him in to question if he was interviewing with other companies. While the promotion didn’t come that day, this meeting opened the conversation for him to share his career goals and express his desires to climb the ladder with his boss. What changed to get him noticed? His clothing. And he was promoted within six months.
Strategically Suited, Lee’s second book, helps readers discover how to grow simply by changing the way they present themselves. “My business is all about alignment, matching the person to his or her goals. You have to make sure you are in alignment with what you say you want to be doing because people notice if you’re not and don’t hire you,” Lee says.
Basically, her theory, which makes a lot of sense, is to use your image as a tool to get where you want to go. “I help my clients develop a strategy to get noticed and achieve goals faster.” However, she says ultimately it’s not about the clothes. “The book is not a fashion book. It’s about finding your personal secret weapon in the way you present yourself to get what you want. When you up-level your look, you’ll feel great, have more fun and close more business.”
Lee defines image as a combination of three things: What you wear; how you groom yourself; and your nonverbal communication. Essentially, it’s what people use to size you up before you ever open your mouth. The book tells us that people believe what they see, so we need to consider our image as our personal brand, our packaging per se.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. “When you figure out who you are, what you want and then dress to match those goals and desires, your image transfers confidence and ignites power from within,” Lee says. That can only happen when you are being authentic, which comes from embracing your unique personality and knowing how to dress your body shape in order to feel good. That is when you will look in the mirror and see the lion version of yourself instead of just a cat.
There is solid return on investment (ROI) for up-leveling your image. Lee’s clients have proven over and over again that an investment in clothing, which matches their goals, increases sales every time. “Every item in your closet works together to create your business edge. So each article of clothing is an opportunity to increase your bottom line. Since each first impression is a sales opportunity, each article of clothing you wear is how you prepare for that conversation—so choose wisely,” Lee explains.
Lee adheres to a strict love it or leave it policy. “I create monsters with my clients because we never settle,” she says. This led to her telling me about the most important chapter of the book: "The Trap of the Perfectly Good." She explains dressing in a way that is perfectly good holds you back, meaning there’s nothing wrong with clothes that are perfectly good, except they fall short of being excellent, on target and exuding the right message. “In business, perfectly good won’t cut it or drive sales. You’ll get by. You won’t necessarily see a decrease in numbers, but you won’t see exciting momentum or an increase in revenue, either. When you fall in the trap of perfectly good, you no longer have an edge.
Strategically Suited inspires us to level-up our image and provides fun, powerful success stories of people who did. Lee says it works whether you are looking to grow in business or find new love. Whatever your goals are, your image is your secret weapon that attracts amazing opportunities to you, but also allows you to be free and confident no matter what the day brings.
Amazing things can happen simply by changing youR clothes. Just change your clothes and see!
About the Author
At a young age, Lee Heyward discovered the importance image plays into success. When her best friend entered a new school in fouth grade, Lee put together all the outfits she should wear in order to nail a “cool kid” first impression. As a sales representative for an equestrian footwear and apparel company, Lee quickly learned the way you package what you sell is key in order to get the results you’re after. Tired of constantly being on the road, in 2007, she launched her company to help entreprneurs discover how easy it can be to increase their bottom line simply by changing their clothes. To learn more about Lee, visit www.leeheyward.com or log onto www.strategicallysuited.com