Dress for Success

No matter what line of work you’re in, if you deal with people on a professional level, it’s important to dress the part. For those that are self-employed and don’t leave the house much, it’s nice to sit around in pajamas sipping lemonade at our laptops, but what about when we get out (and what about those of us who don’t work at home)?

Photo credit: Faakhir Rizvi

Looking professional and clean cut is very important if you want people to take you seriously. Showing up to a meeting, a job interview, or even to your regular job looking sloppy and nonchalant isn’t going to give the best first impression to someone who is potentially looking to spend their money with you.

Here’s a list of no-no’s when it comes to professional attire:

  • T-shirts, hoodies, spaghetti straps, halter tops, tube tops
  • Loafers, flip flops, clogs, running shoes
  • Torn jeans, lounge pants, shorts, sweatpants,  mini skirts

Here are some things that are or could be considered professional:

  • Khakis, dress pants, dress capris, knee-length skirts
  • Button-up shirts (tucked in, and no plaids!), suit jackets, dress shirts
  • Dress shoes, high heels (not too high), covered toe flats, dress boots

Alright, I admit, I do on occasion break my own dress code, but only when I know it’s not going to affect me or the person (or people) I come in contact with. For example, my favorite pair of jeans are full of holes and were intentionally purchased that way…and you’ll see me in many of my videos wearing said jeans. Why? Because it’s part of who I am, and the way I dress reflects that my personality. But I also know that if I were to show up to a client meeting or job interview wearing those same jeans that it might look as though I don’t care how I look (and I do).

So think about who you’re dealing with and what kind of impression you want to make, then make your wardrobe decisions accordingly. You don’t have to change your whole appearance to make someone happy, just keep it professional while still maintaining your personal style. Then take a look in the mirror on the way out the door and say out loud, “I look GOOD!” 🙂

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Choosing a name for your new business

There are many difficult tasks that you will incur when you decide to start your own business, but one of the more fun tasks is naming your business. Here are some tips to help you come up with something unique and avoid choosing something that some other creative individual has already thought of.

Pull out that handy-dandy notebook.

Have you ever seen Blue’s Clues? C’mon, don’t be afraid to admit it. I spent many of my teen years babysitting, so I saw my fair share of the guy in the funny green shirt and his little blue dog (appropriately named Blue). How did they track “clues” for Blue? In their handy-dandy notebook! Go get yours right now, because you’re not going to be writing down clues, but you are going to be writing down ideas.  Otherwise, you’ll think of something brilliant only to forget it 10 minutes later. (It’s happened to me, and it’s not fun.)

Gooooooooooogle your heart out.

When you come up with that absolutely incredible fantabulous crazy awesome business name, Google it. Browse through several pages to see if anyone’s using a name that’s even remotely similar to your idea. If not, you might be on to something.

Hit up GoDaddy.com. Like, NOW.

If you plan to have a website – and you’re a stupid-head if you don’t plan to – then you’ll need to see if the domain name you want is available. Yes, I just said stupid-head, get over it. Go to godaddy.com and start typing in your potential domain names to see if you’re able to purchase them. If they’re all taken, your idea may not have been so hot to begin with. Back to the drawing board…

Search the trademark and registered name database.

Now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. If you’ve lucked out thus far, chances are you really have a great name. But just to be sure that somebody hasn’t already registered your business name as their own, you’ll want to go use this form to search the official USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database. Tip: If your name is available and you intend to register the trademark, you can legally use the ™ symbol after the name to declare your intent to all who see it even without registering. Keep track of the date you start using the ™ but never, ever, use the ® symbol until your trademark is officially legalized with the USPTO.

Some creative suggestions…

Still stuck? I like to use dictionary.com to help me when I’m stumped. Sometimes I know I want something similar to a word or phrase I’ve come up with, and the thesaurus is a huge help. Another suggestion is to think of the 3 main keywords that you’d use to describe your business. Take those words and come up with something crazy awesome. If it doesn’t feel right, dump it!

Have you named a business before? What are some of the methods YOU used to come up with creative ideas? Share them in a comment!

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