Why I changed my Profile Picture from this to this
It has been brewing for a long time, and it took a lot of self-love to finally make the decision. But once I made it, I felt a huge sense of relief. What is this huge life changing decision that I made? To change my profile picture for my business.
When I first set up my business, I felt that I had to do everything perfect. I had to present myself as perfect. I had to have perfect graphic design, a perfect website, a professional uniform and a perfectly styled profile picture. I had to announce to the whole world how perfectly ready I was to be a professional.
And no matter how many times, my fiancé kept saying to me, it’s ok to start messy. It’s ok to start in a garage (or in my case at the markets). It’s ok not to have all of the pieces perfectly in place before you start. I refused to listen. Because it all had to be perfect and professional.
So I paid to get professional photos done, with all the make-up and the perfectly styled hair. And people loved the photo. However as time passed, I felt less and less connected with it. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t who am I and it certainly wasn’t what you got when you came to visit me.
A series of experiments by Princeton University psychologists, revealed that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).
WOW!!! A 10th of a second. It takes longer to snap your fingers than to make a snap judgement of someone? So what does this mean for us? Do we have to go around trying to be the most perfect version of ourselves every day? Wearing a fully made up face, expensive clothes and super designer high heels? Some might say yes, but I am here to tell you no, No you don’t need to do all of that.
Too much time and money is being spent on trying to impress other people instead of being comfortable with who we are. When we do things to impress other people, it starts to dig a hole inside of ourselves. It’s better that we honour who are true selves are. That’s how we keep ourselves whole.
Make up makes you a better seller
When I was managing a retail Jeans store in the mid-90’s, I was having constant battles with my state manager. She kept on pressuring me to wear make-up. I had to wear make-up in her opinion to look more professional. I would always counter argue – that how could make-up make me better at selling? Sure, if I was working at a cosmetics counter in a department store, I could see the point. But I was selling jeans.
And you know what, I was able to lift one store from 34th position to 10th position in nationwide sales. And when I was promoted to run the No.1 store in Australia, I increased sales by 20% (year on year calculations). And I did all of this without wearing make-up
So why had I, years later, suddenly thought to myself that I had to wear make up to be considered professional? What part of my brain was on the blink?
A million dollar sale lost because of a pair of flats
This is a true story. It was told to me by a friend of my brothers who is a real estate agent. Let’s call him Jim. Jim was relaying an incident that had happened to him only recently. Jim and female assistant (who we shall call Sarah) were visiting a prospective client (let’s call him Bob) looking to selling their million+ property. And Jim was vying to be the selling agent. When Jim and Sarah arrived at the property, Sarah realised that she had forgetting to bring along her high heels (she was wearing flats for comfort).
When they walked into the property, apparently Bob immediately looked down at Sarah’s feet with a disapproving look. They were shown the property and had a chance to give their spiel. And then Bob advised them that he was going to meet with other real estate agents and he would let them know.
In the end, it came down between Jim’s company and one other. But Bob apparently said that he couldn’t get passed the unprofessional look of Sarah in her flats, so he gave it to the other real estate agent. Jim then forbid Sarah from wearing flats at all.
I was in shock and disbelief. That something as minor as a girl wanting to be comfortable and protect her feet (and back) would be used as an excuse for the loss of a contract.
It’s about being your authentic self
Now I am not here to bash high heels or make-up, if you love them, then great. Keep using them. I have come to realise that that’s not me. I am a very chillaxed person, who enjoys feeling comfortable. And I find that I do my best work when I am feeling comfortable. And I felt that I needed to reflect that to the world. Hence why I changed my profile pic. I am now proud to show the world “Hey this is me. I am great at what I do. Love me or hate me, I’m not changing who I am for you”.
If you are tired of pretending to be someone you’re not?
If you want to discover who your authentic self is?