Nonetheless, I pounded the pavement and successfully landed several clients within just a few months. I was pleased with my progress, but couldn't help but notice that at every networking event I attended, I was hit on by men. I even had several male clients who were hitting on me while we worked together. I was alarmed: I wanted to be taken seriously ... as a serious professional! I immediately decided that I didn't look "serious" or "professional" enough.
I made a list - How to look more professional:
- Buy some fake eyeglasses
- Learn how to style a classy chignon
- Buy some business suits that made me look frumpy
In fact, I learned that most people in business will admit that their greatest fear is that they will be exposed for not being as smart/professional/sophisticated as other people think they are. This comes not from the fact that we are not smart/professional/sophisticated, but that we don't believe that we are.
Thus, I created a new list - How to build confidence in my professional abilities:
- Keep a list of all of my professional successes - big and small
- Keep a list documenting anytime someone says something positive about my professional abilities
- Before any event or meeting at which I will meet clients or prospects, review the above lists and remember that I am in fact smart/professional/sophisticated
- Do my homework before meetings and events so that I know who will be there and what is important to them so that I can speak confidently about those subjects
Of course, I must admit ...when an optometrist found that I had a very slight vision problem, I still jumped at the opportunity to get glasses :-)