9 Reasons to Buy a Tailored Suit Before You Think You Can Afford It

For years I didn’t buy a tailored suit. Instead I purchased suits off the rack at large department stores or men’s suit shops. And thus, for years, I wore lower quality suits that didn’t fit correctly. I knew the suits did not enhance my personal brand to be the trusted professional I desired. That was acceptable because I couldn’t afford a tailored suit…so I thought.
 
 
Then, several years ago I convinced myself to buy my first tailored suit. A representative from Tom James in St. Louis had connected with me on LinkedIn so I asked to meet with him. After meeting with him and seeing all the details that go into a well-tailored suit, I was sold.
 
It took a while for the bespoke suit to be made to my specifications. The wait is the only drawback I can think of to buying a tailored suit. When it was finished and I put it on for the first time, the feeling it gave me was incredible. 
 
It may sound a little metro sexual of me to openly talk about the feeling I got by trying on my first tailored suit. That’s okay. 
 
Ask any woman who cares about how she looks and she will tell you how important it is to feel good in what she wears. Men are no different. We just don’t talk about it as openly as women do.
 
Business professionals want to look good in their suits or business casual attire but they don’t believe in spending “that much” on tailored clothes. Following are nine reasons why you should buy a tailored suit, even though you think you can’t afford it.
 

Reason # 9 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
Quality products last a long time. Plain and simple. 
 
Remember that green steel refrigerator your parents had when you were a kid. It was in the kitchen for more than 20 years. That’s because it was built with quality materials through a quality process. It lasted for what seemed like forever.  
 
A tailored suit that is built just for you, will be the same. It will last for much longer than an off-the-rack suit that doesn’t fit. 
 
Since it will last longer, you won’t need to buy new suits as frequently. Therefore, you’ll end up spending less by buying a tailored suit.
 

Reason # 8 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
You are one of the best at your profession. That’s doesn’t mean you’re one of the best at everything you do. You may be stylish but still could use some advice.
 
A good tailor or haberdasher can be a tremendous source of advice for you. Not only will he/she make sure your tailored suit fits appropriately, he/she will keep you up on the trends and styles and what color, fabrics and types of suit should be in your wardrobe.
 
Want some free advice without going to a haberdasher? Check out Real Men Real Style for some legit advice.
 

Reason # 7 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
Buying off-the-rack suits is a huge hassle. You have to drive to the store, try on different suits to see what fits and feels good, get them measured for certain tailoring (nothing even close to bespoke tailoring though), leave and then return to pick it up when the suit is finished. That’s all assuming you don’t need to go to multiple stores to find what you want.
 
That is a lot of time you don’t need to spend. Buying a suit from a company like Tom James reduces the hassle because the haberdasher comes to you. He/she can come to your house, your office or anywhere of your choosing. 
 
When the suit is built and ready, he/she will bring it to you to try on. If there are any adjustments that need to be made, he/she will take it with them, get the corrections made and bring it back to you. You don’t ever have to step out of your home or office.
 
Now that is convenient!
 

Reason # 6 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
How many times have you gone shopping for clothes but couldn’t find exactly what you wanted? With bespoke tailoring, that problem goes away. You get what you want.
 
Of course, you’ll get the right fitting suit (which is obviously a better option that buying off the rack). But you’ll also get the following options, plus whatever else you can imagine:
 
a. Types of fabric
b. Style of print
c. Linings
d. Types of buttons
e. Pockets
f.  Name labels
g. Vent types
 

Reason # 5 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
This goes without saying, a fully tailored suit made to fit your height, weight, width, shoulder slope and every special thing about your body type is going to look better than an off-the-rack suit. 
 
Period.
 

Reason # 4 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
If a bespoke suit fits correctly and looks great, it’s going to feel good too. There’s no point in looking good if you don’t feel good about what you’re wearing. 
 
Speaking from experience, any time I put on one of my tailored suits, I feel like a million bucks. It’s just a feeling that comes over me that I’m meant to be in the suit and my day is going to go even better than planned. Everything will be right with my world that day.
 
Add a French-cuff dress shirt, stylish cuff links and tie and freshly polished Allen Edmonds shoes to top off the look. There’s not much better.
 

Reason # 3 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
People notice a sharp dressed man. Think about it … you do too. You might not desire to be made a spectacle because of how well you look, but you want certain people to notice you.
 
It’s almost impossible to overcome a negative first impression. A tailored suit (at least one in a classic style and design) can almost guarantee a good first impression.
 
Let’s say you finally got an appointment with your number one prospect. When you pick your suit and tie out the night before in anticipation of your meeting the next morning, are you going to pick the suit from when you were 20 pounds heavier or the one you had made the month before?
 
You’re going to pick the one that gives you the best opportunity to make the sale. Standing out in a good way definitely won’t hurt that effort!
 
 

Reason # 2 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
If you’re a millennial, your dedication and loyalty to your employer and career are in question on a daily basis. The generations in front of you don’t believe you take anything seriously.
 
Buying and wearing tailored suits, is a way to show your dedication. You wouldn’t spend more money than needed for a bespoke suit unless you planned on wearing it frequently.
 
Besides, your bosses and clients admiring your professional demeanor (which includes your look) can do nothing but have a positive impact on your career.
 

Reason # 1 to Buy a Tailored Suit

 
And finally…the number one reason why you should buy a tailored suit.
 
You can afford it!
 
Just because a tailored suit is more expensive than one off the rack does not mean you can’t afford it. 
 
Consider a tailored suit a major purchase. Plan and save for it like you would a beach vacation. There’s a big difference between a beach vacation and buying a tailored suit though – you only get to experience that vacation for a few days. The suit will last forever. 
 
To be frank then, you simply cannot afford to not buy a tailored suit. The benefits to your self-esteem, earnings potential, career and influence are unlimited! 
 
Disclosure: Certain links above are affiliate links/ads. When you see the incredible value from these links and purchase, I will get a small commission. You will not, however, pay any extra.

8 Simple Ways to Get Noticed More Often on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool for researching people. You can search for people by title, expertise, company and name. LinkedIn will even show you people with whom you might like to connect. 
 
That’s great for you researching other people. 
 
 
Can other people find you during a search? Does LinkedIn identify you as someone that person might want to connect with? Do you or your activity show up in that person’s feed?
 
You can make getting noticed on LinkedIn much easier by taking certain deliberate actions. For the remainder of this article, you will discover eight simple ways to get noticed more often on LinkedIn.
 

How to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

 

1. Share and Comment

 
As with most social media platforms, the like (thumbs up, heart, etc.) function is overused. Sure, it’s nice to express that you like someone’s post. To get noticed, however, don’t just like a post, share and comment on it as well.
 
If you share a post, add a comment to it to express why you are sharing it. The person who originally shared/wrote the post will get notified of your share. They may get notified if you like a post as well but popular influencers turn off that function because it would be too overwhelming.
 
If you don’t want to share the post with your followers, but want to express something to the person who posted it, comment on it. Make it a worthwhile comment too. Simply writing, “Great Post,” “Terrific” or “Totally agree” is just about the same as “liking” the post. If you are going to comment, add to the content. Make your comment valuable to the other readers.
 

2. Curate Content

 
What does it mean to curate content? It means you share content from others that is posted somewhere besides LinkedIn. 
 
When you read an article on, let’s say, Inc.com, that is relevant to your followers and consistent with your personal brand, curate it. Share that article to LinkedIn and any other social media platforms that make sense.
 
The majority of content I share on my LinkedIn feed is curated from sites like Inc.com, SwitchandShift.com and LindseyPollak.com. Almost all sites have social sharing buttons on them to make it easy for you to share.
 
When you share those articles, be sure to tag the author, if possible, in the comment you add to the share. 
 
In a later article, I’ll share some easy ways to curate content.
 

3. Write Pulse Articles

 
Pulse was originally released for selected LinkedIn influencers. Now, however, everyone has the opportunity to public articles on LinkedIn’s blogging platform.
 
Once you publish the article, and tag it appropriately, you can monitor how well it performs by using the statistics within the platform. Just like blogs, people can comment and share it as well. 
 
You will, of course, want to share it multiple times to your followers.
 
If you want to publish on Pulse, you can get to it from your homepage on LinkedIn. Click the “Write an Article” button at the top of the homepage, as seen below.
 

 

4. Update Your Profile Often

 
Your profile can get outdated quickly and you won’t even realize it. Update it often so it is always up-to-date. 
 
Updating your profile often is a good strategy for getting noticed on LinkedIn. The platform has a setting that when you update your profile, your followers and connections will get notified. There are two methods for activating this setting. 
 
The first is in the Settings function. See the screen shot below
 
The second method is easier and can be seen when you are in the “Edit Profile” mode. When you are editing your profile, simply toggle the switch at the right to the “Yes” position if you want your followers to see your update.
 
 
I’ve made the mistake about leaving this setting on when making certain profile settings. You can read all about that LinkedIn snafu by clicking the following link:
 
 

5. Look at Others’ Profiles

 
One of my favorite aspects of LinkedIn is to see who looked at my profile. If it is someone I haven’t talked to in awhile or someone with whom I’d like to connect, I’ll send that person an email or a LinkedIn message.
 
If you want to get noticed by a specific person and don’t have the ability to connect with him/her, look at his/her profile. Don’t just do it once. Do it a couple of times a week for a few weeks. After that, send that person an email, an inMail or call him/her on the phone. 
 
The simple act of looking at that person’s profile will make your name recognizable. 
 

6. Continually Add Connections

 
Naturally, the more connections you make on LinkedIn, the more people will notice you – those people with whom you connect. Your followers and other connections will see when you connect with someone new, depending on their preferences for what they see in their feed.
 
Connect with more people, more people will want to connect with you and then you’ll be able to connect with even more people. 
 

7.  Participate in Groups

 
LinkedIn used to permit a user to join only 50 groups. Fifty may seem like too many to you but it really isn’t. Of the groups you join, you’ll discover several will not be worth being a member. The activity won’t be that great.
 
That doesn’t mean, however, there aren’t some very good groups to join within LinkedIn. 
 
Groups are not as valuable, or as easy get the value from, as in the past. You can still find some, though, that will help you get noticed. To get noticed in a group, you need to be active.
 
Most groups have turned into linkfests. Don’t participate in those. Be social. Comment on other members’ posts, ask questions, be human.
 

8.Use Keywords in your Profile

 
LinkedIn is a gigantic search engine. No, it’s not as big as Google or YouTube but it’s still big. Better than those other two sites, LinkedIn is specifically for business professionals. 
 
What keywords should you use in your profile? That’s simple. Use the ones that people would use to find you. 
 
Use the name in your profile that you believe people would use to search for you. Use it multiple times in your profile. If you google your name, your profile, if written well, should be one of the first search results.
 
Also use terms related to your profession, (CPA), your position (manager) and services provided (audits). 

 

Do You Have to Do All of These?

 
Of course you don’t have to do all of these every day to get noticed more often on LinkedIn. Each will help but some will only help a little. 
 
You don’t have hours to spend each day, even each week? Do you have an hour each week? Sure you do. Break that hour into 10 minutes each day and you get six days of activity.
 
Pick a few of these to do. If I did just three of these 8, I’d curate content, share and comment on articles and set my profile up with keywords. With keywords, you can do it once and leave it for a while. Then you would only have to take two actions each day. 
 
LinkedIn is a valuable resource but you have to know how to use it. Having a profile is not enough anymore. Use LinkedIn to help create your personal brand. Use it to help you show how much you can help your clients.
 
Question for you: What other ways have you found useful to get noticed on LinkedIn? If you have questions about LinkedIn, please reach out to me via the contact page.
 

4 Career Lessons We Can Learn from Star Wars

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was recently released in movie theaters. It has set all sorts of box office records already and will continue selling an unprecedented amount of tickets. Because of the success of this iconic franchise, I figured there had to be some career lessons we can learn from these movies.

career lessons we can learn from Star Wars

Achieving success in your career will not come without ups and downs. Some days success will seem eminent. Other days, it will seem impossible. 

One tenet of career success is having an open mind; a willingness to learn — from any source. Any source can even mean fictional movies with make-believe characters.

Following are 4 career lessons we can learn from Star Wars:

Your Impact Can Be Great

George Lucas set the bar high when Episode IV was released in 1977. Before it’s release, the critics were not very positive about the movie. George Lucas knew, however, his movies would have a great impact on people. 

He wasn’t trying to win best picture. Instead, he wanted to impact people by entertaining them. And that is what he did.

When I was making Star Wars, I wasn’t restrained by any kind of science. I simply said, ‘I’m going to create a world that’s fun and interesting, makes sense, and seems to have a reality to it.’

For almost 40 years now, the Star Wars franchise has appealed to the masses by entertaining them.

Your impact on the world can also be great because you are great. You are an expert in something and it’s your duty to share that expertise with the world. 

Just like Star Wars, you can start small, i.e., the first movie, and start providing value. After you make a small impact with your small start, you can leverage that into having a bigger and better impact on others.

It Takes a Team to Win

Han Solo had a partner in Chewbacca. Luke Skywalker relied on R2-D2 when he crashed on Dagobah. They each had someone to rely on. 

In fact, though, it took the entire Rebel force to win. Each of the primary characters in Star Wars had special talents that supported the entire team.

The most successful people in history have learned they can’t achieve success by themselves. It takes teams of people with different talents and abilities to achieve success. 

You may like working with others who have your same mindset and tendencies because it is comfortable. If you do that for too long, you’ll realize you are getting nowhere fast because you don’t have every ability you’ll need.

It takes a team of people to make a lasting difference in the world. Isn’t that what you want to achieve through your career?

Stop Trying

When Yoda told Luke Skywalker, in The Empire Strikes Back, to raise his crashed fighter from the swamp, Luke responded with “Alright, I’ll give it a try.” Yoda, responds with my favorite movie line of all time. 

“No. Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try.”

We need to heed Yoda’s advice in everything we do. Saying we will try is limiting our abilities. Trying shows a reservation of doubt of our abilities. We need to just do. 

Take this one step further into the religious realm. Jesus, in Matthew 5:37 tells his listeners to answer simply with a “Yes” or “No.” Any other answer than that, He says, comes from the evil one.

In your career, believe you have great abilities and you will accomplish great things. When someone asks you to do something, say “Yes” or “No,” instead of “I’ll try” or “Maybe.” 

You are only as good as you believe you are.

It’s Okay to Fail

Darth Vader did not tolerate mistakes of any kind. He expected his followers within the Empire to be perfect. If they made a mistake, he would use the Force to choke them to death.

Hopefully you don’t work for a boss like that.

The Rebel Alliance, however, made many mistakes and lost many battles. That did not cause them to give up or turn on one another. They continued pressing on toward their goal.

We need to do the same thing in our jobs and careers, in fact, in all aspects of our lives. 

We’ve all made mistakes and had setbacks but that doesn’t mean we should quit. 

Children fail all the time. They fall when they try to walk. They fall when they ride a bike. Imagine if they stopped getting back up and doing it again. We adults forgot how to learn.

We need to remember the importance of learning from failure. 

The most important of the career lessons we can learn from Star Wars is…

Be Patient

So far, the Star Wars series has spanned a period of almost 40 years. That’s amazing. 

Few movie franchises have been able to survive over that long of a period, much less with as much fanfare as Star Wars continues to have. The only other one I can think of is the James Bond franchise.

Your career is the same. You shouldn’t expect to reach the corner office within the first year in your career. It’s going to take time. Lots of time.

Be patient as your career evolves. Reaching success too quickly would most likely have one of two results: immediate overwhelm or boredom.

Instead of being impatient with your career and always hoping/looking for something more, enjoy each step of your journey.

A career is a journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

Question for you: What other career lessons have you learned from any of the Star Wars movies?

How to Brand Yourself as a Professional

How to Brand Yourself as a Professional

Do you think of yourself as a professional? More importantly, does your boss? How about your clients or prospective employers? If you want to know how to brand yourself as a professional, read on.

Hopefully you, your boss, clients and future employers all think of you as a professional but if you answered “No” to either of those questions, it’s not too late.

Answer the following questions to determine if your professional brand needs some work:

  1. Am I being promoted with or ahead of my peers?
  2. Am I at asked to help on special projects?
  3. Am I viewed as an expert in at least one niche related to my field?
  4. Do my clients call me or someone else for help?

Answering negatively to any of these three questions will guide you into how to go about branding yourself. 

All you need to know is how to brand yourself as a professional. It’s a simple process but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Before you do anything else, read the following resources regarding personal branding. These go through much of the general process:

What is a Personal Brand?

Why is Personal Branding Important?

5 Steps to Change Your Personal Brand

Now that you understand what personal branding is and how to change your personal brand, let’s look at some specific areas of focus for you as a professional. 

How to Brand Yourself as a Professional

When you think of branding yourself as a professional, what do you envision?

I think of looking good in a suit and tie, being a leader and being thought of as an expert. There are other areas for sure but those are what I think of.

Dress the Part

Do all professionals have to wear a suit and tie every day? Of course not!

Branding myself as a professional, I believe I should simply because of the business I’m in. That could be different for you though depending on where you live, what your profession is and what your clients expect. 

Regardless, you need to dress the part. If you want others to view you as a professional, you need to look like a professional.

Look at the high performers in your field to see how they look. What do they wear on a daily basis? Don’t recreate the wheel; mimic success.

It’s definitely okay to put your own spin on things. You want to stand out and have your own identity.

Being a Leader

 Nothing will help your case of being professional more than being viewed as a leader. By definition, leaders must have followers. Leadership doesn’t depend on age, race, gender, seniority or even title.

Instead, leadership is the ability to influence others. 

There are, of course, good leaders and bad leaders. 

Good leaders influence others by putting others first. They empower their followers and value their strengths. Bad leaders influence through fear. 

Which are you?

Being the Trusted Advisor

You’ll really know when you’ve branded yourself as a professional in the best way. Once your brand reaches that state, your clients, co-workers and boss will rely on you for advice. 

You don’t even need to be in an advisory role to be a trusted advisor. You can help anyone regardless of your position. 

Why would someone ask you for advice if that’s not your job? They will ask you if you brand yourself to always be willing to help. There is a big difference between someone who says he will help and someone who actually does.

Are You a Professional?

What do you think about these three traits of professionalism? Do others think of you as a leader and a trusted advisor? Do they believe you dress according to the brand you’re trying to present to the world?

Remember, each person who gets paid to do a job is a professional at that job. That doesn’t mean others will think of you as a professional. It takes a lot of effort and consistency to create a brand of professionalism.

Question for you: What is the biggest area of your brand you need help with?

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

 
In the last article, we addressed the definition of a personal brand. You can read that article here. But, for short, a personal brand is what someone thinks about you.
 
Why is personal branding important? Who cares, right? Your mom told you not to worry about what others think of you.
 
Well, that can be true to an extent. However, since you are a professional, you need to care about what certain other people think of you.

Why is personal branding important to professionals?

You’re a professional in whatever you do for a living. The first rule of being a professional is being paid. If you have a paying job, you’re a professional. 
 
Being a professional brings with it certain expectations. Your personal brand should meet or exceed those expectations.
 
Your customers, employer and co-workers all expect certain things of you in your role at the company. Does your personal brand live up to those expectations?
 
Professionals who emphasize the importance of personal branding excel in their careers. They are those who discover the importance of their personal brands and work hard to create and live what their personal brands stand for. 
 
Personal branding should be important to you because your personal brand will dictate the success in your career. If you’re inconsistent with your actions and attitudes, it will impede your career progression.
 
Following are a few questions to ask yourself about your career:
 
1. Have I grown in my career at the pace I want?
2. Am I doing what I want to do for my career?
3. Do I get fulfillment out of my career?
4. Am I paid in alignment to the value I provide?
5. Are my actions and attitude consistent every day?
 
If you’ve answered “No” to any of those questions, then your personal brand needs some work. 
 
You are responsible for your personal brand. While you can’t control what others think of you, you can control how you act. 

Control Your Brand. Control Your Career.

 Why is personal branding important? Because, once you take control of your personal brand, you will be in control of your career. Unfortunately, taking control of your personal brand and your career takes time. 
 
Both rely on giving value consistently. 
 
If you complain about what you’re being paid, you have yet to provide high enough value at a consistent rate. Give more value, get more pay. Give less value, get less pay. It’s pretty simple.
 
It’s probably hard to accept that you control how much you get paid and your career path. I even have trouble accepting this. It’s true though. You’re either in control or you give control to someone else.
 
If you need help taking control of your career, I’m here to help you. 
 
I want to help you discover what your personal brand should be so you can take control of your career.
 
Question for you: Have you ever put any thought into what your personal brand is? Most people haven’t. They just go about their lives with no intention or passion, thinking they will arrive at success one day. That’s not the way to go through life.
 
If you’ve given control of your career to your boss and want help taking back that control, email me here and let me know how I can help.