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We all aspire to deal from strength when it comes to business. We take courses to improve our skills and we get better with experience. My clients often write to tell me how changing the way they look and dress impacts them in areas other than business.  

For example, a client from Malibu sent me an email a few days after her recent image workshop in California. We had met a month earlier at a four-day event in Marco Island, Florida. She was an attractive and magnetic woman, but she wanted an image session to be certain she looked pulled together at all times.  

You see, she negotiates with power brokers in New York and L.A. and needs to deal from strength and take action with certainty. When you're not certain about your appearance, you don't come across as confidently as you could. It is empowering to look in the mirror and know that not only you feel good about yourself, but that everyone you encounter will, too. This kind of ultimate self confidence frees you to concentrate on the business at hand.  

Here's the note I received from this  client: "Everyone continues to remark how I look younger and prettier! Yesterday I went to my favorite designer-closeout store in Manhattan, armed with my little color swatch book. One-third of the clothes we discarded together came from there. They were worn once or twice and always self-consciously. This time, I found things I like but remembered you warned me to stay away from.  At least 50 times I tried to will the color swatches into matching the color of the garment I was looking at and lusting for. (PS – that didn't work!) I bought only four garments. This morning, back home in the stark light of day, in front of the mirror I stand before always, they look even better than in the store! I saved SO much money and time!  

She continued, "This powerful experience got me to thinking about other places in my life where it's crucial to know just what I want, what works best for me personally, and then to simply ONLY buy that. The principle of the swatch card applies to men, houses, cars, daily habits, etc. I was really stunned at the realization. It hit me hard that if I just exclusively matched all potential houses/men/cars/habits against what I KNOW absolutely I want, I would not have to waste any more time with the things that are wrong for me. This is so simple, but it was a powerful Aha for me. When I shopped in Manhattan, I was laser focused and got astounding results with very little investment of time.  It was incredibly transformative!"

My client will be dealing from strength now in all areas of her life. Before the image workshop she didn't know what she wanted or needed when it came to clothes. This is not unusual. However, she came to the realization that she does know what she wants in a man, a home and other areas and decided to apply the same "shopping" principles she used in Manhattan. Life is so much simpler when you don't waste your time or money looking at things that aren't apropriate for you. Ultimately, discovering what suits you is liberating in terms of time and money, but also in emotional investment.  

It is empowering to be in charge of your life and have feelings of certainty with every decision or move you make. When it comes to choosing clothing and accessories, here are three questions to ask yourself:

1. Does the color make me look better, i.e., healthier, more attractive, and dynamic rather than dull. You may need to take a good look in the mirror and compare two different colors. Test a "tried and true" favorite with the "color of the season" that you are contemplating buying to see if it holds up to a color you know is good. .

2. Does the style flatter my figure/physique rather than pointing out "flaws" or "distractions?" Men: If the shirt collar stands away from your neck, it can make your neck look scrawny; and if it is too tight, it may cause you to look jowly or overweight. Above all, if the jacket is too tight or ill-fitting, that is all that will be noticed and remembered about you.  Women: If the tummy bulges or the thighs protrude, these distractions can interfere with your verbal message. Dangling earrings and clunky shoes are also negative distractions.  

3. Does my clothing (including accessories) appear dated? If so, it will be assumed that my products or services are also dated.  

Looking good is empowering and can enable you to deal with strength in other areas of your life. Remember, the way you look and dress announces the outcome other people can expect from you. Change your image, change your life!

Sandy Dumont is a corporate image consultant who has been changing people's lives for 30 years. Her latest electronic system, "Power Dressing Image System for Men" is available on her website:


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