You've got skills.
You've got credentials.
Why aren't you getting what you want?
This is what we call…
being a three-wheeled Ferrari.
Today I'm talking about how you can use style as a force multiplier. It can help you close the gap between where you are – with your expensive degree, desirable skills, and big dreams, but no opportunities to show for it – and where you want to be.
I was recently interviewed by Jason Capital, author of the best-selling book ‘Higher Status', who I talked to about the three-wheeled Ferrari phenomenon, drinking the style kool-aid, and buying less while buying better.
Prefer to read? Here's the lowdown on how it went…
1. Jason Capital Interview – The Three-Wheeled Ferrari
Jason asked me why helping men command respect is so important to me. The answer to that question is: I have seen a LOT of men who have everything to offer screw this up.
Years ago when I'd recently finished my MBA, my friend Jing interviewed at Apple. Jing was one of the smartest guys I'd ever met. But when I saw him before the interview – in bad shoes and a suit that didn't fit – I couldn't bring myself to say anything, and he ended up not getting the position.
That was an eye-opener. There are guys living a similar story all over. They've invested as much as $200,000 in their education, they have twenty years of experience, and they're still being passed over because they lack the “soft skills” of self-presentation. They're like a luxury sports car that's missing a tire – they could go 150 miles an hour with ease, but they're stuck in the slow lane because of one faulty part that's holding them back.
When you start to become a well-dressed man, your life changes for the better. I do what I do because sometimes turning someone's life around is as simple as putting a fourth tire on a Ferrari.
2. Drinking the Style Kool-Aid
Another question Jason Capital had for me: what are the first things a guy who wants to improve his style should do?
Step one: you've gotta drink the style kool-aid.
What I mean by that is you need to believe wholeheartedly in your reasons for improving your style. To really start from the ground up you need to be driven by a more powerful idea than just “I like nice clothes.”
I dress sharply because I represent myself, my family, and my business. I want to be in line with people's expectations of me as the founder of a million-dollar web brand. The first step in your style journey should be understanding what you stand for and how you communicate that when people look at you.
A guy who's not hungry isn't going to bother to buy himself a sandwich. You've got to know what you want and you've got to want it passionately.
3. Buying Less & Buying Better
In the past, it was normal for 20% of a person's income to go into clothing. Clothes were mostly handmade and while styles changed the pieces themselves were built to last. Nowadays it's considered normal to buy the same few items of clothing over and over every few years.
Stop buying disposable clothing. I believe you should keep your body healthy and in shape, and cover it in clothes as wholesome and substantial as the food you eat. You will probably have to save and budget to make this happen – good quality clothes and good quality shoes are an investment. But they're an investment in yourself and your future.
Imagine you're a peasant who becomes a knight. You don't have much, but you do have your armor – it protects you from harm and shows the world you're a knight, so that's where your whole net worth is tied up. A man's clothes are his armor. It makes sense for him to have money in them.
This interview with was one of my favorites I've done. You can see the full thing on Jason Capital's YouTube channel – what he has to say often leads people to a mindset shift because he sees things differently.