So my husband finally wrote a guest post for me, and even better, incorporated it into a Prompts for the Promptless challenge! If you don’t know about Dave yet, or the #ForThePromptless challenges we run, you’re probably new– so, welcome! I’m glad to have you around.
If you want to pop over and say hey to Dave, you can visit him at his blog where he goes by his artist name, Grayson Queen:
Once, a long time ago I worked for what was technically a modeling agency. Though it was a sleazy industry, it was there that I heard the first version of the best advice ever given to me.
Always dress one step better than everyone else.
Though we hate to admit it to ourselves, we do judge the books by their covers. Making the best impression in our appearance garners a certain level of instant respectability. You would be hard pressed to take investment advice from a guy in sweatpants and a t-shirt. What does it say about a person’s disposition if they can’t be bothered to put on a clean shirt? When you don’t take pride in yourself, no one expects that you’ll do it for anything else.
After the modeling agency I went into film, where I received a different version of the same advice.
Always carry your script or headshot with you.
You never know who you’re going to run into, and you may miss the chance of a life time because you weren’t prepared. You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities will present themselves. Do you expect to find the love of your life when you’re wearing your exercise clothes everywhere? What impression would you give if you ran into a client while wearing torn pants and a stained shirt?
Yesterday I sat down with my wife to have coffee and talk. As we sat there, a man came in carrying a stack of books, he sat near enough so that I could read the titles. He was studying physics and reading a Jim Butcher novel. This was only a few days after I finished my horror story, 3676*. I was kicking myself for not being prepared. If I had at least a business card, I could have scrawled the link and coupon code for this guy to read my book. While it was only one missed opportunity, it could have been the biggest opportunity. He could have loved it and shared it with his friends. He could have been a world renowned physicist that I didn’t recognize. It wouldn’t have been the first time it has happened to me.
This is how I learned the third version of the same advice.
It’s okay to be yourself and have opinions, but there is no need to be rude, vulgar or mean.
I’ve met my share of celebrities in my life and those are fun stories to tell, but I like the ones where I don’t know till after who I was talking to. I once had a long discussion about art, only to learn that the person I was talking to was a famous clothing designer. The next time, it was the drummer of a popular band, then a billionaire, a few scientific geniuses and one or two future politicians. When I learn who these people are, days or years later, I’m thankful that I’m ingrained with a polite stoicism. I don’t say anything that doesn’t need to be said. I smile and nod at boring or annoying things, and I never do anything that I’d be embarrassed about later.
Other than a few good jobs here and there, I maybe never reaped the benefits of putting my best face forward, or having friends in high places. But having people like you, no matter their station, is much better than being that person everyone glares at. The woman saying hateful things at McDonalds. The guy picking his nose on the side of the road. The lady who slaps her child in front of everyone.
Sure, it’s not helpful to obsess about what other people think about you, but everyone once in a while you need to check yourself and ask– what would happen if my boss, or my client or the love of my life saw me right now?
This is a topic that Dave and I batter around all the time. Putting your best face forward, and creating an illusion, can often be a fine line to walk– but our honne tends to be that it’s better to err on that side of the scale. It’s a thought we share with only close friends, since so many people take the repercussions of such a philosophy personally or associate it directly to the “What would the neighbors think?” philosophy.
Do you ascribe to putting your best face forward and always being prepared? Have you checked out the other ForThePromptless entries for this week? A new challenge will be posted tonight, 11:30pm PST!
- Sue’s Trifles – It’s Only a Game
- Serendipity – Honne
- TheMatticusKingdom – We Are All Gemini
- Mareship – Tatamae and Honne
- Fish of Gold – Honnerific
- As the Forest Bird Flies – Onion
- Breathing Space – The Closest of Confidants
- The Seeker’s Dungeon – We Are Now America
* 3676 is 99 cents, but here’s a coupon code to get it free: ZZ76R. (Code expires October 1st) Download the ebook here!