Before my colleague and I even stepped into the CEO’s office, the guy was at the door asking, “Where are the boots? I want to see the boots!
He’d been to my website.
And thus began a new business relationship, the ice broken with a pair of over-the-top cowboy boots. Not a bad way to become instantly memorable.
Cowboy boots, the likes of which most people have never seen before, are my personal brand.
A sneak peek into my corral of cowboy footgear reveals boots with Chinese dragons coiled around the shaft. Another with Japanese koi with fins flashing with crystals. The Virgin Mary adorns another pair. In the corner, Day of the Dead skeletons gleefully dance on a black pair. Peewee boots made of alligator hide with 40’s pinup girls are in the other corner. Then there’s an old pair of Tony Lamas with dusty spurs that actually do see real cowgirl action.
Boots, boots and more boots.
I used to be a little afraid of my boots. What if somebody noticed them? What if I were walking down the street and someone stopped me for a closer look? What if someone wanted to photograph me in my boots? What if I were mistaken for a boot model?
After all of the above happened (on numerous occasions), I finally figured out that those boots, along with my big red Ford pickup truck, are me. My personal brand. The thing that people always remember, that start conversations, that make people smile. My boots are on my website, business cards and social media. And people remember.
(I have to pause for a quick commercial break and thank the brilliant Nevena of Rocketbuster Boots for my boots. No one does boots like the Boss Lady!)
Other friends and business associates have their own personal branding preferences. One wears impeccably tailored dark business suits set off with wingtips in dazzling shades of turquoise, pink and white. Eyes have been known to pop over those shoes. Believe me, everyone remembers this friend.
Another friend sports distinctive eyeglass frames. A seemingly straight-laced executive, the shapes and colors he wears convey his subtle humor. Comment on his glasses and he lights up. Conversation flows from there.
After my colleague and I left the CEO with contract in hand, he turned to me and asked, “Do people notice your boots all the time?”
Do they ever.