First Impression in 3 Buckets

It's (mostly) within our control

Great first impressions once seemed elusive and inconsistent. What helps us nail the first few minutes?

It comes down to:

  • How you look
  • Your charisma
  • What they know about your achievements

Before I get into it, there are a few things to know.

Different people place different weights on the buckets accordingly. Some people may really care about how you look. Others may be more focused on your achievements. Depending on the stage of life, there are different priorities. So it's not like someone who really appreciates your charisma will care (as much) as someone who is just looking to find a model (again, priorities).

Reminder: this is all about the first impression, not building a long-lasting relationship.

Now, let's get into it.

How you look

Like it or not, this matters. And the good news is that it's partially under our control. Our health, hygiene, style, and fitness level can all influence how we look. Some things are out of our hands, like our ethnicity (if someone thinks less of you for your ethnicity, in any situation, cut them out of your life immediately).

Your charisma

This one is absolutely massive. Confidence, character, humour, coolness under pressure, positivity (smiling goes a long way), are all important. This is 100% under our control. Introverts, don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to "work a room" or be fake. But it wouldn't kill you to at least share some interest in the people around you (otherwise, why are you in the room to begin with).

What they know about your achievements

If you've ever wondered why people respond to you so differently when they think you're a nobody vs somebody, this is it. This is why young entrepreneurs respond so well to successful business people. It's the difference between the amount of respect we get at the outset of an interaction. When people are aware of our achievements, the good parts of our history, and our prior success, it immediately changes the first impression.

What's next

Again, different people place different value on these buckets. Some may not care at all about your achievements. Others may not care at all for looks or how well you take care of yourself. Ultimately, you need all three.