In our recent interview with billion-dollar investor Paul Hutchinson, it became clear that he is the embodiment of the term, ‘suiting up’. He illustrated the importance of being clean-shaven, fit and healthy, all for the sake of making the perfect first impression when meeting someone new.
Paul’s business and philanthropic endeavours take him all over the world, where he has had to pitch 9-figure investment ideas and thanks to this, he knows the importance of standing out for all the right reasons.
Psychological tests have been conducted and clean-shaven appears to be the right move for business professionals. If you think about the number of highly successful business people who are clean-shaven, compared to those who are not, it stands to reason that a close shave is the way to go.
There are a lot of reasons why many professionals shave. In the military, a clean-shaven look is essential for more than aesthetics, as equipment such as gas masks work best when there is a tight seal to the head. Also, in the military, it promotes a sense of order and discipline.
In heavy trust industries, such as medicine and, specifically, surgery, being shaven is encouraged because it reveals more of the face and promotes a sense of faith, at least in many US and UK hospitals. In surgery there is also the hygiene factor and the psychological element that goes with it; a clearer face looks cleaner.
On the flipside, there is the ‘scruffy rogue’ fashion aesthetic, with men who do not shave. This may be trendy right now but it does not go a long way in encouraging trust, when it comes to business.
“I invest in myself by investing in the suits that I wear.”
Paul’s suits are tailor-made for him. Every man should have at least one tailored suit made just for him; it isn’t as expensive as you may think and many tailors offer free tailoring with their suits.
“When I have an option of wearing a suit or not wearing a suit to a function. I’ll always wear a suit,” Paul says.
Learn to pack into hand luggage. Roll your underwear, socks and undershirts together, to make them easier to pack. Invest in a good neck pillow for support, buy some earphones/earplugs and download music/audiobooks to your phone. Take a battery charger with you (just in case). Dress for comfort when travelling. Take your suits in a suit bag and pack a couple of extra shirts. Finally, don’t check-in your luggage.
According to Paul, he likes to do two things at the same time, so instead of a gym membership, he has a personal trainer who teaches him Krav Maga. This martial art, which rose to prominence over the last 10 years, is used by the Israeli military and is considered to be the most directly real-world-applicable form of fighting.
By using this martial art, which focuses on as much physical fitness and health as applied fighting techniques, Paul is able to develop his cardio vascular resilience as well as his muscle strength and flexibility. What this means is that his body knows how to breathe efficiently; something that according to this study most of us don’t do well enough. There are also added benefits for posture and confidence that strong, flexible muscles and a toned body can offer a person and all of that combines into a stellar first impression in the business world.
Then there is the psychological benefit. By training hard, especially in a Krav Maga workout (see video), you put your body and mind under stress and train both to handle it well. What we do physically affects us psychologically and knowing that you can handle yourself in an aggressive situation goes a long way to helping you discipline your emotions into dealing with other difficult situations. So, when faced with a stressful predicament, such as suddenly having to save a multimillion-dollar contract, you can keep calm and collected, identify the right solution and see it through.
“Everyone goes through crap, but I’m going so fast I just skate right over it,” Paul says.