And we are judged, believe it or not, whenever we are observed by prospective business associates and clients. That means they’re watching when you’re masticating in McDonald’s, meandering in a mall, browsing in a bookshop, sauntering around Safeway, or playing with your offspring in a park. They’re observing when you load your brood off at school, too.

We are being judged by those who see us, and those who see us are often potential customers. You are being evaluated, compared, and assessed more often than you may think, by those with whom we surround ourselves and the places we go. So when you post pictures of yourself on Facebook, bear that in mind; potential partners are patiently perusing your posts! Remember that your social media posts could be your real resume.

We are judged, whether we like it or not, by the company we keep. Think about it. If you were to see me meeting with a top businessman dressed in a $1,000 suit and a $100 haircut, would you feel more inclined to consider doing business with me than if I was hooked up (if you’ll excuse the pun) with a six bottle peroxided, tattooed, pig-ignorant blonde trollop in a leopard skin print outfit?

Where you hold your business meetings is almost as important as whom you’re meeting with, too. If you wish to meet with me in an A&W and you’re 15 minutes late for the appointment, the chances of us doing business are remote indeed. And if you park your expensive, leased car right in front of the coffee shop where we meet in order to “impress” me, it will definitely have the opposite effect.

Ben Franklin said, ““He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas” – so if I get involved with the fleabags you mix with, I may get fleas, too… Packaging and branding and the company we keep – it’s an ongoing exercise.

And if you’re just sick and tired of caring about what other people think, I’ll leave you with this delightful and insightful quote by the great Dwight Schrute (The Office): “Why are all these people here? There are too many people on this earth. We need a new plague.” You won’t b successful in business with that attitude, because we can’t succeed without a strong team of good people. Just be very selective.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com