What constitutes a “world-class” image?
Let’s start by looking at the bigger picture.
Have you ever noticed that most world-class cities have at least one grand public park in the middle of town, like the Tuileries Garden in Paris, Hyde Park in London, and Central Park in New York?
Below: Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
Have you ever wondered why that is?
Why forfeit the real estate to flora and fauna, then use taxpayer funds to maintain it? Wouldn’t it make more sense to build something useful instead?
Because if you’ve ever been to a big city, then you know that a large park offers a respite from the concrete jungle. It’s a place to play, to breathe, and to see and be seen. Real estate is priciest near city parks because of the view, much like it is near lakes and shores.
Why Large Cities Have Grand Parks
But elegant city parks exist for another reason that you may not have considered: as a status symbol to show off prosperity.
It all started with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – lush, tiered gardens with elaborate water features in the middle of the Iraqi desert that cost a fortune to build and maintain in 600 BC. It was one of the first “must-see” sights of the ancient world, and it spawned a trend that became so fashionable that by 77 AD, Pliny the Elder wrote about private gardens in his Natural History books, the world’s first encyclopedias.
1400 years later, the great families of the Italian Renaissance used those Natural History books as a blueprint to revive the fashion of elaborate private gardens, and it quickly spread throughout Europe.
Hyde Park was originally created for Henry VIII to hunt deer in 1536, just as the Tuileries Garden was created for dowager queen Catherine de’ Medici’s private use in the 1560s. Both later became public parks.
So when New York City began to gain traction as a financial juggernaut in the 1830s and city leaders wanted to know how to get “street cred” on the world stage, they learned that a grand central park was essential to be taken seriously in the international community.
Other “must-haves” included things like:
- Good schools
- Beautiful churches
- Elegant houses
- Great restaurants
- Luxurious hotels
- Excellent newspaper
- Theater and Opera
- Sporting activities
- Other attractions
In short, it needed to be a great place to live and a glamorous destination. New York was that for 150 years.
So what in the heck does this have to do with a world-class image?
Because just like a great city, there are certain image elements you need to have in order to be taken seriously on the world stage. If you don’t have them, you won’t get far.
The Importance of a World-Class Image
Years ago when I lived in Houston, Texas, I worked with a woman I’ll call Ruby who had big goals and dreams – but not the skills or image to match. She’d grown up in Houston and called herself a city girl, but her image didn’t reflect it: she had 5 floral dresses that she wore to work, one for each day of the week, regardless of the season. There was nothing chic or fashionable about her.
Ruby considered herself “a mover and a shaker,” but no one took her seriously – especially the high society people with whom we occasionally interacted at our non-profit. Ruby acted like she was on a first-name basis with these pillars of the community, but they’d roll their eyes behind her back and seek help from other admin staff instead. It was frustrating to her and them and hard to watch for the rest of us.
Because when your image isn’t in alignment with your goals, you won’t get far. It’s like banging your head against the wall.
So what image elements do you need to reach your goals?
- A Polished image?
All of the above?
Have no clue?
Then take a page from New York’s playbook and find out.
Because knowing what you want and learning how to get there is the fastest, easiest way to get from Point A to Point B.
Don’t flounder like Ruby, thinking you know what it takes.
Be like New York and find out beyond all doubt.
Create Your Ideal Image can help.
This fun and fast-paced masterclass will walk you through the steps to building a world-class image that will turn heads and open doors with ease.
Ready to step to the front of the line?
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