Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Car Defines the Person?

Sometime back this past summer, I blogged about a day when I was not up to my usual par in clothing and style. I received some very nice support from you all about it that made me feel much better. However, I have as yet to lapse into total casualness in my work practice.

Now another dilemma faces me. I recently was at a networking event and the subject of cars came up (I almost think this should be outlawed from polite conversation as are politics, religion and sex. LOL). There seems to be rampant opinion about what a car says about a person, especially a small business owner. It does not matter if you are frugal or not, apparently people believe that the niceness of a car tells more about you in your profession than does one's actual work. I am being a bit sarcastic here, but may be not.

Well in my insecurities about this, I have been looking at the idea of getting a "business car." Car Prices are not so bad these days, if one comparison shops. offers such a comparison where you can select the type of car you are interested in buying (plus various details like make, years, etc) and it gives you a couple of quotes. It seems fair enough. What happens is that dealers get to give competing quotes that may provide for an opportunity on a good deal.

The problem is that I have no idea about what sort of car I would like. It would have to have great gas mileage, but also a classic look. Do you think there are classic cars that are like the tailoring of classic clothes - they never really go out of style?


Kara said...

You know, I don't subscribe to the idea that a car "says" anything about a person. I'm all about function, frugality, and lifespan when it comes to my own car--I couldn't care less what color it is or whether it's "me." That said, it's quite another thing to want to project an air of professionalism--that's why I wouldn't be caught dead using my own car when schmoozing prospects, just as I wouldn't dare wear jeans!

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Thanks for the input. Most of the time I figure my clients have no idea which car is mine in the parking lot, but then there are the night appointments when it is just me and a client for I guess it is pretty easy to figure out which car is mine. But I am with you about function and lifespan. I was told my car would make it 200,000 miles and I plan to get there just on principle. LOL.

Michael Raugh, C.H. said...

Wow, Ellie. I'd love to have heard the conversation that prompted this.

Take this for what it's worth: there are some professions where your car is, in essence, your office. Realtors, home care nurses, people like that work out of their cars and so the car becomes a part of their image.

You are not in that kind of career, Ellie. Unless you're specializing in drive-by hypnotism or a very hands-on form of road rage control, I really don't think that what you drive to and from the office matters. A client so narcissistic that they actually deduce which car is yours and then prejudge you on its looks is probably not someone a hypnotist can help anyway.

The one practical reason I can think of for having a "professional-looking" business car would be if you plan on putting your practice name and phone/website on the car prominently, because then you really are using the car as a proxy for yourself. But unless you're already the type who keeps her car compulsively clean and polished I wouldn't advise that, because that car becomes your permanent rolling business card -- if it gets wrinkled or folded or dirty, it will not send the message you want.

(Well, okay, I'll go this far: if your car resembles Axel Foley's Nova from Beverly Hills Cop it's time for a new one no matter how you use it!)


The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Michael. My car is really not that shabby, but an older model (2000), but it doe shave its share of coffee cups littering the floor. LOL.

Michael Raugh, C.H. said...

Yes, I hear you on that. ;^)

Have you thought about getting your car detailed? And maybe hanging a used plastic grocery bag from the back of a seat for your coffee cups? A much more cost-effective approach, maybe.