I have tattoos, 3 of them, they’re quite simple line images and quotes that I love but they’re still there and 9 out of 10 people who find this out (as they’re not overly visible most of the time) say the same thing- “you don’t seem the type”.
This always confuses me. What type don’t I seem, the type to have tattoos or the type to be passionate enough about something that I’m happy to ink my skin? I always smile nicely, murmur something noncommittal and change the subject.
The truth is that although people’s preconceptions irk me slightly they play to my advantage. Those preconceptions are what allow people to underestimate me and that’s when I can have the most fun and often, the most influence.
I’ve been into negotiations where people have assumed I’m just the mouthpiece, not the decision maker, and invariably I’ve got a much better deal because of it. I’ve been in pitches where people have assumed I don’t understand manufacturing or logistics and I’ve got great concessions because of it.
I’m not for one minute suggesting I pretend to be something I’m not, I just don’t correct people who make their minds up before knowing me. I try not to do the same, I’m always open to people and what they can do- sometimes that’s a great thing and sometimes it’s a let down but I’d rather be like that than underestimate someone.
Just a thought for a Saturday night. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to research tattoo number 4!