In America, social status is synonymous with money. The clothes you wear, the car you drive and even the job you have help form your perceived social status. Perhaps you’ve heard the urban legend about the bum collecting coins from pedestrians, but has a mansion in Beverly Hills. Because the bum is seen in a submissive state, begging for money, people immediately assume that the bum is lower class. Anyone who understands the power of perception can use it to their advantage and increase their social status without having more money.
1. Upgrade your footwear
Dating expert Jeremy Hamburgh once said, “When women dress stylishly for a situation, they feel bulletproof.”
To feel bulletproof is to have high self-esteem, and high self-esteem can be synonymous with financial security and an elevated social status. Other people notice the positive energy surrounding confident women, and your peers will feed off that energy when in your company.
You don’t have to break the bank when dressing stylishly. Start with a stylish pair of boots. Many boot styles are multi-seasonal and one good pair will last years. You can find stylish inexpensive cowboy boots at Sheplers or search for valid coupon codes to other online retailers.
Cost = < $100 2. Style your hair
UrbanDictionary.com actually has a definition for the phrase “hair confidence:” higher self-esteem brought on by a stylish new hair cut.
Again, high self-esteem equals elevated social status. You must remember that social status is an illusion. New acquaintances do not know your financial situation or your educational background. They feed off your self-esteem to judge your position on the social totem pole.
Find a friend who will style your hair for free and purchase products over-the-counter rather than from the salon. Optionally, if there is a cosmetic school nearby, you can find students to style your hair for cheap simply because they need the experience.
By styling your hair and upgrading your shoes, you can raise your perceived social status in a weekend.
Cost = < $50 3. Develop a passion for a cause or hobby
Now that you look the part, you must play the part. Spend some time with your own thoughts and define what matters most to you.
-Do you have a strong passion for teen abstinence?
-Do you love to read, write or paint?
-Are you dedicated to knitting?
The question of what matters most to you must be answered in order to set priorities and accomplish goals.
As an example, I know a woman named “Joyce” who is absolutely obsessed with cleaning the house. She doesn’t necessarily like cleaning the house, but she hates dirt more, so she cleans all the time. Joyce also likes making little gift baskets that are unique to each recipient. Her true passion is being creative. It doesn’t matter to her what platform she uses to express her creativity, she just loves to experiment with colors and fabrics and textures to create something beautiful. The problem is that she claims not to have enough time to create her baskets-or anything else for that matter-yet, every time I go over to her apartment she is cleaning.
During the last conversation I had with Joyce, I told her that she needed to decide what was more important to her: making baskets or cleaning the house. After a lengthy, hard argument, Joyce finally admitted that while she certainly valued a clean house, being creative gave her more joy. At times she even used the chore of house cleaning as a means of expressing her creativity by rearranging furniture.
For now Joyce is committed to making her baskets and networking with local businesses for material and ideas. But she’s free to change her mind at any time. And if her custom basket business becomes a success, she could set her own hours and still maintain a clean house.
Cost = $0
4. Join trade associations
After defining what you enjoy about life, look for trade or non-profit organizations that support your passion and engage with their community of like-minded people. It’s important to remember that your friends with absolutely no interest in your passions will always overlook your brilliance. You will never become known as the top archeologist in the nation, if you don’t network with other archeologists.
You may have to spend a little money to join an official association, but the networking and resources that you are privy to can be well worth it. The local chapters of some associations have monthly networking mixers which are good for finding collaborators. Your goal is to get to know the most prominent figure associated with your passion and build a strong professional relationship. Through strategic alliances you will gain social status within your field.
Cost = < $150 per year 5. Start a hobby group
Don’t just rely on others to initiate action. In addition to joining a group or two, start one of your own. Start an online group with the goal of growing it into an offline social gathering. Stay abreast of the concerns of others in your field and be open to questions from new people that share your same passion.
Cost = $0
6. Develop a seal of approval
Create a certificate or award and give it to others you consider to be leaders or active participants in your field. Be sure to give some awards locally as well as nationally. Acknowledging industry players in your geographical region will establish local credibility. Publicize it heavily with press releases and an inexpensive ceremony.
Cost = nominal
7. Start a blog
Now that you’re active and engaging with society, educate the world on your passion. Keep the drive alive and let everyone know by writing about it. There are free blogging options as well as low-cost monthly hosting plans.
Cost = free to < $100 per year Raising your social status-or social influence-begins with dressing for the part. Remember, unless you're trying to be a runway model, you don't have to wear expensive name brand fashions. Then, strategically engage the most influential social circles. Take every step of this action plan seriously, and make sure to express that seriousness when you network with others. Perseverance will prevail and one day you will look back on all this is and remember that it started with a new pair of boots.