Guest Post: What These Men Have In Common and What It Means For Your Success

Guest post by Kaylene Mathews (

A man in his late 20′s working as a stock broker by day, homeless single parent by night. A man in his late teens passing as a variety of professionals including air line pilot, doctor, lawyer and college professor. You may have guessed by the descriptions who these men are. They have written books about their unique experiences which Hollywood subsequently turned into popular movies. The first is Chris Gardner. His life and story being the inspiration for the movie, The Pursuit of Happynessstarring Will Smith. The second is Frank Abagnale whose story inspired the film Catch Me if You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

I read each of their books recently. If you know their stories, you will know that one was a man of integrity who had fallen on some hard times. The other was a first-rate con man causing others to fall on hard times. However, a few points of similarity caught my attention.

What we learn from their similarities can position us for success.

1. Each, dressed the part. Whatever the professional role Abagnale was posing as, he had the uniform for it. He found a way to get the attire he needed to complete each persona. Gardner owned only two suits. He didn’t have a place to call his own, but found a way to look the part of a stock broker. Both of them knew, and demonstrated that the first step to obtaining what you want is looking the part. It makes others accept that you are that role even before they know you.

2. Each, talked the part. Both men read all they could about their professions. They knew the jargon of the profession and could converse articulately about it. Even though you dress the part, when you open your mouth, you have to talk the part. Whatever role I have had in my life I have read everything I could get my hands on about the topic. When I started a business, I read books on the topic, attended seminars, took classes, talked with other people in my field. No matter what you do or want to do, become an expert.

3. Each conveyed confidence in their part. When you are successful at dressing and talking the part, you will feel more confident. You must demonstrate confidence, whether you actually feel confident or not. People can be persuaded by your confidence or lack of it.

Even though Gardner and Abagnale had inauspicious beginnings, dressing, talking and demonstrating confidence in “the part” were key stepping stones to their success. Applying these steps to your life can position you for success as well.

About Kaylene Mathews:  (

Board Certified Coach and President of KSMLifeCoaching, Kaylene Mathews equips and empowers individuals and groups to gain the clarity they need to achieve their personal and professional best through coaching and training services. She authors a twice weekly blog, monthly newsletter and just published her first book, available on Amazon.

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