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A Peek in Your Wallet

I recently attended a workshop where we were asked to turn to the person to our right and exchange wallets, temporarily. Participation was optional and the wallet would never be out of sight. We were instructed to open them flat on the table in front of us, not remove anything but take notice of the overall appearance. Was it a true reflection of the owner? For the most part, we were strangers and yet we were sharing a very personal item. Our wallets may mean many things from security to being strictly utilitarian to holding intimate details of our lives.

Glancing around the room I couldn’t help but notice the discomfort level rising. This was not intended to be a public shaming, rather an opportunity to see how we often make our wallets the unintended home for everything. For some it’s morphed into a catch-all and a traveling junk drawer that wastes time when looking for something, and isn’t a true representation of the professional woman you want to present to the world.

Was my wallet unique in its size or color or contents? While I think it is organized and meets my needs, I soon realized that there were some things that could be removed. Are you the woman pulling out a banged up, over-stuffed wallet that could double as a purse with receipts falling out and too thick to close? Is that the impression you want to leave a client or colleague with? What else does it say about you as a professional? Do I want to do business with you? Perhaps not!

Hope is not lost and the following tips may be of help:

• Invest in a quality leather wallet- people notice this • $100 cash is a reasonable amount to carry and not a horror if lost or stolen • Generally 2-3 credit cards and your debit card are sufficient for primary and back-up/worst case scenario • Keep gift cards at home unless you know you will be shopping at the store on that day. Remember, they have the same value as CASH! • Your driver’s license for ID purposes • A family or pet photo to remind you of your other, real connections

©2014 MWeisner

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