Business psychology

Is excess weight holding your biz back?

- September 6, 2016 2 MIN READ

The 10 Pound Barrier

Several years ago I did a small copywriting job for a company in the US who provide branding and celebrity-level publicity for everyday business owners. While working with them, I learnt about the concept of The 10 Pound Barrier. (In Australia, 10 pounds equals around 4.5 kilograms.)

Ten pounds is the amount of excess weight people think they should lose before undertaking such things as professional photographs, YouTube videos, TV interviews, webinars or any other activity that requires people seeing their body.

Those US clients, Jay and Maggie Jessup, wrote in their book Fame 101:

“On the one hand, you can have everything you ever wanted. On the other, your cheeks can look a little thinner in photos. Waiting to pursue fame until your diet begins and finishes is absolute foolishness but a surprisingly frequent barrier on the road to fame.”

They also wrote,

“If the diet thing were the only crazy barrier for people, we could live with that. But unfortunately, it is just one of many obstacles that fit into a category: perfectionism.”

Ah yes, the P word. That perfect, PESKY little word.

Weight perception can affect anyone, including successful business owners.

I was reminded of the 10 Pound Barrier when I saw a Facebook post from fellow Flying Solo contributor and copywriter, Kate Toon. Her post features snippets of videos she’d made. In her post, she wrote:

A year ago Id never made a video.

I wanted to wait until I’d lost a few kilos, I was worried about my hair, my voice, my face, my makeup, my dress sense – or lack of it.

Then I thought ‘SOD IT’ and I went for it.

Since then I’ve made nearly 100 videos.

Not all of them were great.

Some of them make me downright cringy!

But I’ve learned heaps and more importantly they’ve helped build my brand.

Videos help people to get to know you better.

Warts (bad fringes) and all.

And through knowing you they can decide if you’re the person they want to work with, learn from, buy from.

It’s challenging to put yourself out there.

But looking back I’m so proud of my little video career so far.

What to do about weight perception?

Although easier said than done, I believe Kate’s ‘sod it’ approach is a good one. If you want to lose weight, go for it, but waiting for the perfect kilo count could be counterproductive. What if it takes 10 weeks, 10 months or 10 years? What could you have achieved in that time?

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • Do people even care about my weight?
  • What bearing does my weight have on my expertise and results?
  • If someone doesn’t want to connect with me because of my weight, do I even want to connect with them?

In answering these questions, you may come to the conclusion that perception about your weight is holding you and your business back. So maybe it’s time to untether yourself from those beliefs and soar higher than you ever thought possible!

What are your thoughts about excess weight?