Originally Posted by vvsonikvv
Not to the extent that, if your agent comes to visit you in a beater, will you be as impressed to have him/her work for you? Well, I'm in consulting and I feel everyone here judges and it's all about perception. So when I give someone a ride they might think that I must not be "good enough" to be paid "good enough" since I don't drive a "good enough" car... then they'll treat me differently. Also, my car may be typical of a youngster's car in HS or college. I am also young, and I have been treated non positively due to my age. So my "youngster" car does not help with that.
Last thing I want to see is someone living large off my largesse. You've heard the question "Gee, where are the customer's yachts?"
A neighbor lives a very frugal life and owns a carpet-cleaning business. He does his own house carpentry, overhauls diesel engines for fun, rides a Hog, and is so blue-collar that he thinks Jeff Foxworthy is uppity. During his mid-life crisis (he's in his high 50s) he indulged in a testosterone-drippin' Lotus Triumph. He told me that he was driving it one day when he got a call from a potential restaurant customer for a daily cleaning contract. He rolled up to the curb in the Triumph, right in front of the customer, and could see by the guy's facial expression that he'd just lost the bid. Now when he gets those calls he screams home and jumps into his crappy second-hand van to impress the customers with the high-powered home-built extraction system that he's installed.
Of course in your business everyone judges-- they're consultants. Is their judgment relevant to boosting your finances or your ER plans? Because it seems to me that you're letting their judgment have an adverse effect on both. But that's just my impression from your posts.
Perhaps if any of your bosses gave a crap about your image reflecting positively on the company then you'd be driving a hot chick-magnet company car. Or if they were embarrassed to be seen in your car then they'd give you a ride in theirs instead of using up your
gas & mileage.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard a youngster say to me "Gee, sir, my car is a lot better than yours. Surely with all those big officer bucks you can afford to buy a REAL car, nyuck nyuck!" To which I'd reply: "Well, lieutenant, I'd like to think that my car reflects my inner values instead of my net worth. Besides I bought that sucker used and paid for it with savings when I was still an ensign. It costs a couple hundred a year in repairs and gets 35 mpg. Say, what's your car payment these days? Is it out of the shop yet? Can I give you a ride?"
You see your car as a sign of what-- "immaturity"? "Youthful inexperience"? Perhaps it's a good conversation-starter to point out the beneficial effect that it has on your present cash flow and the future value of your assets. That's the type of financial analysis I'd look for in a consultant of any age. I'd be even more impressed in seeing that wisdom, maturity, and spin-doctoring from a young consultant.
But I've never had a real job, so good luck with whatever approach you feel is most likely to succeed.