Although television and movies have made the public feel that expensive shoes, lavish cars and giant homes are the big indications of success, that is only a misconception of the truth.

The real truth is that most households are burdened with credit card debt, and many young professionals are continually paying on their student loans.

Professional success is something that must be earned, not bought. It’s based on the strong trust that you build through hard work and dedication with your clients, and the respect you earn with your peers.

Try to avoid the common misconceptions of success and earn a great reputation with those around you based on your professionalism and hard work.

1~ Look of Success. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars at expensive suit shops and boutiques for your professional attire. Although looking professional is important, quality clothing can be purchased at many stores. Avoid buying the latest trends and instead invest wisely with classic suits that can be worn for years by adding different accent pieces to liven them up.

2~ Office Space. Many feel that having an office with a great view is essential to impress new clients. But it is never fun to spend all of your extra money trying to cover the extremely expensive rent payments. Your main focus is to meet the needs of your clients, and having an upscale office space does not achieve that goal.

3~ Quality Cards. One thing that shouldn’t be skimped on are your business cards. Business cards make a strong impression on clients and should always have embossed text on quality card stock. You want your card to stand out and capture the attention of future clients.

4~ Don’t Show Off. Renting a huge yacht or an expensive sports car for vacation may be fun to you, and should be done if it is something that you truly enjoy. But if you do these things to try to seem more successful and show off to other – don’t. People tend to want to give their business to those that they can relate to, and those that seem genuine. By flaunting your success, you may lose both your credibility and some clients along the way.

5~ Stay Humble. No matter how far your success takes you, the most important thing is to stay humble. Clients like people that continue to connect with them and seek feedback, years down the road after their first connection. Never forget the small connections and businesses that helped you achieve your success in the first place.

Even if you have achieved full success, take time to remember those that helped get you to that point, and continue to remain the hard working and trust worthy person that they knew in the beginning. Gaining the respect of all clients and colleagues is the real definition of success.