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I have visible tattoos on my wrists, I’m young, and I fly a lot, and usually in yoga pants (as I am as I type this). If you’re judging me by my cover, you have no idea that I own a marketing consultancy and head digital marketing for several brands, I have a 4 year old (whose dad is in the Middle East) and 2 dogs to keep alive, as well as myself; I’m exhausted.

I see and hear the judgement all the time, but what am I supposed to look like? Even Ty Bennett gave an example of judgmental passengers asking him “Who would hire you to speak?” as he boarded a plane in shorts and flip flops.

You know what, I’ll admit, when I see a man flying in a suit, I assume he has a dull life and job. I could be right, but I’m probably not.

Why do we do this to each other? Why are we so quick to judge? What does success look like? Why do I need to dress to the nines if I don’t have a client meeting until tomorrow? If you saw me in an airport and said “Oh, she’s a marketing professional,” what would I be wearing? Would my tattoos be covered? If you had any idea what one of my tattoos meant, you’d be a little more kind.

Judge me, that’s fine, but get to know me after you judge me.

I can attest to this. A few Brand Camps ago, I gave people a chance. I let them into my life, and they let me into theirs. I am happy to call two of these people my best friends, and I’m even in one of their weddings. These people have been there for me through thick and thin, and even when they didn’t know they were making an impact—because they let me in.

Tommy Spaulding talked about judging someone based on their looks— covered in tattoos and piercings— and she ended up being one of the most important people in his life, and he’ll be walking her down the aisle next year. Look beyond the skin, clothes and tattoos—we are all human inside, we all have a story — and we all need to be let in.

How well do you know the people in your business? The people you work with? Your front line? Take time to build relationships; the return is priceless.

We all lead with our heads, but it’s time to lead with our hearts. Be judged on how you love and serve other people. I cannot wait to come back next year to hear about how we’ve opened up, let people in, and have taken the time to build relationships.

Chelsea Hickey is a digital marketer & community manager for Converse Digital. Connect with her on Twitter!