What's the secret ingredient to Success?

           Photo by .Bala 

You are a fantastic small business owner!

You’ve got a great product that people need.  You know how to deliver the product, you know the industry, you know how to help people solve problems – ultimately you deliver value.

You’ve been to training, maybe you’re certified, you know your product or service inside and out.  If anything you get distracted by all of the great things you could do!

You’ve honed and focused your marketing message.  You have a clearly defined target market, you have a vision, you have a plan on how to reach that market and you are tracking your activity and results.

However…

If you’re a typical small business owner, you’re probably not making as much money as you’d like.  You don’t have nearly enough clients / customers.  You’re working a lot of hours.  You have a lot of stress, worrying about how you’re going to break through.

You might even be carrying around some desperation – I really need this job / client / sale or I’m not going to make my numbers, my payroll, my rent.

What can you do?

There are a lot of possible ways to get over your hurdle, but the single biggest component regardless of your approach is confidence!  Strong self-esteem, belief in yourself (and your product), faith that you can and are doing great stuff.

It sounds overly simplistic, but here are some reasons why confidence is so important:

1.  Confidence is compelling. 

It’s unlikely that other people will believe you unless you believe in yourself.  Have you ever tried to sell a product or a service that you didn’t like very much?  If you’re a really good actor you might be able to make some progress, but it’s exhausting and an uphill battle that will eventually beat you down. 

Contrast that with something you believe very strongly in – you are naturally going to evangelize that belief and share it with people.  Everything is easier when you believe in what you’re doing.

2.  Confidence is attractive. 

People are naturally drawn to confident individuals, it’s a huge part of being a successful leader.  Your ability to attract a prospect’s attention is directly impacted by the confidence you project.

3.  Confidence leads to actions. 

When you really and truly believe in what you’re doing, it’s very easy to take supporting actions – whether that’s cold calling prospects, presenting in front of a group of people or just following through on the marketing and sales plans you’ve put together.  You aren’t fighting demons of insecurities, you are following through on obvious next steps that need to be done.

How do you develop confidence?

As a small business owner, you’ve already more than halfway there.  You’ve wouldn’t have been able to make the leap into going into business for yourself if you didn’t innately possess more confidence than the average person.

Think of all the really smart people you know that work for other people or in corporate environments that can’t make that leap.

The other good news is that confidence is all about your state of mind.  Although it’s easy to lose confidence because you had a bad day, a difficult customer or whatever, it’s just as easy to build that confidence back up.

Here are some ideas for developing self-confidence:

  1. Be prepared:  Not only a good scouting motto, it applies in the real world as well.  Once you’ve done your homework, you’ve planned – when you know your stuff, it’s easy to be confident about delivering it.
  2. Tell success stories:  Unless you’re just starting out, you have clients that are happy with you.  Find a way to make an interesting (and short) anecdotes out of those successes and use them when you’re talking with people.
  3. Be positive and optimistic:  There are studies that demonstrate that smiling and carrying yourself in a positive way (head back, shoulders up) will influence your outlook.  A big part of confidence is about a positive optimistic outlook. 
  4. Envision your success:  Olympic class athletes often use a training methodology of imagining their desired outcome, in intense detail, as one of the best ways to prepare for an event.  The feel of the ball, the sound of the gym before the game winning free throw, the perfect swish through the nets.  By the time they get to the real thing, they’ve already done it – successfully – and it’s not a big deal.
  5. Put things into perspective:  What if you were independently wealthy?  The outcome of the next big sale would mean nothing to your bottom line – you actually don’t care if they sign up or not.  It may not be true, but act like it is – it can really give you a different mind set.

This will likely be an ongoing exercise, most people need to build their confidence up on a regular basis, but once it becomes a habit it’s becomes second nature and is much easier to achieve.

Finally, here’s a way to shift your perspective:  You have a great product / service that your prospects need and want.  If you don’t confidently approach them, you are depriving them of the opportunity to work with you.  It is a real loss for them if they don’t end up working with you (you might even feel badly for them!).  You will be hurting them if you don’t make every effort to get them to buy your product.

What do you think about confidence?  Have you noticed what an impact it can have on your day to day activities?  Share your stories here.

Shawn Kinkade   www.aspirekc.com

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