Nothing sells like confidence. People just trust people who look like they know what they are doing, whether or not they actually do (like ‘ol Ron). Hence the term confidence, or “con”, man.
In business, though, we aren’t out to trick, scheme, or manipulate people (if you are, leave my blog). We want to conduct honest transactions with folks who need or want what we are offering. However, in my experience, there are a lot of really talented people out there who have great things to offer consumers, but they lack the hutzpa to sell it like they mean it, so never succeed.
On the other hand, I’ve seen (I think we all have) much less skilled and experienced people make sales and get jobs simply because they projected an air of control and, well, confidence, in their abilities.
Confidence sells. So the question is, how can you become more confident in your business dealings? How can you become a closer, someone who not only lands the deal, but has people searching him/her out to do business with?
Here are 3 confidence building truths to live by as you go to work tomorrow:
1) Nothing builds confidence like competence.
Whatever you do for a living, get really, really good at it. No single thing will help you believe in your abilities like making them superior abilities. This means practice, ask questions, practice some more, learn from those more experienced than you, read blogs by thought leaders in your industry, go to conferences, and practice. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, popularized the 10,000 hour rule of human excellence, and at least for high skilled occupations, it holds largely true. So, work as fast and hard as you can to get your 10,000 hours in. Competence pays dividends in confidence.
2) Even superstars get nervous.
Even the most high achieving individuals you will meet (especially them, in fact) will tell you they still wake up at night and wonder how the world doesn’t see them for the fraud they are, the novice, the incompetent. I have had multiple PhD’s tell me that when they left their dissertation defenses, they felt like kindergartners. I have seen brilliant thinkers like Christopher Hitchens openly wonder how people consider them an expert at anything.
Everybody, no matter how skilled or experienced or popular or advanced, still gets nervous that they are not good enough. As a matter of fact, if someone tells you otherwise, it is a sure sign that they don’t know what excellence really means. You are supposed to be nervous about your abilities. That’s what gets you out of bed every day and drives you to get better.
3) You will never regret striving for excellence.
In one of the businesses I have been in over the years, lawn maintenance, I spent lots of time with elderly people, and I heard one particular piece of advice from every single one of them. As they looked back over their long lives, these wise people universally encouraged me to take my time on earth by the horns and make something of it. Most of our fears are over short term difficulties; try to keep the long view in mind. I know that sounds a little like Deepak Chopra, but think of it like this. At the end of your life, is it really going to matter to you if you failed some but mostly succeeded? No. You will only regret not putting yourself out there.
We are all just upright mammals trying to do our best in the world, and that alone should give you confidence. Like that sage of self help, Stuart Smalley, once said, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me.”
Bottom line: Get good at something you like, and the confidence will come. Confidence that sells.
Thanks for reading.