9 Ways to Show More Confidence in Business
By Jacqueline Whitmore
Many entrepreneurs share specific qualities that are vital for starting and growing a business. They are passionate, resilient, focused on opportunities and comfortable with risks. But the quality that might have the most influence over an entrepreneur’s success is confidence.
You’re much more likely to approach a stranger about your latest business idea or effectively pitch a new client if you feel self-assured. Most of the activities an entrepreneur participates in every day (product launches, critical business decisions, even board meetings) require some level of confidence.
If you want to achieve great success, you must believe that you are worthy. Here are some helpful hints for boosting your confidence in yourself and your business.
1. Package yourself for success.
When you look the part, you’ll carry yourself with more confidence. Dressing well communicates to others that you are knowledgeable, powerful and competent. When choosing clothing, remember to dress for the occasion and your client’s emotional comfort. Before any meeting with an important client, research his company’s image, office environment and internal values.
2. Correct your posture.
If your work requires you to sit in front of a desk for most of the day, chances are your posture has suffered. Don’t slouch when meeting with clients, customers or colleagues. Poor posture may make you appear insecure, lazy or disinterested. Try to make a conscious effort to roll your shoulders back and elongate your spine. Keep your head in a neutral position with your chin slightly raised.
3. Do your best and worry less.
Entrepreneurs who lack self-assurance often stress about what others might think about them. Negative self-talk can quickly make you feel as though others are evaluating every error and misstep you make. Focus on all the things you do well and hire other experts to take care of the rest.
4. Focus on the future.
If you find yourself being caught up in the minutiae of daily business, remind yourself to think about your dreams for the future. If you take a few minutes to focus on your goals, you’ll be able to refocus on what’s most important to you and your business.
5. Embrace positivity.
We’re bombarded with negativity all day, every day. To counteract the negative energy around you –from what’s conveyed in the daily news to the comments of grumpy colleagues — fill your mind with positive thoughts. Show gratitude for small acts of kindness and be appreciative of those around you. If you make it a habit to be positive and grateful, it will become second nature.
6. Let go of small mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes so don’t expect to be perfect or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Try not to dwell on small errors. If you make a mistake with a client, don’t obsess over what you might have done wrong. Instead, take responsibility. Apologize, fix the mistake as soon as possible and move forward.
7. Continue to grow and improve.
A small accomplishment can help boost your confidence, even if it’s not entirely related to your business. Learn a new skill, take a class at a local university or read a book on a subject that interests you. If you’d like to excel at something specific such as playing golf or public speaking, invest in yourself and take lessons.
8. Schedule time to play.
If you put in 60 to 80 hours of work every week and never take time to rest, you’ll eventually push yourself toward burnout and sheer exhaustion. Make sure you set aside time to do the things you love in life. Escort your child or dog to the park, take walks during your lunch break or participate in an exercise class at a local gym. If you invest time in your hobbies, friends and family, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer your next challenge.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Whenever you find yourself in an epic struggle against self-doubt, call a trusted friend, advisor or colleague and get his or her best advice. Often an objective opinion will help you look at life differently, overcome your challenges and transform your attitude.
Make sure you set aside time to do the things you love in life. Escort your child or dog to the park, take walks during your lunch break or participate in an exercise class at a local gym. If you invest time in your hobbies, friends and family, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer your next challenge.
Making an Impact
Two-and-a-half years ago, Rose Broome had a moment that most San Franciscans are all too familiar with. She passed a homeless woman on the streets, but didn’t know what the best way to help her would be. Most people might brush that thought aside, but Broome didn’t. For Broome, it was just the start of a longer journey as a social entrepreneur. She partnered with San Francisco nonprofits like Project Homeless Connect and opened a crowdfunding site called HandUp where people could fund specific needs for specific homeless people. One of the most commonly requested features from donors was gift cards that people could give out directly on the street to people they pass by every day. Broome and the team began testing $25 gift cards out that homeless people could redeem at Project Homeless Connect for food or other goods. Broome says the gift cards work positively in two ways. They provide donors with more ways to give, but they’re also a way to encourage the city’s homeless population to get in touch with case workers who can connect them with more programs and support. Nice job Rose!
In Another’s Words
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
– Helen Keller