If you were to interview the top CEOs around the world, you would discover a pattern: They have all relied on their personal confidence to build their companies and brands to the successes they embody today. Though successful entrepreneurs share this trait, it takes on a variety of forms. Confidence can mean allocating capital toward a brand that others don’t believe in; hiring someone less qualified in whom you see potential, or putting it all on the line to market your idea.
The reality is that bold, responsive, resilient actions reflect confidence and build confidence in others. An entrepreneur has to learn how to harness their personal momentum to build a business of integrity, inspire trust in their brand, and take on obstacles unflinchingly. This is the kind of mentality that creates industry-shifting brands and is a powerful way to manifest a personal life and professional culture defined by resilience and balance.
Take an Opportunity When You See It
You may believe that building a business plan is the most obvious first step in your next business venture. However, some opportunities are not so clear, and when building a brand, it is essential to have the ability to see opportunities when they are available. The ability to recognize an opportunity for what it is and take advantage of it is often more important than the effort to create opportunity out of sheer will. Avoid tunnel vision and keep an open mind!
Focus on Moving Forward
Successful people know that stagnation is not an option — not in their personal lives nor their professional ones; one either improves or slowly degrades. Personal confidence means generating a sense of urgency and continuously trying to forge a path forward. It is about identifying the questions at hand and finding solutions for problems rather than accepting or ignoring them. Perseverance like this is what builds a brand and gives us the strength to overcome adversity. Today’s finance market is competitive, but the business owners who constantly strive to figure out what’s next for themselves and their company will always end up on top.
Stay in Your Lane
Too many entrepreneurs lose sight of their vision. They become overwhelmed by new ideas and have difficulty remaining focused on their industry. However, if you remain focused on your product and industry, you provide yourself the ability to grow and expand. For example, in real estate, you must always be able to identify the trends impacting the market and customize your business model to try to push the envelope. By staying in your lane, recognizing distractions, and refocusing your energy, you are able to become the expert in your industry and meet financial projections that are otherwise impossible.
Follow Your Intuition
Knowing what to do with advice is a real challenge in the business world. When an industry expert offers you their insight, you may be inclined to act on it, even if it goes against your intuition. However, if your gut tells you something, you should listen. When hiring, for example, it is tempting to hire the candidate with the most impressive resume, but that rarely works out. Instead, pay attention to how that candidate makes you feel during the interview, and ask yourself how they might impact your company culture. If that candidate with the perfect resume rubs you the wrong way, move on – no matter how highly recommended they may be. It is imperative that you create your own path, and if you make mistakes along the way, you can learn and readjust. Listen to your gut, listen to your intuition, and ask for opinions. Trust in the good intentions of others, but make your own decisions.
Build a Confident Culture
A brand’s success does not solely rely on management but instead relies on the team that helps create the brand from the beginning. It takes creative thinking and innovation to go above and beyond, and every leader should consider this when conducting their hiring process. Hire self-starters and then give them the support they need to thrive. Encourage them to take breaks, take vacations, take care of themselves, practice healthy lifestyles, and exercise. Give them not just permission but encouragement to get away and recharge their batteries. A burnt-out team can’t perform at its best.
The truth is that motivated people get overwhelmed as a function of their success. If you’re successful, you take on more work. Like with any good employee: if they’re good, you want them doing more for the company. Help your best employees understand they are running a marathon, not a sprint. If you value them, teach them to pace themselves and help them manage their workload. Investing in those valuable people now will pay off in the long run.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
It’s not enough to have a good product; customers and employees deserve a sense of connection. Use your marketing to build trust, credibility, and authority in your industry. It’s okay to boast a little bit about what you are trying to do while making a name for yourself. When you build your brand, having confidence means taking an active role in establishing yourself as a thought leader.
While you work to establish your industry voice, keep in mind that your position of authority grants you a public persona that you have to manage accordingly. Treat your persona like it’s a mutable business asset. This takes effort, but understand that public taste changes; what worked five years ago does not necessarily work today. You must take a proactive and thoughtful approach when marketing yourself and your business. Keeping your personal self and your business self compartmentalized is also an important way to balance your life. You should draw on your personal confidence in your business ventures but keep some of your life for yourself.
A culture of trust is as important as it is slow to develop. Start with your employees and your integrity – do what you say you’re going to do and reward strong performance. Your employees will notice, and your words will start to carry weight.
Without trust, you have no business, and squandering goodwill can be a death blow for your company. If you do the right thing repeatedly, you will find both personal and entrepreneurial success. And the opposite is probably true, too. Do what you know is right, build recognition for that in your industry, and always value your credibility. When it is appropriate, don’t be afraid to talk about that integrity, either. It is not bragging but rather a business strategy — a personal and professional orientation toward the world worth being proud of and marketing. If you live with integrity, conduct business with sincerity, and earn the trust of your employees and customers, you have every right to market that part of your business and self.
Be Conscious of Today’s Competitive Market
The explosion of disruptive companies and changing dynamics in the marketplace have created a more competitive atmosphere than ever before. People and companies seem to shift into industries overnight. To stay relevant, you have to constantly be conscious about what you bring to the table. What is your value proposition? Why are you in the arena you’re in? And why are people doing business with you? As long as you keep asking those questions, you will be able to compete.
Know Your Value
A lot of people make mistakes when they start businesses. They either try to move too fast, or they feel like they need a partner or partners. But when you lean too much on others, you dilute your own worth and confidence. Instead of bringing on unnecessary partners and reducing your equity by 50 percent or more, surround yourself with people you trust and incentivize them to be a part of your team. Don’t be afraid to be the sole founder, and don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions.
Resilience is similar to tenacity: Resilient people don’t believe in giving up or hearing no. The most resilient business owners thrive when they’re up against a wall; resilience means framing adversity as opportunity.
When there’s nothing obvious to improve when there’s nothing to fix or to worry about – that can make people nervous. However, when there’s a definable obstacle or definable challenge or problem you’re trying to solve, there’s pressure. Pressure prompts you to address a problem, and resilient people don’t shy away from conflicts or problems. Instead, they’re the ones out in front looking for those challenges, and they’re happy to take them on and solve them. To them, it’s just another day — another opportunity to make the business stronger. Resilient people know that every time they endure a setback or a hardship, that ultimately, they’re coming through that stronger and more capable.