Developing confidence is one of the most important keys to becoming successful in all areas of your life.
Women prefer men who are confident, and vice versa. Customers want to deal with service providers who are confident about their products and services. We are all naturally attracted to those who appear confident.
However, I don’t think most people are born with it. Maybe some, I don’t know for sure, but I certainly wasn’t.
Some kids may seem like they’re fearless, but I was afraid of everything as a small kid. I was shy and introverted.
So as you can imagine, when I decided to go into sales, it was a bit of a shock to some of my family. Heck, I was even told flat out – “you’re not really cut out for that.”
And in the field where I spent over a decade, direct sales of financial products and services, being confident was really important. As in, your livelihood depended on it.
Here’s what I have discovered – you can develop an incredible amount of confidence, no matter how shy, introverted and fearful you may have been as a kid.
Check this out…
It’s August 1998. We are on our honeymoon in Greece. I’m laying on the beach looking at the Mediterranean Sea, when I get a bright idea to quit my full-time job when I get back to the States.
Now, I’m 22 years old and making roughly $50,000/yr. My wife works part-time, and is going to school. So it’s all on me pretty much. And I’m about to quit my job, to go into this business, which I was messing around with for 3 1/2 years on the side, and barely made any money.
So, we get back home and I give them by 2 week notice.
October 3rd, 1998 I’m a FREE MAN!
That first month, in October, I made around $600.
Next month, almost the same.
It’s now spring of 1999. I’ve been full-time in that crazy direct sales business I chose for about 8 months. And truthfully, I am dying.
I’m making very little money, but my desire to keep going is stronger than my desire to quit.
Thanks to my wife I get a killer lead. A lady who is getting close to half a Million Dollars in a divorce settlement, and she’s looking for a financial advisor.
We meet, and I give the best presentation I could. But this lady can’t make up her mind. She’s also meeting with several financial advisors from other BIG NAME firms. She’s bringing her kids to meet with me to see if they like me. She even asked her ex-husband to come in (the guy she just divorced who’s giving her all this cash) so that he can check me out.
Tough gig, I’m telling you.
Anyways, we’re going back and forth for about a month.
Finally she comes into my office and says – “Vitaly, I’ve been talking to this other financial advisor and he told me why would I want to invest my money with a 22 year old kid, when he’s been in the business for longer than that?”
Ouch. I wasn’t prepared to answer that. It wasn’t in my “objection handling” book. So I said the first thing that came to mind.
I asked her – “How long do you plan on investing this money?”
“15 to 20 years at least, maybe a bit longer.”
“And how old is this other guy?”
“He’s in his early 60’s”
“I see, so in all due respect to his many years of experience, in 20 years, when he’s in his 80’s, is he still going to manage your money?”
She pulls out her checkbook, and says – “I’ll give you $109,000 right now. The rest I’m going to think about investing later or maybe doing something else with it.”
This was my first BIG client, of many more to come over the next 7 years. And any time I ever needed a boost in my confidence, I just thought back about that moment. That success. That win.
Anytime I had to ask for a check or a fee, I thought about it. Anytime I had to face a potentially big client, I thought about it. Anytime I had to dive into a big project that may have seemed like it’s “out of my league”, I mentally took myself back to that moment and thought about that success.
And you know what – it works like a charm.
Do you have something in your past you could use as an anchor, a success trigger that would energize you and give you that confidence boost?
I’m willing to bet you do.
Maybe it’s a win you had as a kid on the baseball field, or some contest.
Maybe it’s an award, a trophy you got in school, or for playing a sport.
Maybe you asked that pretty girl to the prom, and she said YES.
Maybe you landed a job, or a big client like I did.
Or maybe you can speak another language fluently, or play a musical instrument, or…. (you fill in the blank.)
Whatever it is, if you dig deep enough, you have been successful in your past. Doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. EVERYTHING counts. And you can tap into that success feeling, into that “big win” you had, and use that energy to boost your confidence and create more and bigger success in the future.
There are plenty of books on the subject, teaching many ways to develop confidence. All good stuff. But I have yet to find a more dynamic way to crush self doubt and gain instant confidence than by tapping into the power of your own past successes, and project them into the future.
“Success breeds success”