Can you imagine walking into a clothing store and the employee says “thank goodness you’ve stopped in…we are down to our last dollar and your sale will help us pay the bills this month.” Doesn’t that sound outrageous? And a little desperate?
While that example is an extreme one it is the way I see many businesses operate; with lack of confidence, defeated, and grasping for straws. No one wants to hear how bad you are doing, how you are barely making it, why your business isn’t succeeding, or the threat of never starting because of a lack of resources. Our culture seems to applaud the internal beating up of ourselves and encourages us to take that approach with others also. This very through heightens our fear of reaching for success.
Just think for a moment…When you meet people and introduce your business, what do you say? Do you lead the conversation with hesitation; I am Kia Jarmon with MEPR Agency? Notice the question mark? I hear many business owners who question their very existence, which makes it difficult for the consumer to find confidence in the brand they so anxiously want to support.
Think about it like this! You set the tone for your company. The words that come from your mouth make all the difference in a sell or being placed on a “do not call” list. Many business owners tap into shame because they are not able to afford certain business tools or are operating within a minimum budget. I have heard it all:
I’m trying to…I wish I could…If I had more…Soon, I’m going to…My little business…
I have concluded that most create embarrassment in their minds that inhibit them from getting off the ground or ever growing. Why is that? Because…
There is fear of perceived failure or not living up to what others think
They consider their business a hobby or part time gig versus a business that is enhancing the scope of the local economy
Most are comfortable being content and not moving their business into a growth zone
So how do you overcome under confidence?
Work with what you have: When having a conversation it is so much more important to highlight to attributes or resources that you do have rather than those that are still in the cue. You will find that the areas that you are lacking hardly ever come up in the conversation.
Know your story: Write down three one-sentence stories that explain who you are, what you do, and how you provide value to your customers/clients. This will keep you on task and make it easier for you to remain confident. It is my belief that if you make money based on opening your mouth then you better be prepared to share your story! I do not suggest memorizing the statements but rather allowing them to naturally integrate into your conversation. Find your rhythm, speak consistently, and end sentences or thoughts with the correct punctuation.
Become uncomfortable: What makes you the most uncomfortable about saying I own or I consult or I am with XYZ organization and confidently selling your company? You are your biggest fan and you will have to deal with the discomfort of that. Most people have a difficult time with this concept but just know that it is a mindset change that can enhance your business. I challenge you to incorporate one uncomfortable item into your business each month and document the change in the action/reaction of others.
The holiday season is filled with networking events and after work gatherings so meeting people will be at an all time high. What changes will you make to see the glass as half full?
Kia Jarmon is a brand strategist and PR coach with boutique public relations firm, The MEPR Agency (www.MEPRagency.com). She speaks, blogs,mentors, and is soon to be an author. You can find more information at her personal brand site, www.KiaJarmon.com