Confidence is highly regarded in entrepreneurial circles. Without it, the entrepreneur is unable to convince anyone to join his new tribe. With confidence on his side, sales become routine and businesses thrive. Or so the story goes.
But what exactly should the entrepreneur feel confident in?
Often we hear about being confident as a self-esteem issue. Believe in yourself and others will too. If you’re sheepish, nobody will take you seriously. You need to be bold and sure of yourself. Poppycock!
You don’t need confidence in you. You need confidence in what you’re doing. Confidence in your mission. Confidence in your message. Confidence in your method.
I was talking to friend when the topic turned to cars. I have no interest in automobiles of any kind. I don’t care how big the engine, the make or model, or even how many wheels it has. If mine gets me where I’m going, I’m happy.
When the topic turned to his area of expertise, his eyes lit up, his pace of speech quickened, he sat up straighter, and the conversation hit a new gear. He was energized by talking about cars, and he didn’t care if he looked over-zealous. I had just touched on his passion. He knew this topic inside and out, forward and back, and he was going to let me know it, whether I wanted to or not.
He didn’t have to work up a confidence in himself before digging into front end differentials and camshafts. He knew I wasn’t listening to him because I thought HE was someone worth listening to, but because he believed his message was worth telling. He let the message, not himself, be the centerpiece, which made him bold.
If you’re finding yourself lacking confidence as an entrepreneur, you don’t need another pep talk. You need to refine your message and make sure it’s something you believe in.