Inspiring confidence is a key attribute of a successful small business owner or entrepreneur. Confidence from whom? Your team, your customers, your banker, your venture capitalist, your vendors, your family. Just a few people ;-). Some of us are born knowing how to do this and some need a bit of coaching.

Inspiring confidence in others requires having confidence in yourself and before you can do that, you must know yourself. Knowing yourself involves taking a personal inventory. What has made you successful? What are your key strengths? But just as important is why have you failed in the past and what weaknesses are you aware of?

What’s your vision? I am not sure who originally said “set hairy, audacious goals” but you should. You may never get to the ultimate goal, but you will go further, and those around you will believe in you more, if you dream BIG and are…

Passionate! Passion and enthusiasm are behind every successful leader. Enthusiasm should be the first thing you look for in a new employee and should be the number one characteristic used to describe you. Passion drives the engine when the going gets tough.

Remain transparent. People trust those who share the good and bad news. Don’t curl up in a ball and keep hard times to yourself. Gather the troops and tell them. Admit personal and business failures-and then offer a plan for correcting course. You will inspire more confidence this way than if you had never failed at all!

Keep your word. And, if you can’t, at least let the person know ahead of time. Communication is key in small business, large corporations and life. So go out of your way to keep commitments, appointments and meet deadlines, but don’t offer excuses. Just explain what happened and how you will make it right.

What have I left off? Who inspires you? Share your comments below!


by Steven Schlagel