Say it Loud, Say it Proud

Do you sound confident when talking about your business? Be fearless and use these four confidence-boosting tips.

By Romanus Wolter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We entrepreneurs are heroes in many people's eyes--achievinggoals no matter the circumstances. They see us as fearless andwilling to take unusual and repeated actions to achieve our dreams.People respect the drive, determination and personal powernecessary to turn our dreams into reality.

Successful entrepreneurs must combine two different drives: aninteractive, public one designed to draw people to our ideas, andan equally powerful private one that keeps our dreams ignited.Often, these drives are at odds with each other, causing us to becritical of ourselves and lowering our self-esteem. They can createa feeling that we shouldn't "sing our own praises,"fearing that if we do, others may misinterpret it as boasting.

Feelings and actions are intertwined. To be fearless whendiscussing your business with others, you need to spend timeinternally embracing and congratulating yourself for what you havealready accomplished. Give your self-esteem a shot in the arm, andincrease your personal power with these tips:

1. Be true to yourself. Passion and action have groundedyou, creating a solid foundation for all your business encounters.Build your reputation and self-esteem by listing all youraccomplishments, large and small, and the obstacles you had toovercome to reach them. Use this list to affirm your positivequalities and acknowledge your success.

2. Identify possibility in every conversation.Communication is the key to enabling people to connect with yourgoals and, consequently, provide you with specific resources andcontacts. Instead of closing doors on amazing opportunities, gainthe confidence to tell others about your business by convertingyour list of accomplishments into persuasive dialogue. Do not tryto convince others of your success; simply focus on how yourcustomers benefit from you. Speaking positively energizes your souland conquers self-doubt. It opens people's minds toopportunities and gives them reasons to refer business to you.

3. Be specific when you answer questions. If youdon't speak about your goals, no one will help you achievesuccess. Less is more--tell people what they need to know by onlyanswering the questions they ask. Embellishing on a topic can makeyou seem nervous and needy. If anyone wants more information, theywill ask follow-up questions. Increase your "conversationalconfidence" by developing specific answers to the questionsmost frequently asked by your colleagues.

4. Trust your instincts. You make the best decisions youcan with the information you currently possess. Don't fall intothe trap of "I could have done that differently orbetter." Gain personal power by acknowledging that you arecontinually learning and moving forward toward your goals. Youdon't need to immediately have all the answers--just have theself-confidence to know you are capable of finding them.

At the end of each day, review your progress. Reflect on andappraise your accomplishments; it helps you prepare for your nextendeavor. When you learn to speak self-assuredly about yourabilities and accomplishments, others will start to spread yourgood news.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The KickStart Guy," is author of Kick Start Your DreamBusiness.

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