Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Solid to the Core

Surefire ways to build your core confidence.

This story appears in the September 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you want to accomplish great things, break into new accounts, get the attention of key decision-makers and take your company to higher levels of success, you'll need unshakable . This kind of confidence cannot be faked. So how do you create core confidence no matter what obstacles you encounter? These two strategies will make a difference:

  1. Continuous preparation and action ensure unshakable confidence.You create and maintain depth of character every day. Everything you do contributes to how you stand on what you sell. What is your follow-up like after meetings and after the sale? Do you stop and think several times during the day and ask yourself, "What is the most productive use of my time right now?" Do you put your heart and mind into everything you do? Do you take care of the details or just fritter away your time and energy on senseless activities? Think about it. We build confidence by planting seeds for future opportunities and not becoming complacent when success comes our way. As soon as we stop and coast for too long, our skills decay. You've heard that success breeds success; that's because we come to a high point in our actions and our enthusiasm is the culmination of all the hard work that went before.
  2. The in who you are and the value of what you're selling must be solid to the core.Don't second-guess who you are and what you believe in. The goal is to improve who you are rather than try to be like someone else. Are you comfortable with who you are? Think about whether you are operating from your core belief system and taking the actions your gut tells you to take. Most people don't realize how powerful they become when they don't have to think during their actions. In the middle of an important presentation, for example, you don't hesitate because you know what to say and you say what you mean.

Where does hesitation come from? Why are we sometimes unsure? Because we don't prepare enough, read enough, study enough and work long enough. Our strength comes more from knowing that we have put in the work and prepared for success than from what we learn from the actual preparation. Our conscience feels we have earned the right to be more confident on a consistent basis. And when I say "core confidence," I mean the belief system that lies deep inside you and the strength that centers you. Your core confidence will be tested when you go through difficult situations. English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill once wrote, "One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interest." One of the differences between people with interests and people with beliefs is that the people with deep-seated beliefs set goals and act on them.

The foundation of your character is built on preparation and action, coupled with your belief and passion for what you do. This will create unshakable confidence.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks