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    Entrepreneurs – be confident, start earning your worth and appreciate others

    May 2019

    There is a social plague called modesty. It is the single main dynamic that can erode your value and the value of your business. Your mother most probably warned you not to be arrogant and that pride comes before a fall. When modesty intervenes in your ability to earn your worth, make an appropriate ROI or ensure fair partnership structure, then you know you have a different kind of challenge on your hands.

    There is a difference between humbleness and modesty. Modesty is self – limiting and restrictive. It holds you back from being able to express your efforts fairly. Humbleness is about a particular type of modesty which relates to self – importance. Unfortunately, that was probably not stressed to you growing up.

    According to the Small Business Association, up to 50% of businesses fail in the first five years and 66% in the first 10 years. Overcoming the inclination to be modest, while remaining humble in your behavior will not only change the destiny for many small businesses, but also that of a corporate professional throughout their career.

    To know your worth, you first must know your context and understand your market. With a background in finance, marketing and branding, it always astounds me how many people and clients approach me wanting to grow their businesses without having done any market research or feasibility studies.

    Whether driven by enthusiasm, confidence, or overemphasis on limited knowledge, the result is the same. You cannot price yourself or your product or service fairly without understanding what other options are out there for the person or business buying into you nor can you presume how a market will evolve in the future if you don’t know your own market. It is essential to be able to evaluate the buying criteria. Whether for a new job or a new product, the more assumptions you make, the more limitations you will have and the less opportunities you will find. Your mind fills in blanks to make sense of things and problem solve. The more factual information you provide it, the better the solution it will come up with. In addition to understanding the actual market, it is critical to investigate the reasons the buyer will have for investing in you or your solution. Based on this you can start creating more valid decisions and strategies.

    Being convincing is not only about being authentic, but looking authentic. Presenting your worth fairly is also about not letting yourself down by your behavior, attitude, language and appearance. How you value yourself will always be subtly reflected in your presentation. With businesses this is your brand image. If you are for example selling luxury goods but are skimping on graphic design costs, it will show. Authenticity depends on making the right investment internally which shows to others externally.

    How you use your time is reflected in your worth. Wasting your time on activities that bear little value to you, that you either do compulsively or out of obligation will mirror your lack of self -worth. In other words, how you choose to spend your time, whether on activities that are fair to your own business or wasted on mindless distraction, is a sign of how valuable you are to yourself. If you had to pay yourself to do the task, would you be happy to earn that amount? If not, outsource it, delegate or hire someone to do it. This goes for all activities and chores you hate doing both in your private and professional life. This is particularly true for CEOs. You are the only person in the business that has the full perspective that you do. If you spend your valuable time doing a task that another person in business can do, then you are wasting your effort. Focus on the things that only you can do and your business will benefit immensely.

    Your judgment of others can be a major indicator of how you feel about yourself. Projection is a psychological term used to describe the process that happens when someone evaluates others. Usually used in a negative context, subjective criticism, dismissiveness and arrogance are all signifiers of low self-worth and low self-esteem; all of which cloud your ability to be objective. The only way to overcome this habit is through self – awareness and self – management. Techniques like mindfulness practice can help and strengthen your ability to self-observe over time.

    When modesty kicks in as a camouflage for one of these subconscious behaviors. Start by exploring the triggers and reflect on what is really happening underneath. Before you can give yourself the chance to earn your potential, you need to have resolved the limiting thought patterns that have become habits over your life.

    Appreciate others:

    “Blessed Is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to Follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.”

    -William Arthur Ward-

    Sometimes, a word of praise is the only encouragement that is needed. Each one is fighting a battle of some sort. We cannot fight their battle for them, but we can help them along their tough path by some encouraging words. Our words are important; they have the potential to carry life within them. I realized what incredible value there is in encouraging people. It’s not just flattery, its noticing specific things. Even just the act of noticing is a compliment! That you are enough to notice can brighten someone else’s day, and you very rarely know the enormity of struggles people face in their private lives.

    Why is it that some people just can’t give a compliment? It’s a natural human need isn’t it?

    We all yearn for a thank you, you’ve done well or that was awesome. Whatever the compliment when received it just feels great, and when given by certain people it even feels better. We have a desire to be thought highly of. When complimented, we’re likely to get the warm fuzzy feeling. Especially from those whose authority we respect. Self – doubt can be a downward spiral, so people suffering from this can get huge benefits from a simple compliment.

    So why is it easy for some to give compliments and challenging for others? At work or at home compliments can go a long way, can make ones day, can change attitudes, can improve performance more than money can. Is it that some people don’t feel they need to, because they have no need to receive a compliment? Or is it that those that can’t give feel insecure and have low self – esteem, have trouble giving or receiving anything. Is it that some people just don’t see the good, they have such a bad attitude and all they see and focus on is on the negative?

    Psychologists say that when people are unable to give them out it’s usually for the following reasons: insecurity, you don’t want to give someone an “edge” over you; jealousy, envy, makes you unable to pay out a compliment; depression, when you just can’t see the good things; or self-absorption, once again, not being able to recognize the positive in others.

    When you feel appreciated by a person you want to do more for that person. Show your gratitude and watch as the number of things you have to be grateful for grows. Ironically, giving compliments develops our confidence – we feel good as we help other people to feel good. If you want to develop your self-esteem the fastest way to do with it is to help improve someone else’s.

    Even as an experiment, this is surely worth a try, because of the ample benefits mainly:

    -It benefits others. Compliments encourage others. Through kind words, we remind people of their value and their talents. All of us want to be noticed – receiving compliments confirms that we are. They provide confidence and joy and hope.

    -It benefits me. When we share happiness, we receive it.

    -It benefits my environment. The people around us create the environments in which we live, work, and play. Spreading joy among them by fostering a culture of encouragement challenges others to do the same.

    Our work environment feels different, our home life feels different, and the world around begins to change just a little bit.

    But when we are in the midst of a trial and someone tells us “Don’t lose hope, I believe you can do it” it’s amazing how these words can keep us alive and energized. Encouraging words can do wonders to make us work harder instead of thinking about surrender. We can never underestimate the power of positive words to change our outlooks in life. So ask yourself this simple question – do you bring sunshine or gloom when you enter the room? These beautiful words hold true in every situation of life and every profession.

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

    People will forget what you did,

    But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    -Maya Angelou-