Self-confidence, while hard to build, is a key component to any personal branding. In nearly any type of business, successful job search or fulfilling career, when we are confident in our personal brands through a strong sense of self-worth, our capabilities are as limitless as our imagination.
Conversely, when we lack the self-confidence necessary to succeed in today's business environment, that insecurity quickly becomes apparent to potential buyers, employers and co-workers, and just about everyone else. Self-confidence can never be faked.
Lack of self-worth can have devastating effects on an organization's or individual's bottom line, their client relationships and their career advancement. Personal brands are built through positive self-image, without which dreams fall short of reality.
Positive Effects Self-Confidence Brings
People who are confident in themselves tend to be more resilient, optimistic, self-reliant and innovative. They also typically make better decisions throughout their careers. You can see the positive effects of building a personal brand based on self-assurance when you study some of the most successful businessmen and businesswomen in U.S. history and the monetary benefits they saw from their belief in their abilities.
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, built his entire corporate brand around the principle of Walmart's confidence that it could deliver better goods at lower prices. People who knew Walton described him as someone who always expected to win. This is the brand Walton built for himself. Walton was so confident in his ability to build an empire based on the better-goods-lower-prices model that he overcame business failures in his early 30′s to build one of the world's most successful companies. Though no longer alive, Sam's personal branding lives in the Walmart branding, which, among other things, sends the message that saving money and living a better life don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, successfully ran one of America's largest companies based on self-confidence that he could maneuver a large company in an entrepreneurial manner. This assurance grew nearly all the GE segments. Upon stepping into the CEO position, Welch branded himself as someone who could seamlessly take the company to the next level and the employees followed suit. While Welch's self-assurance might border on arrogance, his belief in his vision and his company allowed GE to successfully brand its products based on Welch's own personality traits. Those included integrity, maturity, candor and execution.
Given up at birth, Steve Jobs overcame a big hurdle in self-confidence to be able to help Apple do what other firms could not - make the personal computer cool. The Apple market position was almost an extension of Jobs' own personal branding, which was cool, progressive, sleek and intelligent. While other CEOs were wearing suits and ties, Jobs embraced everything entrepreneurial and unconventional down to his business wardrobe.
3 Tips for Becoming More Self-Confident
Now that we know exactly how beneficial belief in ourselves can be and what it can do for our personal and professional branding, it is important to touch on tips for heightening one's self-confidence.
1. Speak to yourself in a positive manner. When we have positive, encouraging internal dialogue, that builds a sense of our self-worth. We begin to come across to others as positive and encouraging, thus making our personal brand more lucrative and, in a sense, more self fulfilling.
2. Think of problems as challenges rather than as life-ending events. Companies want to hire problem solvers; the American consumer wants to buy based on reliability and durability.
3. Practice. Nobody can become self-assured overnight. It takes practice and looking at ourselves in a manner that does not hinder our performance or our willingness to take risks, but rather increases the odds that we will live out the career goals that we set out to.
"The Building Block"
Building a personal brand is a crucial thing to do. Positive personal branding is nothing short of essential if you wish to be successful.
Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Sales Recruiters, a sales and marketing recruitment agency specializing in helping job seekers further their careers through finding them challenging and rewarding positions at progressive, visionary and growing organizations. Ken is also a hands-on "NYC Recruiter" at the staffing company. Connect with Ken via Google+ .