The Game Of Confidence
As people, we are wired for low levels of confidence, especially as technical people. We have expertise in a particular area. And we’re very good at it. However, as soon as we don’t match that level of skill in another area, we believe we’re not good at it and results in a level of low confidence.
I’ve been coaching tech founders for almost ten years to help bring new products to market and make sense of their sales and marketing engine.
One of the most significant barriers to founder and company growth is very interesting. It’s not money as you may think but rather the confidence level of the founder and team.
You see, the issue is that when you build your business, you have generally come from a different background. You’re an expert in your domain; whether that is law, human resources, finance or technology, you have a deep understanding of your subject matter. As this is your core strength, you tend to focus on it more as this is your natural comfort.
As you develop from a founder into a business owner and leader, this changes. You don’t just wear the hat of a product/ service visionary and creator but also a revenue generator.
While relationships have helped you build some initial demand for your product, growing past your current revenue levels is challenging. Without going out and drumming up business or raising capital, it is tough to grow a business past seven figures.
To grow past your current level, you need to find new customers, find new partners and build new relationships in the market to help you get the right reach and explore new customer channels.
For most of us, this is out of our comfort zone.
This isn’t something we do naturally or have ever learnt. As a subject matter expert person, you tend to stick with what you’re good at — the technical piece.
Now, the issue is that when you as the business owner are in charge of growth. That means you are responsible for ensuring new revenue growth for your business.
And herein lies the issue. Drumming up new business opportunities and raising capital is not your natural expertise.
This is not an issue if you have someone equally as passionate about selling your product and drumming up business. But to find that someone is very hard. Unfortunately, time and time again I see these amazing products and ingenious people with an amazing vision, who fail because they couldn’t raise capital or generate market revenue fast enough.
And 9/10 times it’s because they lacked confidence in their own sales and marketing ability.
There is a little process that I like to follow to create confidence when I coach my clients.
As a technical person, one of your superpowers is to analyse. Unfortunately, overanalysis can quickly lead to overcomplication and then inaction. (over-complication leads to inaction- you know the saying analysis paralysis)
Your neocortex kicks in and we analyze everything that we should be doing, things that could go wrong and so forth. We create challenges and complexity before we get started.
And I totally understand, there are a myriad of things that you could be doing, should be doing and would be doing if you would know how to do it. But you don’t.
This reinforces self-doubt, and you doubt your own ability. Doubt is the opposite of self-confidence.
When we work with a technical team, the first thing we do is to create a system and process that matches the skill level of the person we work with.
A step by step process taken from our proven framework to help you get out of their head and into action.
Research shows that when you take yourself out of the equation and separate your analysis from the doing and therefore unselfconsciously execute, you take away self-doubt (Braslow, Guerretaz, Arkin & Oleson, 2012).
Creating a system to implement will help you to incrementally become good at each stage of the process and enable you to build up your confidence levels outside of your current domain. The result is growth.
As the author and researcher Nir Eyal would suggest, it is taking away distraction to create traction.
To give you an example, six months ago, we started working with Drew, a subject matter expert in the logistics industry. Drew was an expert in his field and had never done sales before. Drew didn’t have an issue with meeting and talking to people, but because he never did sales before, he experienced some self-doubt around his ability.
Together we used our sales framework to create and implement a sales and marketing system that matched Drew’s skill level. In the space of two months, Drew went from doing no sales to over $200,000 in cash collected.
That’s not all, at the time of writing this (6 months post-working together), Drew is well above $2million dollars in sales.
Not because of some magic, not because of some voodoo, but because of proven systems that create confidence in people.
Trust me when I say that confidence is the biggest contributor to your business success.
Here is what Drew said on confidence:
“Amazing what confidence can do for a human. I have no doubt in my ability, and the carry-on effect from my confidence in business is now carrying into my personal life.”
So if you want to grow your business and skill level and you’re interested in discussing how you can build up your confidence in sales and marketing, then let’s have a chat and see if this will work for you.
Confidence breeds success