Competence Breeds Confidence

Competence Breeds Confidence

I’m going to let you in on a secret.

Depending on the circumstances of us meeting, if we’ve met, there will be two dramatically different responses to this revelation.  Very opposing responses.

If we were introduced socially, you’re already in on the secret.  If someone were to ask you “did you know this about her” your reply would be “isn’t it obvious, everyone knows that about her”.

Suppose our meeting happened in a professional setting.  Revealing this truth about myself would receive a much different reaction.  “No way”.  “It’s not possible”.  “Not her”.

Here’s the secret

I am not just a little bit shy.  I am deathly shy.  My preferred role in a social setting; wall flower.  The thought of having to introduce myself to total strangers and be able to make small talk with them gives me the same pit in my stomach as having just ate some bad sushi.  I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  I remember being on a bus trip and someone yelled out “why don’t you ever talk”?  My valiant hero responded “she never talks”.  Shy.  So shy.  Paralyzed with fear.

In a professional setting a totally different persona comes to life.  A hostess with the mostest,  A larger than life very social figure.  Someone who is outgoing, approachable, even . . .  LOUD.  Put her on a stage and let her speak to the room and she shines. Who is this person?  Where does she come from?

It wasn’t always this way.  I remember early on in my career I would have to do morning sales meetings.  As I began to speak I would feel it.  The burning red creep.  It would start on my chest and the warm burning sensation would climb.  I would think “don’t be visible, don’t be visible” as I felt it creep up to my neck.  “Don’t be visible”, now my ears are on fire. “Don’t be visible”, my cheeks are certainly crimson with the burn.  The horror.  Complete terror.

What is different now?  Competence.  Studying your craft, becoming an expert and doing something over and over again until you build competence.  Action builds competence.  Competence then breeds confidence.  Look at the athletes about to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics.  As they are about to begin their event they radiate confidence.  It wasn’t always there.  There was fear.  Confidence came with repeated practice of their sport making them competent.

There are two reasons I decided to share my secret with you.  First, you may be holding yourself back because, like most people, you have a fear of speaking.  This can be conquered.  Be a subject matter expert and keep throwing yourself into situations where you have to give presentations.  Eventually, it will get easier and even become enjoyable.  Second, as you’re working on yourself at the onset of the new year you may have some limiting beliefs about your abilities that are preventing you from setting certain goals.  I can’t possibly give a presentation, don’t you know that I’m shy?  Maybe it’s not speaking, perhaps it’s writing.  Maybe it’s exercise.  Just start doing it.  Action builds competence and competence breeds confidence.  You can do this.

Sofa to 1/2 Marathon in 65 Days Final Post

It’s race week.  It’s time to rest the legs and prepare for Saturday’s race.  If you feel like you haven’t gotten in enough training runs or if your legs feel great – stay off of them.  You can’t cram for a race like you crammed for a test in school.
From Stephen Covey:  
“Can you imagine “cramming” on the farm? Can you imagine forgetting to plant in the spring, flaking out all summer, and hitting it hard in the fall–ripping the soil up, throwing in the seeds, watering, cultivating–and expecting to get a bountiful harvest overnight?Cramming doesn’t work in a natural system. That’s the fundamental difference between a social and natural system. A social system is based on values; a natural system is based on principles. In the short term, cramming may appear to work in a social system. You can go for the “quick fixes” and techniques with apparent success. But in the long run they just don’t work.”
Monday – off
Tuesday – 2 miles
Wednesday – 2 miles
Thursday – off
Friday – off
Saturday – Race Day

It’s Not THE Economy Its YOUR Economy

If I were to ask 10 people if they wanted to make more money chances are pretty stacked in my favor that I would get 10 out of 10 that respond with a “yes”. If I were to ask on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being minimum wage and 10 being the highest where would you want your earnings to come in. Again, I am certain that I will get a “Level 10” response.

For professionals, their level of income is predetermined by many factors. Experience, education, past earnings, and skill along with the value of the particular position to the organization are a few keys that determine how their income level is set.
Once established, let’s say at a Level 5, it’s very difficult for that employee to get it to move. There may be some type of monthly or quarterly incentives that can help give a short term boost, but nothing level changing. At the end of an entire business year they may be eligible for a merit increase if their company is able to do so, but again, the 2% they receive is not going to get them to the next level. It can take years to move to the next income level.

If you are in sales so you are very different. You are fortunate. You have within you the power to determine your income level. I know that’s a little pie in the sky. You’re not going to keep your job very long if you determine you want to be at Level 1 and if you think you need to be a millionaire to be at Level 10 that just may not be available. You do have control if you are a Level 5 or a Level 6. You can decide to work on your skills, know your product, be a company advocate and network and take yourself to a Level 7 or a Level 8. If you are already a 7 or 8 you can take it to 9 or 10. The best news is that you don’t have to wait for a year end review and hope that your boss determines that you are worthy.

No, you can decide today! You can change your behaviors TODAY! The state of the economy in the outside world does not matter to you if you are in sales. What matters is the state of the economy in your world. You create it. You affect it. You own it. You have control of your own personal economy.


I am going to take it one step further for you and be real specific. Let’s say, for this example that “average” equates to Level 5 since it is right in the middle and I am going to make up a salary for average. Let’s also say, to keep things simple, that every $10,000 in annual income moves you up one level.

Average income $42,000 – Level 5

Now, remember the professional from before who was at level 5. Let’s say his supervisor really, really, really appreciated his work and awarded him with a 5% increase, much higher than average in today’s economy. The professional has now waited an entire year for his income to be impacted and is now earning $44,100. He is still a level 5. In fact, if he is able to maintain this high level of performance and if his company is still able to offer him higher than average increases it will take him 4 years to move to Level 6

This is not for you. You do not have to wait 4 years to get the next level. You can improve your own personal economy today.

Here’s a comparison.

Let’s say your company pays 5% commission.  You would have had to sell $840,000 worth of goods or services to be at level 5 and earn $42,000.  Your productivity would only need to go from $70,000 to $73,500 monthly to earn the same increase as the professional.
What if you could create a fifth week?  What do I mean?  What if you increased your productivity so that your sales in 4 weeks rose to what you sell in 5.

Congratulations your personal economy is now Level 6

The best part is there is no ceiling. You can keep going as high as you can and your income keeps going up with it. I haven’t heard of a sales position where you will be told “sorry, you’ve hit the maximum delivered business allowed, we don’t pay after this level”.   Keep climbing.  You deserve it.

You determine the level.

It’s your personal economy.

It’s up to you!

What are you going to do to change it?

Share your economic growth plan below.

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