Be your own biggest fan And biggest critic. We’re all selling ourselves. More specifically, we’re selling our ability to make an impact on the business of our clients. If you don’t believe passionately in your ability to do that, and speak about it with energy, you’ll never allow anyone else to see that potential either. This is about justified confidence in the result you deliver, not artificial arrogance. Live by the idea that what was exceptional yesterday is adequate today, and will be unacceptable tomorrow.

Blind faith is a requirement. We all want immediate results. All too often, that’s not the case and we give up on a good idea prematurely. Engaging in social media is a perfect example. I’ve been active in social media and writing/publishing since I started BGN almost four years ago. However, it’s only been in the past year that I have seen tangible results. The lesson is that if you still believe an idea is a good one, stick with it. Stick with it because it is at this point where most of your competition will give up.

Study, discuss and debate. Increased knowledge equals increased success. Study and read as much as you can. Become a student of business, of human behavior, of emerging trends. While reading is a great start, finding someone with whom you can share your new ideas and have lively discussions and debates is what will open whole new worlds of how you can put your knowledge to work.

Jump in the deep end. When something is missing or needs to change in your business, find a way to get it in place. Rather than tiptoeing into the water and trying to get there incrementally, just jump right in. I’m not suggesting commitments to unrealistic ideas. They can be big ideas and big goals, but you have to have a plan and accountability to make them happen. Let everyone know your plans; committing to others that you will create/implement/deliver something is the most powerful catalyst you can find.

Love what you do. There has to be at least one significant aspect of your career/business for which you are wildly passionate. Building a successful business is hard to do under ideal circumstances. To try and do so without passion makes it is almost impossible. And, when you really believe in something, be selective about those to whom you allow access. After all, life is way too short to accept clients you don’t enjoy. However, when you find your professional passion and only allow yourself to work with people you like, it will never feel like work.

This article was originally published in the February 2013 issue of Benefits Selling Magazine.

Photo by mRio.