The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image. Brian Tracy

No matter what you want to believe, your image affects your business. People judge based upon first impressions. “What you see is what you get.” In fact, your image is nine-tenths of success. A potential client will determine whether to connect with you in less than one minute. As an entrepreneur, you are your brand.

Your best foot forward helps with success. People are attracted to winners. A strong or soft personality does not affect success. Different people will be attracted to different types of personalities. Your underlying energy and confidence significantly impacts the attraction factor.

As an entrepreneur you are a leader. You think and act differently than most people who have a traditional 9 to 5 job. How you feel inside affects the image you project. Confidence and self-esteem are closely related.

Often people will appear to be confident on the outside, but what is going on inside is a very different picture. Mary was in that exact situation when she first began working with me. Her mindset was affecting her business. Mary craved aligning her inner game with her goals. She was prepared to do whatever was necessary for breakthroughs.

Mary is a dynamo. She has everything it takes for success. She created systems for her business, has a magnetic personality and people are naturally attracted to her. She was poised to take her business to the next level of success when we first met.

Although it appeared her business was moving in the right direction, Mary had one area where she was blocked. She felt uncomfortable in front of an audience.

Mary was not afraid of public speaking, in fact she was a great public speaker. What affected her most was her appearance. Health issues contributed to significant weight gain. She was conscious about her size. She did not want to be in front of an audience, being judged for her size and not her message.

Mary listed the reasons to avoid public speaking. She realized her fear of being judged and criticized was holding her back from speaking invitations. This was impacting her business growth. She was leaving opportunities on the table.

Positioning her business to grow and avoiding speak engagements was creating internal stress. Two beliefs were conflicting; it was affecting her. Yes, she wanted success. On the other hand, she was also protecting herself by avoiding a perceived threat. Her self image with her weight was preventing her from booking speaking opportunities.

The strategies developed to overcome the barriers to her success were twofold. Mindset and appearance were explored. Mary needed to work on her confidence about her self image. She was ready to overcome the fears which were sabotaging her efforts for success.

Her beliefs affected her reality. Some were conscious and others were subconscious. The process of self discovery helped to bring the subconscious to the conscious. Mary then determined whether these beliefs worked for her or needed to be modified to suit her goals.

While working on the underlying beliefs, Mary also began to take action. Some changes were immediate. She hired a style consultant to go through her wardrobe. This taught her about clothes and style, including fit and color. She also changed her hair style and make-up.
Her weight did not change, but her confidence about her appearance improved significantly. Secondary changes occurred, including better self care and improved boundaries with her clients.

As Mary began to initiate change she became more empowered. She was beginning to seek speaking engagements. Soon she was given the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at a major conference in her field.

Before the event she was guided through a visualization process. Visualization is powerful. You are actually able to do a “mental dress rehearsal,” experiencing all the aspects to an event. We first visualized an imperfect speech. We focused on every possible mishap, what it felt like and how to deal with it. Then we visualized the speech going smoothly. Visualization improves performance for the actual event.

There are times when we all hold ourselves back in our business. It is different things for each of us. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and mediocre entrepreneurs is in the mindset. People who are geared for success will do what is necessary and everyone else will do what is convenient. Where do you stand?

Change is possible. Your mindset and actions are connected. If you begin to change one, the other will transform as well. Post reminders on your phone, computer and anywhere else of your ideal image whether it is a bestselling author, sought after keynote speaker or expert in your field.

Who do you aspire to be like? Find your role model, the person who oozes confidence. Study that person and modify your presence online and offline. Continue to show up with confidence until it feels natural for you.

Learn from everything and everyone. Opportunities abound to constantly be learning. Focus on your area of expertise and continue to learn what others are doing and ways to modify your practice. Choose to speak with confidence. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. You want them to be consistent with the image you portray.

Consider your business and where you might be leaving money on the table because you lack self confidence. Your self image is directly correlated to your business. Your customers will perceive your confidence levels, whether high or low.

Activity: Identify one area you are ready to change. Get a sheet of paper and make three columns. In the first column list all the reasons you have avoided change. For the second column, list all the actions you need to take to begin changing. The third column will have people who have already reached that goal and you can view as role models. Pick a start and end date for this change. Then get going.

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From Loren Fogelman, the success expert, founder of Mindset for Marketing Success.