A habit is something done so frequently that it becomes routine; committing to self-belief regularly builds confidence. Put the two together and you have the recipe for success in business and life.
Suzi Dafnis, CEO of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network (ABN), is passionate about helping women succeed in business. It is her aim to create opportunities for female business owners to learn and connect in ways that are easily accessible. To boost our confidence is one thing, but how do you make it stick around for good? Suzi answers just that with her top tips for turning confidence into a daily habit.
Confidence is something that should be practiced over and over again until it becomes an unconscious behaviour. Inspiring women the world over cite confidence as an essential ingredient in their success: two-time Nobel prize winning physicist and chemist, Marie Curie, believed everyone was gifted for something and that this must be attained; Katy Perry proves that with confidence “you can pull off pretty much anything”; and Eleanor Roosevelt said facing what you fear and doing what you think you can’t builds confidence.
Ohio State University professor and confidence expert Richard Petty said confidence “is the factor that turns thoughts into judgements about what we are capable of, and that then transforms those judgements into action”.
So if confidence is what makes you act, how do you establish the habit that ensures your thoughts will lead to consistent action?
The 2015 Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame Inductees cultivate the habit of confidence in five ways.
These steps are:
- Connect with a purpose greater than you
- Tap into your passion
- Surround yourself with great people
- Get prepared
- Take action
1. Connect with a purpose greater than yourself
Successful businesswomen all have a purpose that is bigger than their own success. Purpose drove each woman to achieve her goals, even when they feared failure or those around them were saying no.
When setting goals make sure each has a purpose and ask what it will achieve for yourself and others, advises ENJO CEO Barb de Corti. “Many ideas fail because success doesn’t just come from a passion, the purpose needs to be there,” Ms de Corti said.
2. Tap into your passion
The determination to succeed in business is hollow without the passion that drives actions and keeps you on track. Cullen Wines managing director and chief winemaker, Vanya Cullen, used passion to build one of Australia’s premium boutique wineries.
“Only take on work you love and are passionate about,” Ms Cullen said.
Passion also fortifies you when taking risks, a vital step when working to achieve your goals.
3. Surround yourself with great people
Success is a hard road when taken alone. Build a great team comprising supportive peers and colleagues, with advisers and mentors who challenge you to expand your knowledge. Table of Plenty CEO Kate Weiss credits her team as her secret weapon.
“There is an African saying: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. Attract and recruit a great team who have many varied skills. Together as a whole working towards a vision, you will be a powerful force,” Ms Weiss said.
4. Get prepared
No business owner was born with the skills needed to ensure success; those skills were learned and developed throughout their career. Spencer Travel CEO Penny Spencer advises businesswomen to take a helicopter view and equip themselves with the skills they need to understand each area of their business and have advisors to help fill the gaps.
“Know a little about a lot. You can’t know it all and be across every single area of your business. Every aspect of your business is important and if you let one down the others will fall,” Ms Spencer said.
5. Take action
Ideas and goals are all good, but at some point you need to take the first step in to make them a reality, even if that step takes all your courage. Adore Beauty CEO Kate Morris backed herself and launched an e-commerce start-up when the industry was very new.
“Being scared usually means you are pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and that’s always a good thing,” Ms Morris said.
Without self-belief there can be no successful business, so start making confidence a daily habit and watch your plans come to fruition.
The ABN Hall of Fame honours and celebrates Australian female business owners who have been exemplary in their industries, are trailblazers and demonstrate inspiring and aspiring business journeys.