The Season to Believe By Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE

Whether yours is a “Miracle on 34th Street,” Santa-believing holiday or about your personal faith, it’s the season of believing. Professional coaches and inspirational speakers implore us to “believe in yourself.” A myriad of LinkedIn and Facebook posts tell us if we just “believe we can achieve.” These sometimes sugary sweet, sappy posts might lead us to the conclusion that if we can manufacture belief that achievement will follow.

Stuart Smalley (from Saturday Night Live), started with Daily Inspirations; “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone it, people Like Me!” As the sketch went on, we saw that he didn’t really believe it and just saying it didn’t make it true.

Could it be like that for our business?  In her book “Presence: Bring your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges,” author Amy Cuddy says that people are innately good at recognizing inauthenticity. If you don’t truly believe in your business or product or yourself, you cannot achieve true success. This is a problem if you are selling or pitching your product to qualified investors.

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

Do you believe in your product or service so much so that you would buy and use it yourself?  Do you?  I was once told that you never should see a therapist who doesn’t have a therapist.

Are you confident in your facts and figures?  Are your anecdotes and stories of success true?  Providing statistics that cannot be verified puts your reputation at risk

Can you speak about your business spontaneously and from your heart?  You should be concerned about your commitment to your business if you struggle to come up with enthusiasm or passion for your company.

Is your professional ethics, social responsibility, treatment of staff and stakeholders and respect for the law a source of pride for you?  Are you comfortable with transparency?

Is your business working to improve by addressing its challenges and weaknesses and always asking the question:  How can we do better?  Do you even know where and how to improve?

No business is perfect. However, if you can answer “YES” to those questions, you really do believe. That is contagious. Others will soon believe too.

Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE is CEO of VanNatta Public Relations. www.PRSalem.com, @PRSalem.com