Know what’s even more crucial for your career success now that we’ve transitioned into the wonderful world of digital?
Not skills. Not experience. And not networking, although that’s pretty darn important, too.
What’s most important, especially in the online realm, is CONFIDENCE.
In the digital world, you are who you say you are. (Click to tweet this.) You accomplish what you say you accomplish. And how you present yourself is largely what determines how others see you.
Think, for a minute, about the big shots you follow online. Off the top of my head, I can come up with at least a handful — people whose names you’d probably recognize — who actually aren’t all that good at what they do. But here’s what they ARE good at: talking about what they do, and, subtly or sometimes not-so-subtly, talking about how good they are at what they do.
These people are good at being confident, which, crazy as it sounds, is sometimes more important than actually being good at what they do. Since they’re confident about how awesome they are, we believe they’re good at what they do, too.
It’s frustrating in some ways, sure. But it’s also an important lesson. Even if what these
cocky bastards online personalities have accomplished isn’t all that impressive, they NEVER refer to themselves as an aspiring writer or a wannabe entrepreneur. They tell the world through their blog, tweets and whatever else they create that they are exactly what they want to be.
In truth, other people we know probably have better skills and maybe even more accomplishments. But because these people talk about themselves with confidence, we see them as successful. And since we want to follow and learn from successful people, their platform grows. Before long, because of that platform, those people become more successful than our more skilled but less confident friends.
In other words, their confidence fuels their success.
Now, you might think confidence means arrogance, and in some cases, it does. It can also mean exaggerating achievements or even lying.
But if you do it right, it translates to giving yourself credit. It’s following through and then letting people know you did. It’s being a finisher and relaying those accomplishments strategically to whoever will listen (even if it’s just your mom at first).
And while how you talk about yourself is what the rest of us are most likely to notice, this also applies to how you execute. If you really want to accomplish big things in this new Project World, you’ve also got to execute with confidence.
That means creating without waiting for permission. It means having the guts to take a leap. It means risking rejection by asking for what you want.
It means going after what you really want, even if you’re scared you won’t get there.
The world needs your genius, and you simply won’t get as far if you don’t hold your head high, even if it means faking confidence at the beginning. So do yourself a favor — and do the rest of us a favor, too — by bucking up, executing like you mean it, and not being afraid to tell us you did.