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Where Does Business Confidence Come From?

Where Does Business Confidence Come From?

Business confidence is important but most of us don’t know where it comes from.


For years, I based my confidence on external factors – the market, client referrals, the number of emails I receive, or the number of times the phone rang.

To make matters worse, I read survey results that corroborated my discomfort; i.e. the Wall Street Journal / Vistage Small Business Confidence index saw a drop from 113.5 to 110.9, its lowest point YTD.

I have no idea what that means, but it scares the cr@p out of me.  Now I stand frozen in the hope that the WSJ / Vistage Confidence Index goes up.

I don’t blame WSJ or Vistage for being the bearer of bad news.  They are doing an amazing job of reporting on a qualitative experience in a quantitative manner.

But a smart and provocative survey report is still not going to help to increase confidence.  In fact, there are very few resources that will tell you or me how to increase confidence.  I’ve found most suggestions require just less than hiring a genie or combing your hair to the other side.  These are well-intended suggestions, but just not what is needed to make confidence a consistent, and tangible tool of production.


Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach®, helped me see what was missing inside his 4 C’s Formula.  Confidence is not something for us to create, but it’s a by-product of three necessary steps that must come first.

  1. Commitment: Simply make a commitment for a result you’d like to produce regardless of whether you have the skillset or understanding of how you’ll accomplish it.
  2. Courage: By making a commitment to a desired future without 100% understanding of “how to get it done”, you’re forced to step into the realm of courage; simply mustering up the guts to take action.
  3. Capability: When you step into your fear and take action, 100% of the time you’ll learn something new about yourself, your skills, and most importantly, you’ll develop a new set of skills because you had no choice in service of your future.
  4. Confidence: When you learn a new skill and increase capability, you will have the experience of confidence.  That new confidence will help you make the next, bigger commitment and you’re off through the same process once again, but this time creating bigger results.


I put myself out of a previous business because I was determined that confidence would be provided.  This time around, I’ve learned, with Dan Sullivan’s help, that confidence is manufactured as simply as chocolate chip cookies; follow the right recipe/process and you’ll get the cookies you want.  It all starts with making a tangible commitment for a larger future.

I wonder who publishes the “Chocolate-Chip Cookie” index?

To learn more about where you have opportunities to make bigger and better cookies, invest 5-7 minutes in our Organizational Check-Up and discover where to start.


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