7 keys of confidence that will get you through any door
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Just weeks after moving to Hollywood, California, I had people who’d been living there for years consistently reaching out to me to find out what the hottest event was that night, and asking how I’d seen more in a few weeks than they’d seen in a few years.
The answer was pretty simple: I just showed up everywhere. The ability, though, took me decades to develop.
You see, I am not a confident person by default. I grew up chubby and generally mediocre. I lived in a fixed mindset, which essentially meant I just assumed if I wasn’t good at something, I just…wasn’t. I didn’t have the growth mindset that I coach people into now, which helps you develop missing skills to accomplish higher level goals than your current self can handle.
I was terrible with women (unless it meant getting rejected, I was great at that). I wasn’t popular. I didn’t excel at sports.
So, how I go from chubby perpetual friend-zoner, to walking red carpets alongside celebrities?
In a word…confidence.
Key #1: Understand you cannot fake it, you must develop it.
First and foremost: Some people will tell you to ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ which might work in some areas of life, but when it comes to confidence you are playing with fire if it’s not something you’ve taken the time to truly cultivate.
Building confidence comes through creating a positive reputation with yourself. This might sound counter-intuitive since…well…you’re YOU. But anyone who struggles with confidence knows that it’s not that easy.
I did not just wake up one day and decide to sell everything I owned and move to Los Angeles with 1 suitcase. Well, I did, but the ME of 5 years ago never would have been able to do that.
Before you make big moves, you’ve gotta make little ones. Set short-term goals for yourself. Determine small steps you want to take that are going to bring you closer to your goals. Don’t worry about the BIG PICTURE just yet, focus on the snapshots.
Set a new goal, crush it, give yourself a pat on the back, and set a new goal.
As you continue down this path, you’ll build credibility with yourself through sticking to your word and making progress. Progress is they lifeblood of motivation, NOT the other way around. If you want to stay motivated, you’ve got to take steps forward, otherwise you’re going to get discouraged with a lack of movement in your life and throw in the towel.
Key #2: Get your ass in shape.
Alright, gentlemen, I don’t know about you – but the way I look has a big impact on how I feel. And how I feel plays a big impact on how I perform, in all areas of life.
Therefore, if we reverse engineer that pathway, we can lead back to a solid health and fitness routine that serves as the foundation of all other areas of life.
It will determine how you dress, how you walk, how you interact with others, and most importantly: How you feel about yourself.
I can tell you from experience that when the button on your suit jacket is holding on for dear life so it doesn’t turn into a projectile that will permanently blind Gal Gadot as she’s standing across the room – you don’t feel the same level of cool, calm confidence that will allow you to have the authoritative presence required to work the room to your best ability.
Weight has been something I’ve struggled with for my entire life (and still do), so I understand the frustrations with not looking your best. I understand the countless hours in the gym and the stressing over what you eat in order to hit a goal. My downfall has been consistency over the years; so believe me when I tell you that the old quote is true: “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.”
Key #3: Look the part.
I don’t know what rooms you want to get into, what networking you want to do, what your personal goals are, or what you do for a living – which means I would never be so arrogant as to tell you HOW to look or WHAT to wear – but I will say that looking appropriate for the occasion (whatever it is) is an absolute must.
Every single time I do a talk show appearance, speak at a seminar, or attend an event, I make sure to buy something new. For me, it’s suit and tuxedo jackets, but that’s just my personal style. It could be trucker hats, ripped jeans, cargo shorts, or whatever is best suited for the occasion you’re preparing for, but if you want to be taken seriously at any level – you need to look like you belong.
Don’t let the price tags scare you, the “Last Act!” clearance section at Macy’s is definitely your friend.
Key #4: Do not hesitate.
I was out in Hollywood one night with a group of 4 women. One of them told me that she’d seen a very exclusive venue right down the street packed with paparazzi and a red carpet entrance, so we’d wondered what was going on.
After some research, we discovered that there was an exclusive annual event being held before one of the year’s biggest award shows. Someone called the venue. “Sorry, guest list only tonight.”
Maybe it was the tequila, but I wanted to go anyway. I always adhere to key #3, so I was dressed for anything (just in case – it is Hollywood after all).
Only one of my companions were on board, so I ordered us an Uber to head to the event. Knowing we couldn’t show up in a Prius, I made sure it was a black Suburban.
We arrived at the event, and stepped out. I took her by the hand and walked directly up to the security guards. I didn’t look at the red carpet, didn’t look at the guest list, just looked up about 7 inches to where this huge guy’s eyes were looking back at me.
“Hey, man!” I said with a big smile. “Do you go to the gym right down the street here? I feel like I’ve seen you before.”
“Nah.” He answered. “But…I feel like I’ve seen you around somewhere, you look really familiar.”
“Yeah, I’m all over the place so I’m sure we’ve crossed paths a few times. Anyway, great to see you and we are gonna go check out the party for a bit.”
“Sounds good man. Have fun.”
And with that, we walked right in.
We paused for a second and looked at each other, took a second to savor the moment, and continued our soiree for the evening.
Key #5: Work the room like a boss.
What do you think we did once we walked in the door – hid in the corner? Absolutely not. Any event you attend, no matter how informal or formal, is an opportunity to make something great happen.
Work on your posture. Stand tall as you walk around the room and scan the crowd to see who is making eye contact with other people. Take this as an open signal they are opened to being connected with (even if you don’t start up a conversation right away).
Make eye contact, nod, and smile at people when you can. This will set up some rapport for you around the room and help you come across as confident and authoritative. People always want to know what the confident ones in the room have going on. You are developing a network of conversations without saying a word.
Once I was inside the event, I ended up chatting with a producer about what was going on around town, what I was working on, and we connected through Instagram.
From that point on, I was invited to a variety of high profile events on almost a daily basis, because of one single connection I made at one single party.
If I hadn’t approached the one security guard with confidence while I was dressed appropriately (previous keys), I wouldn’t have met this producer who was connected to all sorts of events, and my experience in Los Angeles would have been much different. It only takes one great connection.
#6: Stay consistent with follow up.
Did you know that the average sale is made on the 8th time a salesperson follows up? 8th! If nothing else, this tells us that consistency and follow-up are important. Even if you’re not selling anything, you are still trying to make an impression and let the people you’ve met know that you’re not just another face they’re going to forget from that one party that one time.
Staying top of mind for people is of the utmost important to build momentum and continue the path you’re on, and it shows that you have the confidence to reach out and communicate. Connect via email, social media, phone, or whatever communication methods you exchanged. Let them know it was fantastic meeting them and that you look forward to adding value in any way you can.
#7. CONSTANTLY ADD VALUE.
I did not build over 400,000 followers on social media and generate over 37 million visitors to this blog because I was asking people for things – it’s because I adopted a philosophy of GIVING from the very start.
I wanted to give people as much as I could, as often as I could. Nobody likes to be sold. Nobody likes to be pushed. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being taken advantage of.
If you enter into any interaction looking to GET something from someone, they will sniff you out from a mile away and you will always be ‘that guy’ who’s looking to take.
There are so few givers in the world that being willing to provide value to people without asking for anything in return is a massive strength and differentiator.
Not to mention, if you’re looking to get in the door (again), how many invitations do you think you’ll get if the host thinks you’re going to mooch off of all the guests?
Next question being: How many invitations do you think you’ll get if the hosts thinks you’re going to BRING VALUE to all of the guests?
It shows confidence in your knowledge of a topic, confidence that you don’t need to take from others in order to advance. Confidence that you are an authority in whatever it is you’re authoritating on (yeah I just made that word up).
When the time comes that you need something, you won’t have to ask for it, because you’ll already have given people so much value that they’ll be chomping at the bit to do something for you in return.
Using these 7 keys will do much more than just get you into the room – they’ll keep you in the room.
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