There is a social plague called modesty. It is the single main dynamic that can erode your value and the value of your business. Your mother warned you not to be arrogant and pride comes before a fall. When modesty intervenes in your ability to earn your worth, make an appropriate ROI or ensure a fair partnership structure then you know you have a different kind of challenge on your hands.
There is a difference between humbleness and modesty. Modesty is self-limiting and restrictive. It holds you back from being able to express your efforts fairly. Humbleness is about a particular type of modesty which relates to self-importance. Unfortunately, that was probably not stressed to you growing up.
According to the Small Business Association up to 50 percent of businesses fail in the first five years and 66 percent in the first ten years. Overcoming the inclination to be modest while remaining humble in your behaviour will not only change the destiny for many small businesses but also that of a corporate professional throughout their career.
To know your worth, you must know your context and understand your market. With a background in marketing, it always astounds me how many clients approach me wanting to grow their businesses without having done any market research or feasibility studies. Whether driven by enthusiasm, confidence, or overemphasis on limited knowledge, the result is the same. You cannot price yourself or your product or service fairly without understanding what other options are out there for the person or business buying into you.
It is essential to be able to evaluate the buying criteria. Whether for a new job or a new product, the more assumptions you make, the more limitations you will have and the less opportunities you will find. Your mind fills in blanks to make sense of things and problem solve. The more factual information you provide it, the better the solution it will come up with. In addition to understanding the actual market, it is critical to investigate the reasons the buyer will have for investing in you or your solution. Based on this you can start creating more valid decisions and strategies.
Being convincing is not only about being authentic but looking authentic. Presenting your worth fairly is also about not letting yourself down by your behaviour, attitude, language and appearance. How you value yourself will always be subtly reflected in your presentation. With businesses this is your brand image. If you are selling luxury goods but are skimping on graphic design costs, it will show. Authenticity depends on making the right investment internally which shows to others externally.
How you use your time is reflected in your worth. Wasting your time on activities that bear little value to you, that you either do compulsively or out of obligation will mirror your lack of self-worth. In other words, how you choose to spend your time, whether on activities that are fair to your own business or wasted on mindless distraction, is a sign of how valuable you are, to yourself. If you had to pay yourself to do the task, would you be happy to earn that amount? If not, outsource it, delegate or hire someone to do it. This goes for all activities and chores you hate doing both in your private and professional life. This is particularly true for CEOs. You are the only person in the business that has the full perspective that you do. If you spend your valuable time doing a task that another person in business can do, then you are wasting your effort. Focus on the things that only you can do and your business will benefit immensely.
Your judgement of others can be a major indicator of how you feel about yourself. Projection is a psychological term used to describe the process that happens when someone evaluates others. Usually used in a negative context, subjective criticism, dismissiveness and arrogance are all signifiers or low self-worth and low self-esteem. All of which cloud your ability to be objective. The only way to overcome this habit is through self-awareness and self-management. Techniques like mindfulness practice can help and strengthen your ability to self-observe over time.
When modesty kicks in as a camouflage for one of these subconscious behaviours. Start by exploring the triggers and reflect on what is really happening underneath. Before you can give yourself the chance to earn your potential, you need to have resolved the limiting thought patterns that have become habits over your life.