On Showing up, Confidence and Success

I was in touch recently with Heidi Dangelmaier, a thought leader in marketing to young women. She posits that in the technology field (and aren’t all media and communications in the technology field today?), “whoever sounds confident scores, the classic power tiers don’t matter – the formal protocols of who owns the idea don’t matter. In the end the real winner is about who knows the market… ”

And then there is Woody Allen, who said eighty percent of success is showing up.

So putting this wisdom together, we have a plan for total success! Show up, know the market and sound confident. This is actually a very fine plan – it’s what you need to be doing as you build your career.

The showing up part means making contact. Brian Stelter, TV and web writer for the New York Times, told a PR pro who was trying to reach him, “Keep emailing me. I may not reply, but keep emailing me until I do. It’s not rudeness it’s persistence.” His NYT colleague David Carr qualifies this idea “Email is the way to get through, but provide an idea in your emails. Perhaps develop the idea over time. Gentle steady pressure by email can be effective.”

So making contact may require some effort. But after all, when you actually have the attention, not just in their inbox but in their heads, you will then be 80% of the way to success (per W. Allen).

Then you have to know the market. This means you have been doing your homework. Know the firms and the people. Know the projections and the innovations – and understanding enough to have an opinion about what is likely to gain traction, what is likely just a sideshow and so on. You need an analytical grasp of the ecosystem you work in.

The last part is the confidence part. This means that you have to know what you think and believe in it. You have to control the dialog. Know what you have to offer and be convinced that you can make a difference. Don’t be the know-it-all who is right about everything, (because who could be right about everything?) but focus deeply on certain things that you know well and can talk about interestingly and powerfully. This includes successes you have achieved that you can discourse on, as well as your opinions about where things are headed and how you will be able to rack up more successes in the future. Specific instances that you thoroughly understand and can discuss clearly will give you the platform to sound confident. And having them ready to go will make you feel confident.

So this is pretty straightforward, no? You can do all that, I am confident!

This article first appeared in Cynopsis Classified Advantage