Self-esteem can be a bit of a misnomer as it often does not come entirely from within. The process of building self-confidence requires the support and encouragement of others. I was fortunate to have a father who bolstered my ego early on. Our family owned a retail meat business in downtown Baltimore where I worked as a teenager. My father recognized my ability to relate to our customers and told me I would make a successful salesman. His steadfast belief in me led to a long and rewarding career in sales.
The self-confidence that I possess today did not come easily. I had challenges to overcome. A reading disability, dyslexia, had a negative impact on my self-esteem. Fortunately, I was able to compensate for that deficit with a gift for mathematics, a subject in which I excelled in college. I graduated with honors in engineering and was hired by a national welding and gas company. The sales manager there also recognized that I had a salesman’s personality and for the next eight years constantly assured me of my talents.
That manager’s actions built my self-confidence and I moved up the company ranks, receiving six promotions in 12 years. I left the company in 1985 and went to work for a small family business with sales of $5.5 million. When I retired from that company in 2018, our sales were $65 million. Now that’s a self-confidence builder.
Find the good
Today I both write and speak on achieving success in sales. I also host sales and management seminars and recently published my third book ,“The Art of Sales: A Book of Sales Stories” (The Art of Sales books). On the topic of self-esteem, I always remind my audience of the importance of a having a supporter, someone who sees the good in you and will help you build self-confidence. When speaking to a more seasoned group, I stress the importance of helping others to build self-confidence by finding the good in them and supporting them on their path to success.