Few Things Highly Confident People Don’t Do

Highly confident people believe in their ability to achieve. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else put their faith in you? To walk with swagger and improve your self-confidence, watch out for these fifteen things highly confident people don’t do.

They don’t make excuses.

Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.

Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.

Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

They don’t put things off until next week.

Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.

They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.

Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

They don’t judge people.

Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

They don’t let lack of resources stop them.

Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

They don’t make comparisons.

Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.

Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

They don’t need constant reassurance.

Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.

Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.

Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.

Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.

Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.


Written by Gaurav Kamboj. Gaurav is an analyst at eClerx. Visit LinkedIn for the first version of this excerpt.

7 Reasons You Need to Manage Your Online Presence More Carefully

While CEOs understand the value of meticulously maintaining their company’s image on the Internet, most don’t pay enough attention to their own.

If I had a dollar for every CEO I’ve met who thinks his online presence is unimportant, I’d be a one-percenter. In today’s column, my colleague Sam Ford, co-author of Spreadable Media, argues why it’s critical for every CEO to pay close attention to his digital footprint. Take it away, Sam.

Often when I’ve met with CEOs and their teams at companies that are experiencing or poised to experience high growth, we’ve discussed the issue of how the executives manage their online profiles. This includes bios and other material from the company, social network profiles, speaking engagements, media mentions, press releases, articles she has written, comments about her from people outside the company, or anything else that comes up when you search for her name.

And the most fundamental question they ask is how and why that process is a business priority. Based on lessons learned (sometimes painfully) here at Peppercomm and elsewhere, here are my seven most common responses.

1. You typically have a digital profile, even if you aren’t active in social media or online publishing.

Many executives over the years have told me that they aren’t active in online communication and thus don’t have a profile to manage. But of course any public appearance you make, article you’re quoted in, or other public mention of you may be shared online, meaning that you do, in fact, have a profile that’s available to anyone who types your name into a search engine, whether you’ve actively managed it or not.

2. Without management, your online profile may be confusing.

We’ve represented young entrepreneurs who have yet to build a holistic online presence, as well as serial entrepreneurs whose various business endeavors paint a picture online that doesn’t seem to fit together. Without active management, your profile may be painting a misleading, outdated, or less-than-strategic picture of who you are.

3. Having a strong online profile is about reputation, not vanity.

Many executives say they care about their company rather than their own profile. But recent press hits, videos in which you address the issues in your industry, or an ongoing column at a leading publication in your field give you a higher degree of credibility, which in turn bolsters the reputation of your company. As your organization grows and you start branching out to audiences outside those that already know you, that individual reputation may be key for your business.

4. You want to show rather than tell your customers and potential employees about your passion and leadership as an executive.

Corporate bios highlight what you’ve done, but a compelling online presence includes materials that demonstrate your expertise, passion, vision, and leadership. Executives who take the fullest advantage of their digital profile infuse some of their personality into what you find about them online as well. For customers and recruits to believe in your company, that presence is much more authentic and telling–as well as cost-effective–than scores of traditional marketing materials that try to tell people who you are.

5. Reporters’ online research is key to their choice of sources to interview for a story.

Journalists are working on deadline and often must be economical in the sources they choose to interview or the companies they choose to feature. They need someone who’s knowledgeable and charismatic, and who has a strong reputation. Many times, all the pitching in the world from a media-relations partner like our firm won’t matter if the journalist looks you up and they aren’t impressed by what they find.

6. Investors and other key business audiences will be watching.

I’ve heard from colleagues working with high-growth companies that investors are increasingly looking to the online reputation of a company and its leadership to make decisions about where to put their money. For companies looking to raise capital, the strong presence of the executive in charge might be the difference between ripening and withering on the vine.

7. Often you have competition for your name, which means there can be a lot of clutter in search results.

Unless you have a unique name, there can be a lot of other professionals’ profiles to sift through when people look you up. For me, “Sam Ford” is also the name of a Washington, D.C. journalist, a rock and roll drummer, several college athletes, and a porn star. That means there are a lot of competing pages (and pictures) to contend with if people look me up. It has been my goal to make sure that compelling content about me is easily found amid all that competition.

Whether or not online sales or social media are a vital part of your go-to-market strategy, making sure you have a strategic online presence that truly reflects who you are is crucial to building your business.


Sam Ford is director of audience engagement at Peppercomm and co-author of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (NYU Press, 2013). He is an alumnus and affiliate with MIT’s Program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and acts as co-chair of the Ethics Committee for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. The first version of this story appeared on Inc.

Eight-Step Process to Clean-up Your Online Reputation

Yesterday, Sean McGinniswrote an interesting post about online reputation and how he ended up in porn(oh the things you learn about your friends when they guest blog for you!).

One day, he Googled himself to discover an adult movie called The Fluffer had been released…and the star character’s name was none other than, you guessed it, Sean McGinnis.

An SEO expert and web strategist, he set about to take back the rights to his name on Google.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy.

Negative reviews, untrue comments, and trolls are pushing their way to the top of search rankings so, when someone Googles you, they find all of these negative things said about you online that might be 100 percent false. Cleaning up your online reputation is now a very real thing—and just one person, or one movie, can ruin for you fairly quickly. The proper process goes a little like this.

Conduct an Online Audit

Likely you already know what’s there, but it doesn’t hurt to do a Google search, see what is being said, and where it lands in search results (second listing, first page or third listing, second page). Do this both logged into your Google account and logged out (or you can open an incognito window in your browser without having to actually log out; do this in Chrome by going to “file” and then click on “new incognito window”). Logged-in results will show you what your friends, colleagues, peers, and clients will see, and incognito results will show how the rest of the world perceives your online reputation. It’s important to have both.

Use terms such as “I hate COMPANY NAME” or “COMPANY NAME sucks.” Also, do searches on key employees or executives at your organization.

Create an Online Reputation Strategy

Based on what you learn from the audit and what internal and external implementation resources are in place, put together the company’s online reputation strategy—and make sure it’s tied to your goals. The very first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is set up Talkwalker alerts to let you know when someone says something about you online—positive, neutral, or negative. Then write down what it is you’re trying to accomplish (push one review from the first page to the second or fill the first page of search results with positive information about your organization) and get to work.

Create a Clean-up List

With the online reputation audit complete and your strategy in place, now comes the clean-up. As you create the list, read the reviews, read the comments on blogs and in discussion forums, and read all other negative things people are saying about you. Aggregate all of that information into one place to help you decide if your products need to be tweaked, your customer service needs to be enhanced, or your operations need some work, particularly if there are negative comments about the same things over and over again. More often than not, people just want you to respond to them. They want to be heard. When they post something and it goes unanswered, their fire is fueled.

As you create the list of things that need to be cleaned up, make a list of sites where your team should respond to complaints. You will want to create some pre-approved messages for your team to use when responding—such as, “I am so sorry to hear about your troubles with our company. If you’ll privately send me your phone number or email address, I’ll be glad to help you offline.” What this does is show anyone else who reads the complaints that you are responsive, but takes the conversation offline where you can be helpful. In the best cases, the person will go back to the site after you’ve helped them and post how grateful they are for your help.

Assign a Person or a Team to Do the Work

They will need usernames and passwords, branding guidelines, sign-off on copy/images, and the power to make changes without a laborious approval process. There is one thing you should think about when you assign a team to do the work, particularly for those who are responding to customer complaints, these people are representing your organization in a very public forum. Just like you’d only send experienced people out to meet with high-profile clients or to close a big sales deal, you want your clean-up representatives to have enough business experience to make informed decisions.

That’s not to say an intern or a young professional who has great social media expertise can’t help—they can. You just want those people to be supervised by someone who has the expertise to make the right decisions devoid of emotion and defensiveness.

Begin the Clean-up

Some of this is painful because you’ll need to work with the social networks’ customer service departments to reset login data, delete a profile, or take down an untrue review. This could take weeks. According to the social networks, you are guilty until proven innocent. They assume you’ll say and do anything to take down negative reviews…especially if they are true. You have the burden of proof on you and they’ll make you jump through a gazillion hoops to make sure you’re telling the truth. Be patient. Follow the messaging outlined above. Create compelling content that iswritten both for humans and robots. The negative reviews will move.

Build Your Online Reputation through Social Media

There was a time when social media didn’t make sense for every organization. Now, though, it is the best and most efficient way to connect with your customers and prospects. There is one social network every organization should be on, no matter what you sell: Google+. Not only does Google rank you higher if you use their social network to promote your content, it helps to push down the negative content if it has been shared on Google+.

Google also now allows you to connect your social networks to your analytics so you can see not only which are the biggest drivers of traffic to your site, but also what keywords they used to find you, what conversations (or pictures, or links) drove them to you, and what they did once they arrived.

Content is Prince

Like Sean, you may find a fictional character has your name. Or you may find untrue reviews, blog posts, or stories. But many of you will have negative reviews that are, unfortunately, true. The very best way to manage these is to create content that is interesting and valuable, and something people want to share.

You cannot delete the negative information. The best you can do is push it off of page one results.

Implement the Strategy

Once you’ve cleaned up the organization’s online reputation and figured out how you’re going to use content to build a strong reputation, it’s time to put your strategy into action. You’re about to become transparent. In the past, we had the perception that we are in control of our reputation even with an issue or crisis. The curtain has been pulled back now, and the only way to participate in the conversation is by being transparent: You’re opening yourself up to criticism and feedback.

  • Allow employees to talk about your products or services publicly.
  • Establish a one-to-one communication channel where customers can engage and converse with you in real time every day.
  • Proactively ask for feedback.
  • Don’t hide criticism: Address it publicly.

Once you’ve decided to be transparent, honest, authentic, and human in your online conversations, the content, brand ambassadors, influencer marketing, customer reviews, and a solid product or service will help you cross the marathon finish line. Warren Buffett famously said:

If you lose money for the firm, I will be understanding. If you lose reputation, I will be ruthless.

An organization’s online reputation, today, is only as good as its search results.


About the author: Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now. Visit SpinSucks where this excerpt is originally appeared.

A Ferry Tragedy, and a Wake-Up Call for Communications Pros

“Stay inside and wait” will likely go down as one of the worst—and most deadly—messages ever communicated in a crisis. This is what, according to a New York Times report, the communications officer repeatedly told the hundreds of high school students on the doomed South Korean ferry Sewol, which sank on Wednesday. It took more than two hours for the ferry to sink, and “only a couple of the 44 life rafts were deployed,” according to the Times. Of the 475 people on board, 179 have survived.

The communications officer also said that he couldn’t recall any evacuation drills for the Sewol.

Such a lack of crisis preparedness and training in the transportation industry seems so absurd as to be implausible, yet the facts stare us in the face. Before your outrage gets the better of you, ask yourself, how prepared would your own organization be in the face of a life-threatening crisis or disaster?

If you’re an experienced PR professional, few people in your organization will have better crisis management training than yourself. This is an area where communications pros can and should take the lead. Take it upon yourselves to get senior leaders involved in crisis preparedness—both the operational aspects and the communications planning. Work with HR to conceive and implement a crisis response plan and make sure all employees are trained in how to respond in the event of a life-threatening crisis, and institute a chain of command.

Communications pros should go beyond developing skills to manage the message and protect a brand in a crisis. They should be leaders in making sure plans that actually save lives are in place, and communicated well.


Written by Steve Goldstein. Steve Goldstein is editorial director of events for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals. Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI Visit PRNews where this excerpt is originally appeared. 

[INFOGRAPHIC] 7 Statistics That Can Raise Your Facebook Engagement

With organic reach and engagement numbers plunging on Facebook, marketers are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the game before the social platform goes to an exclusively pay-to-play model. 

A recent Ogilvy & Mather study found that brand posts in February reached just 6 percent of fans, compared to 12 percent in October. 

So frustrated by this perceived slap in the face was Eat24 that the company deleted its Facebook page and “broke up” with Facebook in an open letter that went viral. 

But maybe there’s hope. This infographic shares a few pointers to help boost your engagement. Beware, though, as soon as you find something that works, Facebook will undoubtedly switch its ever-devolving algorithm until all you see in your newsfeed is babies, kittens and whatever your super religious aunt is yammering about. 

Without further ado, check out the infographic below (and realize that its tips could be irrelevant by the time you finish reading it): 


Written by Kevin Allen. Kevin has developed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and created content for major brands across multiple social platforms. Previously, he served as an editor and reporter for theChicago Sun-Times, ESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications. As a reporter, Kevin has covered MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, NCAA football, national political campaigns, backyard barbecues and just about everything in between. He’s been a contributor to PR Daily since its launch. Visit PRDaily where this excerpt is originally appeared

Menerjang Kegagalan (Refleksi Paskah 2014)

Apakah yang akan terjadi seandainya rencana anda tidak berjalan sesuai yang anda harapkan? Anda menemui sebuah jalan buntu dan orang mulai menyebut anda seorang yang gagal. Lantas, apakah benar anda gagal? Apa arti kegagalan sesungguhnya?

Gagal, menurut saya, adalah saat anda jatuh, terpuruk, dan memutuskan untuk tidak bangkit. Itulah kegagalan. Namun bila anda jatuh terpuruk dan memutuskan untuk bangkit kembali, anda jauh dari kata ‘gagal’.

Manusia menginginkan kesuksesan dalam kehidupannya. Tentu definisi sukses menurut setiap kita pasti berbeda-beda. Namun yang sama adalah jalan untuk mencapainya. Jalan menuju apa yang anda inginkan tidaklah pernah mudah. Seperti sebuah quotes yang menyatakan “Nothing big comes easy”. Tidak ada sesuatu yang besar yang dapat diraih dengan mudah. Kuncinya adalah, jangan pantang menyerah! Jika anda tidak menyerah, maka anda tidak akan gagal. “If you don’t give up, you can’t fail”.

Berkaitan dengan perayaan Paskah 2014, kebangkitan Kristus yang diyakini oleh umat Kristiani, merupakan lambang pengharapan bagi umat.

Jika anda sedang gagal, beranikah anda untuk berharap? Beranikah anda untuk tetap melangkah maju? Beranikah anda untuk menghadapi kehidupan ini?

Keberanian anda dapat dimulai dengan merubah fokus hidup. Anda dapat memilih untuk focus pada ketenangan, atau kehampaan. Anda layak mendapatkan sebuah ketenangan dengan memupuk keberanian untuk maju. Sebab jika anda menghindari orang lain, mencoba untuk terus sembunyi saat jatuh, maka percayalah, anda hanya akan semakin terpuruk.

Bagi umat Kristiani, perayaan Paskah merupakan refleksi diri: sudahkah peristiwa kebangkitan Kristus telah menjadi jiwa pada iman Kristen? Umat Kristiani seharusnya memiliki perbedaan dalam hidup saat mengamini kebangkitan-Nya sekitar 2000 tahun yang lalu. Perbedaan ini terwujud dari perkataan, perbuatan yang menghibur, memulihkan sesama dan diri sendiri.

Jatuh dalam hidup adalah hal yang wajar. Keberanian untuk terus bertahan dan berharap, itu adalah hal yang luar biasa. Tentu manusia memiliki banyak keterbatasan yang menghalangi untuk terus memfokuskan diri pada kondisi pantang menyerah. Oleh karena itu, pengharapan menjadi jalan satu-satunya. Berharap kepada Tuhan yang tidak akan pernah bisa kita mengerti setiap jalannya namun yang kita amini bahwa rencana-Nya selalu indah pada waktunya.

Jangan takut untuk jatuh, tetapi takutlah jika kita tidak berani untuk berharap dan bangkit. Setiap orang yang merayakan Paskah haruslah menjadi terang dan membagi terang tersebut. Berbagi terang dapat diwujudkan dengan berbagi pengharapan kepada orang yang sedang terpuruk.

Nilai inilah yang dapat kita ambil dan maknai bersama. Keberanian untuk berpengharapan, keberanian untuk maju, keberanian untuk tetap melangkah, bangkit dengan hidup yang baru. Sehingga apapun masalah yang kita miliki, kita dapat tetap hidup.

Jangan takut, teruslah berharap. If you don’t give up, you cannot fail.

Tuhan berkati.

Stop Trying to Get Your Blog Posts Shared and Do This Instead

So the key to social media is content marketing, right? And content marketing is all about blog posts, right? So, if you want to dominate social networks, the key is to get your blog posts shared on social networks, right?

Well…not necessarily.

Okay. Yes. You should put some social sharing buttons somewhere obvious on your blog, preferably where visitors can easily click them after reading the blog post. And yes, this can unmistakably expand your reach.

But it’s not actually the best way to take advantage of social media.

Here’s the problem. Blog posts just aren’t very shareable. Take a minute and scroll through your Facebook feed right now. Keep scrolling until you find a blog post in there. Yeah, it’s going to be a while.

Meanwhile, average organic reach has dropped from 16 percent in 2012 all the way down to 6.51 percent this year. (Oh how I long for the days when we complained about 16 percent organic reach.)

I’m going to say something a bit heretical. I don’t think you should focus on getting your blog posts shared.

I think you should start asking what does get shared instead.

Look at What’s Actually in Your Facebook Feed

This isn’t rocket surgery.

If you want to know what kind of content actually gets shared on Facebook, you should stop looking at Coca-Cola’s or Rihanna’s ridiculously high number of page likes. You should stop reading how-to guides explaining what you need to do in order to get more likes (except this one). You shouldn’t bother browsing the Social Bakers leaderboard.

Instead, you should look at what your friends are sharing on Facebook.

Social Bakers tells me that the brand with the best engagement rate on Facebook in February was Evolution Fresh. They had a whopping 7.05 percent of their fans engaged.

Well, that’s interesting to me, because as of April 6, 2014, George Takei has an engagement rate of

George Takei on Facebook

…let’s see, carry the 2…oh, just 85 percent.

And taking a look at some of the other things people are sharing in my feed, I see that the Intergallactic Geek Alliance is currently sitting pretty at 33 percent, 9Gag is at 68 percent, Creepypasta is at 40 percent, and some page I’ve never heard of calledSpiritual Networks is at 27 percent.

And what are these pages sharing that’s giving them such high engagement rates? Stuff like this:

Spiritual Networks

George Takei Facebook post

9GAG Facebook post

But you know that already, because you use Facebook, right?

And yet, for some reason, most of us are content to just share our blog post on Facebook, hoping that it will pick up some traction. And it might, a little bit. Done properly, it’ll even be profitable. I’m certainly not going to argue that all of these well-known tactics aren’t helpful. But you’re not going to be seeing George Takei’s 85 percent engagement rate any time soon on that alone.

So here’s a suggestion.

The next time you put up a blog post, browse through it and find your most quotable, shareable insight. Turn that into an image macro, link back to the blog post from the text field, and post the image to Facebook.

Then embed that Facebook post right into your blog post, so that your regulars can share it without ever having to leave your site.

Watch your numbers soar.

It couldn’t hurt, right? And I’m willing to bet that the embed will do a lot better than those practically invisible share buttons.

Use Social Platforms for Their Intended Purpose

Social networks aren’t for blog posts. They’re for bite-size pieces of visual content that contain:

    • Some piece of wisdom that can be conveyed in a short number of words
    • Something people can relate to
    • Something that takes people by surprise
    • Something that will make them laugh
    • Something motivational or inspirational
    • Something cute

Just post those to social networks, then embed them in your blog posts, and you have yourself a winning formula.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

Thanks for reading.


Written by Francisco Rosales, founder of SocialMouths and author of the online course Email Marketing [not so] 101. Visit SocialMouth, where the first version of this story is originally appeared.