Last week I talked about how our underlying beliefs can sabotage our entrepreneurial efforts and marketing messages. This week I want to follow up on that with a discussion about how our feelings affect our professional image, particularly for entrepreneurs who work directly with horses. We know that horses can read our underlying emotions so it only makes sense that the way you feel walking into an appointment will affect the horses that you are working with.
Perhaps you are not confident about whether or not you are going to be able to impress your client. Or maybe you would really like to ask for a testimonial and are anticipating that request with apprehension. Or maybe you are just uncomfortable about stating your rates and availability. Any of those sorts of uncertainties and fears really affect the way you present yourself. You will carry yourself differently and project a different image based on your internal state. This is a form of incongruence.
Think about how easy it is to spot a person from across the room that is really insecure versus someone with a lot of confidence. If you walk into a meeting in that insecure state it will not build confidence in your client that you are the answer to their problem. They are looking to you to solve an issue that they have – that is why they hired you. Your clients may begin to question you if they sense that you do not believe in yourself. In turn, your anxiety and insecurity may increase and before you know it, your ideal prospect has hired someone else.
The effect of your emotional state is heightened when you work directly with horses because they are even more sensitive to your internal state. It doesn’t matter what the reason is for your insecurity, the horse is simply going to pick up on the fact that you are not acting like a leader. Perhaps the horse will even pick up on your fear and feel as though there is a reason to be spooky and uneasy. With that sort of reaction, you are not going to get the same results as you could if you walked in feeling congruent and authentic about the services you offer as a professional.
Therefore, ensuring that you have done the work ahead of time to stand in authenticity about the services you offer is going to make you a better equine entrepreneur. You are not as effective as a trainer if you come across as insecure. You are not as effective as a massage therapist if your apprehension is making the horse worry and stay tense. You are not as effective as a farrier if your internal tension is causing the horse to pull away and dance around. You will be able to present a better service if you have done the work ahead of time to know your true value and worth.
If you are feeling conflicted, for whatever reason, heading into an appointment, you can pull your truck over and take a moment to clear that energy. Try doing a breathing exercise, yell it out, or have some mantras on hand to remind yourself how great you really are. You want to be centered, sure of yourself, and ready to focus on the task at when you walk into your appointment so that you can provide the best service possible. Don’t let your internal self-critic undermine your entrepreneurial attitude.
Do you ever second guess yourself when talking to clients? Has your confidence ever impacted your work? I know it has for me. Take a moment to reflect on this and come up with some ways that you can shift into congruence so that you can bring your best to work with you.