Building trust is never an easy thing to do. It takes time and a whole lot of effort to acquire knowledge until you're comfortable to know enough about the person's ins and outs.
The thing is, people are guarded by emotions which entirely makes it even more difficult to build trust, that's why a genuine trust in a relationship takes time to build- ever heard of the phrase "love is not enough"? The comforting thing is that although we don't have control over the other person's emotions, you have control over yours.
It is the same when you're just starting out with a new company that you are working for or representing. It is completely understandable if you have a lot of reservations at first because you are only starting to get to know the company but as you go on working with the company, you find yourself getting more familiarized and comfortable, provided that you are doing your part in getting to know the company- No matter how great a company is, if you don't do your part in getting to know it, it will never be enough. So the first ingredient for building trust is to...
GAIN MORE KNOWLEDGE
I will be expounding on this more since this is the most critical part of your growth and will set the pace for you. So how do you gain more knowledge about the company? Here are some quick steps:
- Attend company training. It doesn't need to be a paid one, it can be a free one and almost all companies offer this. My advice? Attend as many as you can especially during the first 3 months of startup since this is the most critical time where you will need to build that trust to keep you going through the hurdles. Remember, building an empire takes time and what you're doing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
- Talk to colleagues. Build a conversation with teammates and colleagues about what they know about the company and what they like about the company. Ask for their opinions and thoughts, just make sure that you are asking the right person- the kind whom you know who has the same drive as you, someone who is working their way to succeed.
- Research, research, research. I cannot stress this enough. Google is already free, why not use it? Do your own assignment to get to know the company. There will be loads of information available in the internet. If you can't even do this, why are you even doing business?
- Attend company events. Here you have to invest money to attend but events are great kick-starters to get to know a company a little bit more than just training. This is where upcoming company projects are usually announced which can at least give you an idea about where the company is going. This is very important, how can you work with a company that you don't support its goals?
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. - Benjamin Franklin
So what do you do with the knowledge you acquire? (take note that the word "acquire" is used in the present tense- it never stops.)
The next step would be...
Knowledge is not power until it is applied. - Dale Carnegie
As you gain knowledge, you also gain confidence. When you're confident you will be able to have more courage to take action. But as you take more action, you will observe that you will also lose the confidence over time as you encounter rejections and obstacles which are normal occurrences in the business world. (I will be posting an article regarding having a steely mindset to overcome this, so keep posted!)
So what do you do then?
FIND A MENTOR
It is easier if you know a person or a colleague who has been in the business trenches as well and has been engaged in the business longer than you and who has a proven track record. You have to be able to rely on this person to help you make sense of the things that are going on with your business when the going gets tough. Often times the challenges that we encounter in the business are related to our personal lives that we strive to separate from the business, but the thing is you just can't- just like you can't separate work from your personal life. (If you want to go on vacation with your family but your boss tells you that you can't coz you have a deadline, what would you do?)
You need to have a person who will be able to steer you to the direction of your declared goal when you feel lost and in doubt, but be prepared to get your feelings hurt when you start hearing their opinion- accept it, and plan accordingly with your mentor about what to do next to reach your goal. Find someone who is strong enough to be honest straight to your face about the reality of what's going on with you. Always remember, there's a reason your mentor has said these things. Capitalize on that. Just remember, all successful entrepreneurs had mentors- Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs whilst Steve Jobs had Andy Grove; Bill Gates had Warren Buffett whilst Warren Buffett had Benjamin Graham. Do you see the pattern here?
A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you. - Bob Proctor
Entrepreneurship is very ironic. People want to be entrepreneurs to get out of the regular 9 to 5 and eventually have freedom to choose how they live their lives, but the thing is that if you're just starting, you will be working harder, dedicating more time and effort- almost to a point that you become a masochist when you're always doing things that gets you hurt but you take it positively.
As you get back up for another round of beating, you will feel prouder of yourself for overcoming your emotions and stronger for not letting the letdown bring you permanently down. You eventually develop a thick-skin of self-assurance that you will do it no matter what anyone says or whatever happens. This is already a trust that comes from within- the strongest form of trust that you have developed where you now have a better sense of self.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. - Ralph W. Emerson
PASS IT ON
There is value in teaching. In this stage, you'll observe that you don't only have the knowledge but you are now developing the wisdom to conquer life's hurdles. Now it's your turn to pass it onto another hopeful who has the ambition to succeed. As you guide your apprentice, you will observe that you also build more trust about what you're doing, that it's something that will not just benefit you but a lot of people. In turn, your apprentice will also grow to become a mentor who will touch more and more lives in ways that you can only imagine, and that's the greatest fulfillment of all.
Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality. - Dalai Lama XIV
Gaining knowledge about the company you're working with is just the initial step in building the trust, but it will not be enough to entirely answer your doubts. There's an underlying factor which will put the last nail in the coffin- yourself. Once you're more in tune with yourself, you'll be able to better navigate through business and life's challenges. If you are not at peace with yourself, it will be difficult for you to trust anyone- your mind will be clouded and you won't be able to think clearly and effectively. So if you are struggling with your sense of self, I suggest that you do all the steps from gaining knowledge, taking action, finding a mentor, rising up, and passing it on. As you do it day-by-day, you will observe that everything will become clearer to you. You don't have to feel it before doing it, you can do it and the feeling will come after.
To think confidently, act confidently... Act the way you want to feel. - David J. Schwartz
Published by Steve Cang