// Conviction, the Precursor to Success //

Author: Taylor Haney

Photo Credit: Craig Garner via Unsplash


I’m a big believer in self-fulfilled prophecy. Our expectations often drive our behavior. I had an intern complete a 4-week program with me. He asked me a lot of questions. Although he never came right out and asked, he fished for the answer to, “How do you become successful?”

 I answered it the best way I could. My life experiences have taught me that conviction is the single most important disposition for your own success.  What about knowledge, expertise, clearly defined goals, an organized schedule, lean processes, or the application of highest and best use? Sure, these are all important. But they are external actions that still require an internal drive. You can do all the things on that list, but none will make you successful. Only you can. I’m speaking to myself here, as well. Often, I spend copious amounts of time doing things on that list. Why? Because we are taught to believe they will make you successful. I think they can only help you be successful.  

 To the point: conviction is synonymous with certainty.  When you believe in your abilities, service model, expertise, and product, you are able to achieve greater heights.  

 Conviction is the precursor to success.  

 I recently helped my friend John get his first sales job. Few of his past experiences really set him up for sales. John is an operations guy. The new sales job required constant interaction with new people while maintaining relationships with past clients and prospects. There’s a constant ebb and flow. John came into the job with clearly defined goals, backed in specific tasks, and created processes to track and monitor his activities. But leads weren’t turning into new contracts. Prospects weren’t becoming clients. John hated cold calls. At his core, he didn’t believe it worked (or, at least, wouldn’t work for him). He did his homework and knew that if he just did X, he could obtain Y. Problem was he hated cold calls, didn’t believe they worked and ultimately had little to no success sans conviction.

 The checklists were completed. Except the line item that matters the most in sales–new clients. Because, as Simon Sinek puts it, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Introspective John checked himself. He told me a few months ago that he didn’t really believe what he was doing was going to lead to success. John changed tact and hoisted a new sail.

 The change? Simple: he focused on his conviction.

 He started leaning into the conviction that brought him to the new job in the first place–people needed what he was selling. He revamped his activities to his own skill sets, set audacious goals, and has pursued them and achieved them with fervent passion. Leads started becoming new contracts.

 Same activities. Overlay them with conviction. Better yet, start with conviction. Start with why?  John had to change his perception. He had to tap into, and live out of conviction.

 How did he get that conviction? He tailored what has been shown to work with his own skill sets and re-applied himself with belief. The activities he did everyday actually increased his conviction and built momentum.

 Have you ever had to sell, discuss, or present something that you did not believe in? It didn’t go well, did it? Find out what you have conviction in and pursue that. Is it a service? Is there a product you believe in? I challenge you to live a life of conviction. Do or learn things–as it pertains to your field of work–that increase your conviction.

 Synthesize the external actions with an internal conviction.



Taylor Haney
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