The Number 1 Secret to Confidence as a Starting-Out Entrepreneur

by Ash Kumra

This chapter is a free excerpt from Confessions from an Entrepreneur (Volume 1).

Arel Moodie: International Speaker & Author

Want to know the secret to confidence and getting your first customers? It’s a secret anyone who has made it knows very intimately. It’s a secret that most people who have made it would never share while they were applying it in their own businesses.


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Arel Moodie: International Speaker & Author

Want to know the secret to confidence and getting your first customers? It’s a secret anyone who has made it knows very intimately. It’s a secret that most people who have made it would never share while they were applying it in their own businesses.

It’s a secret that once you start applying to your life it will make you feel REALLY uncomfortable. It will make you not want to do it at all. It may even make you feel a little bit dirty. But after a while you will realize it’s exactly what you need to do to propel you from where you are to where you want to be.

This secret gives you confidence, causes people to respect you, and gets you clients. However I must warn you, if done incorrectly or misused, it will completely backfire and cause you much harm. Consider yourself warned.

The secret we are referring to is hidden in the phrase “Fake it until you make it.”

Why do I say it’s hidden within that phrase? Isn’t the phrase self-explanatory? Not quite. Let’s delve deeper to understand why.

When you are first starting out, you don’t yet have many victories and therefore proof to show people the reasons why they should do business with you. Getting your first few clients is hands-down one of the hardest and most important phases of any business. Frankly, if you can get some people to pay you, then you can get more people to pay you. But if you can’t get the first customer, it’s probably a sign that your business (in its current form) has severe flaws.

So what does “fake it until you make it” really mean? It means that you should be the person you want to be, not the person you currently are. It means you should take what you have currently accomplished and BLOW IT UP (however, this secret does not include lying).

Let’s say that you have an idea for a dog walking business, but you haven’t had any customers yet. How do you convince people to do business with you and trust you with their beloved pooch? Here are some ideas:

  • Ask to walk other people’s dogs for free. Do this with friends, members of your church or synagogue or place of worship, your neighbors, and other people that you are close with that wouldn’t mind you walking their dog for them for free (however, not family).
  • Next, you walk their dogs for a couple of weeks, two weeks is good.
  • Then do a heck of job making sure the dogs are happy and the owner is happy too.
  • Then ask your customers to give you a testimonial of your dog walking services. They will talk about how great you are at dog walking, how the dogs love you, how you are so friendly, etc.
  • Next put that on your website, on your facebook page, send it in emails/letters to prospective clients.

This is called “Social Proof.” People never want to be the first person to try something, they want to know others have used it and that you are good at what you do. This is why you don’t do this for family. If the testimonial is of someone with the same last name as you, or they reference you as their son or sister, you’ll immediately lose credibility.

Now you can walk around talking about how many people (not customers, don’t lie) have used your dog walking service and love it. You can call yourself the best dog walking service in town according to these residents of X neighborhood.

It will make your company look bigger and more established than it actually is and give you a list of references for potential customers to call to ask about your actual service.

The wording is important, and not lying is important. Did you fake it… a little bit… but once you make it, who cares? As long as you are not stealing from people and hurting people, it’s your duty to do whatever it takes to get people to use your service or buy your product. Once you actually make it, just replace your “fake it” testimonials with “made it” testimonials.

And whenever you talk to someone, be honest but be proud. Remember, the key is to act like the person you want to be, run your company like the company you dream it will be, and soon enough you won’t have to fake it anymore because you’ll actually be doing it.

* * * * *

Arel Moodie is an American student success self-help motivational speaker. He has been featured in USA Today and Young Money Magazine for his pursuits as an entrepreneur with his first Internet company. He has also been named a top Generation Y leader in the book Millennial Leaders. He speaks primarily to student audiences across the country but has also been known to speak to entrepreneurs and has represented Youth Entrepreneurs for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Governor's first conference on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Arel Moodie wrote the bestselling book Your Starting Point For Student Success.

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