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The most financially confident (and generally successful) people are those who think like business owners. Owners act with more conviction, refuse to follow the herd and trust their decision-making skills. Use this checklist and start thinking like an owner (while promoting your own personal values). Before you know it, you’ll be more confident in and out of the workplace.

1. Align your work with your values

If you focus on nothing at work but your paycheck, you may end up wealthy but not necessarily happy. While a big part of financial confidence is being able to support what matters to you with the money you make, it goes beyond salary. If you’re working tirelessly and missing out on family time, daily workouts or other things you value, you may want to consider a change. 

53% of employees say having a greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important.”

2. Focus on the bigger picture

As an employee, it’s easy to get stuck in production mode, focusing only on the tasks on your plate and not keeping the bigger picture in mind. Business owners, on the other hand, are always looking for future opportunities.

Challenge: Try spending at least an hour a day (or even a week!) brainstorming new ideas and thinking strategically about how to make your company more successful or efficient. The more value you create for others, the more valuable you become.

3. Take risks

Most business leaders would welcome many creative ideas that fail (and only a few that have merit) versus no ideas at all. Don’t think of it as a rejection. Once your brainstorming sessions have produced some good ideas, take them to your boss. Or step out of your comfort zone and raise your hand for a task outside your skill set. Even if some of your ideas or efforts come up short, you’ll be growing professionally, demonstrating initiative and potentially getting the attention of the higher-ups.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”—Thomas A. Edison

4. Build (and nurture) relationships

The relationships you build with mentors, co-workers, advisers and friends can help define success in both your personal and professional life by helping you make connections that might lead to a new job, an interesting side gig or a friendship. (The phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” didn’t become popular for nothing.) Focus on creating new relationships—and maintaining existing ones—through networking, social events and interactive online tools.

85% of all jobs are filled through some level of networking.

5. Be confident

If you know that you can succeed, you will, both inside and outside the office. Not quite that self-assured yet? You’re not alone: More than 70 percent of men and women have suffered from “imposter syndrome” (the feeling that success isn’t truly earned) at some point in their career.3 But there’s a simple cure. Start by using strong posture and confident body language. And never underestimate the power of a solid handshake and a sincere smile. You may just surprise yourself!


3 Key Takeaways
  1. Thinking more like an owner by focusing on bigger-picture issues can boost your value at work.
  2. Take time away each week to think about the bigger picture.
  3. Building relationships both inside and outside of work can contribute to your success.

Challenge yourself

Finding other ways to up your income doesn't mean losing focus on your career. Keep reading to learn how.

1 “The Dream Job,” March 1, 2017, Gallup

“New Survey Reveals 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking,” Feb. 29, 2016, LinkedIn

3 “How to Fake It ‘Til You Make It (Or Become It),” May 27, 2017, Huffington Post

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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