As a business owner, I have observed a phenomenon that I believe has not been fully explored in the business world – the theory of self-expansion. This theory suggests that a person’s level of self-confidence and personal growth can have a significant impact on their business success.
I first became interested in this concept through a conversation with my friend’s husband, Luis, who owns a jewelry shop in San Francisco. Luis, who is short and petite, expressed his frustration with customers who would lie to him or treat him poorly because of his small stature. This sparked my curiosity, and I asked him if he thought customers’ behavior changed depending on the salesperson’s body size.
Luis confirmed that this was indeed the case. He had noticed that customers would never yell at his 6-foot-tall, 300-pound employee, but they would often shout at him, even though he was a skilled and experienced jeweler. I asked if he noticed this had an effect on his business growth. He admitted that he had never thought about it in those terms, but he believed that his business was not as successful as it could be because customers did not take him seriously due to his small stature.
This conversation made me wonder if other business owners had experienced similar challenges due to their physical appearance. I began researching successful business owners of all shapes and sizes and found many examples of people who had overcome their insecurities and used their unique qualities to their advantage.
I also started to consider how self-improvement courses and personal development could help business owners to boost their confidence and develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in their industry. By investing in their own growth and development, business owners can learn how to overcome their insecurities and leverage their unique strengths and abilities to build better relationships with customers and grow their businesses.
For example, a short and petite jewelry shop owner like Luis could take a public speaking course to learn how to confidently communicate with customers and business partners. A plus-size clothing store owner could take a course in fashion design to gain more expertise in creating flattering and stylish clothing for people of all sizes.
I know that many people still do not believe in the important effect of meditation in their lives, but it’s worth giving it a try. In fact, I suggested to my friend Luis to try a specific meditation technique to help him overcome his struggle with customers treating him poorly due to his small stature. The technique involves finding a quiet place and sitting up straight, then focusing on your breath. After a few deep breaths with awareness, close your eyes and see yourself from the eyes of someone else. See that you are sitting and meditating, and try to look into your details like the color of your clothes and your hair. Then, see yourself growing, expanding, and getting bigger and bigger, feeling yourself in a huge body. Imagine that as you get bigger and bigger, the room that you are sitting in is getting smaller and smaller. Finally, take your attention one more time to yourself from the eyes of someone else, seeing how big you’ve become, so big that you need to tilt your head up to look at yourself. After doing this meditation for at least 15 minutes per day each day, Luis noticed a significant improvement in how customers treated him and took him seriously as a skilled jeweler and business owner.
Ultimately, by investing in their own personal growth and development, business owners can not only improve their own confidence and self-esteem but also enhance their reputation and credibility in the eyes of their customers. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and ultimately, greater business success.
If you are interested in this subject I have a few books to suggest:
- “The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide” by Shawn Andrews and Lauren Bossio
- “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
- “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy