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What do you believe in? Your company, your product, your service?  How about yourself?

In case you’re unfamiliar with the word “chutzpah,” its origin is in the Yiddish language.  It means the confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that are shocking to others.  (Some may refer to it has having gall or nerve.)

As we all know, our lives are filled with moments.  When it comes to business, those moments may be: stepping into the elevator at the exact moment the president of the company you’re trying to get in front of enters, attending a meeting and noticing a key prospect entering the room, or standing in a line for movie tickets and realizing the person in front of you is the newly appointed CEO of an important firm that you’d like to approach.

When any of the above scenarios occurs, we have a choice.  We can quietly keep to ourselves and hope we get noticed or we can go out on a limb and make a bold move. Chutzpah certainly isn’t new.  Going back in history, some would say that Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks were prime examples of exhibiting chutzpah (and I would agree).

The key ingredient in chutzpah is believing in yourself.  A Forbes contributor, (Maseena Zieglar) offered this guidance when it comes to chutzpah:

1. Take pride in your chutzpah. Don’t apologize for it and care what others say.

2. Your action must come from a place of truth.  If it doesn’t, your chutzpah will go amiss.

3. Chutzpah should not mean letting go of your principles or dignity.

4. Chutzpah should always be expressed in moderation, much like everything in life.

Since establishing Profitable Speech in 1994, I’ve learned a significant amount about business and about myself.  So far in my career, when I’ve exhibited chutzpah, it’s paid off and has been worth the risk so I’m sticking with it.

How about you; what’s your opinion?  Please share your comments.


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