Becoming a Credible Entrepreneur: How Others Perceive You

When you’re a rising entrepreneur, how others view you is one of the most important things that you must manage and put the time in to maintain. It goes beyond just that, though. When you focus on who you are as an individual, what your values are centered around, and what you want to serve, you’re reaching a deeper level of yourself. 

Mitchell Levy, global credibility expert, TEDx speaker, and international best-selling author joins us on this episode of Making Bank talks about the importance of credibility. Breaking down the main components of credibility, Mitchell talks about how you can hold yourself accountable and to a higher standard. Learn about what credibility is, and how you can apply that to your business and work ethic.  


What is Credibility?   

The impression that you give is something that can either put you ahead in the entrepreneur world. Despite its importance rarely do people know who they are, or what they want to do. “From a humanity perspective, how we’re perceived in the world [as in] who we are and how we interact with others is not only bad but going downhill.” 

With 57% percent of the people in the United States considered credible and reliable, the other 43% aren’t. So, how do we fix this? Mitchell suggests a reworking of the definition of credibility, one that can help cause an improvement in statistics. Understanding what makes a person credible is the first step.  

“So, you know, the expressed that we used to have, ‘we do business with those that we know, like and trust,’ right? I’m taking that to a whole new level. So, the definition today in the Oxford dictionary is that credibility is the demonstration of trust. Well, then you’re trying to figure out what is trust, and why would credibility and trust be the same?” Mitchell breaks down what it means in a more three-dimensional way.  

Credibility is the quality in which you are known. Mitchell developed 10 components that make up credibility which is being likable, trustworthy, and known. Using these components, he focuses on specific questions that allow him to get to know people on a deeper level.  

Of course, this isn’t to say that he knows a person completely by these questions, but they attempt to show integrity, commitment, intent, and other important characteristics that make up a successful person. People want to be able to trust and like people they work with, which makes credibility relevant in business. His definition of credibility is how you’re perceived as being known, liked, and trusted. This way, credibility is balanced on how you see yourself while taking into account how others view you.  

Along with creditability, being likable is important. “So, if you want to be likable in the business world in life, I’m going to recommend two things,” Mitchell says.  

The first thing that he recommends is sharing the stage. It’s the sparkle that happens when you share someone else’s creditability. This allows the audience to realize that it’s about a bigger picture at the end of the day – not just the individual success of one person but the audience too. Entrepreneurs create things for other people to use, so it’s great when they can connect with the people that the products are being created for.   

The second thing that he recommends is showing respect. Respect goes beyond just treating everyone you meet as you would want to be treated, but it also reflects your character. If you’re showing up to interviews late or not caring as much as the other person, that’s negatively going to reflect on you.  

Beyond just being likable and respectful, being coachable is an important characteristic in being trusted. Being able to learn and view things from other perspectives is key, especially when others are sharing their experiences with you. Taking what other people know and using it as a strength helps deepen that trust. When people give you advice, they are choosing to share what they know with you to help you.  

The Elevator Pitch 

Along with credibility, knowing want you want to do and how to express can put you ahead of the game. “If 98% of people can’t initially say who they are, what happens when you’re in conversation?” 

When it comes to being an entrepreneur, you’ve got to know who you are. The fact of the matter is that most people can’t explain who they are in five seconds or less. Mitchell thinks that this is detrimental because the basis of who you are is who you serve and why you serve them.   

If you know who you are in the short span of a few seconds, and you answer properly in an interview or when talking to people, the chances are that they’ll continue to ask more questions about you and want to learn about who you are on a deeper level. But you’ve got to give them the surface of who you are and what you represent first.  

“It turns out if [what you do] is what you love doing, it turns out that it’s your compass, because if it’s your purpose in life, if that’s what you love doing if you love serving other people in such ways, you’ve identified a problem and you serve them, then that’s your purpose,” Mitchell says this comes from being able to articulate who you are in seconds.  

If you happen to not love what you do, then you’re not fulfilling your purpose in life. You need to get a new job, or you need to find something else to do. Your life as an entrepreneur should fulfill every other aspect of your life, bringing overall wellness and joy. 

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