newest book is
Research. For more
tips, see www.
When in doubt,
AFTER I HAD BEEN in business for a couple of
years, a friend asked me, “Rhonda, when did you
know you were good at what you do?” It was
then I realized it had been quite a while since I’d
experienced the “Fraud Factor.”
The Fraud Factor hits when you’re in a new
phase of your life—starting a business, changing
jobs, getting married, having a baby. You don’t
yet feel like you’re “really” an entrepreneur,
spouse, parent. You’re just playing a part.
Part of the Fraud Factor comes from the fact
that you’re new. It takes time and experience for
your confidence to grow along with your abili-
ties. The Fraud Factor is common and natural,
but to overcome that feeling as fast as you can,
there are some simple steps to take.
Get educated. The more you know about
what you’re doing, the more confident you’ll feel.
Attend seminars, read books, take classes.
Get connected. Join with others who are in
the same boat. If you’re starting a business, join
entrepreneur organizations. Make friends at your
new job; join a new-parents group.
Get credentials. Most professions and
trades offer some form of advanced-certification
programs. These credentials increase
your sense of confidence.
Give yourself credit. You
may be new to this phase of your
life, but you have other experiences that make you capable.
Remind yourself of your skills and
talents whenever you’re feeling
Get real. The surest way to
feel like a fraud is to be one. Never
misrepresent yourself. When potential
clients ask you about your experience,
So what did I say to my friend who asked the
question about when I knew I was good at what
I do? I told her I really didn’t know; one day I just
did. And so will you. C
STEPHEN COVEY gained
fame for giving us The 7
Habits of Highly Effective
People. His latest role is in
an inspirational book,
Everyday Greatness (available at
The book is a com-
pilation of stories from
Reader’s Digest that
show courage, respect,
humility and perseverance against incredible
odds. Covey, a Costco
member, comments on
these stories, examining how their heroes
made choices to act,
seek a higher purpose or follow key principles.
(For an interview with Covey
from The Connection’s
archives, see this month’s
Online Edition at costco.com
under “Costco magazine.”). C
Staying in touch
throughout the year
SENDING HOLIDAY cards to
business clients is always a nice
thought, but there are other creative ways to stay in touch year-round, advises Keith Ferrazzi,
a marketing and sales con-
sultant based in Los Angeles.
Here’s a list.
■ Write or call to celebrate
events that matter—the more
personal, the better: birth-
days, wedding anniver-
saries, a child’s
graduation and even
ethnic or religious
holidays. When your
relationship is strong
enough, be sure to
events occur, too.
■ Write or
call to offer
such as the
founding and, especially for
public companies, quarterly
■ Offer to help the client’s
child in high school or college
get a summer internship.
■ When you’re in the same
town, do something together
outside the office. Perhaps go for
a run or do another kind of
workout, or offer an invitation
to a non-business dinner with
several interesting, fun people.
■ Make an unsolicited
e-mail—to someone in your
network whom your client
would benefit from knowing.
■ Call to ask for advice on
something the client is particularly knowledgeable about.
Perhaps he or she knows how to
play the guitar and you want to
start, or is a great parent and
you are having a child soon.
■ Invite the client to an
“impact weekend” that you
organize—a conference where
he or she can meet and collaborate with other movers and
shakers interested in making an
impact in a specific area of business or life.
■ Summarize a couple of
books you like. Send the sum-maries and the books before a
vacation or holiday weekend so
the client will have ample time
to read them.
■ For cards, Thanksgiving
works well because no one sends
them then and it’s a perfect time
to express your gratitude for the
■ December’s busy, so add
the client’s number to your speed-dial and make a quick call to
catch up when there’s a break in
the action. But make it brief.
Ferrazzi, a Costco member,
is author of Never Eat Alone and
Other Secrets To Success, One
Relationship at a Time
For more, see his Web site at