Confidence (high or low) is one of the largest factors that impact our ability to achieve.  No matter your vocation or discipline, it has been long held that “your attitude determines your altitude.”

For years, I have been fortunate to work with some of the greatest achievers in our industry; people who seem to always persevere when others seem to be mired in quicksand.   It’s not that these great achievers never have a misstep nor make a mistake – but it’s always impressive to watch how they ultimately ‘pull it together’ and come out ahead.

As I continuously watch, listen, and learn myself, the one common characteristic that underscores each of their various leadership or management styles is Confidence.  Confidence born from the application of good information with the lessons learned from their past successes/challenges they or their trusted advisors experienced.  And these achievers remain in the forefront (and thus remain confident) because they themselves continue the non-stop gathering and digestion of good information surrounding their consumers changing needs, market dynamics, and sales associates (and other trusted resources) inputs.

So, if the gathering and application of good information acts as the catalyst for confidence, how do we know “good information” from “bad information”?  Well – I welcome any thoughts you may have on answering this question.

However, what I will say is as we enter this time of year of considering 2010 and finalizing plans for 2011, there are some points that I know to be good information for you and your team to aid with confidence:

  • While unemployment statistics remain unfavorable, through the end of the third quarter the nation has created 1.17 million jobs, compared to a loss of 4.58 million jobs during the same period in 2009.
  • The economy grew 2.5{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} (annualized rate) through the end of the third quarter.
  • Fannie Mae has re-forecasted growth upward for 2011 to 3.4{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c}.
  • Consumer confidence is on the rise, evident by real consumer spending rose 2.8{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} (adjusted for inflation) at an annual rate at the end of the third quarter.
  • Demand for consumer credit is rising (even without the refinance mortgage bubble), evident by increase of non-revolving credit largely due to auto loans  – which is another indicator of growing consumer confidence since these are folks that are taking the ‘risk’ associated with longer term loan obligations.
  • Equity prices are on the rise.  The rise (which is, of course, speculative in nature) is a result of institutional investors becoming more confident with our near term future.

These and other local measures that you have at your disposal give me the confidence to say that 2011 will grow into being a solid year for our customers, sales associates, and our franchisees.

Thank you for all that you do……and have a wonderful New Year!

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