You might think that business owners are filled to the brim with confidence. The truth is that business owners, just like everyone else, sometimes experience self-doubt.
In fact, business owners may suffer even more that the average person because they take more risks and can be more isolated than most employees do.
The more confidence you have, in business and in life in general, the more action you’ll take. Let’s face it, action produces results and if you’re self employed, the only person responsible for the results is you! So here are five quick tips that could help you get over a dip in confidence:
1. Dress for success
Nobody dresses in a business suit to work from home (Or do they? If you know someone who does please leave me a comment!) After all, one of the perks of working from home is that you can wear what you want. But if you’ve gone a bit too far down the casual route, it could really pay to dress up a bit. Just putting on a casual outfit that makes you feel good or some lipstick can really boost your confidence, even if you aren’t leaving the house that day.
I always make sure I’m wearing tinted moisturiser and blusher, even if nobody except my kids will see me that day because if I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I know I’ll look OK!
2. Do something you know you’re good at
As business owners we wear many hats. Some of the tasks we have to do are are not where our strengths lie (bookkeeping anyone?) So spend a bit of time at the beginning of every working ‘day’ (even if it’s an evening, if you see what I mean!) doing what you’re good at. You’ll start the day with more confidence and you’ll get a boost from having completed a task swiftly and easily.
In the long term, see if you can pay someone else to do the tasks you’re not so good at. It’ll free up your time as well as boosting your confidence.
3. Think of the value you offer your clients
Often, you can take the heat out of a confidence crisis by focusing on your customers instead of yourself. So switch from “I’m not good enough for this” and “Who am I to think I can do this?” to “How can I best help this client?” and “What can I offer that my competitors aren’t already offering?”
The great news is that this approach develops your business as well as boosting your confidence.
4. What’s the worst that could happen?
If you screw it up, will someone get hurt or die? Probably not.
The chances are you stumble over a few words in a presentation or not get an item to a customer on the day you planned. No big deal. Once you realise the risks are smaller than they appear, it’s easier to move forward.
If you worry about the big stuff like not being able to pay your bills and losing your home, think about how realistic that fear really is. For most of us, it’s pretty unlikely to happen because it would be the result of a sequence of events. Not one single mistake.
5. Is it time for small steps or quantum leaps?
If you’re feeling tentative then take small steps to test the waters. These small steps can help boost your confidence as you go. For example, if you’re an introvert and you need to network you might start by attending a small meeting or seeing one person at a time.
The other option is to jump straight in. Forget the baby steps and go big instead. It’s the difference between slowly wading into a cold pool and allowing your body to get used to it, or diving in! This is good if you’re agonising over all the little steps in a project and that’s stopping you from seeing results. Why not just set a deadline and resolve to get it done by that date whatever happens? True, it might not be perfect but it’ll be done.
And that’s a big confidence booster.
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