Starting your own business is a pretty big decision. I started mine following a rather painful redundancy (although it probably hurt my ego more than my heart). And what I’ve found and seen time & time again is that to let go of the old stories that threaten to hold you back, building your confidence is key! Confidence and self-belief become your constant ‘desired‘ companions when starting in business and without them, it’s too easy to quit. Yet with them, you can create the business you truly desire.
I want to share with you 7 tips on developing the confidence required to get you out of the starting blocks & into business:
- Vision with clear goals– have direction. When you do this, you feel more confident, not because you know what the outcome of your life will be, but because you are clearer on where you are heading. Think about, when you set out in your car or on public transport, you plan your journey, the route you wish to take. And if you’re anything like me you might also have a backup plan ‘just in case’ things don’t go according to the route planned; we know that things don’t always go smoothly, right? And it’s this same rule that, when applied to your life, gives you more confidence on the way forward. It provides the sense of certainty we, as human beings crave and that certainty improves our level of confidence.
- Check Your Mindset – the biggest road block on your path into business is likely to be you. What’s important here is to develop your self-awareness by working on your emotional intelligence. Start observing what’s going on with you, your thoughts, behaviours as well as the stories you’re telling yourself. This is where getting yourself a coach or mentor will pay dividends. Getting past those internal road blocks once and for all will provide the fuel to move forward with more clarity, less doubt, focus and self-belief.
- Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses – identify them and highlight what passions/skills & talents are going to generate an income vs. what the things you are capable of but not driven by that you can seek to outsource over time. Even though you’ll have to do some of the things you’d rather not to begin with, it won’t be forever, moreover, you have access to more tools now than ever before: online research, technology tools, crowdfunding to test the waters for products & services, opportunities to collaborate & leverage with other like-minded individuals. As you learn about these tools, test them out and find experts to help you utilise them, your confidence in your ability will grow.
- Build Your Network – relationships. Keep the naysayers at bay and have a trusted circle of friends/support, those who encourage you even if they don’t fully understand what you’re doing. You must guard your thoughts and ideas, only sharing them with people who have your best interests at heart. That doesn’t mean that you should expect everyone to nod at your every suggestion or tell you how brilliant things are, you want people to challenge your thinking but they need to do so respectfully and constructively. Good people are worth their weight in gold and will boost your confidence. Naysayers… well, the less of them you associate with the better.
- Be Present – whilst building the future make time for fun. All work and no play will make you difficult to be around. Enjoy the journey, be open to learning from your mistakes as well as your accomplishments, from your failures as well as your successes. Learn to laugh during challenging times and know that each one of them is temporary. This will reduce your stress levels and allow you to appreciate all the highs, lows and curves on the way to your vision. And know, with confidence, that every step will serve you on your way.
- Make Time For Reward & Recognition – you must stop to appreciate what you’ve done so far. The end goal can often seem miles away but what did you achieve last week, yesterday, today? Think about it, in the work environment or even in community work, when people notice your efforts and thank you, you feel good, glad to have been able to contribute and that boosts your confidence. The same rule applies when you bother to note your own efforts. It’s not being self-important, it’s realising you have achieved what you set out to do.
- Saving the best for last but really, it’s first – Keep Your Health Top Of Mind – and here’s why…when you are feeling physically fit and are eating a balanced diet, chances are you feel better about yourself compared to when you fill up on junk food and don’t get enough exercise. This is because the mind and body are inextricably linked. Not only can our bodies be affected by what’s going on in our mind, our bodies can change how we feel emotionally. For example, eating carbohydrate-rich foods make the brain receive more serotonin – a hormone that makes you feel positive, relaxed and confident. Too many foods or drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine, however, can cause mood fluctuations, which can leave you feeling lethargic, irritable and anxious. So, put your health first, take care of yourself every day and approach your working day with energy, drive and passion!
There you have it… 7 tips to get you over the starting a business line. There is no time like the present and there will never be a better time to get started!