No matter what age you are, having confidence as you’re launching a business is hard–especially if you feel as though you don’t know what you’re doing. I remember that when I first started my business, I was totally lacking confidence, and I’m sure it showed. I would have trouble sleeping the night before I had a consultation call because I worried about how it would go; my voice would shake, I’d run out of breath, and I’d sweat while on consultation calls; I felt awkward going up to people at networking events; and more.
Although there are certainly times that I still doubt myself, I feel as though I’ve mostly gotten over my fear of failure and find myself doing things with more confidence behind them–but it took time for that to happen.
People trust people who are confident in themselves and the work that they do, which then leads them to purchasing your products or investing in your services, which is why it’s so important to get comfortable with the uncomfortable of being a business owner. If you’re feeling like your confidence could use a little lift, follow these suggestions below, all of which really helped me.
Just Do It
Nike says it best. And although it may sound broad or unhelpful, it actually is solid advice. The more you do something, the more you will feel comfortable while doing it.
Point in case: I had always dreaded going to a business event alone because the last thing I wanted was to be viewed as that girl who’s standing all by herself in the corner and resorting to scrolling through her phone because she didn’t know anyone and felt too shy to go up and introduce herself… but yet, that’s exactly what happened every single time. Yikes.
One day, I told myself that I wasn’t going to be that person anymore, and instead, I would walk into that next event and go right up to someone and introduce myself, no matter how awkward I felt. To be truthful, it almost took a mindset shift to realize that I probably wasn’t the only one who would be alone and that not everyone would have someone to talk to. Keeping that in mind made it so much easier for me to walk in and start meeting people I didn’t know.
And now, I’ve gotten to the point where I just do these things as if they’re second nature–no thoughts or worries behind them. The next time you feel awkward, uncomfortable, or unconfident about something, just keep doing it and you will get better at it.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The biggest problem for me when feeling nervous was about something was always forgetting what I wanted to say *facepalm*. I would have the best ideas in my mind before the call, video chat, or interview, but then I’d actually speak to the person and everything I had thought about flew right out the window. This especially happened during consultation calls, where I’d forget what to say and there would be that horrible awkward silence. Nothing says, “Hire me!” quite like not even being able to show that you know what you’re doing, right? NOT.
One thing that really helped me to prepare for my consultation calls was to write out a script or a list of talking points. I included everything I wanted to ask the lead and share about myself so that I didn’t forget anything that I wanted to say. It didn’t take long for me to get to the point where I needed to hold a piece of paper in front of me when speaking to others, and now people tell me that I’m so well-spoken… which is always a shock for me to hear after knowing how I used to be with speaking!
Write Down Your Accomplishments
Feeling unconfident means that you probably doubt your skills, too. You think that you’re incapable of achieving anything great, you’re not an expert, and you can’t see why anyone would want to hire you or work with you.
But here’s the thing: you’re a rockstar and you already have accomplished so much.
So start writing those accomplishments down.
Every time you do something awesome or a client or customer expresses their gratitude towards you, make note of it. During the days and times where you feel down in the dumps, you can refer back to the list and be reminded of the fact that you are an expert.
Although these suggestions might seem simple, they actually make a huge impact and have helped to bring me to where I am today. Remember that being able to step into your zone of genius will take a little bit of getting used to, but from there, you’ll soar.
What have you done to help improve your confidence?