The great irony of business ownership is that most business owners wind up owning a business because they are really good at something other than running a business. They are great hairdressers, carpenters and designers with enough confidence in their cutting, carpentry and design sense to launch out on their own.
But often these confident, highly skilled experts are filled with self-doubt when it comes to actually running their business. They wield the scissors, hammers and pens with certainty – but a financial statement or a business plan can send them running scared.
If this sounds like you, then it’s time to start mastering your business confidence. Here are six ways to start feeling more assured:
1. Keep learning
You don’t need a Harvard degree to be an effective business manager. But the more you learn, the more confident you will become. There are a range of seminars and courses available online and locally that will help expand your business skills.
2. Recognise what you have accomplished
When you are feeling out of your depth, it helps to remind yourself how far you’ve come. Make a list of your successes in the last 12 months and surprise yourself with how much you have achieved. Maybe you’ve opened your first store, built a new website or cracked your first big customer. Chances are you’ve overcome some major hurdles along the way, and you’ve got the legs to straddle the challenges ahead!
3. Break things down into small steps
Kicking goals is a great way to build your confidence. So when faced with a big task, break it down into small, achievable goals.
Let’s say you need to set up a new website for your business. That might sound like a big, scary job, to be avoided at all costs. So instead break it down into steps that sound less daunting. Your first step might simply be to get quotes from 3 different web designers. That doesn’t sound too hard does it? And once you’ve done that, your confidence will have moved up a notch.
4. Focus on the value you provide
It requires a lot of confidence to be your own number 1 salesperson, and too often business owners shy away from the “sleazy” feeling of “selling”. So take a moment to think about the value you that you are providing. If you are a hairdresser then remember you don’t just cut hair, you change the way people look. If you are a cleaner you don’t just push a mop around, you create a shiny, clean and welcoming home or office.
When you offer customers your product or service you are not being sleazy. You are genuinely offering to solve a problem or provide value.
5. Enlist a cheerleader
Sometimes all you need is permission to do something big. Having an outside opinion, someone who can validate your ideas and work, can be an invaluable confidence booster. Whether it’s a friend, mentor or business coach, it’s really valuable to have an outside perspective and a sounding board for your ideas. And yes, a cheer squad doesn’t hurt either. Knowing someone is on your team can make you feel a lot more confident in your choices.