I participate in a lot of meetings with entrepreneurs of all types, from those that have established successful companies to those that are on the exciting journey of trying to create a brand. And one thing I have found consistently is that most entrepreneurs, at some point, could use a confidence boost. Could you?
“A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.”
Do you have confidence in your role as an entrepreneur?
Building Entrepreneurial Confidence
Anyone who has raised a child knows that the best way to build self-confidence is to allow children to make their own mistakes. To fall, and to get back up. It’s the getting up that grows their confidence and teaches them that, wow, things may not always go swimmingly, but they can pick themselves up and try again. And, with repeated attempts, they’re guaranteed to find success.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t all that different.
Accept failure, in fact, embrace it!
Just like when our kiddos fail, entrepreneurs are also going to fall down. The key is to remind yourself that failure happens to everyone and it’s never the end of the road.
The things is, the real world isn’t going to offer you false praise. And there’s certainly no participation trophy when you fail. But what does happen is that, over time, you fall down, you get back up, and you learn that absolutely no failure is the end of the world.
And, typically, after a couple of failures you have success. Your confidence increases because you realize that you might not get it right every time, but with continued efforts, you will in fact get it.
Recognizing that it’s all your fault
There may be no more important skill for budding entrepreneurs. Believe that it’s all your fault. You are not at the mercy of circumstance. That’s a belief that will kill you.... and your confidence.
When something goes wrong, the best entrepreneurs always look at their part in it, even when it seems that they’re not at fault. Again, great entrepreneurs don’t look to place blame, great entrepreneurs take accountability.
Follow your convictions
Here’s the thing, someday someone is going to disagree with you. Another day, everyone is going to disagree with you. To be a great entrepreneur, it takes tons of conviction. Be prepared to stand your ground. Be prepared to argue your side, your beliefs… your convictions.
Sometimes, that argument will be with yourself. sometimes it will be with friends, family, and those closest to you. And, other times, those arguments will happen with business contacts.
BUT, there is a place which is full of respect and kindness, where we always have the power to disagree. When disagreements are handled respectfully and calmly, change comes from the challenge.
Believe in the now
They say comparison is the thief of joy, so, if you must compare yourself to other entrepreneurs, compare yourself to those who have failed.
Compare yourself to the many entrepreneurs who would say that their first product wasn’t perfect, their first effort wasn’t flawless, maybe even that they look back and cringe a little bit at their first foray into entrepreneurism. Those are the kind of people you want to emulate.
Go for it now, don’t wait.
You will have victories along the way, and you will experience awesome failures, and each step of this process will build your confidence. Waiting for perfection doesn’t build confidence! (And by the way, there’s no such thing as perfection, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)
Speak publicly, be an expert, go on TV
I get nervous every time I have to do a television segment. Truthfully, I get nervous about a lot of things that involve putting myself out there publicly, whether that’s posting pictures on Instagram, speaking on a panel, or being on live TV. But I have found, over the course of my career, that those butterflies in my stomach propel me to great things.
Put yourself out there. Speak publicly. Garner publicity. Go out on a limb. Every time you do it, you’ll get better at it. That’s a confidence building WIN!
Make your own decisions
I posted a quote the other day that I really love — on my Facebook page, here.
It’s so true and I believe that ultra successful entrepreneurs, such as Sara Blakely, get it. Your ideas are genius. They came to you for a reason.
You don’t need others to pick them apart; what you do need is to surround yourself with people that will support you. Not yes-men, but people who have your back and encourage you. And what you’ll find — over time — is that you’re confident in your own skills, your own ideas, your own abilities… and you don’t need other people to validate you.
The truth is, no one can get in your head anyway, so no one will ever understand exactly what your newest idea looks like until you bring it to life.
Success begets success, so take your victories and maximize them. Double down. Go at it again. Do the absolute opposite with your failures. Minimize them and move on.
Have the confidence to go for it! I have confidence in you.
Do you have confidence as an entrepreneur? Or, do you need a boost? Need advice? Let’s talk! Share your thoughts in the comments below!