Six tips for gaining confidence
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
What do you do when your confidence takes a hit? Follow these six tips for gaining confidence.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be one of the most unnerving ventures in your entire life. Just when you thought you knew it all, you find out you’re just a student trying to make the grade. So what do you do when your confidence takes a hit?
Follow these six tips for gaining confidence.
1. Start with what you know
If you’re a new business owner, start with what you know. If you know your stuff, in and out, you’re bound to make a lasting impression with your clients and prospects.
Create a specific outline to the benefits of your services or products, and then be sure to deliver what you’ve promised. Don’t worry about being the expert, just start with what you know because that’s where your greatest confidence lies.
2. Have an insatiable thirst for knowledge
Your business will not survive, nor will your confidence grow, unless you continually learn. When you don’t learn new things, you cannot offer expanded products or services, and that is a death sentence to your business. The market and demand are constantly changing and if you don’t change with it, you’ll be left behind. The more you know, the more benefits you can deliver to your clients. Keep learning and you’ll keep gaining confidence.
3. Know your target audience
Most entrepreneurs think they know what their clients need and want, but rarely do they truly understand how to market and deliver the right products and services to the right people.
Invest in research so you have a full snapshot of your market. Without it, you can only hope for successful sales and business growth. Survey your clients and prospects to learn more about them. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to create products and services that deliver exactly what they’re looking for. The two most popular resources for Web surveys are www.surveymonkey.com and www.zoomerang.com.
4. Try something new every day
We all get used to routines, because we like to stay within our comfort zone. However, it’s staying within that comfort zone that keeps us from gaining confidence. Knowing what you know now will only get you so far – and I regret to point out, that is not very far. As an entrepreneur, you must constantly push yourself outside your comfort zone to learn and do more. This not only benefits you, but it also benefits your clients, which will only grow your business.
“If comfort is your goal, success is not in your future.” --Bill Bachrach, CSP, CPAE
5. Have unwavering optimism
There are only two outlooks you can have on life and in business: Either the world is your oyster or it’s out to get you.
It is only the latter that will not support your success and confidence. If you are an entrepreneur and you think the world is out to get you, chances are it will deliver. Your perception is everything. Having an unwavering optimism will constantly feed creative ideas to increase your success. Obstacles will melt, challenges will be seen as opportunity, and you will have peace of mind that you can conquer anything.
6. Success breeds confidence
When you are facing a situation that takes you outside your comfort zone, keep taking steps forward. Even if you have to take baby steps, at least they are steps in the right direction. Trying something new isn’t always easy, but you must take action before the nerves have time to settle in. The longer you wait, the more your confidence wavers, and the likelihood you will talk yourself out of taking action increases.
Remember, success breeds confidence, so if you have to take baby steps to make it to the finish line – that’s okay – just keep moving forward.
Being an entrepreneur is not about being the expert, although you may one day reach that status. For the time being, focus on what you know and become the best at it that you can. Commit to learning more, so you can deliver more to your clients; your business is bound to grow with you.
Continue taking steps forward, even if you stumble the first time. Don’t worry, you’ll get better with time; every entrepreneur has to find his or her way, and believe me, there is not one entrepreneur out there that hasn’t stumbled along the way. The good news is that your clients don’t have to know when you stumble.
Continue to accomplish little successes along the way and know that your confidence grows with each step forward. It may help you to keep a log of what works and doesn’t work, so you can go back and review it before taking future steps. If something didn’t work, tweak it with a set of creative eyes and try it again. Eventually the pieces will fall into place and you’ll become better at succeeding on the first attempt.
Before you know it, you’ll be beaming confidence and that will come across in everything you do – especially your business.