Building confidence as a business owner is something that develops as you gain more experience running your business, building your expertise and dealing with the highs and lows that comes with that. While the you that is running your business today is likely a very different version of yourself from when you first started, it’s normal to have bouts of self-doubt or confidence wobbles but as we learn to build our resilience over time, as part of the natural progression of life, that spills into our business expertise and our role as a business owner. Building confidence when you work for yourself is really important because unlike in a typical job as an employee, there isn’t always going to be someone there to build you up. Like many things as a business owner, you have to take charge of that responsibility yourself.
The challenges of the last year have thrown many of us off course, called for digging deep within our resilience reserves and taking time to check in with your mindset is more important than ever, both for the growth of your business and as an individual.
As a starting point, here are four tips to help you build your confidence as a business owner
Try new things
One of the most powerful things you can do to build up confidence in yourself is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things regularly. By trying new approaches, new marketing ideas, new client outreach tactics, saying yes to opportunities and pushing yourself to create your own opportunities, you could do your business and your self-belief the world of good. When running your own business it can be easy to slip into habits of sticking to what we know and keep ourselves in the comfort of our own bubble of existing expertise but it’s important to take time to push outside of that and try new things. If you’ve had an idea for something new to try that would benefit your business but you know it’s outside your comfort zone, what’s the worst that could happen? Sometimes it can be really beneficial to your confidence and your business to take the leap, throw yourself into the deep end and really stretch yourself as a person. By trying new things you can show yourself that you can learn new things and succeed in them as well, consequently building your confidence to continue on that pattern.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you
If you are going to take the leap and venture outside of your comfort zone, you want to make sure you’ve got the right people around you who will be there to cheer you on. In general, it’s important to have people around you who inspire you and motivate you, people you know will push you to try new things and help you to see the potential in levelling up your business. When you have people around you who are supportive and encouraging, it’s much easier to try new things. Not only will they be there to motivate you and cheer you on but it adds a layer of accountability. When other people believe in you, it’s much easier to believe in yourself.
Keep learning and developing
Keeping on top of your expertise and building knowledge in your industry is a sure-fire way to build confidence whether signing up for webinars, reading business books or choosing to work with a mentor. These are all ways that you can level up as a business owner and keep on top of your game. It reassures and supports you in making sure you’re bringing the best products or services to your customers by moving with the times and levelling up as a leader and business owner. Make a list of courses or topics that you’d like to learn more about. That way you can come back to them at a later date when you’ve allotted time and budget to invest in relevant courses and opportunities to learn.
Recognise your value
When working for yourself, you don’t get the same level of reassurance or feedback as you would from a manager or colleagues in a typical job so it’s important you take time to look for that evidence of progress and success yourself. Keep a folder of positive feedback you’ve had from clients or customers so that you can look back on days when you’re feeling self-doubt creeping in. Looking through that folder helps confirm that you are in fact on the right track and doing a great job. Make a list of your successes so far and remind yourself how far you’ve come. Make sure you’re celebrating the big and small milestones. When running your own business you don’t always have the same milestones celebrated in other jobs – promotions and pay rises etc – so you’ve got to create those moments for yourself. Whether you’ve launched a new service, signed a new client or braved something outside of your comfort zone, take time to acknowledge and celebrate those wins. Give yourself a pat on the back, cheers to your successes and take time to congratulate yourself!
By introducing some of these habits you’ll start to notice a real confidence boost and the recognition you may need to acknowledge that you’re doing a great job.