If there is one thing that every business owner needs to have, it’s confidence. Without confidence, you won’t be able to communicate effectively, you won’t be able to be a good leader, you won’t be able to problem-solve proactively, and you might not be able to start your business at all.
Therefore, if you intend to start a business or already have done it and you need to boost your confidence levels because you can see that you have problems in this area and see the benefits more confidence would bring, read on for some excellent advice.
Once you know what you need to do, you must try to incorporate the techniques into your business life. The sooner you can do this, the better it will be, and the sooner your business will start to thrive with you at the help. So how can you build confidence in business? Read on to find out.
Manage Your State
There is a well-researched parallel between how you feel and how you look. Studies have taken place across the years and are still ongoing, but the idea that positive thinking can have an impact on your physical appearance is certainly something that many people subscribe to.
The idea that dressing and acting in a confident manner will produce more confidence within you might be less well-known, but it works in the same way. Effectively, you are tricking your brain into thinking that you are more confident than you are, just as, when you are dealing with positive thinking, you are tricking the body into looking and feeling better.
With this in mind, the first step to being more confident in business is to act as though you already are. Maintain the correct level of eye contact, for example, shake hands firmly, don’t confuse your words or lose your train of thought, and always prepare ahead of time so that you know precisely what it is you want to say and what outcome you desire from any meeting or negotiation or in fact any activity that you carry out in the name of the business.
If you can manage your state so that you appear to be more confident, confidence will follow.
Carry Out Fear Setting
Fear setting is something that can be hugely beneficial to anyone who is looking at ways to boost their confidence not just in business but in life. Developed by entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, it’s a different take on goal setting, which any business owner already knows is crucial.
The fact is that no matter how much confidence we might have (and certainly when we have very low levels indeed), there are always going to be feared that hold you back. When those fears get in the way, you will lose confidence because you won’t be attaining the goals you planned to reach.
Fear is so powerful because our brains are programmed to protect us as much as possible. Therefore, if anything is unknown or confusing, fear can set in, ensuring that we stick with what we already know and don’t try to do anything that could potentially harm the body or our mental state.
This is a primitive instinct, and it makes it seem as though not making any changes in business – or life in general – is far better than stepping outside of your comfort zone. However, if you can carry out a fear-setting exercise every few months, you can help yourself override this issue.
To begin, make a list of your goals just as you would when goal setting. In addition to this, write down the fears that are linked to those goals. This might be uncomfortable as you’ll need to think about the very worst thing that could happen, but it is necessary for boosting confidence. Writing the fears down helps to make sense of them, so don’t skip this step.
The next thing you’ll need to do is imagine your life if you did not reach the goals, you wrote down. Again, be as accurate and honest as possible. Once this is done, compare this information with the fears you wrote down. Which list is the worst one? Is it better to change or stay the same? Once you know, you can move in the right direction for yourself with the confidence you need that you’re doing the correct thing.
Don’t Wait For Perfection
It’s crucial to understand that there is no such thing as perfection. There might be situations that come very close, but in reality, perfect is not something any human can obtain, simply by virtue of that humanity; mistakes will always be possible, and emotions are hard to discount. Therefore, the best advice when it comes to building confidence is not to wait for perfection but to go ahead when you’re ready and make changes as you go along.
The key to a successful business is not to do everything right from the very start, but instead to make that start and then continue to grow by listening to feedback and testing and measuring every aspect of what you do so that you can work out what is good and what is bad in terms of your marketing, your set up, and your cash flow, for example.
Waiting for perfection will erode your confidence. The longer you wait, the more worried you’ll be that something will go wrong, and in the end, you might decide it’s not worth doing at all.
Of course, it’s vital that you have put in plenty of research and hard work before you launch – simply coming up with an idea, setting up a website, and hoping that it will be successful is highly unlikely to work. However, once that hard work is done, don’t delay your launch. The sooner you can get started, the more you’ll learn, and your confidence will grow massively as a result.
How much do you know about your chosen business sector and specifically about your products? How much do you know about yourself?
If the answer you give is everything, it’s time to think again; no one can know everything. If you are entirely honest, your answer is much likely to be something along the lines of ‘I don’t know or ‘Not enough’. It’s good to be aware of this; there are always new ideas and innovations evolving in every sector of business, and if you feel as though you have learned all there is to know, you will quickly fall behind your competitors who realize there is a lot more to be learned.
The potential problem with learning more is that you might find that it overtakes everything else you need to do because there is a lot to know. This is why you should break your learning down into different areas to determine where the best place is to start.
For example, you can join online forums and groups or subscribe to industry newsletters and magazines to keep up to date with specific changes. Go through all of these for half an hour a day, perhaps first thing in the morning or just before you finish work for the day, and you’ll start to get a good overview of what changes are coming. In this way, you can put measures in place ahead of time, and your confidence will rise because you will feel much more in control.
Another area to look at is your own personal development. Going back to school to take a useful degree such as an online master’s in public policy will give you an edge over the competition, again boosting your confidence. As well as this, you’ll learn many different soft skills that will help you in your business going forward.
Or you might want to take a degree that links directly with your sector, helping you gain additional knowledge and, again, feel more confident about what you’re doing. The more you learn, in whatever way is best for you, the more confident you will be, and that will lead you to greater success. Continue to develop yourself in all ways and look out for learning opportunities as you go along.
Take Time For Fun
A lack of confidence will often come from making mistakes, and although mistakes are, as we’ve said, inevitable and useful in terms of learning, there are some ways we can reduce the number of them made. Fewer mistakes will lead to greater confidence.
The best way to minimize mistakes is to ensure you aren’t burned out and exhausted. If you are working in and on your business at all times and never take time for a break or any kind of relaxation, then you will make more mistakes. This is because you will be tired, and your brain won’t be working at full capacity.
Although it might be hard at first, stepping away from work regularly, and certainly at the end of the day so you can have some downtime and a good night’s sleep, is crucial. If you can do this, you will be much more able to do good things, mistakes will be fewer, and therefore your confidence will grow.
If you can take some time for fun and forget about your business, even if it’s only for a short amount of time, you’ll be refreshed, happier, more focused, and more confident.
Find A Mentor
No one can do absolutely everything on their own. So even if you intend to be a sole trader and you won’t want to employ anyone, you will still need some assistance. Whether it’s a partner, an investor, suppliers, or a third party to outsource time-consuming jobs that you don’t have the necessary skills for, you’ll need to work with others in some capacity.
Someone who can truly assist in this situation is a mentor. If you have a mentor you can turn to and ask questions or and get advice from, you’ll be much better equipped to run your business without coming across quite so many obstacles.
If you can be successful and move forward, your confidence is sure to grow. Not only that, but when you have the help of a mentor to back you up, you’ll find that you are more confident when it comes to taking calculated risks. Not only can you talk to someone before you make any changes and find out what their take on the situation is, but you’ll also know that you’ll have someone to chat to if things don’t work out in the way you had hoped.
In this way, not only will your confidence grow, but you’ll see – and be able to benefit from – many more opportunities for your business.
How Can You Benefit Others?
It’s far easier to increase your confidence levels if you can be sure you’re doing things that are going to benefit others, and in particular, things that will benefit your customers. If you can do this, then you’ll keep moving forward because you’ll know that your work means something. Without this knowledge, it’s much easier to lose confidence in yourself and your business and maybe even eventually step away altogether.
Think carefully about exactly what it is that you do that makes a difference in someone’s life. Perhaps your business is built about giving assistance to others, in which case this task is an easy one to consider. However, even if you don’t think this is the case when you first begin working out what you offer other people, there is sure to be something.
It might be that you are focused on being a local business, which helps a lot of people who want to protect the planet more. Perhaps you are offering products that will change peoples’ lives for the better, even in very small ways. Whatever it is, once you know that you are making a difference, your confidence will soar.
Understand The Power Of No
Saying no is a powerful tool for any businessperson. Although your initial instinct might be to agree to everything that’s asked of you, especially when you’re just starting out, this can be a big mistake and will often lead to you overreacting and doing far more than you really should be doing – quality, customer service, and your confidence will all suffer as a result.
When you learn how to say no, you’ll find you have a lot more power, and you’ll be in greater control of everything happening around you. For example, say no when a job brings in too small a profit when it’s too far away, or when you don’t have the necessary skills, and continue to work on your core offering, whatever that may be, your reputation will improve.
This is because the work you do will be of a far higher standard, and you won’t be so overwhelmed that you don’t take the time to help your customers.
Saying no is not something many people are comfortable with, but once you know how to do it – and do it for the right reasons and in the right way – you’ll find you are much more confident in your business.