how to build confidence as an entrepreneur
Confidence as an entrepreneur: let’s talk about it! But first let’s just stop for, like, 15 seconds and take a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath.
Okay but are you actually doing it or are you just sitting there with bad posture skimming this blog post quickly so you can get to your to-do list that’s 2.7 meters long? (As a proud American I’m actually not sure how long 2.7 meters is but it seems like a reasonable amount of meters for this particular exaggeration).
Humor me! Take a deep breath, in and out.
And then think about how far you’ve come in your business. Doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in business 4 years or 4 weeks, k?
Think about the exhilaration of your very first launch.
Think about every messy iteration of your offers.
Every new strategy you’ve learned, implemented, and revised.
How many items you’ve crossed off your neverending to-do list.
How many grateful clients you’ve helped with your service.
How many happy customers you’ve served with your products.
How many aha moments have changed the trajectory of your business.
Think about every tweak, change, and pivot that’s brought you to this very moment.
Whoa, right?! Building confidence as an entrepreneur starts with learning to trust yourself. But in order to cultivate that kind of trust, you can’t just look ahead. You can’t only focus on what you don’t know, worry about the experience you don’t have, pay attention to the goals you haven’t reached, or compare yourself to that other business in your industry that started 5 years before you.
You gotta be able to zoom out and look at the entire journey – where you want to go, where you are right now, and where you’ve been. Because that’s the only way to move forward with the deeply-rooted confidence that you’ve got your own back.
We get so concerned with our to-do lists and client work and admin tasks and daily schedules we forget about our progress. We forget about ourselves. Which is a damn shame, because that big, beautiful brain of yours is your BEST asset when it comes to your business.
You’ve learned so much more than you think you have. Your experiences are so much more valuable than you think they are. You know so much more than you think you do. Your skills are so much more refined than you think they are. You’re extremely capable of having the business you want, but you MUST be willing to trust yourself enough to take your next step.
Which is of course easier said than done, because some days it’s absolutely terrifying out there.
Watching the bills rush in with zero clients on the schedule. Waking up in the morning with no idea what you should be working on (even though you have huge goals). Launching a brand new product and getting zero sales. Working your ass off yet not feeling like you’re making any progress. Putting all your energy into marketing and only getting crickets.
A lot of business owners let that fear stop them from ever achieving the type of success they’re truly capable of. But what about you? Are you going to be flexible and open to change? Will you choose to view your failures as experiments? Do you believe you’re capable of figuring it all out? Are you willing to trust yourself to take the next step without knowing where it will lead?
‘Cause that’s really what confidence as an entrepreneur comes down to – trusting yourself. As an entrepreneur, YOU are your best asset in business. Your experiences, your knowledge, your skills, your wisdom, your confidence, your resilience, your mindset, your passion. But those tools won’t do you any damn good if you’re not willing to open the toolbox and trust that you know how to use them.
But enough about the why – let’s talk about the how. The good stuff! The juicy bits! The reason you opened this blog post! HOW do you build confidence as an entrepreneur? How do you leap when there’s no net to catch you? How do you keep boldly taking action even when it seems like your marketing isn’t working and you’re not attracting the right clients and you’re rapidly approaching burnout and you just can’t seem to make this business work the way you want it to?!
I’ll tell you how if you promise to be open-minded. Because the how isn’t about having all the answers – it’s about fully embracing the process of moving forward without them.
How to Build Confidence as an Entrepreneur
(even when it seems like nothing is working and you suck at business and all hope is lost)
1. Make time for self-reflection.
Whether it’s meditation, journaling, taking a walk with no distractions, or even just 10 minutes on a Monday morning to think about what was good and not-so-good about the past week, articulating your thoughts & feelings is crucial for growth because it allows you to acknowledge where you can improve. It gives you mental space to figure out what’s working and what’s not. To analyze your stress responses. To uncover deeply-rooted beliefs that might turn into excuses. To practice gratitude. But really it all comes down to the simple fact that you can’t make a change unless you know what you want to change. So make some time every day to just hang out with your brain – you never know what gems you’ll find in there until you pay attention.
2. Practice discerning what feels gross versus what feels vulnerable.
If you go against your intuition and make yourself do something that feels gross it’s guaranteed to be detrimental to your confidence, your energy, and your brand. On the other hand, doing what feels vulnerable is way different – and honestly, it’s probably the one thing you need to do in order to move your business forward. Need an example? Cold calling strangers at huge companies to pitch your services might feel gross because you have no pre-existing relationship and don’t even know if they actually need your services. Going Live on Instagram might feel vulnerable because you’re self-conscious about the way you look. They both probably feel uncomfortable on the surface, but it’s your job to dig deeper to determine why.
3. Get a fresh perspective.
As entrepreneurs we’re pretty much immersed in our businesses 25/8, which means we’re often so focused on every small nuance of our current situations that we can’t see the big picture. Getting hands-on support in your business from someone who’s just as invested in your success as you are is the BEST way to see your situation in a new light. Having a coach or mentor available to acknowledge your feelings, hold space for your human process, keep you accountable to your goals, guide you as you organize and strategize, challenge your beliefs, and call you out on your shit is game-changing when it comes to building self-trust because they’re able to see your business from a totally different angle.
The faster you learn to trust yourself, the faster you can step into your real power as a business owner.If you’re having some trouble escaping the daily-task mindset to zoom out, it’s time to start clarifying your brand so you can better understand the big-picture impact your business is having on the world.