It can be easy for entrepreneurs to get discouraged—especially when sales are low, opportunities seem scarce, and competitors appear to be prospering faster.
However, it’s important to be conscious of ways you can build your confidence during the ebb and flow of running a business. Teia Harris, founder of Detroit-based public relations agency Love Publicity, learned to push through hurdles on the way to building a solid business that maintains a high client-retention rate and a high volume of daily new-business inquiries.
“Six years ago when I launched my agency, I had a hard time getting clients who recognized the value of my creativity and intellectual power,” Harris said. “I knew my worth because I was able to deliver when clients gave my company the opportunity, but as a new entrepreneur, I often struggled with proclaiming that worth to others and also closing deals with equitable pay.”
Here are Harris’ top five practical tips for building confidence in your business.
- Exercise tunnel vision. What is your goal? Now, imagine what it would be like to achieve it. When you create a concise vision of what you want your business to become, you can identify steps that will get you closer to that goal. Checking off small and big victories on the way to your ultimate objective will build your confidence during the course.
- Be direct. Once you have a vision, be diligent and decisive about taking the steps to get there. When you’re assertive, you ask the right questions to get what you need and want. With the mindset that you must straightforwardly ask for or tell people what you need and want, the probability that you will get those things increases.
- Become a know-it-all. The more time you spend studying your craft and your industry, the more comfortable you will be talking about your work to other people each day. With time and experience, you’ll be viewed as an expert in your field. In order to sustain that kind of rank though, you have to keep up with the changes in your industry. Know-it-alls have at least one thing in common: they don’t stop learning.
- Celebrate the wins. While you should not become complacent in your success; don’t ignore small wins, as they are opportunities to build your confidence. Success is not a race; it’s a marathon. Every checkpoint is a victory worth celebrating.
- Be optimistic. Feeding your brain with positivity sends encouraging signals to the muscle that keeps you going. Establishing a network of inspirational business trailblazers surely will help raise your confidence. Read about other people in business and also write and recite daily affirmations to reinforce the mindset: “I can do it, too.” Try posting these messages on a sticky note or setting alerts on your cell phone as reminders to stay motivated.