Finding your entrepreneurial mindset – restore your inner confidence
When you start your own business, it’s likely that you’ve prepared everything – you’ve got a website, a list of products, services and prices, insurance, a computer, appropriate software and a dedicated workspace, but have you worked on your entrepreneurial mindset? It’s on the the most important tools in a business owner’s tool kit, and one that is frequently overlooked.
Self-employment or running your own limited business is a challenge. From the outset, even the most confident and capable individual can have cracks in their resolve. Am I doing the right thing? Is my work good enough? What do my clients think of me? Why am I not as “successful” as my peers? There is a tiny voice in each of us that plants seeds of negativity and self-doubt, and it is important to have a plan in place for dealing with these weeds before they become too deep rooted; if there is one thing that could lead to failure, it’s toxic self-doubt in your entrepreneurial mindset.
The reality of the situation is that if you are seriously considering self-employment and have done your research and made sure you have the skills and knowledge that you need to deliver high quality services to customers, that you are capable. You’re likely to be a conscientious worker who strives to make their customer happy by completing work correctly and effectively in a timely manner, so if you’re feeling a bit ‘wobbly’ in terms of your self confidence, sit down and consider the following things:
1.) Your proven skills and satisfied customers. A great resource for any moment of self-doubt is a folder of testimonials from satisfied customers. Put them on your website if you’ve got permission to share them, so that everyone can see the great work that you do. It’s also worth referring to them if you ever start to question your ability to provide top quality work to other business owners, as, from experience, most people don’t provide testimonials unless they are truly deserved.
2.) Share the burden. Admit you are feeling a little lower than usual to one or two trusted friends or peers. The likelihood is that they will remind you how great you are and the fact that everyone has wobbles, even them!
3.) Take a step back and evaluate the factors that have contributed to your momentary lapse in confidence. Have you made a mistake? Have you taken on too much work? Have you been asked to carry out work that is beyond your current ability and are concerned about the quality? Have you been dealing with a difficult customer? Try to take a step away from the emotion of the situation and think carefully and objectively. All of the issues above can be dealt with in a calm and rational manner, though it may be worth seeking advice from a trusted colleague or peer if you aren’t sure of the best action to take. Business coaching could also be an option if you want to discuss the issues in a safe positive environment. Just remember that you are not alone.
4.) Take a break. The restorative power of a brisk walk or change of scenery is under-rated. Feel as though you can’t take a break because of the sheer mountain of work in your in-tray? Take a micro-break. If pervasive negative thoughts are clouding your mind (and possibly your judgement), you may find that it takes longer to complete certain work, or increases the risk of silly minor mistakes occurring, so just take a break from the emails, phone calls or computer and give yourself a few minutes of ‘me time’ to recharge and re-centre with a more positive outlook.
5.) Develop a mantra, and reflect on it during periods of self doubt. Repeating positive phrases like ‘I am enough’ or ‘I am capable’ can help to re-introduce positive thinking to a negative mind.
6.) Put on your power song! Get yourself a ‘fight’ song – a positive and uplifting tune that motivates and inspires you! Need help choosing? The VIP VA members put together their own ‘power playlist’ last year for EleVAte – a playlist full of songs that shout ‘I can do this!’ and will help to restore your inner confidence (find it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/elevate-motivational/idpl.u-55D6P61uYggKNV)
In those dark moments, just remember that you are a successful and inspiring business owner who embraces the entrepreneurial spirit of hard work, vision and independence, and you can (and will!) do anything you put your mind to. We’re right behind you!