Starting a business is not for the faint-hearted and so we could all use a little help when it comes to building our confidence when we take those first steps on our entrepreneurial journey.
First of all, congratulations! You’ve made the commitment to become your own boss, and no matter what your motivations are, from creating a new stream of income, getting a new skill under your belt or imagining the satisfied clients you will have, you are in great company, but confidence will be key.
It’s not all plain sailing as you will soon discover. You may be brand new to the entrepreneurial game, or you have pivoted from what you usually do, and your self-assurance levels could use a boost.
Lillian Ogbogoh, International Speaker, Certified NLP Practitioner and Coach for women, has years of experience supporting individuals to build their poise and inner strength.
Here are her five tips to help you build your confidence and soar as a woman in business.
Tip #1 Be Willing to Fail
You must be willing to fail because failure will give you the true and tried method of what works and what doesn’t. Failure is your opportunity to fine-tune your abilities. Your failing gives you a roadmap of what didn’t work and if you look at the lessons learned; you have the answers to the questions ‘how can I do it better next time? What else do I need to do?’ Yes, I know we’ve been taught that failing is not an option and we have to have “Black Girl Magic”, represent the “Black Excellence” club. But the truth is that you cannot reach excellence without failure. You cannot get anywhere without failure. Failure is the key to innovation and creativity. And sometimes failure gives you the necessary drive to make you want to try harder. So, as you venture forth into business, you must treat yourself like a baby learning to walk. We champion babies who are learning to walk, and every time they take a step and stumble and fall, somebody is waiting to cheer them on. You must view your new stumbling steps in business the same way.
Tip #2 Have a Support System
Do not go on this journey alone. Find a table, find a group of women and men that you can sit down with where you are not the smartest at that table. You need a support system that will help hold you accountable to your goals and to help pour into you from their own experiences. That support should be someone who’s going to have a distant helicopter view of your business. You want to have someone to look at your business objectively, being able to look at it without the impassioned coloured glasses that you were wearing, because your business is like your baby. Because you are so passionate about it; you are likely to miss the blind spots. You want to have somebody on your team, who’s going to ask the tough questions of you and help you grow.
“If we are constantly telling the outer world and our inner world, that we are ‘just’ running a small business, it is ‘just’ a side hustle, we will be treated that way. No boss lady, you are a business owner, a woman in business…”
Tip #3 Tally Up
You want to have a quick way to boost your confidence as a new business owner, keep a score of all your wins, regardless of the size, track it and celebrate it. During the week keep a win journal and capture every little victory, so you have something to celebrate at the end of the week.
As a new business owner, you have big goals that you are continually working towards and having celebrated wins under your belt keeps you from suffering goal fatigue and makes you feel more confident in your abilities. Small victories add up to completed goals and equal to growth in your confidence.
Tip #4 Create Solid Boundaries
Another way to hone your self-confidence when you start your business is learning to create solid boundaries and learning to say no. As you start your business, you find a lot of opportunities out there as you begin networking and building connections with others, the art of saying no will keep you from suffering shiny object syndrome.
Also, boundary building will help you keep your clients from asking for too much of your time or prevent people from trying to take advantage of your time. But most importantly, you need to learn how to say no to yourself so that you can make room for the right yes’s in your life.
Tip #5 Mind Your Language
As women that want to grow our self-confidence, we must mind our language. Now, before you give me the side-eye, let me explain. One of the ways that we women undermine our confidence is with the language we use.
Often it feels like we are waiting for permission when we speak or downplaying our knowledge. How many of you have been in a meeting where you find yourself starting a conversation just like this “Can I just ask”, “Sorry I just wanted to clarify” or “I am no expert but.” Even when we send emails, “the just” makes an appearance again. “I just need five minutes of your time”. The other thing we do with our language is downplay who we are and what we do, you start describing what you do as “I just have a little business”. All of that undermines how you appear in the eyes of others, but it also undermines how you see yourself.
It keeps you playing small, and it keeps your confidence on the low end of the spectrum. The language we use can either diminish or empower and encourage us.
If we are constantly telling the outer world and our inner world, that we are ‘just’ running a small business, it is ‘just’ a side hustle, we will be treated that way. No boss lady, you are a business owner, a woman in business, here to make an impact, one client at a time.
Lillian is an e-book author of The Seven Habits that Rob Women of their Power and passionate champion for women to step up and own their own power. She helps women who have forgotten that they are powerful by giving them the tools to bounce back, navigate the negative self-talk and using their power archetypes to become the highest versions of themselves.
Visit her website: www.Lillianogbogoh.com