I had several conversations this week with solopreneurs about confidence. It’s one of the biggest things standing in our way to building the business of our dreams. What’s amazing is that even though we may know in our heads that we do great work, that doesn’t stop us from feeling inadequate. With newer business owners, the sentiment is often something like “Who am I to have a business doing X? Who would pay me to do that?” It’s like we don’t see how valuable what we know and can do is to others. With more seasoned business owners, it may take a different guise such as second guessing ourselves after working with clients or charging too little. Sometime seasoned business owners lack confidence to expand into a new venture or to expand.
The fix for this comes from two places: outside yourself and inside yourself. One of the best ways to boost your confidence is to get feedback from other people such as customers, friends and family you have helped whether under your business or not, peers, colleagues in other industries and mentors. Sometimes when I’m giving feedback to a client, they’ll be overwhelmed with the “kindness” of my words but the reality is I don’t sugarcoat the facts nor do I butter people up. I only tell people how I see them and how others see them. Hearing someone describe your greatness may help you to feel more confident in what you offer.
Getting help from outsiders is great, but what about relying on yourself? You can keep a file of things that boost your confidence such as testimonials and feedback. Bookmark any mentions on the web or particularly popular posts you’ve done. Sit down and write a list of 10 things you’ve done that helped others. 10 may be hard, but keep at it. Going through this exercise will force you to focus on how you’ve helped others for long enough to do it. Build a habit to look for and acknowledge the talents of others – it will help you to see your own.
Sometimes it’s hard to see how great our own gifts are. Do you ever look in awe at someone using their natural talents? That’s how people perceive you and your natural talents when you use them to help others. If we were all great athletes, there would be nobody to build the stadiums. If we were all artists, there would be no historians to teach us about the art. The world needs you using your gifts to help others and you deserve to make nice living doing it. If confidence is standing in your way, find a way to break through and get your business going!