How to build confidence to start your own business
Natalie Hughes | May 7, 2019 | Photograph by: Artem Maltsev
Just have confidence. Believe in yourself. You’ve likely heard these expressions before. You’ve maybe repeated them in front of the mirror multiple times a day. In theory, they represent a solid plan. But how do you cultivate enough confidence to make your career change a reality? What does enough confidence even look like?
Having “confidence” and “belief” in yourself is important as you’re starting a new business. I’m not suggesting otherwise. Too often, though, we say the words without knowing what they mean, or what they require from us.
Today, I want to share some direction that helped me. My hope is that the following steps help you initiate your new business journey.
Let’s be clear. Confidence is something you can build. It’s something you can restore if you need to. And you can begin right here. Right now.
1. Face self-doubt.
Eliminating self-doubt altogether is an unreasonable goal. You’re human. You will make mistakes and feel uncertain sometimes.
With necessary risks, you may be tempted to overthink and convince yourself to say no. You might spend time recalling negative past experiences. Take a different approach.
When – not if – you meet with self-doubt, it’s all about how you handle it.
I found it beneficial to ask questions when I felt insecure about beginning my own entrepreneur lifestyle. If I began feeling defeated by tasks or requirements, I thought about what I already knew and how I might grow. That prompted me to move beyond self-doubt. It was a bump in the street – not a roadblock.
2. Then shift your perspective.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t think you can do, get curious. Instead of immediately assuming “I can’t,” pause. Be empowered. What can I do? Do I need to learn something new? Will reviewing or regrouping help? What should I research? Should I talk to others? Is reaching out for assistance the best option for me?
For a mentoring booking, get in touch with me here. I had to build confidence before I saw startup success. I had to take the leap myself. At Miss Independent, I’m interested in seeing your dreams become strategies, action, and results.
3. Remember your success. Welcome failure.
Shifting perspective continues with this step. To build confidence, take time to celebrate your successes. Both personal and professional, past and recent, as well as big and small ones. Reflect on these. Write them down so you can see the list of accomplishments.
When your failures haunt you, that often leads to self-doubt. See #1 again. And think about this: we’ve turned “fail” into an ugly word. But it’s during times of failure that you can step back and evaluate your process. What should you change for a better outcome next time? What did you learn?
Welcome failure because when you do, you’re actually welcoming new ideas and opportunities to improve. With new ideas comes renewed energy. And with improvement comes confidence.
4. Push yourself daily.
Understand your comfort zone. Draw those lines, and then cross them. Push yourself past what you consider to be your limit. Do it intentionally. And do it every single day in some way. You’ll learn. It’ll be challenging. At times, it may be painful. But you’ll come across fresh ideas for success when starting a new business.
You’ll discover that you’re capable and that taking chances is rewarding. If you fail, refer to #3. (Starting to see a pattern here?) Most of the time, limits are figments of your imagination. You’ve perhaps tried something a couple of times with little success. Try again. Get curious, adjust, and go for it once more, as step #2 suggests.
I’ve learned that confidence is not always about comfort. That’s a common misconception. Confidence requires courage in many cases. And courage pulls us out of comfort.
A career change requires confidence, courage, and minimal comfort initially. After all, change of any kind is rarely cozy and warm. Comfort will come later. In some ways, though, you’ll always be pushing. Always building. Always growing.
5. Understand that your vision is uniquely yours.
As you admire others, pay attention, listen, learn, research, ask questions, and draw inspiration, you’ll be designing your own entrepreneur lifestyle. Never forget that.
It’s okay if your journey doesn’t look like someone else’s. Your goals, story, and the very steps you take could be wildly different.
You’re building your business, and you’re building confidence. Being the same won’t get you very far anyway. Make a decision right now to be you. That’s confidence and belief in action.
How will I know I have enough confidence?
You already do. You’re here. You’re curious about getting started. You have dreams, and you’re reading about ways to ignite them. And that’s enough.
Want more like this? My Goodbye Day Job Mentorship Program dives into these steps and so much more. Go from desire to readiness, from ideas to plans, and from setup to finally starting a new business. I’m committed to helping you build confidence and your very own new work story.
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MEET THE FOUNDER Natalie Hughes
Natalie Hughes founded Miss Independent in 2017, to educate and mentor women and help them make their best career and business decisions. Natalie is an experienced business woman and non-executive company director focused on organisational design, strategy, growth and innovation. Her goal is to help you think differently, work differently and feel in control of your own destiny.
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