Confidence, especially as an entrepreneur, can dictate action to move your business forward. The flip side is also true for those times when you lack self-assurance. Feeling that we’re inadequate or unsure of ourselves can lead to inaction, procrastination and the dreaded entrepreneurial slump. We all go through these peaks and valleys in our career. So, how do we get past our fears and build confidence? Here are three of my favorite tips for finding strength and feeling assured in your role as the bomb business owner you are.
Put me in, Coach!
First thing’s first, you need to be honest with yourself. Accept and own that you don’t know what you don’t know. Of course, we know there’s no denying the feeling of not knowing can be scary and intimidating. Trust me: that’s OK! Finding someone who does know or can provide pathways to your own discovery is empowering! A business coach is like a personal trainer, designed and dedicated to educate you on becoming stronger, stretching yourself a little further than you’re used to. They motivate you and keep you accountable for moving forward. A capable coach is skilled in navigating those entrepreneurial fears.
Remember one thing: you’re not alone! Working with a coach, having someone to share your ideas with and plan out your biggest goals, is affirmation and reassurance gold. With an outside perspective, a good coach or consultant can provide that look in that is often hard to achieve when you spend so much time looking out. Alternatively, it can give you a fresh set of eyes on your challenges.
If you’re looking to hire a coach, ask your fellow entrepreneurs in your circle of friends or close business colleagues for recommendations. Then, interview a few of those referrals, making sure to clearly communicate what you hope to achieve. Make sure they have the experience to lead you where you want to go in business. Just as it is to your own business and professional reputation, any coach should have their own successes they can share with you to validate their work. Learn about their style and see if it’s a fit for you and your specific needs.
Rise to the occasion.
In any area of life, becoming a leader is incredibly empowering. Look into becoming a director of an industry organization or a local business group. Or, volunteer to help out at the next association meeting. By stepping up and into a leadership role, you become ‘elevated.’ This feeling of ‘elevation’ will carry into your business.
Being front and center with your business is also an excellent opportunity for exposure. By asking the meeting organizer if you can help them with anything gives you a ‘job’ when it’s sometimes hard to attend a networking event solo. And, this ‘job’ can make you feel more comfortable and confident. It’s also a great way to pitch in and help the meeting organizer.
Class is in session.
Education in your professional life is extremely powerful. Learning something new – or, refreshing something old – can instantly embolden you. Even with my 15 years of experience, I feel stronger every time I leave a conference. I feel like I can conquer the world!
There is an ocean of opportunity for education in the wedding industry and even more on the outside. What about taking a course at your local community college? You’ll arm yourself with new creative or business tools that will help you define your niche, generate new ideas or make you more effective in your processes.
Do you notice a trend with these recommendations? Each of these ideas has the potential to force you out of your comfort zone. That’s the tricky thing with confidence: to learn self-assurance, you have to do something scary. Even if only just a little. Perfectly illustrated by that painful first trip to the gym, muscles don’t grow without first being stretched. Limits can’t be exceeded without first pushing yourself to reach them. In order to learn what you’re capable of, you have to challenge yourself. The fantastic result of doing the scary thing is that you’ll feel stronger, more confident, and ready to take on anything.
Michelle Loretta is a business consultant and financial strategist for wedding and event professionals. As founder of Sage Wedding Pros she blends her past as an accountant for Deloitte, a sales and marketing manager for DDLA, a merchandiser for Coach, and a stationery entrepreneur to strengthen wedding businesses worldwide. Sage Wedding Pros produces the next-level summit Be Sage Conference. Michelle has provided her expertise at a number of industry conferences, including the NACE Experience, Biz Bash Live, and The Special Event.