Last week, we spoke about finding confidence as a new planner. Today, we’re going to cover three ways to boost your confidence as a business owner – whether you’re just starting out, or well into your career.
As a business owner, and in my case, a female business owner in her almost thirties, there are plenty of days (read: most days) that I second guess myself, my creativity and my decision to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. From slow booking seasons and challenging clients, to seeing competitors and friends making advances in their career ahead of me, there are plenty of times that the footing beneath my confident business savvy persona begins to slip.
Thankfully, aside from an incredibly supportive husband and a daily bowl-sized cup of coffee, there are several foundational ideas I’ve worked into my process that help maintain my feelings of self assuredness.
Establish a Network of “Go-To” People
It’s important to seek out a variety of professionals who you can connect with for advice, inspiration, to discuss challenges and celebrate your wins. Find connections who may be in the same place as you in business, whether it’s based on years of experience, company size, or revenue/growth goals, in addition to those established professionals who are willing to take you on in a mentor capacity.
As you build your trusted professional circle, keep in mind the saying – if you’re the smartest person in the room, you are probably in the wrong room.
There’s no better way to push yourself to improve than to surround yourself with individuals who are, frankly, better than you. If you want to improve your client communication strategies? Chat with someone who has nailed weekly and monthly client check-ins, their phase based workflow triggers, and templates for onboarding new couples. If you want to improve your social media following or presence on industry blogs? Chat with someone who has been featured in XYZ or just crossed the ever so exciting threshold of 10k on Instagram. This may seem self deprecating instead of confidence boosting, but there’s no better feeling than realizing your trusted advisors are people who are truly kicking butt in their arena, and are willing to show you how.
Never Stop Learning
If only there was a way to learn everything you need to know in business in college, than be set for life. It’s shocking to think as little as 10 years ago PR, Communication & Marketing majors included NOTHING about social media marketing. As little as 5 years ago, online payment processing tools were few and far between, and many small business owners were relying on checks sent in the mail to receive payment. As little as 3 years ago, Aisle Planner was in its beta stages, and the vast majority of planners were using word documents, email, and hardcover binders to create dream events for their clients.
A blink of an eye, and so much has changed.
Technological advances are moving at lightening speed, and the way businesses operate is changing on a weekly, even daily basis. We must keep learning. There is no other option. My personal favorite way to consume educational content these days is audio based, whether it’s an audio book, podcast, TED Talk or webinar. I find it’s the best use of my commute, the few minutes of alone time I have in the morning, and a great way to spend the time trudging through a full email inbox. Apart from fighting information overload, I find infusing my days with new nuggets of information or business practices to tests helps me to remain focused on my company’s growth and direction.
Some personal recommendations? The Rocketship Podcast, Entreleadership Podcast, Smart Passive Income Podcast and Seth Godin’s Startup School are great places to start. I find these often open the doors to new leaders in the business space, authors, and speakers I can track down in outside mediums.
The book, The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, changed my entire perspective on business. The author shares three business personalities that exist – the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician – who are all needed to reach success. But chances are, you created your business from the role of one of these three personas, with no insight on how to tackle the others. It’s okay to admit you don’t know it all – and to ask for help to fill in the missing pieces.
When I first got started? I was wildly confused and lost on the subject of business insurance, but tackled my own taxes with enthusiasm. I built my website and branding from scratch, but sought out the advice of peers when it came to advertising in print, online, and at local events. Removing the guilt of “I should” helped me relish in the joy that I can lean on the expertise of others to ensure I have strong confidence in my business in ALL areas.
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