As a coach for small business owners, I meet new people every day in the course of business. What I find to be one of the most distinguishing characteristics between those people who succeed in business and those who struggle has surprisingly nothing to do with their product, their service, not even their pricing.
The secret weapon that distinguishes those who succeed from those who fail is none other than self-confidence.
The surprising thing for most new business owners is that self-confidence is something you actually can improve yourself.
To truly understand self-confidence it’s important to look at a few key terms.
- Self-Efficacy is a belief in your capacity to handle, master & succeed at performing certain tasks or skills and reaching your goals. The sources of self-efficacy come from hard work, practice, accepting difficult challenges and persisting despite setbacks. Examples of self-efficacy are objectively seen in people’s demonstrated “skills”: driving, speaking, studying, math, parenting, running your own business.
- Self-Esteem refers to your general feelings of self-worth or self-value. (Use ‘high’ or ‘low’ to describe ones self-esteem.) The source of self-esteem comes from doing difficult and challenging things. And examples of self esteem are often shared by others in the way of choices – people will choose or avoid doing things based on whether they FEEL competent at a given task.
- Self Confidence is the belief in one’s personal worth and likelihood of succeeding. The source of self-confidence is a combination of self-esteem and general self-efficacy, and examples may include whether one ‘is’ or ‘conveys’ self confidence. “I am Confident that I can successfully pitch that proposal…”
So what does self-confidence have to do with business success?
Though mostly confined to psychology, Albert Bandura introduced the term “locus of control“ – an assessment of an individual about her ability to perform a task or face a situation, and ultimately control their life-experience.
According to Bandura’s social cognitive theory, self-efficacy beliefs influence the choices people make and the courses of action they pursue. He concluded that individuals tend to engage in tasks about which they feel competent and confident and avoid those in which they do not. He also found those who exhibited more self-confidence:
- Expended much more effort on any given activity,
- Persevered longer when confronting obstacles and were less likely to quit,
- Were more resilient when they faced adverse situations, and
- Experienced less stress and anxiety as they engaged in a given activity than those who were not as self-confident.
Therefore, we can conclude that one’s internal beliefs about themselves, and their resulting display of confidence exercises a powerful influence not only on their EFFORT, but also on the consequences and likely positive results they enjoy in the external world. And it follows then that CONFIDENCE ultimately is one of the key distinguishing factors in the level of accomplishment that individuals ultimately realize.
After all, aren’t you more drawn to people who display themselves as confident, over those who seem less confident? When one displays a lack of confidence, the assumption is that they lack confidence in their business skills, in the results they can create with you, and even in the level of trust to you experience when you engage with them.
Yet there is a gap in confidence when someone launches a business. When you start a business there is so much to do it makes your head swim. So, how do you gain self-confidence if you are a beginning business owner?
6 Ways To Gain More Self Confidence In Business
Self-confidence begins as an inside job.
You will hear many successful entrepreneurs talk about daily practices of mindfulness. This may be counter-intuitive but your self talk has everything to do with your courage and what you choose to take on in the outer world. Your self-concept is composed of what you think, say, do, and do not do. Your internal experience is comprised of self talk, how you handle rejection, your coping skills, your mindset, your attitude, and the ongoing inner dialogue with your ‘inner critic’ and the experiences that you find daily. Finding courage to launch, maintain, manage and market your business is an ever-growing and living process. Managing your mindset is the first place to begin to build self-confidence in your business.
Focus on your physical strength, health and wellness.
Many successful entrepreneurs spend considerable time regularly on their health, self care, nutrition and wellness practices. And one of the easiest ways to change your feelings is to focus on things you are grateful for.
Try new things, often.
Since self confidence is built on success, you will stagnate if you do not continuously put yourself forth to experience new things and challenge yourself in uncharted territory. By doing so you will find that self-confidence builds in areas you never thought possible. Trying new things also comes with the possibility of failure. In fact failure and mistakes are unavoidable. You will not be good at new things right away. And most adults try to avoid failure at all costs. As an entrepreneur it’s very important for you to put yourself out there in new ways that are focused on your key business and building and strengthening your network.
Clarify your CORE Business Fundamentals.
To feel more confident in business you have to spend some considerable time defining your products, services and attracting your customers and clients. When you get very clear on who you serve, why you’re in business, the results you offer and the expertise you can provide to help others solve their problems, you will begin to feel more confident in your ability to attract prospective customers and close their business. If you’d like a free video training program to help you clarify your CORE Business Fundamentals™, click here.
Get help from experts in the areas you lack expertise.
While trying new things is essential to building self-confidence, it is important to recognize where other experts in other areas can be essential and helpful to your business. If you are not a web designer for instance, it is really important to find someone who is an expert in that area to save you valuable time and focus your resources on marketing and sales. As a business owner it is just as important to understand your weaknesses as it is your strengths. Spending time on things you are not good at (and have no desire to be good at in the future), OR activities that have no essential impact on your bottom line is a waste of your valuable time and stops you from serving clients and creating profit.
Once impossible…. Now easy!
There is a universal principle: Once Impossible, Now Easy… Self confidence is one area where this principle reigns supreme. Confidence builds as you go on learning and mastering different things, and enhance your abilities in life. In fact, confidence is sometimes defined as a strong belief in your own ability to succeed against all odds. If you have a strong belief in your ability to learn new things, you tend to develop more self-confidence. Although you may not feel confident about your business when you begin, bit by bit your small successes begin to create a permanent internal feeling of confidence that no one can take from you.
So Self Confidence is gained, not given. It’s a result of doing new things, and sometimes hard things, stretching beyond your comfort zone
Free Resources To Develop Your Confidence!
- For your own FREE copy of 9 Simple Strategies to Build Your Self-Confidence click the hyper link and enter the code: NAPO2013 to sign up for access to this free report and other helpful resources.
- For help with your CORE Business Fundamentals™, sign up for my free video training program: Sanity Strategies to Rescue Mompreneur Superheros! by clicking here, or copy and paste this link into a new browser http://bit.ly/YGlvqg