I’ve been reading plenty of business blogs and books lately, from Business Insider to Entrepreneur to all the magazines in the business section at my local newsagent. I’m currently loving Lisa Messenger’s ‘Daring and Disruptive’ book – a must-read for any inspiring entrepreneur.
Business tactics aside, I’m learning that a lot of the recommendations from all these ‘experts’ actually takes some serious balls to do it. Lisa Messenger talks about ‘pounding the pavement’ and calling up hundreds of corporate bigwigs to fund her start up. The sheer thought of doing that scares the bejeezus out of me. I’d probably stumble my way through and sound like a 12 year old girl!
So it got me thinking. You could know exactly what you need to do to take your business to the next level, or even get your business idea off the ground, but you need confidence to actually act on it. As small business owners and bloggers, we are no exception.
These are 9 ways that your low confidence can, or is, seriously stalling your business:
1. You’re missing out on killer leveraging.
Too scared to say hi to your idol? Or approach that big time company that you know will do wonders for you and your customers? Collaboration and partnerships can really transform a business, and all it can take is a little initiation on your behalf.
It can be hard to contact someone when you don’t have the confidence in yourself or your business as yet (particularly if you’re brand new). But, the key is to have confidence in your purpose – collaborations thrive on this.
2. You’re tribe can’t find you.
Yes you. How can we find you and your awesome gift if you don’t have the balls to get yourself in public?
3. You’re not making the sale.
I was terrible at this. I hate selling and the whole idea does my head in. But sales are what keep businesses kicking.
Backing yourself up is going to close that sale. Your (new) customer is going to soak your confidence vibes and totally want to get on board with you. There’s nothing more off putting as a customer who’s seriously considering buying something, only to be served from someone who comes across as a non-believer in their product/service.
Confidence, even if you fake it, nabs the sale.
4. You’re not earning enough because you’re grossly undercharging.
This is bloody hard when you’re in the service industry. There’s no right answer, but intuitively, it has to feel right for you.
When I started coaching, I was rather cheap. But I quickly raised my prices because I knew I was worth more – I have a clinical background, a university degree, plus all the other formal and informal learning I have gone through during the past 5 years warranted it. Sure, I was doing it in a new setting but I had a wealth of experience that were so valuable to my new role.
As I was starting out, I didn’t over do it, but I didn’t under charge either. It’s a balance and something that is much easier to establish when you’re confident.
5. You’re working with nightmare customers because you can’t say no.
Boundaries exist where confidence exist.
To know your boundaries and then to stick to them religiously is an art form that all successful businesses have mastered. I recently read Yvette Luciano’s (of Earth Events) post on Facebook the other day, talking about how she had to knock back potential ‘big opportunities’ because they didn’t feel right for her. By saying no, she actually invited in more positive clients and has some incredible events in the pipeline (Lisa Messenger and Gabby Bernstein for starters).
If she had of said yes for the sake of the ‘big opportunities’ and knowing that these clients were going to conflict with her core values, it was going to be a nightmare relationship. Cue low confidence, anger, less productivity and so forth.
Saying no when necessary, even to the big ones, will actually boost your business.
6. You’re burning out because self-doubt weighs an extra 5 kilos.
Like, when I wanted to arrange some potentially fantastic public speaking gigs, but wasn’t really sure if they’d say yes so I started a dangerous game of ‘what if they say (insert your worst nightmare here)’ and reached to a block of chocolate for instant stress relief. Then times that by, I don’t know, 5 days a week maybe, and you’re like, ‘woah, let’s not walk past that mirror again’.
Self-doubt is like the first step to shitty health choices. The constant belittling and non-stop questioning happening in your head is exhausting and anxiety-provoking. It’s no wonder we seek pleasure in not-so-healthy ways – we need an instant relief from our relentless mind.
So how does that stall your business? Less energy + less focus + less productivity = poor work ethic + less amazing ideas to take your business to the next level. Maths doesn’t lie girlfriend.
7. You’re not testing your ideas.
I love Lisa Messenger’s ploy to ‘fail fast’. The only way to make leaps in bounds in business (and life for that matter) is to totally get out there, fuck it up, learn from it, then try it again. I started this blog with zero idea on how to write, blog, sell, market, crack a decent joke. I started this whole crazy ride with nada business experience or an ounce of business knowledge in me. I failed spectacularly on the business front with Summersalt Life, but I did it fast.
You need to have the confidence to put your ideas out there and test them. See them fail, or thrive. But they need to be out there, in the real world.
8. You’re not inviting your tribe to trust you.
Confidence is sexy. Oh, so sexy. When someone totally owns it, it invites this aura of…magnets. Ok, I couldn’t find the right word but you get my drift – confidence is one sexy magnet. And it invites this deep sense of trust.
If you can’t back yourself, it shows that you don’t trust in your ideas or your message. Therefore, how can you expect others to place their trust in you? How can they trust your message when it appears that you don’t?!
9. You’re getting lost in the crowd.
I see lots of bloggers out there writing the same stuff as other people. It’s boring. I’m not saying my stuff is radically different, but it’s my voice. My unique perspective. To stand out, you need to show your unique voice and let it be seen above the crowd.
It also goes to say that being confident enough to challenge the status quo is going to get you standing out fast. Particularly in the blogging sphere, the ones that excel and have turned their blogs into a profitable business aren’t afraid to push a few buttons.
Stop playing safe and pick a fight – a loving one of course. Don’t agree with dieting? Tell us why! Don’t agree with the old school marketing tactics? Tell us why! Don’t agree with the way your product is made by your competitors? Tell us why! It’s a sure way to get your business in the eyes of more people.