Confidence plays a critical role in achieving success in all areas of your life. This is especially true in business whether you’re in start-up mode or a growth phase. John Bryans, an experienced business coach, shares his tips on how you can maximise your confidence and improve your business.
Doubtless, before launching your exciting new venture, you will have invested considerable time and effort testing out your business proposition (is there a market?); undertaking a competitor analysis (why should people buy from me and not from them?); developing your business plan (do I have the resources/ infrastructure to satisfy customer demand and sustain my business?); and formulating your marketing strategy (how do I reach my customers?).
While each element is pivotal, there is another key ingredient required to becoming a successful business owner; having the courage, self-belief and confidence to make things happen. Perhaps because we feel uncomfortable questioning our self-confidence, it is often brushed over or accepted as a given. In truth, a lack of self-confidence is more corrosive to your chances of success than a temporary cashflow problem or a dwindling order book. At least with the latter you can work up options and hopefully find solutions… providing you have the confidence to do so!
Let’s firstly clear up a common misconception. Self-esteem and self-confidence are generally perceived as synonymous. They’re not. As any good sports commentator will tell you: form is temporary, class is permanent. For form and class read confidence and self-esteem. Self-esteem is essentially a constant. It embodies who you are, your core beliefs and values, your unique talents and, above all, your acceptance of self-worth. It is not contingent upon short-tem successes.
Self-confidence, on the other hand, is much more dynamic. It can be easily lost and quickly regained. Everyone experiences highs and lows. If someone tells you otherwise they’re either being disingenuous, arrogant or delusional.
Cast your mind back to when a person you respected - maybe a teacher, former boss or an important client – praised your work. How did it make you feel? In that moment, you probably felt capable of achieving anything (well almost anything!) and energised to tackle the next challenge. Compare this to a time when a sales presentation fell flat or you received some other piece of negative feedback. Your confidence swingometer suddenly plummets. Unchecked, this will impair your personal well-being and the health of your business.
Reflect for a moment. Would you recommend a business adviser devoid of self-confidence? I thought not. Why? Because we buy from people who exude confidence and offer reassurance. In short, regardless of what business you’re in you need to inspire confidence. And if you have no confidence in yourself, don’t expect others to have any either.
Here are some ways you can regulate and maximise your confidence.