Self-confidence is one of the driving factors to starting a business. However, I have personally found that all too often this initial spurt of confidence fades away, so that when it’s most needed to help grow the business, it’s almost non-existent. Whilst it is natural for some things to ebb and flow over time, what is it that really eats away at our self-confidence? To get to the bottom of this, I wanted to first find out what confidence actually is.
Recently I spoke with a friend of mine about how he started up his business. The initial energy, enthusiasm and confidence he had, really helped to make things happen at the beginning. Now that the business has been up and running for a while, he wants to grow things but seems to be facing a real loss of self-confidence. Despite having built quite a successful company, somehow he is now convinced he is not a ‘real’ businessman as he now lacks the self-confidence he believes he should have. It turns out that there were a number of things associated with growing his business that he really knows nothing about and so he feels very out of place. It appears the lack of knowledge has killed the self-confidence he initially had, though this has also helped me with my search for what confidence really is.
He had impostor syndrome
Two of the main reasons my friend was able to start his business were:
• He had an expert level of skill in his field
• He had researched and practiced what was needed
Now that he wants to grow his business, he is confronted by a number of things associated with this (e.g. marketing, web-design etc.) that are completely unknown to him, which gives rise to his feelings of ‘impostor syndrome’ and therefore affects his levels of self-confidence.
So that’s what confidence is!
I now see that his previous confidence came from not only having the skill to do something, but also the knowledge of how to apply that skill. I deduce from this that confidence is not actually a skill in itself to be mastered, but it comes from having repeatedly applied the knowledge of how to use the skill. The result of this is a high degree of comfort for doing the skill based on the experience of doing it.
Realising your limits makes you limitless
Once you understand that confidence is just knowing you can perform a task easily because you have performed it many times before, it lessens the impostor syndrome feeling which allows you to focus on what is needed to either become knowledgeable yourself or find someone else who is knowledgeable.
Realising where your own strengths and weaknesses lie within your business and outsourcing the areas that you are less comfortable with, will empower you and help regain your self-confidence so you can grow your business in the best way possible.
What have you done to help your self-confidence to move forward with business growth?
Making your success my goal!
All the best
Home Business Leader
Paddock Wood, UK