Your confidence has a huge impact on your small business’s success. Confidence will help convince customers to buy from you and it will determine hoe effectively you manage your employees and engage with investors and partners.
Some people seem to have been born confident, but for most it’s a learned skill that can always be built upon and improved. Here are five great tips to help you develop and improve your confidence:
Confidence is a mindset
Confidence is what you project to others, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a reflection of your self-esteem. Insecurity affects everyone in some way but this doesn’t have to hold you back and effect your confidence. Confidence is something that you outwardly project, to potential customers and business partners, for example. Having confidence can really improve your business’s performance so it’s worth investing a little time to improve your mindset.
Analyse the cause
Spend some time identifying the people and situations that make you feel unconfident and analyse the reasons these particular scenarios cause your confidence to plummet. Often it is a lack of knowledge, preparation, or a negative mindset. Knowledge and preparation can easily be developed but a negative mindset is something that you have to realise and work on yourself. People often assume the worst, that an audience wants them to fail or thinks poorly of them. It’s up to you to realise this and choose to project positive thoughts instead – this is a huge first step in improving your confidence in business!
Practice makes perfect
It really is true that practice makes perfect. If you are lacking confidence in a specific area relating to your business, invest extra time in it. Many people give up on a particular task or skill if they think they aren’t good at it, but this won’t do if you are trying to succeed in business. Practice whatever skill you feel unconfident about – closing a sale or presenting in front of an audience, for example – in a safe environment. It could be in front of your family and friends or if you think you need a little bit more help check out seminars and workshops that are held near you that work on developing the skill set you need. The more time you spend practicing, the more comfortable you will feel and the more confidence you will project!
Playing to your strengths can be a smart strategy but can also lead you to get comfortable and hesitate in taking on new challenges. Therefore it is important to challenge yourself, even if it starts with something small. If you prefer emailing, step up and call your clients instead. If you are unsure about using certain software that is important for your business, don’t put it off any longer, sit down and familiarise yourself with it and use it everyday. The more you do something that is outside of your comfort zone, the less daunting it becomes.
A big cue for confidence is assertive behaviour like communicating clearly and believably. The most important manifestations of this is taking an active role in meetings and conversations. This does not mean being argumentative and dominating but instead means articulately explaining your viewpoints and adding to the conversation. Assertiveness is something that communicates confidence and the more you practice it, the more confident you will become.