So far I have been focusing my blog posts on the ins and outs of branding design. Today I want to focus on the other major part of my job and that is being my own boss. As an entrepreneur you need to be passionate, work hard and even a little over-ambitious or naive. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see that as being a bad thing, it's just enough to help push you to take risks and step outside your comfort zone. As long as you are willing to work hard and keep learning it’s the most rewarding thing to run your own business.
If you follow along with my social media you will know I have been shortlisted for the Irish Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) award in the Best Start Up Category County final. As part of this competition I attended two bootcamps along with the other shortlisted entrepreneurs. Being thrown in a room with other passionate entrepreneurs at networking events, meetings or training never fails to fill me with pride and get me fired up that YES we’re a little crazy with our ambitious goals but YES we can do this!! We feed off one another’s passion and it’s exhilarating.
But one thing that struck me was the amount of modesty in that room. When I reflected it I realised that included myself and the way I spoke very humbly about my business. Here we are talking about our own successfully running businesses and many people are shrugging off their achievements or doubting their business. As part of the IBYE judging process each participant shortlisted had to make a pitch in front of a panel of judges. This frightened the life out of most and I must admit I wasn’t feeling the most confidence myself. I admit, some days I question if I know what I’m doing running my business, never mind having to convince a panel of judges I’ve got my business sussed!
But here it is, thankfully Bells and All is going better than I could have ever imagined when I started off just a few months ago. Doubts will always be there and I don’t think even the most successful business people know what they’re doing all the time. So today I want to urge all entrepreneurs to focus on your successes and work on the confidence you have in your business. Modesty is a waste of time in business. Never let fear get in your way and put yourself out there so that the greatest opportunities come your way.
When pitching your business to potential clients, investors or perhaps to a panel of judges, here are some tips that might help you be confident and Talk the Talk…
- Doubt Breeds Doubt: Don’t doubt yourself or leave the best bits out. Modesty will get you nowhere. If you are proud of the topic you are talking about your confidence will shine threw.
- Take an honest look at yourself: Don’t go overboard bragging about yourself. True confidence is firmly planted in reality. Assess your abilities and work on your weaknesses. Speak confidently about your strengths and at the same time feel confidant about how you are improving what were once your weaknesses.
- Embrace Small Victories: Confident people tend to challenge themselves and compete even when their efforts are just for trivial victories. Small victories feed your confidence and help motivate.
- Be Assertive, Not Aggressive: Don’t confuse aggression for confidence. When you’re insecure it can be easy for slip into aggression when you’re attempting to be assertive. Practice asserting yourself and try hard to keep your insecurities at bay.
- Be Positive: If your pitch doesn’t achieve what you were hoping don’t be discouraged. Hope for the best and keep moving on to the next opportunity with confidence.
Nobody is born confidant. Confidence is your own choice, yes it takes practice and insecurities can be difficult to overcome, believe in yourself and I guarantee you’ve got it in you!