At some point every entrepreneur feels the effects of “imposter syndrome.” We are suddenly struck with the idea that we are not quite good enough to be doing what we are doing.
Instead of repeating “fake it ‘til you make it” to ourselves, let’s do something real about our self- confidence.
Here are five ways to be confident in business:
Find a mentor
One reason many entrepreneurs struggle to feel confident about what they are doing is because they are often blazing a new trail. Whether creating a new niche or charging for your services for the first time, it can be difficult to keep away the monster of self-doubt.
Working with someone who has been there before and is willing to teach you the ropes will be a tremendous asset to building your confidence. A mentor could be someone more experienced than you at business, or even someone in your industry who is not a direct competitor.
It is amazing the depth of helpfulness and knowledge you can uncover when you get out there and get to know others.
Always be learning
Many entrepreneurs start businesses that have little to do with their formal education. If your skills or knowledge are questioned by others, the lack of a degree to back you up can be demoralizing.
However, if you are actively learning more about your field every single day, you will gain a major advantage over those relying on what they learned in a classroom years ago. Plus, a long checklist of books read and courses completed reminds you of how hard you work at being good at what you do.
With countless online resources for learning any skill, it is just a matter of dedicating the time to take advantage of the education available to us.
Look back on your old work
It might be cringe-worthy, but every few months you should look back at what you were producing six months to a year ago.
You may wonder why someone was ever willing to pay you for that work. You might even wish you could redo it. Having those reactions is a good thing. Customers happily paid you for something you now feel is inferior and not representative of what you do. That’s growth!
Do this regularly and your eyes will be opened to the results of the incremental progress you make each day in your chosen profession.
Say yes to projects that will stretch you while knowing your limits
Successful entrepreneurs can often point to a project that really tested them. It proved to them that they had what it takes to make their business work.
If you are out there meeting people and getting regular referrals from clients, you are bound to land a project that will push the limits of your ability. If you believe you can make it happen for your client, take a deep breath and get to work.
At the same time, you must be honest with yourself about your skills, time limitations, and infrastructure to handle the request. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a customer is refer them to someone trustworthy who better suits their needs.
If it is an honest look at what your business can handle telling you to say no, go with it. However, if it is just fear, say yes. It might just be your turning point in your entrepreneurship story.
Turn your “weaknesses” into strengths
Oftentimes, it is the things that seem most like weakness that make us strong competitors in our field. A lack of preconceived notions can lead to innovation. Or, it can make our customers more comfortable with us.
For example, not knowing all the industry jargon of your peers may make you feel inferior when talking to them, but your customer will feel less confused or inadequate talking to you. They might even trust you more!
TeachI know I said I had five things on the list, but here’s a bonus tip: teach someone else. You do not have to be an expert to help someone do something you know how to do really well. Believe it or not, sharing your knowledge with others actually helps you be better at it yourself!
Share your own tips for building confidence in business with me on twitter @dizzycaitlin!