How to grow in confidence or keeping calm and carrying on when running a business

I have been running my own business for over 5 years now and while proud of myself, it has not been without its knocks and bumps.  I have been thinking a lot recently, about what keeps you perceiving when things get tough. Set backs can feel like road blocks that stop you in your tracks.

The biggest problems

  1. Too much noise.

    Whether that is emails, phone calls, family commitments and the never ending back chat from social media.  Everyone has an opinion.  Not all of it is helpful.

  2. Not enough time.

    There is always so much to do, marketing, accounting admin, on top of the work that you get paid for.

  3. Critical Voices.

    You have to have confidence in what you make, sell or the service you provide. Everyone at some point will have had these familiar comments.

    “But I could do that myself….”

    “Isn’t that a lot for just an hours work”

    “Will it really take you that long”

    “But I could get it cheaper from X, Y or Z”

  1. The dreaded cash flow.
    For everyone who runs a business cash flow is the biggest problem.  Keeping it rolling, chasing payments, while actually doing what you are paid for is an ongoing challenge.

The Answers that help me

I will start this by saying everyone will find their own ways of coping,  but these are mine.

  1. Do your homework, so you feel prepared and confident.
    Keeping on top of the latest trends and doing research for every project you take on or product you sell.If you know your field and can show how much you love what you do people will have confidence in you and your business.
  1. Stick to your guns and know your worth.
    I’m not talking about blind faith here, however most small business owners underestimate what they know and the value of what they do. Become your own cheerleader and don’t let the odd setbacks knock your confidence.
  2. Use questions to challenge you but not undermine you.
    Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t have an answer off the cuff.  Giving the wrong answer can lead to disaster.  Give a time frame for an answer and go away and quickly do some research.
  3. Create answers so you feel prepared for next time.
    Everyone one has their own version of frequently asked questions. Start working through your and polishing your responses so they become second nature.  This will build your confidence and impress your prospective clients.
  4. Don’t feel confined by the way others work.
    It is easy to look around you and start questioning the way you do business compared with others. Don’t let these questions become road blocks.  That is not to say we can’t all learn from others and make our business more effective.  It is all about balance.  Build in evaluation time whether, monthly, quarterly or yearly.   Make sure you are growing and developing but outside of these times get on with business.
  5. Create calm before dealing with difficult situations.
    Whether dealing with a difficult project or making a dreaded phone call give yourself space to deal with it calmly. Find something that helps you relax.   For me it is Yoga for other people it is going out for a walk or a 1 minute meditation.   Finding your calm place will make any difficult situation much more manageable and ultimately lead to more positive result.
  6. And finally above all else know that you are not alone and find spaces and people to support you.
    Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help when you need it.    Networking is not always just about bringing in new business.  Find the communities and groups that work for you.   Getting out of the office  is  also healthy and give you access to a wealth of opportunities and shared experience.

You are not alone