It takes a certain amount of motivation, courage, and confidence to become an entrepreneur, solopreneur, mompreneur, or whatever-you-want-to-call-yourself-preneur. To stand up one day and declare, “I’m going to follow my passions and create a business around it”. While it’s a very challenging step, it’s only the start to even more challenges ahead, especially when we’re new to the process. On one end, it’s thrilling to follow our passions, tap into our genius, and make a profitable career from it. It’s empowering while we become an inspiration to our children and/or peers. On the other hand, it can also be awfully draining, extremely exhausting, and it can really do a number on our confidence.
When you’re starting a business from scratch, some failure and rejection are expected (neither sound very fun or motivating, of course). It often makes us question if we’ve made the right choices, if we’re good enough, if we’re going to even make it, and so on. We devote more time to our own business than we would to a J-O-B because we wear even more hats; simultaneously balancing behind-the-scenes tasks we have to take care of and the hands-on stuff that we love so much.
The stress and long hours often send self-care right out the window until we feel a burnout coming and become desperate to avoid it. Or we don’t notice until it’s already too late and regret not catching it earlier. Then we see other businesses that seem to burst as soon as they emerge; like their success came easily overnight. We look up to them and constantly compare ourselves just to fall short and feel like we aren’t enough. We wonder if we’ll ever be THAT good, THAT successful, and why we aren’t already there.
Starting a business can also be an excellent way to isolate yourself, making you feel even more rejected, stupid, and well…not so confident. In every business association I’ve been a part of, there were always members expressing how people close to them didn’t understand them and/or their business venture. Many people don’t understand much outside of the typical nine-to-five J-O-B and that can really be frustrating. And if you work virtually, it gets even more lonely.
But it doesn’t all have to be that way. There are ways to combat the confidence draining elements of owning your own business.
1. Find Your Tribe – Remember You Are Not Alone.
You may not have immediate support from those close to you. Maybe your husband/wife, parents, and/or friends don’t understand, approve, or even support you and your decision to start a business. But that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Seek out groups of people in similar situations to get support from people just like you. And give back by being of support as well. It often feels like an enormous weight has been lifted by simply acknowledging we are not alone and finding the tribe where we feel we finally fit in, where we finally feel understood and heard.
2. Rejection & Failure Are Part of The Journey – Turn Them Into Learning Opportunities.
We all fail. We all get rejected at some point. Don’t take it too personally, it’s bound to happen. But it doesn’t have to be a reflection of who you are or how good your business is. What’s important is focusing on your goals, learning from your mistakes, and acknowledging places for improvement. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall, but rather how many times you pick yourself back up.
3. Stop Constantly Comparing Yourself
Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. We’re all different and move forward differently. Your journey is your own. You don’t know if you’re comparing your first step to someone’s 90th or what the other side went through. So just stop. Instead, compare yourself to yourself at various stages and milestones. Keep looking forward.
4. Don’t Let It Take Over Your Life – Remember to Take Care Of Yourself
You started a business to follow your passions and create a life you love – what’s the point if you can’t really enjoy it. If you’re always drained, stressed, and/or sick, it’s not very worth it anymore. Be sure to set up your business in a way that doesn’t just serve your customers but also serves YOU well. Set up processes and systems built around your needs so that you feel fueled daily. Leave some room to relax – to just let loose and give your brain a much-needed break!
5. Ask for Help & Create A Support System
It is vital that you create a support system to keep you sane, motivated, and ahead of the game. This may include business coaches/mentors, a team, support groups, etc. Even personal support is needed, from health advisors, personal trainers, or even house services. Imagine having a clean home, lawn mowed, and/or groceries delivered automatically – that’s less you have to worry about! Whatever opens up more time and frees up mental (or menial) clutter, so that you can focus on your business/passions AND have time available to take care of yourself.
Digital Communications Manager & Project Coordinator
American Confidence Insititute