Business owners are more optimistic about their general economic outlook than they have been since 2007, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index taken in the first quarter of 2017 shows. But despite this confident financial outlook, many business owners struggle with personal confidence. For instance, over one-third of men aren’t confident they can start a business, a number that rises to over one-half among women. And nearly half of small business owners feel they lack effective sales or marketing skills, an Elance-Odesk survey showed.
To a certain extent, a lack of skills underlies this lack of confidence, but it also has to do with a lack of emotional confidence. Lacking emotional confidence can inhibit your motivation and keep your business from achieving the success you’re capable of. Here are four ways you can boost your business confidence by developing a more confident mindset.
If you’ve ever seen a professional football team prepare for a game, you’ve probably noticed that most teams warm up for a game with a pep talk that may include chanting, yelling, jumping or even dancing. While business owners may not need to whip up as much emotion as football players, you can create your own ritual for building confidence.
One confidence ritual psychologists have developed is called a Ring of Power. To do this, you imagine a circle two feet in diameter on the floor in front of you. Now think of a time you felt totally motivated, visualizing it vividly and remembering how your body felt at that time. When you feel your sense of motivation reach its peak of strength, step into the ring. Once the feeling starts to subside, step out of the ring again. You can use this ritual to cultivate a confident mindset, or you can develop other rituals using other simple visualizations and actions, such as clenching a fist while imagining yourself scoring a big business success, for example.
Words you say to yourself can have a powerful impact on your mindset. Repeating positive affirmations can help you program confidence into your subconscious.
For instance, you might spend a minute or two daily repeating phrases that affirm how enthusiastic you are about your business ability and your company. Possible affirmations include: “I love being a business owner.” “I’m good at what I do.” “My clients get great results from working with me.” Business coach Emma Ward provides online audio recordings containing other business confidence affirmations you can use and build on.
How you dress can project confidence, and it can also affect whether or not you feel confident. Choosing clothes that make you feel powerful can boost your confidence.
Power dressing styles have changed over the years, from an early emphasis on formal clothing in the 1970s to a wider range of fashion choices today. But a few guidelines remain constant. A hairstyle that fits your personality and your business position is a key to feeling confident, so work with a hair stylist to find a look that works for you. Having a favorite pair of shoes is another key to confidence. For clothes, you can choose from a variety of looks, but one of the most important things is to make sure whatever you wear fits you and your body type well. Staying neat and clean and taking care of grooming basics such as nails will also help project confidence in how you look.
Persisting Through Fear to Confidence
Lack of confidence often reflects a lack of persistence at facing fears and obstacles. Learning to persist in the face of fear and doubt can help you create a history of successes that boost your confidence.
A good way to develop this type persistence is by learning sales skills. Learning direct sales skills from Amway is one easy way to pick up some sales experience in your spare time and build confidence in your ability to persuade others.
Another way to overcome fear and build confidence is to practice public speaking. Joining a public speaking group such as Toastmasters can help you learn speaking skills and develop the confidence that comes with being able to speak in front of a group.