This is an article I wrote some time ago for Operation Enterprise about The Confident Entrepreneur and I wanted to re-share it here because getting confident in business, of going out on your own, is necessary. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable; one of my favourite phrases. When you are experiencing a degree of discomfort you are in a state of growth and the more you grow the more confident you become…
- Is being a confident entrepreneur important?
- Is it really necessary to increase confidence to enter the world of business?
First, let’s look at the statistics:
According to HM Government, attitudes amongst those not currently engaged in entrepreneurial activities highlight the lack of confidence for men and women and how this is affects their decision to start a business:
- 29% of women & 45% of men felt they had the skills, knowledge and experience to start a business
- 44% of women & 39% of men sighted having a fear of failure as the key reason that would prevent them from starting a business
A lack of confidence is stopping potential entrepreneurs from starting their own business journeys. Furthermore, a lack of confidence will inevitably affect the ability to make decisions and that is a necessity in life as well as business.
What is confidence?
I define confidence as an enabler to do the things you want to do even when you cannot be certain of the outcome. Confidence allows you to assess the worse possible outcome but remain focused on the best possible outcome. And when things don’t work out, confidence is the ability to get up, dust off and move on.
From this perspective it is clear to see why confidence is important for entrepreneurs and why the development of it will help the entrepreneur in the business world.
In business the entrepreneur is constantly having to make decisions and in doing so has to accept that sometimes they will be wrong. That is part of the learning process.
Being an entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs start businesses or enterprises with a view to making a profit or creating success (as defined by the individual).
Important skills for entrepreneurs include:
- Being able to operate with limited information; even following research there is an element of the unknown
- Being action orientated & decisive – There are windows of opportunity to be seized and the entrepreneur has to be willing to take action
- Accepting risk – be prepared and willing to take risks and this is not the same as being reckless.
Increased confidence can help in all of these areas. In fact I would go so far as to say it underpins everything the entrepreneur will need to do to get through the tasks, challenges, pitfalls and relationship building process.
The great thing about confidence is that you are never too young or too old to develop it. Schools, colleges and universities need to invest curriculum time into this soft skill along with communication skills; they matter in the world of work and business.
Simple confidence tips
Inevitably the greatest confidence growth is achieved when the individual makes a decision to do the things they are most scared to but here are some additional tips:
Understand you better
Immerse yourself in personal development and get a basic understanding of psychology. Psychology gives you real insight into how we are wired, the similarities we share as people and the things that set us apart. What is more important than knowing about the magic you possess?
Feed your mind well
Choose to watch and read information sources that uplift you and provide you with a more positive focus and positive images to replay in your mind. Think about it; the news is probably 90% depressing and whilst current affairs are important the world is not the bleak dark picture you end up thinking and feeling it is. Where your focus is, your thoughts and emotions come. Choose useful and beneficial information for you.
Try something new
Break out of your comfort zone! When you do this you expand your possibilities, you become more open to challenges and you begin to realize you are far more capable than you previously gave yourself credit for. This stretching of your boundaries raises your confidence in your abilities.
Face a fear
When you make the decision to face a fear you are taking your confidence to a whole other level. It’s not easy but it is doable and the more fears you face the more confident you become. A wonderful quote to remember is: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”.
Regular exercise improves your energy levels and produces chemicals such as testosterone and endorphins that put you in a more positive state. When you are in a positive state you tend to feel more confident and focus more on what can be done rather than what can’t. Also exercise helps you get into good physical shape that in turn boosts your confidence.
By developing confidence skills the switch into entrepreneurship becomes far more inviting and achievable. Start the way you mean to go on, as The Confident Entrepreneur!
Yvonne Bignall uk.linkedin.com/in/yvonnebignall/
Chief Confidence Officer at YvonneB Limited www.yvonnebltd.com
Creator of Launching Women in Business Programme www.launchingwomeninbusiness.com