by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor
Entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time working in isolation can easily lose their confidence, clarity and then taking action steps is more difficult. Why is that? Often that voice in our head becomes very negative and convinces us not to be bold, not to take risks, not to put ourselves out there. So what do we have to do to change our mindset to have confidence, clarity and taking action steps every day?
Confidence is a muscle that must be exercised frequently or it gradually withers away.
During your life, every success you have ever had leads to confidence in your own abilities. This could be a success as a child in academics or athletics. Perhaps it was the great summer job you aced as a teen or work success you have had.
You can even gain confidence from things that haven’t gone so well. That promotion you deserved but didn’t get, the salary increase you expected but didn’t happen. Everything we do in life adds layers of confidence. We learn from both events that went well and those that didn’t.
Keep A Journal
One great way to get over the confidence hurdle is to write all the events that have added to your confidence in a journal. When you are having a bad day and need to get your brave on, read your journal so all your successes are again manifested in your sub-conscience.
Assess your skill set and Build Up Your Weaknesses
If networking isn’t your strength, check out our previous article. If you are an introvert you might think that networking isn’t for you because you just don’t like being the centre of attention. But honestly, introverts are the best at networking because they love to listen to others talk and be the focus of a group. While you are listening you can decide if you can add value to the conversation and if the people you are meeting are the right fit for your tribe.
If you are having trouble finding events where you can physically network, then think of LinkedIn as your virtual networking community. It isn’t just a resume and job-hunting site. It’s much more than that. Have you thought of how you are connecting with people on LinkedIn? Do your research before you connect with people on LinkedIn and use the personal note section to let people know why you would like to connect with them. (Remember, it’s all about the why…..why someone should connect with YOU.) Don’t use this note space to sell yourself!
Once you have connected on LinkedIn you can invite people for a virtual coffee date over Skype or Zoom to find out more about them and
If public speaking is not your forte, consider joining your local Toastmaster chapter to gain the speaking confidence you need. One business professional I know uses the local toastmaster chapter to test out blog post ideas. The feedback from the toastmaster speech shows whether the topic resonates with an audience or not.
What else should be in your confidence toolbox? In today’s world, some kind of social media presence can help you gain traction for your startup. Either train yourself up to have that confidence online or if you have a budget, hire professionals to learn about your branding voice and have them be your social media spokespeople.
If you have confidence in your abilities, next on the list is clarity. Clarity about your business objectives, and your personal objectives. Write two lists, one for your business objectives and one for your personal objectives.
Are your objectives CLEAR?
These are maybe’s, they aren’t just dreams, they are actual objectives that you are going to SLAY! Once you have everything written down, then prioritize your objectives by importance to you and your business.
Some of your objectives might be huge and seem overwhelming, so don’t tackle those right away, we will cover these in the section on Action. For now, just look at your list and knock off a few of the items that are easy to conquer. Because conquering some objectives will help give you confidence that you can tackle some of the more difficult tasks.
If you have big, clear objectives that are hard to accomplish, then break them down into smaller bite-size pieces and follow this tactical plan and take ACTION.
Once you have the confidence and clarity, take action. Yes, take action steps right now! If you use the SMART goal formula you will not waste your time going around in circles. You will have achieved success.
S specific (from your clarity list)
M measurable (what is the measurement you are going to use)
A actionable/achievable (Is the item on your list achievable?)
R realistic (It just can’t be impossible!)
T time sensitive (Putting a time frame around your goal makes you take ACTION)
This applies to your personal life as well as your business life. Step out of your comfort zone. Are you in the mindset to find confidence, clarity and taking action steps to change your life? We hope so because every day is too valuable to waste.