by Tara Eggenspiller
For years I struggled to have a certain confidence I saw in my closest friend – I’ll call her Katie (her name really is Katie!) when she sang karaoke and made friends everywhere we went. Somewhere along the lines I had branded myself as ‘someone with social anxiety’. Looking back I don’t think this was a legitimate issue. Still, I sure wasn’t singing show tunes in front of a group of strangers.
This internal fear also stopped me from putting my authentic self out there when it came to executing business ideas. I was under the incorrect assumption that things needed to be perfect before I could reveal them to the world. I had set myself up for failure by not showing people what I was working on and allowing myself to be seen. I think many people struggle with perfectionism and it both handicaps and serves as an excuse when they fail to take action.
I thought of the kind of person I aspired to be. What would she do? How could I pick up her confidence and use it as if it were mine? When I started creating a handbag line I realized I would have to start putting myself out there if I wanted a successful launch. I started reaching out to strangers for feedback on designs, writing about my experiences, and basically not caring if anyone thought my ideas were stupid or not. The dividends of being bold have paid off in numerous ways personally and in my handbag business.
1. It Builds Confidence
Once I started being authentic my confidence in ALL areas rose. I realized I wouldn’t die and that most people are too busy thinking about themselves anyway. It’s true as well that others will only believe in your idea if you do. When I started believing my business and its mission were worthwhile others believed it too. It’s all perception.
2. You’ll Get Feedback
When you share your ideas and allow yourself to be vulnerable you open up your self to valuable feedback you wouldn’t have been otherwise able to obtain. People will appreciate you being real and in turn give you advice you might have otherwise had to pay for.
3. You Make Connections
Most the time people will either a) support you or b) not care. By being authentic I met many people in category a. I’ve had people come out of the woodwork and help me with logos, branding, and connecting with boutiques simply because I told them what I was up to.
4. You Help Others
This should probably go first. You never know who you empower when you’re authentic. You could miss out on opportunities to show others how you made it to where you are if you keep everything to yourself. You might be the shot of hope they need to pursue their dream.
Something to say about keeping to yourself through beginning hurdles.
So should you tell the world every new venture you’re working on; every new idea that comes to mind? Well, I do think there’s something to be said about the positive momentum that builds up in the silence. I think it’s more about not letting fear be the reason you hold things back so that when you’re ready you don’t launch to crickets.
Tara Eggenspiller is an accountant who decided to pursue her long time passion of launching a fashion line. She designs Angela Mariah handbags for artistic and adventurous professional women.