When you are a business owner, it doesn’t matter how much funding you have, where your college degrees are from or whom you network with if you are not confident about your ideas.
At the end of the day, if you don’t have faith in yourself and your business, you will most likely fail. Despite constant rejection and doubt, successful entrepreneurs are always able to find confidence from within. If you don’t have unwavering faith in your idea, no one else will either.
As a fellow business owner, I understand that it can be challenging to silence the self doubt, especially when you are faced with a big decision or are constantly barraged by naysayers.
My fellow young female entrepreneurs always inspire me with their uncanny amount of determination and fearlessness. They aren’t going to let anyone get in the way of their dreams. Here are some things we can learn from these ladies about finding your confidence:
Admit what you don’t know. If you are aware of the things you don’t know, then you have a lot more faith in what you do know. Part of owning your own business is being able to hire people to compensate for your weaknesses. No one expects you to be good at everything. If you have a good team, where everyone excels at a certain skill, you will gain more confidence that your ideas will be executed properly.
Do your research. When going into meetings with potential investors, clients or customers, make sure you really know what you are talking about. You have to know the ins and outs of your industry.
Melissa Thompson, CEO and founder of TalkSession, shares how she finds her confidence before a big meeting with investors: “I spend a lot of time studying the market. I make sure to stay educated about the legal part of the equation as well as the practice and business portions. [Since I am not a doctor], I compensate by subscribing to medical journals, actually reading them, and engaging in conversations with industry specialists.”
Heidi Nazarudin, blogger at The Successful Style and president of Blogger Babes, said, “My confidence is a mixture of style and substance. Knowing that I look amazing and that I have done my homework for the task at hand is a great confidence booster — in other words, polished, poised, prepared.”
Don’t pay attention to any disadvantages. One of the first questions that I always ask Gen-Y female entrepreneurs is if they feel that being a woman is a disadvantage. Everyone I have spoken with so far has said “no.”
Andi Atteberry, founder of blingsting, writes, “I don’t put any energy into wondering if I have different challenges than any other leader or business owner because I am female. I think at the end of the day, if you are good at what you do, that’s all that matters.”
Just because they don’t like your business, doesn’t mean they don’t like you. For entrepreneurs, the line between personal and professional is blurred. When someone rejects your business idea, it can feel like a personal attack because of all the time and energy you invest. Shop-Hers’ founder, Jaclyn Shanfeld, explains how she gets over rejection and maintains her confidence: “I have thick skin and I’m able to separate myself from the opinion of others. I’m humble and passionate about what I do. A ‘no’ can’t take that away.”
Realize from the beginning that there is more to you than just your business. This way being rejected won’t feel so harsh, and you can bounce back faster.
By Rebekah Epstein