Being an entrepreneur is not an easy thing.
There are many setbacks, and sometimes it feels like you’re facing nothing but obstacles. There’s no one to give you a raise or tell you if you’re doing a good job because it’s your job to tell others that.
You’ll often be the first one to arrive at work in the morning and the last one to leave, so keeping your head up is your responsibility.
How to Stay Confident As A First Time Entrepreneur
Here are some ways to stay confident in yourself and your venture as a first time entrepreneur.
1. Remind Yourself of Your Successes
Easily the best way to perk up your confidence is to remember where you’ve already succeeded.
You might have finished a business plan, made enough money to get out of the red or landed your first client.
It doesn’t matter what step it is, how big it is or how it compares to other businesses. The idea is to remember what you’ve already accomplished, and use that motivation to finish one more thing.
2. Find a Mentor in Your Field
A mentor can really make the difference between being a failure or a success.
Make an effort to reach out to someone who is well established in your field. Your new venture is not a threat to them, and they most likely remember what it’s like to be just starting out. If they have Twitter, find them there.
Reach out, make an introduction and simply mention that you’re interested in getting some advice from an insider. The worst thing they can say is no.
3. Join an Entrepreneur Group
Joining up with other entrepreneurs is a great way to get a boost.
These groups get together on a regular basis to exchange ideas and success stories, and even recommend clients to each other. If there isn’t one in your area, try starting one.
You’ll have to get a conference or meeting room set up, but most people will be happy to chip in a few dollars if everyone agrees to bring one or two potential clients from the area.
4. Decide on Compromises
Being confident in a negotiation can be difficult.
If you can figure out what you’re willing to compromise on ahead of time, you’ll be able to maintain your poise when under fire.
The thing to remember is that some things simply cannot be compromised. You may be willing to work with price and timing, but can’t change locations or agree to a larger project scope.
5. Learn New Skills
Nothing boosts your confidence like learning something new.
It can be work related, but it doesn’t always have to be.
You might decide to learn how to make beer, and then find a client who loves beer so much that you can get your foot in the door that way. A new language, skydiving or a work-related certification will all make you feel like you’re in control and know what you’re doing.
That, in turn, comes through in your work and helps keep your confidence up.
6. Know Your Target Market
Having a solid understanding of your market is a key aspect of success, but it also gives you the confidence to proceed without second-guessing yourself.
If you can identify the tiny differences between different kinds of buyers, you’ll be better able to guide them toward the products they need. In turn, you’ll become a better salesperson and will come across as more helpful.
The result is that you actually are better at what you’re doing, which is a pretty great way to bolster your confidence.
7. Say No
As a new entrepreneur, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew.
Everyone needs a break now and then, so you have to learn when to take one as well. As a new business, you want to please all of your clients, but some clients simply won’t be happy.
They might want more than you can handle, demand a ridiculous amount of your time for the scope of their project, or simply want too much, too fast. These are all things that you should say no to. It helps keep your life in balance, and it helps you feel like you’re in control.
Those things are invaluable when you need to maintain your self-assurance.
8. Learn to Network
It’s every introvert’s worst nightmare: networking and public speaking. Some people are able to do it, but most people have to learn how. Just like learning something new, learning how to network can bring a confidence boost.
You go out, talk to people, learn about them and tell people about yourself. Some people will be interested and some won’t. It’s one thing that pretty much only gets easier with practice.
Networking is less about doing and more about feeling. If you go into it assuming you’re going to be manipulating people or they’ll be manipulating you, then of course you won’t enjoy it. You’ll leave feeling worn down and depressed.
However, if you go into with the mindset of simply trying to help people, offer your services to those who might actually need it, and learn from what others have to offer, you’ll end up leaving with a whole new mindset.
It’s a really amazing thing to learn what you can do, and how many people you can help, simply by offering up your skill-set.
These are all good ideas to try and keep your head high, but it’s also important to remember that you’re going to lose your confidence sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as you can take a breath, reset your thinking and keep going.
Are you a first time entrepreneur? Leave a comment below.