How To Develop Confidence In Business

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You know you need to put yourself out there to grow your business. But how do you get and keep enough confidence to do this? And how does everyone else manage?

Here are some tried and tested ideas to overcome your insecurities:

1. Know Yourself

” Overcoming self-doubt starts with honestly assessing your abilities (and your shortcomings) and then getting comfortable enough to capitalize on (and correct) them” – Deborah H. Gruenfeld, Stanford Graduate School of Business

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What To Do:

– Validation of your strengths (in small quantities) can be effective in building confidence
– Pick people who care about your development and performance to give you truthful feedback
– Decide whether to learn more in your weaker areas or whether to outsource them

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2. Be Prepared

“The best way to build confidence in a given area is to invest energy in it and work hard at it ” – Tony Schwartz, CEO, The Energy Project

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What To Do:

– Practice almost always wins over natural aptitude
– Start by trying out skills you are concerned about (such as public speaking) in a safe setting
– Remove fear of the unexpected in meetings by setting objectives, practising what to say and planning timings beforehand

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3. Take Risks

“The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks” – Mark Zuckerberg, founder, Facebook

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What To Do:

– Embrace new opportunities to prove to yourself and others that you can do difficult things
– Understand the fundamental difference between self-esteem and confidence – Confidence is what we project and what we want others to see, not how we really feel
– Remember failure is useful to build resilience, learn things and overcome fear
– Dont worry what others think — focus on yourself, not a theoretical, judgmental audience

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4. Become Optimistic

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” – Albert Einstein

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What To Do:

– Negativity reduces motivation, so surround yourself with good energy to become productive
– Recognise which situations or people make you feel least confident, and rationally analyse what triggers these feelings. Understand you are in control and can choose appear confident
– Imagine the best outcome – happiness and positivity is infectious
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5. Remember Your Accomplishments

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What To Do:

– Celebrate successes, such as sales made, problems resolved, to remind you of your talents
– List all the things in your life you are proud of achieving
– Post the list somewhere visible to inspire you to focus on the value you provide

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How Do I Find Time To Grow My Business?

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The most common response I’ve heard to advice on how to grow a business is:

“That sounds great, but how do I find the time to implement your suggestions?”

The harsh truth is that you somehow have to fit in regular sessions of working ON your business – as opposed to just IN your business – if you want to grow in a sustainable and profitable way.

To help you carve out that essential time in your hectic week, try out these 5 expert approaches:

1. Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


What To Do:
– List your common daily activities

– Draw a box with 4 quarters inside it and label them: Q1 – Urgent & Important, Q2 – Non Urgent & Important, Q3 -Urgent & Not Important, Q4 – Not Urgent & Not Important

– Put each activity in one quadrant of the matrix
– Reduce time spent on Q1, Q3 & Q4 tasks, increase time on Q2 activities

For Example:
A demanding but low-profit customer may be taking up a disproportionate amount of time against their value to your business, and belongs in Q3 – Urgent & Unimportant.
A valuable customer may be left feeling ‘unloved’ and needs more attention’, and belongs in Q2 – Non-Urgent & Important.

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2. Getting Things Done

” Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them” – David Allen, founder

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What To Do:
– Capture everything that gets your attention – write down all ‘to-dos’, big and small
– Clarify what action needs to be taken – bin, file, action now, add to an action list
– Organise actions into lists, such as e-mails, phone calls, reports.
– Reflect on and update all lists regularly to clear your mind.
– Engage your systems to take actions confidently

For Example:
Create a process to precisely deal with every type of e-mail you receive, reducing anxiety around what to do with them and when. Regularly review and clean action lists. This allows your brain time for creativity and renewal.

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3. Put First Things First

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey

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What To Do:
– Work out your short-term and longer-term priorities using your values, principles and goals
– Consider these the ‘big rocks’ you put in the jar first before the ‘sand’ of other tasks fills it
– Don’t be afraid to say no to requests that don’t fit with your mission and that drain energy

For Example:
Prioritise essentials that bring future value over short-term reactions to ‘trends’. If you aim to be the number one Cleaning Company in your area, focus resources on Staff Training, Planning, Relationship-Building, Quality Products and Outstanding Service, rather than chasing low-value jobs, cost-cutting projects and ‘fashionable’ contracts.

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4. Get The Hard Stuff Done First

” Eat That Frog ” – Brian Tracy

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What To Do:
– Tackle the hardest-to-do thing on your list first, to stop difficult tasks hanging over your head
– Learn self-discipline, put your head down, ignore feelings and get it done

– This approach increases productivity and performance

For Example:
Start the day by writing the bid, making the challenging call, organising rostas, dealing with the difficult employee. Getting the tough task done first boosts confidence and energy.

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5. Change A Keystone Habit

“The brain’s dependence on automatic routines can be dangerous. Habits are often as much a curse as a benefit” — Charles Duhigg


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What To Do:
– Change one ‘Keystone’ habit for far-reaching effects
– Select a physical, emotional and person cue to practise the new habit
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit
– Practice your new habit cycle every day for 30 days

For Example:
– Set the cue of one hour closed-door/uninterrupted planning time after lunch every Tuesday
– Work out the Emotional trigger, such as excitement for developing the business, and Who will trigger it, such as a mentor/friend by calling you
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit, such as treats, celebrations, tracking progress streaks and reporting to close associates
– Practise for 30 days to establish cues that create new habits, and build belief in change

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