Making the decision to become self-employed and run your own business is an admirable thing to do, but it can be an intense emotional roller coaster at the same time. It’s natural to second guess your abilities and skills, but even if you’re far from being at the point you want to be, exuding confidence is the way to get your own spirits in the right place as well as show other people, especially the ones who doubt you, that you do have what it takes to grab the wheel and take control of your own life. To help keep your morale high on days when your self-esteem takes a dip, here are a few ways to help you fake it until you make it.
Don’t wait until you have all the pieces put together to start transforming into the “you” you’d like to become. The truth is that it can take a long time before things start to fall into place, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until your company is up and running until you start acting like it is. Dress like the savvy, witty, and successful young professional you aim to be today; it will help others take you more seriously, but most importantly, it will help you take you more seriously.
Many business professionals in industries such as financing and sourcing offer free consultations for the first session. Even if you’re still working out the baby steps of your business plan, go get as many free sessions as possible. This will help give you an insider’s perspective, free business advice, and the feeling of what you’ll be in for when you’re ready to get your company off the ground; a taste of the world you’re aspiring to step into will do wonders for your motivation.
The stress, anxiety, and fear associated with start-ups is largely traced back to the complexity of working out the financial issues. To make the process easier and smoother, start working out the kinks now. Even if you know you’re still far away from having the real funding you’re going to need, it doesn’t hurt to create a plan, even if it’s one you’ll use in the future. A little organisation goes a long ways in reducing tension, so break down your financial needs into realistic goals; for example, life insurance is something you’ll want to invest in from the start, and if you have a business partner you’re working with, you’ll want them put on a policy as well. That can be done before you register a business name or file for a license. You’ll also want to find out what other kinds of insurance (liability, property, etc.) you’ll need and where to apply for funding and financial assistance. All this can be overwhelming, but if you break it down into first, second, and third (and so on) month goals, it will be much easier to focus your energy on getting one crossed off at a time.
Whether you’re one year away from implementing your business model or ten years away, creating a working model where you can show off your intentions and ideas is a great way to remind others, as well as yourself, of your capabilities. Prototypes or even model spreadsheets are ways to bring your vision into the physical world, and showcasing your sample where you can see it every day is a great reminder of what you’re working towards.
Confidence, determination, and a feeling of self-worth are the keys to achieving any dream, and the business world is no different. You’ll have days where you feel invincible, but it’s inevitable that you’ll also have ones where you feel discouraged and hopeless. When those moments arrive, it’s important that you find ways to give yourself a confidence boost, and even though you might have to fake it at some points, the harder you work towards your goal, the more naturally your true self will develop and flourish.
Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who loves discussing anything related to the business world. She currently writes about business advice, personal finance tips, and Life Cover for Suncorp.