There’s something about Mad Men’s Don Draper—while on the inside he might be an emotionally torn man with a dark past, you never see him sweat. His personal challenges never get in the way of his advertising meetings or a-list affairs. He exudes charm, charisma and competence.
His former secretary and now only female copy editor Peggy Olsen said it best:
“I want what you have, you seem to have everything.” What Don does have is confidence–a lot of it.
Confidence can be the chicken and the egg–when you need it most you feel the least confident, and when you need it least you feel the most confident. You can’t hide behind your computer–you must get out into the world and represent yourself and your business. In my tips below I give you some suggestions on how you can work on building your own confidence and watch your business grow as a result.
Here are my ten questions and answers for you. Tell me your own confidence building story in the comments section below.
1. Why is self-confidence important for a small business owner?
If you are not confident in yourself, would you expect others to have confidence in your abilities? As a small business owner you are the face of your company. You need to exude confidence so people get the feeling you are a capable person to do business with.
2. What are the attributes of a confident person?
A confident small business person makes eye contact. They do what they say they’re going to do. They give a strong handshake. They don’t say the filler works in their sentences “like,” “um,” “ah,” or “you know.” They take good care of themselves physically. They don’t apologize too much without reason. They have boundaries in their lives, and they don’t feel bad about notifying someone when they’ve crossed that boundary. They can take negative feedback without having it crumple them. They smile frequently and easily. They exude a glow when they talk about their company and services.
3. What are activities that can help improve confidence in small business owners?
Doing your homework can greatly improve your confidence. When you’re prepared for meetings, you will exude power because you know what you’re talking about. Challenging yourself with achievable tasks will improve your confidence in yourself, but piling on too many challenges too fast can be a confidence killer. Keep a network of supportive people around you–especially other small business owners. Having community and relationships will improve confidence. Having a coach to provide feedback is a confidence booster. Everyone needs someone unbiased to bounce ideas off of, to help them through hard times, and give encouragement when it’s needed. Continuing education and training can also help build confidence as you become more savvy in different areas of your business.
4. Is it possible to improve confidence by changing your thoughts?
“Thinking positive” is a powerful way to change your thinking. Tony Robbins says “change your state, change your life.” If we can learn to control our mind, we can completely change the landscape of ourselves and our lives.
5. Is there anything a small business owner can do to improve their impact on others?
By standing tall you will greatly improve your posture and how others see you. Body language is a hugely important factor with regard to how others perceive you. By improving your posture you will change this.
6. Do looks really matter that much for a small business owner?
If you dress nicely, you’ll feel good about yourself. You’ll feel successful and presentable and ready to tackle the world. By showing up groomed, you will feel more confident. Additionally you are an extension of your products and services. If you are not personally well put together, it’s possible your prospects will assume you don’t take care with your offering either.
7. Does gratitude help confidence?
This one is related to humility. By being grateful for what you have in life and what others have given to you you will change your entire outlook. It can improve your self-image and your overall mood. The universe rewards those who are thankful. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
― Melody Beattie
8. Does exercise really improve confidence?
Exercise is very important for any small business owner. While sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, exercise can improve mood. It also helps with focus and makes us more calm. Many of us get our best ideas when we are exercising. Not only are the mental and spiritual side effects important, but it will help you feel better physically, and you’ll look better too!
9. How do small business owners avoid feeling overwhelmed, insecure and anxious with all the tasks that are required to run the business?
Don’t forget to start small. You don’t want to stress yourself out by biting off more than you can chew. Learn to break off small chunks and work in short bursts. Small tasks that you succeed in will help your overall sense of happiness and confidence.
10. Does a cleaner business person feel more confident?
Keeping organized and clean will greatly impact the amount of clutter in your mind. When your environment is cleaner you’ll find you can think clearly. Clear your desk. If your desk gets messy the world can quickly turn to chaos. Having an organized desk will help maintain a calm environment so you can think clearly (and stay organized).
11. Will relaxation help my confidence? Should I be working instead of relaxing?
We all need scheduled white space in our calendars. That means a little “me-time” every day. This “me-time” is your opportunity to recalibrate so you can continue to be an amazing creator. Relaxing can include a 5 minute meditation, a massage, a bath or even a walk with some nice music.
12. Should I celebrate my own achievements?
Absolutely. Celebrating your small wins is a hugely important aspect of having your own business. If you don’t make time to enjoy your success, you might end up feeling burned out. Feel free to make a list of all that you’ve accomplished even on a daily basis. Since you’re your own boss, you’re your own coach. Make sure to pick yourself up frequently with pats on the back.
Do you feel like Don Draper yet? Let me know your own journey to a more confident you in the comments section below. There are no judgements on this blog.