Stop being a lurker and start being a leader: building a business with confidence
At some point in your business or more likely in your life, you’ve felt the feeling of ‘not enough’ where you’ve been discouraged and you feel unsure about the next move to make in your business. While every business owner I’ve come into contact with has had bouts of fear or uncertainty, it’s what you do when you feel that fear that will be one of the indicators of your success.
If you’re lurking in any kind of group of people where there are other creative business owners and you don’t feel quite confident yet to talk about what your business is all about, you’re not alone. Building up your confidence is the quickest way to feeling good about not only the way you can be in a group (like a facebook group, attending a workshop or conference, or a networking event), but to have a truly impactful business using your creative genius.
I’m sharing my top 5 tips to start growing your business with confidence!
1. Take yourself seriously and price yourself like a pro.
You have to start taking yourself seriously. Like a business owner. This is a huge mindset shift from where you might be. You may be in a place where you feel like you’re “just” the local gal who does what you do on the side. It isn’t really meant to be a business. YOU have to decide whether it’s a business or not. To dabble or not to dabble is your decision. But if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, there’s a decision to be made.
When you choose to be a professional, you must also price yourself with certain factors in mind. First off, if you’re earning money, you have to figure out what your business structure is. Are you a Sole Proprietor, LLC or some other business classification (talk to an attorney about this, or google which makes most sense for you. I’m an LLC, in case you’re curious). In order to think through your pricing, you’re going to want to consider a few factors: taxes (consider putting aside about 30% of anything you earn), expenses, how much you want to make.
You can’t continue to price your services at the low prices forever range. Even if you’re in a “local” market and you think people won’t pay your price, if you show them how valuable your work is, you can feel great knowing that you are giving people value – they’ll come to you, rather than you having to beg for the gigs.
2. Selling = helping
Kendrick Shope taught me this HUGE brain explosion of a thought. Instead of feeling like a yucky car salesman, start thinking of your services and products as aiding somebody. You are helping them with whatever it is that they need in their lives. Whether it’s saving them time, helping to preserve a memory, helping to put things in one place to solve confusion, or it’s to tailor advice just for them, your work is necessary to bring ease or joy to their lives. Don’t underestimate the work that you do. If it’s worth it, they will move mountains to pay you.
3. Keep your eyes on your own paper
Even the community over competition (in all its well-meaning glory) cannot solve your wandering eyes. You’re looking at the competition, looking at their pricing, you’re looking at their Instagram, their portfolio and let’s be honest, it’s making you feel like crap. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You topple down that rabbit hole and it’s three hours later and you’re in need of a whole pint of ice cream.
Market research is a great way to see what the general guidelines and best practices are; however, as a growing-to-be-confident business owner, your job is to train your brain to look away. You can’t keep looking at other people. Comparison is the self-declaration that you are not enough. Keep your eyes on your own paper.
4. Do your thing, do it well
You have your own style. You have your own unique story. Just because everybody is doing something a certain way, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Find your own voice, the thing that will help your customers say after one look, “oh I know exactly whose work that is!”
If your stuff looks like a carbon copy of the next gal’s work, it might be beautiful, but it’s not going to feel original. Spend time to figure out what your technique, what your process, what your feel is going to be and own that. My advice is, don’t try to be better than somebody, just try and be different. While that sounds so scary, it’s something that is going to help you in building a more sustainable, more impressionable brand.
5. Take Decisive Action
Start thinking of yourself like the CEO of a company. Can you imagine Jessica Alba of Honest Company making wimpy decisions? She wasn’t trained in business, she is an actress, but she’s been featured as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. It’s not from making hesitant decisions. CEOs have a million decisions to make and they have to get great at deciphering what needs to happen in order for something to be successful.
Put on your “CEO hat” and take off your “I’m just dabbling in this hat” so you can start making some BOSS decisions in your business!
Decisive action will be a driving factor in your success if you continue to do things that scare you a little bit. Every challenge, every growth opportunity lies just outside our comfort zones. If we chose to tackle them, we grow closer to our possibilities!