The world of business can feel like a war at times. Ups and downs, success then set backs. It is easy to feel like your business is not working and I won’t be the first one to tell you self-employment can be a lonely game.
So what can you do to ensure you function as a confident business owner rather than ending up as a stat in the age old warning that ’90% of small business go bust after the first year’?
1. Be in learning mode, rather than owner mode:
There are 2 components that make up confidence:
- Self–confidence (the belief in you as a person)
- Competence (the skills you possess in a given context. In this case, your particular business)
You may have confidence that you will succeed, but you may not necessarily have the skills to function as a business. It is possible you love what you do, but you don’t love the business of what you do.
That is why it is important at the start, you are more in learning mode, than owner mode. This creates a mindset that set backs and mistakes initially will be the norm. You’ll take on more you can handle, you’ll be busy without actually getting much done and the admin part of your business will be a constant burden on your life.
But it is a learning process and this will be easier to swallow if you are in learning mode, rather than owner mode where you can start to think hang on, I’m the owner but I feel this is more of a job than when I worked for someone!
2. Make it about your customers, not you:
Attaching the success of your business on your self-worth is a massive drain on your energy. Every setback is about what it means about you as a person. There is a better way; make it all about your customer base.
Recently ‘I will teach you to be rich’ creator Ramit Sethi did a survey on why people want to have an online business. He was shocked to see the majority of the answers were focused on what it will give them, rather than what the business will do for the customer.
This is the wrong way round!
By making it about your customer early on, you create a culture of being customer focussed. Its why Zappos has succeeded, its why Amazon has no real competitors and its how you can become a confident business owner.
3. Manage your expectations, especially time:
Lets clear something up. There is no such thing as overnight success. Even the popular apps that get sold for billions were the result of years of trial and error.
If you say you’ll be breaking even after 6 months, its more likely to be a year. This prediction is ok, you are just falling victim to the human bias called Planning Fallacy.
Having hope and expectations of when you’ll be able to have a successful running business whilst sipping mojitos next to a beach is completely natural, but have a buffer in your thinking to make room for the fact that you’ve largely underestimated how long it is going to take.
Being a confident business owner is an ongoing process that typically starts with cold sweats and sleepless nights. But as you continue your journey recognize these 3 factors and you’ll last much longer.