Since I took my first coaching course 10 years ago, I have identified a major challenges for so many individuals, especially entrepreneurs. That challenge is a lack of confidence.
Confidence; the belief or self-assurance in one’s own worth and ability.
Many clients that I work with report that they don’t feel confident, yet when you poll their coworkers, friends and family the opposite it true, they appear to be confident! The result being, many entrepreneurs and business owners out there who are assumed to be fully confident are actually doubting themselves, second guessing and shying away from bigger opportunities due to a lack of confidence. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, whether you are a first-time solopreneur or a seasoned business person with many successful ventures as self confidence can be affected when you get a negative review, don’t land a client that you have invested a lot of time into, or your return is not as much as you expected compared to your effort.
So how does low self-confidence affect your bottom line?
- Not being paid what you deserve – you give quotes that undercut your training, experience, and value (and also what you really want to be paid!). This may be from the belief that you have not trained enough, your work is not as good as competitors, or that the client may go elsewhere.
- Discounting your rates – Once you begin negotiations you quickly agree to a discount or offer it because you’re afraid to charge your full rate. You start second guessing your worth and value.
- Not following up on unpaid invoices – You avoid asking to be paid and following up on overdue invoices. It feels awkward, uncomfortable and you worry that the client will tell you all the things they don’t like about you and your business.
Points to consider:
- All businesses experience ebb and flow! It may be a larger wave to ride as you establish your customer base, but most businesses have seasons that are more profitable than others. If you find that it has been quiet in terms of inquiries and requests for work, don’t put that on your ability. You may simply need to pivot your marketing or tweak your offer to target your desired clients.
- Don’t only consider the tangible costs when quoting (eg. rent, licenses, insurance, supplies). Your time, training, mental space and skills are valuable!
- Not every client is for you. If someone doesn’t resonate with your pricing, someone else will. Yes, cash flow is great, but if you have severely undervalued yourself it can end up costing you. You won’t have time to take on opportunities that would fairly compensate you if you’re busy with all the jobs where you have undervalued yourself.)
Tips for promoting a healthy self-confidence:
- Find a community, mentor, or coach to learn from or work through challenges with. As an entrepreneur, you may find it lonely and be lacking like-minded individuals to flush out ideas. Find your people that support you, see your awesomeness and reflect it back to your regularly.
- Define what success means to you outside of $$$ and start measuring with those markers. Money is tangible and an easy metric of how you are performing, but this isn’t a great way to determine personal growth or genuine success within a field. Write down 3 other ways that you can mark your success (eg. amount of free time, positive reviews, projects completed, people served and impacted).
- Practice saying “No,” and trust that your time and energy will be used in a way that serves you mentally, physically, and financially. You can ask for a bit of time to make your decision, even if it is five minutes. This gives you a buffer to choose if the work is something that works for you to take on. eg. Are you taking on the work or giving the discount from a place of doubting yourself, or is it coming from your highest and best self?
When you value yourself, you are providing greater value for those you serve.
Building your self-confidence is a journey, and you can start right now by simply being gentle with yourself and remembering business is not always linear in growth.
Please reach out if you feel like you are undercutting yourself and your value. I would love to connect to learn how I can support you.