Self-confidence is one of the driving factors to starting a business. However, I have personally found that all too often this initial spurt of confidence fades away, so that when it’s most needed to help grow the business, it’s almost non-existent. Whilst it is natural for some things to ebb and flow over time, what is it that really eats away at our self-confidence? To get to the bottom of this, I wanted to first find out what confidence actually is.

Recently I spoke with a friend of mine about how he started up his business. The initial energy, enthusiasm and confidence he had, really helped to make things happen at the beginning. Now that the business has been up and running for a while, he wants to grow things but seems to be facing a real loss of self-confidence. Despite having built quite a successful company, somehow he is now convinced he is not a ‘real’ businessman as he now lacks the self-confidence he believes he should have. It turns out that there were a number of things associated with growing his business that he really knows nothing about and so he feels very out of place. It appears the lack of knowledge has killed the self-confidence he initially had, though this has also helped me with my search for what confidence really is.

He had impostor syndrome

Two of the main reasons my friend was able to start his business were:

• He had an expert level of skill in his field
• He had researched and practiced what was needed

Now that he wants to grow his business, he is confronted by a number of things associated with this (e.g. marketing, web-design etc.) that are completely unknown to him, which gives rise to his feelings of ‘impostor syndrome’ and therefore affects his levels of self-confidence.

So that’s what confidence is!

I now see that his previous confidence came from not only having the skill to do something, but also the knowledge of how to apply that skill. I deduce from this that confidence is not actually a skill in itself to be mastered, but it comes from having repeatedly applied the knowledge of how to use the skill. The result of this is a high degree of comfort for doing the skill based on the experience of doing it.

Realising your limits makes you limitless

Once you understand that confidence is just knowing you can perform a task easily because you have performed it many times before, it lessens the impostor syndrome feeling which allows you to focus on what is needed to either become knowledgeable yourself or find someone else who is knowledgeable.

Realising where your own strengths and weaknesses lie within your business and outsourcing the areas that you are less comfortable with, will empower you and help regain your self-confidence so you can grow your business in the best way possible.

What have you done to help your self-confidence to move forward with business growth?

Making your success my goal!

All the best


Daz Baldwin
Home Business Leader
Paddock Wood, UK

P.S. If you are using social media to help build your business and sometimes find the best approach can be tricky, I highly recommend you check out this great training by Max Steingart here.

0 Responses

  1. An engaging and well written post. I totally agree with you that confidence is an attitude that develops from repeatedly applying what you know.

    Your friend can begin to escape the ‘imposter syndrome’ by researching the subjects he’s unfamiliar with. Even a general understanding of what’s involved will be sufficient to help diminish his complex. Familiarity breeds confidence.

  2. Nicely put. I am in a similar position as your friend, namely setup my own company etc. Althou sucessful I did struggle with the expansion part too thou had some other concerns not just areas I was unfamiliar with.

    Having kids in there early twenties and seeing then and many of their friends starting work etc I see lack of confidense all the time. My simple response to them and to how I try to live is start with the attitude that ‘you can do anything’. Then you will find things you can’t do to well, you don’t like to do or struggle with. Those you push to someone else. But least you have tried. I often get the response ‘I can’t do that’. I say google it or Youtube. Thats how I learnt to change a break master cyclinder on a car. Never even seen one before. Point is TRY. Defeatist attitude = failure.

    We can all help others with confidense issues. Doesn’t take an awful lot usually, just support and the knowing someone else is there to help gives you the confidense to try. That’s how I built my first extension on my first house. I am not a builder. I could hang a door prior.

  3. Great first post! I saw your forum post and decided to check it out! Keep on posting!So to answer your question:

    What have you done to help your self-confidence to move forward with business growth?

    Best way for me to get my confidence back was to start thinking back to my vision. Go back to thinking why Am I doing this? Then what really helps is to have a mentor. If you are growing a business alone good luck with that! It’s always good to have someone externally giving you advice as they can see the problems you are blind too.

    Growing a business by yourself is possible, but can be a tough journey. It’s good to have a mastermind group in your business to keep each other accountable and motivated!

  4. Great comments guys, many thanks!
    Confidence (or lack of) is always a tricky one to get a good grasp of. However like I found, once it’s really clear that it’s not a skill in itself to master, things are a lot easier to manage.

  5. Yes totally agree, I am a Podiatrist and feel totally confident to stand up in a room and talk about feet, biomechanics etc, I have been doing it for 20 years. However I am feeling very introverted about this new Business with Jeunesse.

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