“I told my friend what you said…”
Uh oh. I always hold my breath when a client says something like this. What did I say this time?
“I told her about my new packages, and how you said I need to raise my rates.”
Oh. That. Well then.
“She didn’t think that was such a good idea…”
Of course she didn’t, I thought to myself. That’s why she’s not your coach.
And I set about working to repair the damage to my client’s confidence.
Confidence is a fragile thing.
And it’s easy to get a little wobbly when you’re being called to grow – because running your own business will challenge you like nothing else you’ll ever do.
When you’re the CEO of your own show, it’s a lot like being the parent of a child you love and adore – and worry about 24/7.
Am I doing this right? Am I making some terrible mistake? Am I pushing him too hard – or not hard enough? Am I giving her what she needs to excel?
If you worry about every step you take, you are more normal than you know.
Should I buy Facebook ads or is that a total waste of money? Is it time to hire an assistant or am I just being lazy?If I raise my prices will everybody hate me?
And on and on it goes. It can be exhausting.
That’s why the one thing
you MUST protect as an entrepreneur,
is your confidence.
I’d spent an entire day working with my client to get her to a better place. We’d tapped into her ideal clients, and the difference she made in their lives. We’d polished up the path they would follow in their work with her. We’d gotten really clear about the packages she’d offer and the results she delivered.
And we priced her work at a level that truly reflected the value she brought to the table.
It was good stuff. And it was right. And she knew it – even though it was scary, and uncomfortable.
And when she told her friend, another entrepreneur, about it later, it made her uncomfortable too.
I asked if she noticed what happened to her energy at that moment. Did she feel herself shrink inside? Yes. Absolutely so.
And that doesn’t serve anyone. Not her clients. Not the world. Not herself.
The soul of your business is calling you to expand, to step fully into who you are, and to bring your gifts to those who need what you have to offer.
It takes courage to do this – and confidence.
So take care. Treat your confidence like a child, something sweet, fragile and deserving of the best possible care and protection.
Here are 5 ways to do that.
1. Practice extreme self care, and get plenty of rest.
In Twelve Step communities, members are often warned with the acronym, ‘H.A.L.T.” When you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired, you’re at a greater risk for relapse.
In business, you’re at risk for withdrawing, playing small, or even giving up. Nurture your energy. Take care of your body, mind and spirit.
2. Seek inspiration.
Listen to TED talks and read books that inspire you. Learn the back stories of successful people. Expose yourself to what is possible.
3. Don’t share intentions with those mired in their own fear.
Your willingness to grow will become a mirror for others. Some will be inspired by you and follow your lead. Others will push back, wanting you to stay small, so they can stay comfortable themselves.
Best to keep your plans to yourself unless you know for sure that they will be genuinely supportive.
4. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be.
Seek out not just other entrepreneurs, but those who are doing well, who are pushing against their own boundaries and challenging themselves. They’ll understand it when you get a little wobbly, and support you right through it.
5. Actively seek mentors, coaches and accountability partners.
I can not say enough about how important this is.These people should ‘get’ you, and be willing to hold space for your highest and best, even when you can’t do that yourself.
How about you? How do you protect your confidence?
Photo Credit: Katsuhito Nojiri on Flickr