5 Tips For Overcoming Self-Doubt When Starting A Business
Starting a business from scratch is of course extremely difficult. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an excellent business idea, funding, and a great business sense. You will still always have that little part of you that says “hey, are you sure you can do this?” Well at some point in every entrepreneurs life I’m sure doubts have entered their mind. What’s different between a successful and unsuccessful business owner? Well you could say luck, but I’m going to say drive and determination.
Personally I’m not a successful business owner but I have been working with Brady and Simtek for the majority of 2018 and I have seen him overcome many obstacles and changes. However, one thing that has remained consistent has been his determination and love for the product he makes.
Sometimes all you need is a little advice, perhaps a bit of a confidence boost. Well hopefully the points discussed in this article will do just that.
Don’t worry about what others think
I think this is great advice for life in general, but in terms of running a business it’s important not to be concerned with what other people’s expectations of you are. Whether that be how many sales you’ve made or even what your product or service is.
It is also important to ensure you don’t compare yourself to others. Especially in the early stages. At this point it’s too easy to get discouraged by the fact that another startup might “appear” to be making more of an impact then you. It’s even worse to compare yourself to more established businesses. Take tips from them, yes, give yourself something to aspire to, yes. But remember not to get too bogged down in what others are thinking and doing.
If you’re someone who is easily influenced by others or even if you’re not, sometimes it’s hard to push on with your business if people around you are filling your head with doubts.
As a musician and freelancer this is something I get all the time. “Why not just go and get a normal job?” “Apparently X Y Z company are looking for applicants” You have to remember that the people that doubt your ability to succeed are probably not doing it out of spite, they are doing it because they are the ones who are scared. That doesn’t represent how you should feel.
Set short term attainable goals
If you’re not achieving goals then what are you doing? This may sound like a little bit of tough love but it is true. Especially in business. If you set yourself short term goals then it’s easier to measure when you’re making progress. This will help keep your spirits up if you find yourself -- after weeks of barely any sleep -- wondering why you started the business in the first place. You can look back at the goals you have achieved and be reassured that you’re doing alright, or maybe that you need to set more achievable targets.
Surround yourself with the right community
This is very important in business. You need people around with the same vision as you. This might be engineers, product designers, investors, the list goes on… They need to truly believe in your business idea as much as you do or, let’s face it, they won’t put as much effort in to their work as you need them to.
It might be hard to get the right people from the start. It might take a while to build but with every pitfall you’re learning a lot about personalities and which types of people you work well (or not so well) with. Don’t be upset or disappointed if someone you had on board at the start turns out the be the wrong kind of personality. It is (as everything often is in business) a learning curve.
Know you’re not alone
This links well with the idea of surrounding yourself with the right people. Why not attend some networking events for startups? This will allow you to meet some like-minded people who are in the same situation as you. Be open and share your doubts with them. Sometimes a bit of a pep talk is all anyone needs to overcome their self-doubt. However, be careful not to use this as a way to compare yourself to others, it’s a fine line.
You can also join in with forums and blog discussions. Get on social media and encourage a discussion of your own. Ask questions regarding business issues you’re not sure about. Or even just ask how other founders cope with the pressures of starting a business.
Don’t be afraid of failure
I would say this is probably the most important one. As great as your business idea might be, it’s just a fact that a huge amount of businesses fail in the early stages. However, don’t let that put you off. Many successful business owners have had failures at the start of their careers. What sets them apart from an unsuccessful entrepreneur is that they learnt from their mistakes and kept going.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try things don’t work out. What’s worse than failure? Never trying! One of my favorite things that I have heard Brady say is that he wouldn’t want to look back on his life when he’s eighty and be disappointed that he never tried. You can always pick yourself back up when you fail. What you can’t do is predict failure, so why not try for success?
I hope this article gave you some things to think about and maybe even helped you see your business venture in a more positive light. Be sure to check out some of our other business related articles if you haven’t already.