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Starting / Building confidence

Have confidence to start a new small business

My earlier article addressing those who are thinking of starting a new small business generated some lively conversation. This time I thought I'd discuss the role confidence plays when you start a new small business.

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There can be a lot of anxiety around the question of “Am I good enough?”

Statistics of failure (though often exaggerated by scaremongers), natural insecurity and our tendency to compare ourselves can really stymie progress in our pursuit to start a new small business.

I ummed and ahhed for ages before starting out as a copywriter, holding myself back by constantly comparing myself to ‘better’ writers.

At the time, a little birdie in the shape of Robert Gerrish told me that to progress, I needed to get more confidence and for this, I needed to get more clarity.

Once you have clarity, i.e. know what you want to offer and for whom, your confidence can gain a foothold.

"I ummed and ahhed for ages before starting out as a copywriter, holding myself back by constantly comparing myself to ‘better’ writers."

I found every time I read a website and thought “I can do better than that” my confidence – in both my ability to deliver and what I wanted to offer – flourished. I spent the next few years happily writing web copy for soloists.

I think soloists get sidetracked by concerns over their ability. I don’t know where I got the idea people wanted to hire Dostoyevsky to write their websites.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business confidence section.

My view, actually my experience, is if you find a niche and get good at it, the existence of more talented professionals need not hinder your progress one bit.

But without clarity in your offering, doubts about your ability are likely to linger.

So what do you think? Is clarity as important as ability when you start a new small business? Or is saying so championing mediocrity?

Add a comment below and let me know.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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