As a new business owner, it can take a while to get used to other soloists offering their unfailing confidence that you’ll achieve everything you set your mind to.
This is especially relevant if you’re a refugee from a corporate environment built around rules and restrictions, or if your parents’ way of protecting you was to tell you what you couldn’t do, rather than what you could.
In comparison, it can feel pretty empowering-but-confronting to have a new group of business friends say “You can do anything you decide to”. (If you’re in start-up mode and yet to experience this, try heading over to the Flying Solo forums and introducing yourself and your new business – the level of support you’ll receive from complete strangers will both astound and uplift you).
These nice, supportive people exist by the truckload. You just have to make a choice to go out and find them instead of hanging out with the other kind.
To grow your business and your confidence, it really does help to seek out people and businesses that encourage and support you. You don’t want negative people influencing your mindset, and you don’t want people who see the flaws in all your ideas and dreams. You certainly don’t want whingers taking the shine off all the shiny stuff.
Here are some ideas for developing confidence and to get you started on tuning out negativity and tuning in to the support that’s out there for you:
- Turn off the news and current affairs shows. You don’t need that lowest common denominator rubbish in your world!
- When people offer you compliments, money, help or anything else, say ‘Thank you’, and accept it gracefully. Know that you deserve it. (Remember how good it felt last time you gave something to someone in need? You get the chance to let someone else feel that good. Don’t spoil it. And if you’re tempted, think back to how bad it felt last time someone rejected a gift you offered them).
- Offering support to others can be just as uplifting as receiving it yourself, and smiling, laughing and being playful can transform almost any situation. Try it – the rewards are fantastic! On a recent holiday to Japan my wife and I decided to give what we called “Emergency Koalas” to people who helped us as we travelled. One day our waitress was a miserable, unhelpful teenage girl – but we gave her an Emergency Koala anyway. That 90-cent clip-on koala brought her a much-needed smile, and her response became one of the highlights of our holiday. That young lady taught me that sometimes it’s worth breaking the rules, and it’s a lesson I’ll never forget.
Support is challenging because it’s not about keeping you where you are, it’s about lifting you up and taking you to the next level.
Has that been your experience, too?