[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ntrepreneurs can be prone to huge doubt in most of the time with a lot of questions running through their mind…….
Is my business idea good? Will my marketing strategy be successful? Is my company on the right track? Am I hiring the right person?
And unless they do something about it, self-doubt can quickly turn into a habit, stopping them from making any decisions and taking any actions, which can adversely affect their businesses.
Trust me; I know. I wasted an entire year before I launched my first business, wondering if it was the right idea. Then I wasted another super-exciting year brainstorming, going back and forth with product development, research, and decisions. Eventually, I realized the greatest threat to my business was my self-doubt. Once I dealt with it, I was able to grow my business and move faster.
It’s essential to overcome self-doubt to ensure that you don’t lose track of your goals and to be more productive. Here are five tips you can use to destroy any self-doubt that occurs while starting or running a business.
1. Don’t worry about what others think
Being an entrepreneur involves meeting with a lot of people: employees, vendors, clients, partners, colleagues, mentors, not to mention your friends and family. If you keep thinking about what each one of them thinks about you and how to please them, you’ll run out of time to do anything else.
Avoid trying to compare yourself (or your business) with other entrepreneurs or businesses in your industry. You’ll only end up making unrealistic comparisons and doubt your abilities, feeling anxious and exhausted. Instead, try to learn from successes of others and apply their lessons to your business. What did they do well? What challenges did they face? How did they overcome them? Can I use those methods to grow my business?
In fact, you can even proactively reach out to others, and who knows, end up collaborating, instead of competing, with them.
2. Set short-term goals
Although it’s essential to have long-term goals for your business, it’s equally important to set short-term ones, attainable goals. Otherwise, you will be doubting yourself when your big goals aren’t realized immediately.
By achieving smaller goals, you’ll be able to stay motivated and continue moving in the right direction. Also, create short-term goals that are tied to your long-term objectives. For example, if your long-term goal is to double your sales next year, then aim to grow sales by 7 to 8% every month. Now that doesn’t sound too overwhelming, does it?
3. Think about your past successes
Every business has its good days and bad days. When things just aren’t working out, that’s when most people start doubting themselves. Couple that with doubts from others, and your life can go into a death spiral.
Take a pause and step back. Think about all the things you’ve accomplished thus far. Remind yourself of the things that you have done right and your recent accomplishments. In fact, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes every day to remember your achievements, and to view your world in a positive way. Think about the day when your business didn’t even exist. If you have come so far, you can definitely go further.
4. Surround yourself with the right people
A man is known by the company he keeps, and it’s even more true for entrepreneurs.
Associate with people who have positive outlooks towards life and will encourage you to continue your venture. Avoid people who are pessimistic about you and your business. It’s one thing to say, “You need to do . . . to grow your business,” and another to say, “I don’t see how your business will grow this way”.
You can even join a mastermind group to exchange ideas, or hire a business coach whom you trust.
5. Acknowledge that you’re not alone
It’s important to remember that you are not the only one who has self-doubts. Everyone doubts themselves. Even John Lennon said, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”
The key is to acknowledge that we all make mistakes while running a business; it’s not an exact science. No matter how talented or hardworking you are, you will make mistakes. And at such times, it’s important to look for solutions, instead of obsessing over problems. Successful people learn from mistakes and change themselves quickly.
Also, if you make a mistake, admit it immediately and don’t try to cover it up. It will help you build your professional reputation as well as gain credibility. And if you make a mistake, learn from it and figure out a way to prevent it from happening again. Finally, move on and just let it go.
Self-doubt is like a paralysis of the mind, that will keep you from realizing what you’re truly capable of doing. You can’t be successful by standing still—so keep going. As long as you’re focused and persistent, you will be successful.
As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”