What I Wish I Knew When I Started: You Must Believe in Yourself
I’ve always been fascinated to learn about the beginnings of things. To see the moment or the decision that caused everything to change, or a new journey to begin. This could be anything from making a small decision to change (like the formation of a new habit), or if you’re like me, deciding to make a big change very quickly.
This post will be the beginning of a series called “What I Wish I Knew When I Started”. This is a series for those web designers or business owners who are trying to figure out how to navigate the crazy but amazing path of entrepreneurship.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started
You Must Believe in Yourself
(more than anyone else)
I’m two years into owning my business, and this has got to be one of the most important things I’ve realized. Why? Because as a business owner, YOU have to be the one with the vision. YOU steer the ship, YOU decide what your purpose is, YOU set your income goals, YOU decide on who your ideal client is, etc.
And at the end of the day, YOU have got to believe in yourself in order to make any of that become a reality.
It’s good to ask for feedback, and it’s fine to follow business gurus. But the purpose and mission of your business, your ‘why’….that has to come from you. And if you’re going to be the one in the driver’s seat, you have to have the confidence to know you can do it, even when met with roadblocks.
Foster and nurture your own ideas & dreams quietly at first.
I don’t know if everyone will agree with this, but it’s something I wish I would have realized earlier.
If you planted a seed, and if as soon as that little guy sprouted, you exposed it to blasting afternoon sunlight and didn’t water it...it wouldn’t get grow very much or get very far. In fact, it would probably wilt super quickly and flop right over. *whomp whomp*
Your early ideas and dreams are the same way. Sometimes if you share your early-phase ideas, even well-intentioned people who love you will find holes in the idea before it even gets off the ground. And of course! Because there ARE holes. There will always be holes in early-phase ideas.
Humor yourself and your crazy ideas! You can’t develop and troubleshoot an idea all at once. You need to consider an idea - even if it seems crazy or unattainable at the moment - and just sit with it. Develop it. Water it. Grow it in your own mind until it’s strong enough to be exposed to the outside world. If journaling is your thing, write about it! This is how I develop and process all of my ideas and thoughts.
Eventually, share it with some people you respect and/or trust. Be a smart listener with their feedback. You know your idea best, so take feedback with a grain of salt. Apply what is is useful or valid, and use it as an opportunity to adjust your idea/project/business model for the better. You’ll figure out pretty quickly who is just a straight up nay-sayer in your life, who is trying to look out for you (even if it’s through objections), and who totally gets your idea and wants to give you constructive feedback.
If, in the end, the idea or project should be scrapped for valid reasons, be sure you do it because YOU’VE made that decision, not because someone simply told you it was a bad idea. Even if you end up letting the idea go, it’s really just one more way that you’ve discovered not to do something, which is equally as useful. :)
In the words of Marie Forleo, ‘everything is figure-out-able’. Adjust as you need to, but keep growing!
Identify or find your support system.
Whenever you do something different or new, you’ll probably be met with a lot of questions and/or resistance from people. This is fine at first, but after a while, it can run you down. So!…Be sure to find ‘your people’! I can’t stress enough that you need to find either a community who gets what you’re doing, OR you need to have someone in your life that encourages and supports you even if they may not fully get it.
If you’re the only person in your immediate circle doing what you’re doing, it may/WILL get a little lonely, even if you are a confident, never-say-die type of person. The world is so much bigger than your immediate circle of family and friends, and it’s incredibly helpful to find a community of peers where you can relate to each other, learn from each other, share resources, and encourage each other.
Own your vision.
Yep, it’s all yours. Don’t expect anyone else to get it, see it, or value it the way you do, not even the people closest to you. This is not to say you’re in it all alone. Just know that you’re the one who is going to be calling the shots, and at the end of the day, you know your ‘why’ and the bigger picture of what you’re trying to build.
When I first started, no one in my immediate circle of family or friends had an online business. “How are you going to get paid?” “Where are you going to find clients?” And, my favorite, “...*long pause*...How exactly is this going to work?” were some of my frequently asked questions. Which is fine! You should definitely know the answers to those questions when you have a business. But the way in which you answer may or may not make sense to people if, for example, they’ve never heard of the millions of dollars that thousands of people are making through running an online business.
Speaking of other people’s opinions…
Quick note here about other people’s opinions. (Because you WILL hear a LOT of other people’s opinions). They’re just that. Opinions. Not directional signs.
What one person likes, another person might hate. So just stay in your lane, and realize that your message, service, product, etc. won’t be for everyone. But it will be for some people, and maybe what you say or build will resonate and have a real impact.
There’s a quote by Rachel Hollis that I absolutely love:
“Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.”
Read that again. Slowly. And then memorize it.
“Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.”
Can I get an aaaaaaamen?
You must believe in yourself more than anyone. Because there will be rough days where you feel discouraged that you didn’t close a sale, or days that you feel small, or days that you feel creatively tired. But you’ve got to know deep in your heart that there’s more to you and your business than those moments. Your vision, your business is YOURS. You literally own it. And that’s awesome.
You’ve got to push through the resistance and the roadblocks, and the only way you’re going to be able to do that is… if you believe in yourself more than anyone else.
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