The fact that you created your business - your product, service or expertise - you brought it into the world, grew it, and for some of you, are already making money off of your innovation or skills, that fact is a very big deal. But here's the thing...too many of us as business owners have forgotten that, or at the very least we've forgotten how to properly acknowledge that in conversations with ourselves (in our heads) or others (out loud). Instead, some business owners talk down, doubt out loud, downplay or at times even belittle their own efforts, business and abilities.
Often these comments are not a reflection of the true state of our talents or business, and they have no correlation with how amazing our companies actually are, but instead they reflect other stressors, pressures or emotional states. That said, their impact can be extrememly powerful. The first step on the way to a business sucess story is believing you will be successful. If you don't believe it inside, and shout it from the roof tops outside of your head, how will anyone else believe it?
As a creator, which small biz owners of all types are, the first things you are creating every day are the thoughts inside your head that guide the rest of your work. It's this self-talk, the affirmations and the enormously powerful thoughts that emerge and guide the rest of your work and external talk. It's time to be sure these thoughts are self-affirming and success-boosting, leading to creations and conversations that help you grow and help others want to be part of that growth by supporting your business. These tips will help you do just that!
Make a conscious effort to become your own best cheerleader instead of your own worst critic. We often treat ourselves worse than we treat anyone else! We judge ourselves the most harshly, pick our work and selves apart, and don't spend enough time patting ourselves on the back for all we do. That changes now. Choose to start and spend every day encouraging yourself. When you start doubting or the self-talk turns negative, consciously streer yourself out of that conversation in your head, and soon you'll be doing that without even knowing it! Also, when you're talking out loud to people, be sure you practice the same tactics: speak positively about who you are and what you do. More on that later though...
Watch for Warning Signs that You're Speaking to Yourself in the Wrong Way, These include Thinking and Talking in Absolutes: When you say things like "I never do xyz" or "I always do xyz" and thinking in black and white terms about how you do things, you aren't helping yourself. These comments lead us to make assumptions about our own limitations that aren't actually true. You're an entrepreneur, you have capabilites beyond your wildest imagination. You prove that on a regular basis to the world. Start thinking and speaking that way.
When you Start Freaking Out in Your Head, Play the "And then what" Game": When your mind goes to that place where you begin to play out "worst case scenario" scenes, stop the runwaway panic train by bringing yourself back to reality. Work through the situation you're getting stressed and negative about by asking yourself "and then what?" about each step in the scenario. You'll then answer what happens next in regards to each part of the situation, and this reflection alone will help you realize all is much better than you thought!
When Talking to ANYONE About Your Business or Your Abilities, Remember You Are Always Selling It, and Yourself: I can't tell you how many small biz owners I talk to that will put down their business multiple times in a conversation. "Oh we're still pretty small" (they say this as if it's a bad thing, and it's all in how you say it). "I'm not really sure what we're doing or how we're surviving" and so forth. You need to own it - your awesomeness, your business skill, your great products. I don't care how small you are, how new you are or how amazing people who have been in business years longer than you or with much more money are doing. You are the ambassador of your business. You teach people how to treat you and think of you. Make sure you teach them that you are amazing and a long term business contender. Make it clear in every conversation that you believe in your business and they should too!
Learn How to Receive & Savor a Compliment Like a Pro: Along with negative self-talk, deflecting compliments paid towards your business or skills - or even worse - adding a negative reply or self-reference to them - is something far too many business owners do far too often! Pay attention to how you receive compliments. Do you say thank you gracefully and appreciate them like the success story you are, or do you deflect them, putting yourself down in the process. The latter is not what successful business owners do. Learn to say thank you, learn to appreciate it and you'll soon learn how powerful receiving praise can be. Doing the opposite will have an opposite (and negative) effect, so don't go there. Accept it with open arms!