Confidence is the most beautiful thing you can possess

During this series of articles, I am highlighting the passions, visions, and missions of young Pacific entrepreneurs and how they are turning these into sustainable and resilient businesses with the hope that these stories will inspire others! It is a privilege and a pleasure to be working with these young people and I want to thank them for helping to keep me young too!

Starting any business will be challenging and it will challenge you – your insecurities and lack of confidence will come to the surface and will have to be dealt with.

Confidence comes from discipline and training. The more you can learn and the more you can prepare, the more confident you will be.

Everyone who starts a business, for the first time especially, is on a journey into the unknown and that will be challenging for the strongest of us. Here are a few things to practice helping you become more confident.

Try to spend time with people who have a positive view of life – who see the glass as half full not half empty – because that will encourage you to do the same.

When confronted with a problem start to think about what you can do, not what you cannot do! Decide what help you need to help you solve it.

As we discussed in the last article seek help from others who have been on the journey before you and seek out people who will give you a good listening to! Too many people like the sound of their own voice. Practice listening to those around you, at home or work, and see how much you will grow from the simple act of listening to others! The more you are listened to the more you will be understood and the more you listen to others, the more you will understand therm.

Simple things like better time management and getting prepared for the day ahead will help you to be less stressed and therefore more confident.

Remember that confidence is catching, but so is lack of confidence! If you can, spend time with other confident people.

In Vanuatu, the Chamber of Commerce has a life coach who will help you explore these issues.

All over the Pacific, young entrepreneurs come together to develop their ideas and to learn – as they do this their confidence is growing. Recently I watched 15 young entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of experienced businesspeople. A Few weeks before none of them could do that. They had developed their own self-confidence by practice, by being with others, by planning, by sharing what they were passionate about and by being prepared.

Sometimes it is not the lack of ability or resources but the lack of confidence that prevents us from achieving what we really want. Sometimes it is doable, but self-doubt makes it impossible.

Interestingly, lack of confidence is something that is affecting most of us now as no-one knows what a post Covid future will look like. This is very natural – when things are unknown, and the future is uncertain then of course self-doubt will creep in.

Now is the time to focus on what you are good at. Remind yourself of your strengths and achievements. If you can reach, pat yourself on the back and say well-done! This is something that we are often not particularly good at. We focus on our weaknesses and failings and remind others of theirs! Let us practice changing that behaviour!

It is important to seek out people who will help you come to your own solution because after have solved a problem once, then you can do it again and again and show others the same path.

Starting and running small businesses will always be challenging. There will never be enough time to do everything. Life will get very frustrating especially when customers do not pay their bills on time or staff do not come to work or you feel overcome by paperwork. However, these things are not your fault and they happen to most of us – they can be overcome.

The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do. Swati Sharma

Next week I explore how young entrepreneurs need to be constantly searching for opportunities and thinking ahead.

Have a good week.

Please contact me if you have an interesting story to tell and are happy for it to be told.

Breadfruit Consulting (www.breadfruitconsulting.com) is a Vanuatu-based business providing advice, training, coaching, and mentoring to businesses throughout the Pacific islands. Breadfruit specialises in a range of business development activities including ‘business continuity planning and action’, helping businesses to survive in a crisis, designing and starting new, sustainable businesses. Contact chris@breadfruitconsulting.com or hazel@breadfruitconsulting.com

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