Wright: Confidence-building tips for female entrepreneurs
Building a business can leave you feeling lonely.
Week after week, through all the ups and downs, you start to doubt yourself. You’re tempted to give up. When you’re frustrated, maybe you sign up for a webinar or pick the most recent bestselling book on productivity or buy a new tool that will help you improve your marketing funnel.
But most of the time, there’s a problem beneath your problem. If you’re being honest, you simply don’t believe you have what it takes. You need confidence. As business owners and creatives and makers, we need confidence more than we need the latest best practice or new branding or better data. Because confidence gives us the drive to keep getting out of bed to go at it again. Confidence gives us courage to take risks. Confidence gives us endurance for the long haul.
So, where do we find confidence? Let me answer that question with a story from an article I read a couple years ago. Hyejun Kim, an Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctorate candidate, did a massive research project studying over 400,000 knitters (yes — as in sweaters, scarves and blankets). She wanted to find out who in this group had the courage to turn their hobby into a business. What set the entrepreneurs apart?
Here’s what she found: women who joined an in-person social crafting group were 25% more likely to start their own businesses. The secret to their confidence — and entrepreneurial success, in general — lies in community.
Community gives us tons of tactical knowledge for growing our businesses. More than that, community provides support. We get encouragement to keep going when things get tough. We get validation that our product or service is important. We get creative ideas, a fresh perspective and wisdom from people who are striving after the same goals we are. Community gives us the opportunity to look other women in the eye and hear them share the same doubts and fears and questions we have. There’s so much power in realizing, “Hey, I’m not the only one.”
No matter where you are in your journey as a business owner, make community your top priority today. Connect with entrepreneurs both inside and outside your industry. You’ll benefit from having a wide variety of perspectives and experiences. Find groups online, on social networks or through in-person events.
And if you can’t find a community that already exists in your area of interest, start one. You’re an entrepreneur, after all!