If you’re going to launch your own venture as an entrepreneur, confidence is a must-have. But just because you have an amazing idea doesn’t mean that you also have the self-assurance to just go out and pitch your idea.
If you’re new to entrepreneurship, you’ll need to work on building your confidence as much as you’ll need to work on building many other skills. Confidence is crucial because it will help you to be more persuasive with investors and clients. Confidence will also make you a better decisionmaker, and your assuredness will make you both more assertive and more likeable.
Here’s how you can enter your next pitch meeting with all the confidence you deserve.
1. Ask for feedback
It seems counterintuitive: asking someone to tell you where you can improve might make many people feel less confident, not more. Feedback is a crucial tool for developing your skills. Whether you ask a friend to critique your elevator pitch or to edit your business plan, feedback helps you improve on any weaknesses. Even if it’s uncomfortable in the moment, you can feel better when the big moment arrives knowing that you did everything you could for a polished presentation.
2. Find a mentor
Sometimes just knowing that you have someone in your corner can be a huge boost to your confidence. While it’s nice to have a family member or friend’s support, a mentor is crucial for developing your entrepreneurial skills. Your mentor has been there, done that and can share lessons from along the way. Having someone to talk you through your toughest challenges and lowest lows can give you the confidence you need to make the right decision.
3. Acknowledge your wins
There’s no better way to build confidence than by proving to yourself that you have what it takes. Anytime you get a win – whether it’s settling on a logo or securing a big loan – take time to acknowledge your accomplishment. Better yet, track your accomplishments in a journal as they happen. This not only gives you something to look back on to remind yourself how far you’ve come, but also comes in handy when you need to prove to an investor, lender or client just how much your business has grown. Businesses don’t form as titans of industry; they are a culmination of several steps along the way.
4. Practice mindfulness
Even the most confident entrepreneurs with the strongest pitches experience self-doubt. It’s natural to wonder whether people will like your idea and if you’re doing the right thing. What separates successful entrepreneurs from those who gave up is their ability to push past their doubts. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to do just that. Mindfulness techniques like meditation, journaling and breathing exercises will help strengthen you mentally to acknowledge and overcome any feelings of self-doubt. Instead of letting doubt drive your decisions, you can dig deeper to better understand your fears and how to move past them.
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