How to build confidence as an entrepreneur

While confidence and communication skills may come easy to some, others may have to work on it

How to build confidence as an entrepreneur

Most business owners are swamped with day-to-day tasks such as managing inventory, supply chain, product development, recruiting talent and many more. But what do all these tasks have in common? They require you to be an effective communicator. Communication is crucial for business success. As a business owner, it is important to be confident and lead a team of people to take your company to greater heights. Therefore, it is essential to build good communication skills to pivot the challenges your business may face in the long run. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, communication is still fundamental when speaking to customers, suppliers, investors and even building connections at networking events. Communication and negotiating skills come hand in hand and are part and parcel of being an effective salesperson. Arti Halai, former television presenter for ITV News and BBC now turned entrepreneur & investor took to the stage at Day 2 of Elite Business Live to speak about the importance of communication. Arti emphasised the need for business owners to develop strong communication skills to navigate the complexities of business and achieve success. 

How do you manage a team of people effectively? Conflict is a natural part of life – but also in business. Disagreements will happen in a team regardless of how much you try to mitigate the issues at hand. It’s not so much about avoiding conflict but handling it well. Arti said: “It’s not about the conflict. That’s a given in business, it’s about how you manage that conflict. There’s always one difficult person in every business who doesn’t get on with the others or is just a bit different. That person also tends to be a shining star who has a skill set and strengths. As the leader, it is your job to give them the sources or the tools to help them change their behaviour. If they don’t, then you have a difficult decision to make further down the line.” 

How do you build confidence in yourself as a business leader? Know your self-worth and build on your expertise. When you know what you’re doing, you’re likely to have an innate sense of belief in your message. Confidence comes from knowing your skill set and ability, Arti said. “The first type of confidence is self-value,” she added. “Now self-value is very much around knowing your purpose, knowing what you want. How confident are you within yourself? How much do you put yourself worth for yourself?” Working on your physical appearance can also help build your confidence. Not only that, dressing the part will allow you to exude charisma and carry yourself gracefully in a room. First impressions do matter after all, Arti said. “Physical appearance is really important. Whether we like to admit it or not, we make judgements of people within the first couple of seconds we see them. If I’m standing here with spikey pink hair, I think you’d see me in a very different light. Physical appearance is also taking care of your health and paying attention to what you’re wearing.” 

It is important to be confident in social settings. Networking is a key aspect of business, and being comfortable in a room full of people will allow you to build more connections, make a good first impression and gain contacts in your industry. Focus on positive feedback rather than negative feedback, Arti said. Having an optimistic outlook is essential in business. Choose to listen to the cheerleaders in your circle rather than the naysayers, but also learn how to take constructive criticism on the chin. “We have to learn to be kinder to ourselves,” Arti said. “Sometimes we’re very good at holding on to the negative stuff. If you want feedback from someone, they’ll give it to you. If out of 100 people, 90% have said you were great, we sometimes tend to still hold on to those who said the bad stuff. We’ve got to get better at taking the lessons from the negative feedback but really focus and hold on to what the majority said. “Warren Buffett says it takes 20 years to build your reputation and five minutes to lose it,” Arti said. So, reputation in business is everything.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj
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