The art of getting what you want

Believing in yourself and having confidence is the foundation to success

The art of getting what you want

Having confidence in yourself is fundamental in the world of business. As a business owner or entrepreneur, confidence plays an essential role across different aspects of your business, allowing you to face obstacles head-on, win people over and ensure success of your venture. However, gaining confidence is often easier said than done. With all the challenges of growing a company, self-doubt and uncertainty can creep in. Alison Edgar MBE, motivational speaker, businesswoman & TV Boardroom Adviser for Amazon Prime, took to the stage on Day 2 of Elite Business Live to speak about the importance of having self-belief and resilience as you grow your business. 

“Anybody that runs their own business knows that to be able to sell it, you need passion and belief in what you do or what your product does,” Alison told the audience. “The day that you stop believing in your business is the day you can’t sell.” Alison spoke about her career journey transitioning from sales to becoming a speaker, and how she struggled with feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty. “I had to move myself from talking about sales to speaking about personal development, which was hard because I’d never read a personal development book. There are loads of speakers that are in business, every single one of us has got competition. How can I do things differently? How would I stand out?” 

Imposter syndrome is common among great entrepreneurs. Alison talked about overcoming fears and self-doubt, and how that was integral to gaining the confidence she needed to excel. Don’t listen to the negative voices in your head and push through the noise, Alison said. “And that’s where overcoming phobia and imposter syndrome is important,” she added. “Why would they want to hear from me? That voice in your head, saying that you’re not good enough, not clever enough, not smart enough. That will always be there, well for me at least. Especially in the early stages. But you have to push through the noise.”

Sometimes, it’s not about big changes but the small wins that will help you build confidence. The fear of failure can keep entrepreneurs from realising their fullest potential and even hold back from opportunities to avoid that risk altogether. Learn to face obstacles head on, even when self-doubt creeps in. “Sometimes you think, I can’t do this, that your dreams are not going to happen,” Alison said. “It’s about really having those conversations and just being yourself, be authentic. Now, I’m working with some of the biggest brands in the world including Adobe, Amazon, MetLife, and the list just goes on. Sometimes we don’t think we can achieve those goals. My mom was a cleaner. My dad worked in the shipyards. I was brought up in a council house, and I didn’t start a business until I was 46. It’s never too late to start a business, no matter where you come from.” 

Overcome barriers and embrace change. Change is an integral part of growth; however, it can be easier said than done. Make it a habit to get yourself out of your comfort zone and take action at any given opportunity. “How many people are still doing a New Year resolution?” Alison asked the audience. “And how do you carry on with your resolutions? Because it’s not easy to make a change. If you’re looking at change and doing things differently to hit your goals, there must always be a purpose. Why did you set that goal in the first place? And what is the reason behind that?” 

Alison was diagnosed with arthritis but decided to set herself a mission to complete a 5k run. Embracing change was a struggle as Alison had never run a mile in her life. “At one point, I had arthritis and was struggling to walk. I went to the doctor and got diagnosed. So, I decided to take up running, and I wanted to do a marathon. I thought I’d try couch to 5k. That’s going to be easy, isn’t it? It’s the same analogy as when we started our business, so I thought, I can do this. When I first gave it a go, I sat on the floor and I cried. I cried and I cried because I couldn’t run for a minute. And just like entrepreneurship and business, it’s not an easy ride. There are times when you’ll be on the floor crying. It’s what you choose to do next. I eventually did couch to 5k, then couch to 10k and finally completed my first half marathon.” Set a purpose-driven goal and take consistent action towards it, Alison said. With that, anything is possible.

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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