Conquering Confidence Killers for Small Business Success

Peggie Arvidson-Dailey

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"The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear". - William Jennings Bryan

Whether you're generally a self-confident person, or someone continually plagued by self- doubt, you'll recognize some of these confidence killers if you:

  • Are overly dependent on the thoughts or opinions of others;

  • Avoid meeting new people because you're afraid you won't fit in, be liked, or be accepted;

  • Focus on unrealistic expectations ("I must do each job perfectly"; “If one person is unhappy then I have failed");

  • Have an ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude;

  • Pay heed to the internal and external naysayer;

  • Use the word SHOULD most often in relationship to your business;

  • Assume that if you don't get the client, they didn't like you;

  • Assume that you must be as talkative, outgoing, friendly, smart, old, young, educated, attractive, as someone else in order to succeed;

  • Avoid implementing new ideas because they may not work;

  • Can recount all your shortcomings each day.

    Bankers will tell you that businesses fail because of lack of money. I assert that lack of money can be traced, in part, to a lack of confidence. As a trainer, motivator and a coach I see first hand the affect that confidence has on an individual's or a group's success. By and large confidence grows from each small success that an individual takes towards reaching a goal. That is why I ask you to focus so much on goals and visions! When you know where you're going, you're going to gather the tools and information you need to reach your destination.

    Your Turn - Prepare to overcome your fear.

  • Make a list of your personal confidence killers. Be as concise as possible.

  • Now make a list of ways that preparation can help you overcome your confidence killer.

  • Take the steps you outlined in section 2 above and write out solutions to your confidence killers.

    Lifestyle and mindset.

    1. Who do you know that is successful or exudes self-confidence? What are the specific attributes they have that contribute to your perception of them? Write down those attributes and find ways to incorporate them into your daily routine.

    2. Find a mentor or a coach whose goal is to see you succeed

    3. Say goodbye to the ‘naysayers’ in your life. Likely you have one or two people who tell you that “you'll never make money walking dogs, " or something similar. At this point in your career, ignore them. They may motivate you to prove them wrong, but spending too much time with people who don't believe in you and your goals is a major confidence killer. Ask them to keep their thoughts to themselves or move on without them.

    4. Become self-aware. Pay attention to the ways in which you talk to yourself. Are you constantly putting yourself down, or saying you're sorry? Stop it! You are the best YOU possible! What you can provide to your customers and their pets is unparalleled!

    5. Commit to learn. Is your confidence killer public speaking? Then enroll in a Toastmasters Group or sign up for an adult education course on public speaking. You'll meet new people who are struggling to overcome the same confidence killer you are - and you'll thrive on each small success - both theirs and yours. Whatever your Confidence Killer is - educate yourself to overcome it!

    6. Look the part. If your confidence waivers because you think you look too young or too old (or too something else) to run a business, then find ways to look the part you want to play. If you doubt that you would believe YOU as a business owner, ask yourself why. When you've determined what your concerns are, find ways to address them by either altering your dress, your presentation or your phone demeanor. Looking the part is not being fake-it's putting the best you possible forward. While it's an unscientific study, I do know that I scored better on tests in college when I was showered and neatly dressed for the exam!

    7. Have some fun. It's your business and you are good at it so why not enjoy it and compliment yourself for all the things you do well? When you have fun, everyone will assume you are self-confident and happy and they will want to be with you!

    "Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. " - Norman Vincent Peale

    Peggie Arvidson-Dailey is the founder of Pet Care Business University and the Pet-Care Business Success System™. She is the author of several articles on small business success and has been radio guest on “This Week in Small Business” on the topic of Customer Satisfaction. As a trainer and coach she has helped people across the country create and build the pet-care business of their dreams. Visit for more information.

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