No matter how many years you are in business, you will experience a crisis of confidence from time to time. Whether it's negative feedback on social media, a snide remark at a show, or honest (but brutal) critique from a prospective wholesale buyer, things will happen that will cause you to second guess your ability to confidently lead your business.
As Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs, it's important to remember that these minor setbacks are part of the game. They may cause temporary grief, but that grief is quickly followed by progress when you recognize it as an opportunity for you to improve and grow.
If you are experiencing a crisis of confidence, try taking these steps to get back on track.
Own the issue
You cannot regain your confidence until you understand why you lost it. Review what happened. If you internalized a remark that you should have ignored, resolve not to allow that to happen again. If you gave negative feedback to much of your energy, don't let that happen again. If your product really does need improvement, make that happen.
Put the incident into perspective
In the scheme of things, whatever happened will soon give way to the next business challenge. When you are in the midst of the crisis, remember that “it came to pass.” At the end of the day, it's just a blip on a radar screen. It will not last. Even though you don't know how you'll get through it, you will get through it.
Put it behind you
Let it go. Do not hang onto it. Do not let it fester or cause you to be bitter or to shy away from your vision. Don't infect your future with disease from the past. You must look forward to your next opportunity, or it will pass you by.
Donna Maria, Indie Business Network
Focus on what you learned
What will you never do again so you can avoid the crisis of confidence in the future? If you can pinpoint that, you are golden.
Remember your “why”
Remember why you do what you do in the first place. Your “why” is your anchor. It will steady you when the worst of entrepreneurship tries to tear you down. You are the only person in the world who can fulfill your “why.” When you remember your “why,” your confidence automatically returns because no one else but you, in all your glorious imperfection, can make it happen.
Point your face forward. Do not look to the side to see what your competitors are doing. Do not look behind you to focus on the people trying to ride your coattails. Fix your eyes forward, and the future will come to you.
What do you do when you lose confidence? Where do you turn to restore the feeling that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.