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What Is The Self-Employed Confidence Boost?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Confidence Self-employed Business

Becoming self-employed could be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it will probably be one of the most rewarding changes you'll make in your life.

Taking the leap to Become Self-Employed, and finally commit to that career change that you’ve been dreaming of for years, has so many positive knock-on effects that it’s hard not to be evangelical about it!

Beneficial Boost

One of the most beneficial bi-products of becoming self-employed is the confidence boost you'll get for doing something that most people only ever talk about. Of course, you have to be careful not to sound too self-congratulatory or smug, but a little bit of extra self-confidence never did anyone any harm.

The self-employed confidence boost comes from that feeling of doing something positive for yourself, and of being in charge of your own destiny far more than is possible as an employee. It can help you to deal with the inevitable difficulties of being self-employed, such as not having a boss to tell you what to do, and never being entirely sure where the next payment is coming from. But at least you learn to rely on your own intelligence and initiative.

Use Your Confidence

So how can you use this self-confidence boost to your best advantage, and how can you make sure that you don’t alienate your friends and family?

The best way to ensure that your increased self-confidence is a positive rather than a negative influence in your life is to harness the feeling and internalise it. Be aware of yourself and your actions, and allow yourself to be proud of what you have achieved. Even when you are in the very early stages of being self-employed, and well before you’ve started making a decent living, you need to be able to feel that positivity in order to convince clients and potential clients that you’re worth working with!

Internalising that feeling of confidence means that you will carry yourself and behave in a way that makes it easy for people to believe in you. After all, every self-employed person is just trying to prove that they’re the best person for the job, or the best supplier of a particular skill or product, so why shouldn’t it be you?

Allowing yourself to be in with a shout may sound obvious, but it is amazing how many people can talk themselves or their potential client out of using their services – and as a self-employed person this is tantamount to guaranteeing you have a failing business. Even if you’re incredulous to this suggestion and think you always put your best foot forward, it's worth mentioning that being confident is a sort of aura that attracts people to you. So even if you do have the best product or service, people won’t ‘feel’ like you have if you’re not confident.

When Is Confidence Cockiness?

So how can you make sure that your extra confidence translates well to your clients and potential clients? Self-confidence can so easily be misconstrued as arrogance, and for most British people this is not an attractive trait.

A good rule of thumb is to think about how much you are talking about yourself and how much you are listening to other people. You do have to be able to talk enough about your business or you’ll never be able tell people what you do, but you must find a good balance of talking and listening.

A second important detail to note is that you must not sound like you are criticising other people’s choices. You may think that by saying, "I’m so pleased I don’t work in an office anymore – my boss was driving me crazy!" sounds positive and light-hearted, but it can easily sound like, "You’re an idiot who still has to dance to your boss's tune," if said to someone that wishes they were doing what you’re doing.

Similarly, showing off about Your New Business and your new-found confidence can easily irritate people, rather than make them think you’re a positive go-getter. You're certainly allowed to say that you love your job and your new business, and that you’d be happy to work with someone that shares your passions. While it’s great to show that you care about what you do, just be aware that implied criticism really gets up people’s noses.

Government Schemes

Learn about the most recent schemes that are designed to help self-employed people in our article Government Help Scheme For Becoming Self-Employed.

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