How to face a challenge with confidence – an ominous title if ever I saw one! I write this as I face what will possibly be the biggest challenge of my life. On the 1st of September 2017 I will pick up the keys to my first retail store – it’s a dream come true!
The path that has led to this point has been fun, exciting and interesting but also long and difficult with many moments of frustration and self-doubt. My faith in the project and desire to accomplish something kept me going through those challenging times but I’d be lying if I pretended that I’m feeling 100 per cent confident about what happens next.
Getting the keys to the store is just stage 2 of the project – first came the creation of a brand and an online presence – getting the keys is still only the beginning! So as I prepare to face the challenges that will undoubtedly follow, I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on the brilliant advice that kept me going.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
When decided to pursue my dream to become a business owner I felt liberated, I often referred to the feeling as ‘jumping off the edge’. I had finally decided to follow my instincts and although I was scared of what would happen I felt exhilarated.
Right now I feel more like I am free-falling, there is so much admin to do, so much to learn. I have no experience in retail besides a weekend job in Woolworths, remember them? I have ordered and paid for stock and don’t have a clue whether anyone will actually buy any of it. I’m not entirely in control and it’s frightening but I know it’s the right thing to do.
My friend Lisa from The Wentworth Collective said to me recently ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and those words have been ringing in my ears ever since.
Confidence boosting tips
Take time to asses the facts and prioritise – I am guilty of worrying about EVERYTHING in equal measure then becoming overwhelmed. This is usually followed by a mild panic attack and a head buried firmly in the sand. It’s not a great way to be and it certainly isn’t productive but I have found that writing things down and making a plan can be really effective.
You could use a fancy time management matrix but a simple list of urgent and non-urgent tasks will suffice. The key here is to really (and I mean REALLY) question the urgency or importance of each task.
Know yourself, know your stress triggers – following on from the previous point, invest the time in yourself. Reflect on your stress triggers and the resulting feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. For me, it’s a lack of organisation. If I don’t have a plan and my environment isn’t in order, I rapidly become stressed and feel out of control.
Take action – this has to be the most popular piece of advice I have received since I began to pursue my dream to become a business owner. It really struck a chord with me when I attended Big Small Business earlier this year. The best thing to do when you are feeling insecure and daunted is to take action. It might not be perfect but you are being proactive and taking small positive steps will lead to success.
Reflect, research, take action
Research, learn and don’t be afraid to ask for help – it’s my favourite tip because I personally believe that when you know your stuff you can get stuff done. Know what I mean?
So whether you are facing a personal or career challenge knowing the facts and gathering the information you need will equip you with the confidence you need to take it on. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, most people will help if they can and there is zero shame in asking. We’re all human.
Be flexible – nothing ever stays the same and things rarely work out exactly the way we planned so be prepared to accept a different outcome to the one that’s in our head and be open to suggestions, new opportunities and ways of working. You might just be pleasantly surprised.
Remember how far you have come and appreciate what you have because we are all our own kind of awesome!
Tailor Made Living is a lifestyle store where you can shop and enjoy good coffee and cake. We will also be offering an exciting program of events including creative workshops and inspiring talks. We will be an online shop soon too, so stay tuned for updates!
Opening for business on Monday 4th September, find us here
Find more confidence-boosting tips here
With thanks to Needle for providing the beautiful knitwear.
Photography – Sarah Lou Francis