PP 069: Kick Up Your Confidence
In this episode, I share how lacking confidence in my business cost me clients and money, and why it’s important to ask for what you want – even if the response is “No.”
When I started my business in 2012, I started it on Elance, if you haven’t already heard the story. My husband and I need a little bit of extra money, and I saw my two options – as working at a gas station, third shift after working my full time day job or – starting a freelance business from home. Seeing as I wasn’t going to be making much more than $7.50 an hour working at a gas station, and also seeing that a lot of the competition in the Virtual Assistant Space was overseas contractors charging $3 an hour. I went in at $8 an hour. I must admit that a lot of this was because I had a great lack of confidence in my skills despite the fact that, I was college educated, had been working in offices for the previous ten years, and – I knew what I was doing. I put out a number of proposals on Elance. I won some work, and one of my very first clients actually said to me that – she almost didn’t hire me or even invite me to interview because, my rate was so low. She almost interpreted my low rate as meaning – I did not know what I was doing, and that I should be passed over for the next person. If you’re struggling in your business, and part of it is due to lack of confidence? I want you to look at yourself from an outside perspective. How is your lack of confidence portraying you – to your prospects? Also what type of work is your lack of confidence bringing in to your business? or If you don’t have your own business, what type of work are you able to secure because, you are lacking in the confidence area?
There’s a great difference between confidence and cockiness. You didn’t not need to be cocky when you’re confident. And for me it took a while to realize this – I could be self-assured in the skills and services that I offer to my clients without coming across – as if I have a big head, and I’m full of myself. I can energetically share ideas, and show prospects in clients that – “I know what I’m doing, and I’m excited about what I’m working on”. And while this shows that I’m confident in my skills, it does not come across as: “I think I’m better than you, and I need a crown on my head” In 2015 so, three years after I started my business, I was still actually struggling in the confidence area, while my virtual assistance rates had raised significantly. I found myself as an “Infusionsoft Certified Partner” under undercharging for my services because; once again I was not confident in the services that I was providing. To give you an idea of what this looks like “Infusionsoft Certified Partners” often charge anywhere from $150 to $250 an hour if not more. And at that time I was charging $50 an hour, while I was getting a ton of work due to this low rate. I wasn’t necessarily getting the work that I was looking for. What ended up happening was that I put out a number of proposals, and so many were accepted that I ended up having to hire help to help me fill these jobs.
Unfortunately the team I had to build cost me nearly everything that was coming into the business for that work. At the end of the year, I ended up paying some of my contractors more than I paid myself just because, that lack of confidence was there. While I don’t believe that everything in my business revolves around money. Let me tell you – having more confidence in myself, in my services and then the investment that my prospects need to make into my services hasn’t done anything to diminish the number of leads and prospects and work that my business has. In fact it’s done quite the opposite. The more people see that I’m confident in my skills, the more work is refer to me, and I fully believe that the same could happen for you. The only person that you need to worry about is you. If you are in a service space industry, stop looking at your services as a commodity, and look at the value that you are offering to your clients. What is the value of that? How are you fulfilling their needs? Then turn them all around and look back at yourself with pride that – you are delivering upon those needs and expectations. When I was growing up my parents always taught me that the worst response I could get was a “NO”. So, what would be the point in not asking in the first place? If you have confidence in the services that you are offering then – go for what your heart is telling you. When you ask for the investment that you believe you are worth. The worst response you can get is “NO”. But at least you know that you’ve put yourself out there.
This goes well beyond prospects, and bringing work into your business as well. This podcast has actually provided a tremendous education in confidence building to me. I realize that each and every guest that I have on the show is a person just like me. While some of them are a lot further along in their business with a much larger audience – they’re still people. So, I do not need to be scared about sending a request for them to be a guest on the podcast. You may have heard me mentioned in earlier episodes that – I have not yet received a NO, the worst response that I have gotten is: “My schedules extremely full right now. Can you check back again later?”. I am so thrilled by those responses because, at least I put myself out there and I was open to the “YES” I want you to look at the objects that your desire today and fill yourself with confidence. Put yourself out there, and ask for what you want. You deserve whatever your heart is looking for. So go make it happen. Until the next episode, I hope you have a positive and productive day.