There is a strange phenomenon around mother’s who have been on maternity leave.
Despite the fact that they have taken on the hardest job in the world – carrying a child, giving birth and surviving through the newborn months and severe sleep deprivation – they experience massive lack of self-confidence.
Perhaps it is the time away from the workplace and a feeling of isolation, perhaps it relates to how their body has changed or fear around how they will manage being an employee AND mother, perhaps it is because becoming a mother often makes you question how you are spending your time away from your child.
Whatever it is, it is real but it CAN be overcome.
In my Mumpreneur Coaching work one of the biggest things holding my clients back from starting their DREAM businesses is a lack of self-confidence.
They ask me (and themselves):
“can I really do it?” and “what if I fail” or “what if they think I’m an idiot”
Often our sessions centre around breaking through the fear that is holding them back rather than the practical work of defining their business idea or launching their business.
Through my coaching work and my own experience taking the leap of faith to create my dream Mumpreneur business I have found ways to overcome these fears and regain self-confidence.
1. Positive Mindset – You need to continually tell yourself you can and believe it! If you are struggling with this then just ‘fake it to you make it’. By using positive affirmations you can retrain your brain to really believe that you can. Repeat to yourself every day “I am capable to do anything I put my mind to with brilliance and unbelievable success” (the shower is a good time to do this!)
2. Remind yourself of everything you have achieved whilst on maternity leave (or juggling family and work as a working mum) – when you sit down and think about everything you currently do and how you have gone through pregnancy, labour, sleepless nights for months on end, cranky toddlers, sick children, and possibly working at the same time. How can you not be impressed about how capable you are? Give yourself a pat on the back, you rock!
3. Start a business that you are completely and utterly passionate about – my experience is that if you are truly passionate about your business ideas you will not rest until it is wildly successful, your passion with be truly infectious and you will have people lining up for a piece of it.
4. Make sure your business is based around your strengths – if you start a business that plays to your strengths you will have far greater self-confidence because you will feel naturally capable in what you are doing. If you need help to determine your strengths the StrengthsFinder2.0 is a must read. When I was deciding on a career change I used StrengthsFinder to ensure that coaching was a natural fit to my strengths as well as something I was passionate about.
5. Talk to people about your idea – by this I don’t mean family and friends as they will either be blindly optimistic or feel threatened and try and dissuade. I mean talking to your target market for you business. Find out what they think of your idea, what their needs are and any ideas they have. This will help you to build a business concept that is viable which will in-turn increase your self-confidence.
6. Do not compare- you will have competitors. There will be some that have more experience or a better website or more clients. The golden rule is do not bring yourself down by comparing your business. Focus purely on how you can help people make their lives better and provide brilliant service.
7. Set small achievable goals – starting a business may feel extremely daunting but it does not have to happen overnight. I spent months planning and establishing mine and paid for things as I could afford them (and still do!). So sit down and break this big idea into small manageable chunks that are achievable, specific and exciting!
In my own business it would be very easy to get completely overwhelmed however I sit down each week and work out what I can do in a week to move my business one step forward. Over 6 months or a year this adds up to big achievements!
8. Ask yourself – what is the worst that could happen? So sure you could start your own business and perhaps it doesn’t become a brilliant success. Is that really time wasted? You will have learnt so many life and business skills that will propel you forward and perhaps you will start another business that really takes off?
9. Build a support network – Find a network of like-minded Mumpreneurs, female entrepreneurs or micro-business owners – often you can feel isolated as a Mumpreneur so it is really important to find a support network who can build you up when bouts of fear hit and you need someone to tell you to keep going.
I am part of an amazing community through Marie Forleo’s b-school but there are many other online business programs, the AusMumpreneur Network, Flying Solo Micro Business Community or my Facebook page where you can connect with like-minded individuals.
If you would like to start your own Mumpreneur Business but you need a little help and are feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information out there then please check out my Dream.Launch.Love E-Course & Mastermind designed for mums like you who want to start a business in a smart, cost effective way and do not have time to sift through tonnes of information. Let me help you do this the clever way!