But for the most part the people that I meet and work with in Creative Hive are people who at some levels suffer from confidence issues.
I am that same way. My own self-esteem definitely got in the way of my Tiny Hands business. I remember a time when this was such a big problem and that specific tipping point for what made me realize that I have a problem and need to fix it.
At some point it was certainly getting in the way of my business and preventing me from achieving the success I wanted to get.
That specific moment was a few years ago with Tiny Hands. I was emailed by a really big online retailer, really cool store that I didn’t aspire to sell on, but when I got the email from them I was definitely very excited.
They emailed me to say they were interested in selling some of my designs on their website and that they wanted to buy some of my stuff for wholesale.
They asked me a bunch of questions.
They asked me if I had testing certificates done, if I have safety standard procedures figured out for my jewelry, and all of these big questions I had no idea how to answer because I made my products because I loved making things. I didn’t really start out Tiny Hands thinking I was going to turn it into a business, so I didn’t think about all of these things, but they made me.
Picture this, I was like a deer caught in the headlights. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I didn’t want to ask for clarifications or ask them to explain what these things meant.
I was so afraid that they would judge me, think that I was small potatoes, and I was afraid they wouldn’t want to do business with me if I asked them to clarify. Because I was that deer caught in the headlights, I avoided responding to that email for about a week.
That is such a big no-no, because in this day and age everyone is connected to their email. People expect you to have a less than 24 hour turnaround time, and I didn’t respond in more than seven days. At that point it started eating up at me thinking that I probably lost the deal already.
At that time I was meeting up with a mastermind group that I was a part of locally, so I brought it up to my girlfriends and asked what to do and if they had any idea how to test your products.
They didn’t have answers for me because they had a more objective perspective on what was going on.
What they could see is that my problem wasn’t that I didn’t know anything about testing procedures, it was more the fact that I was so afraid of what they would think if I were to write back that I didn’t have what they wanted.
They recommended that I see a therapist which from the culture and where I come from if you have to see a therapist you are cray cray!
For a while I thought I was broken, crazy, and someone needs to fix me.
I did see a therapist for about two years and we worked on my self-esteem and confidence issues and she has helped me so much. That’s one of the ways you can fix your confidence – see a therapist!
After two years we had broken down so many of my internal barriers and demons and shaped me into a much better person. If you have the option to talk to a therapist, I highly recommend you go talk to one that is more knowledgeable in the realm of self-esteem.
Here are other ways to build your confidence, because it wasn’t just a therapist that helped me break through my own barriers. It was a combination a lot of different things I learned through reading books, listening to TED talks, and through just having being there and done that.
I want to share with you 4 other ways on how you can build your own confidence:
You need to find some ways to cope with it, because there’s no way to just get rid of it and I don’t think people who experience self-esteem issues will ever get rid of those nagging thoughts, but it will at least stop being such a hindrance.
- Confidence comes from doing. I didn’t come up with this myself, it was a really great article that I read from Mindy Kaling (she’s great in The Office). There is really no way around building confidence. It’s the same as if you’re trying to learn how to cook. You don’t feel confident if you don’t know what you’re doing, but the more that you try and the more mistakes you make, the more you’ll know what’s going on and that confidence will build over time.One thing I will say is, practice trusting your gut. A really silly way my self-esteem issues bled into my personal life was, every time I went out to a restaurant with my friends, family or someone I was meeting for the first time, I was always the last person to order the food. The way I thought about it was that it was a matter of life and death. It seemed like such an important decision, but what is the worst that could happen? Trust your gut! Learn to listen to what your heart, your mind, and your body are telling you and just go with it. What is the worst that can happen? Nothing you do is irreversible (to an extent)!
- If you believe in the work that you do and believe it can help people in some way, you can fake it until you make it. If nobody has bought from you before, that doesn’t mean your products aren’t great. You market your business knowing that it’s great and that it’s a big deal!This was a big struggle when I started Creative Hive, because as you know in terms of the timeline I started Tiny Hands in 2006, but I only started Creative Hive in 2015. When I started Creative Hive, you would think that having built such a big audience with Tiny Hands I would have a big audience of eyeballs that I could just tell to check out my new business. It really don’t work that way because they’re separate businesses. I had to start from scratch and start a new Twitter account. I would tweet about blog posts, but nobody would see it or some to my page. That’s just how it is when you get started, but that doesn’t mean what you have isn’t good. You need to keep believing that what you’re doing IS good work and that will help you gain traction over time.
- If you’re selling anything and you suffer from low self-esteem price low in the beginning. I know a lot of other teachers are going to hate me for this, because everyone out there says you have to price higher and yes, I think everyone is undercharging, but here’s the thing. Confidence comes from doing. If you haven’t sold anything you are going to feel like your products are crap. In order to start building that confidence you need to make it easy for people to buy your stuff. Make your prices fairly lower in the beginning so more people can afford to buy it. Once you know a lot of people love your products, raise your prices. Once you keep making more sales, then raise your prices again and keep doing that until you reach the price point that you want to ultimately be at.
- Stop worrying about that people think. I know it’s easier said than done, but one thing I’ve learned from being online for a long time and experiencing quite a bit of a pushback from other people, is that when people judge you and think that you’re doing something the wrong way it’s almost always because of a failure on their part or a reflection of a flaw they have. Someone can have a very bad day completely unrelated to you and they will take it out on you. Just know that it’s almost always not your problem, but it’s other people projecting their life onto you.
If you want to expand on this conversation or have any questions, I would love for you to head over to Creative Hive VIP – that is a link to my private Facebook group and I would love for you to be a part of that. Head on over there and lets talk more about self-esteem!
Thank you for listening!
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