There is one little word holding so many ladies just like you and I back from achieving so many great things. That word is confidence.
That one little word came up time and time again in questions I’ve asked around what is holding women back from getting started in their own freelance businesses.
Many of the women I have been speaking to have told me that the major reason that they have yet to start their own business is a lack of confidence, so today I wanted to confront this issue head on and talk to you about why you should have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Why you should have confidence in your abilities
You have done so many things in your life that have brought you to this point. You’ve had jobs, you’ve had life experiences, you might have gone to university or done others type of training and education. You know A LOT of stuff. And you’ve been doing that stuff and putting those skills into practice for a LONG time. In fact, I would hazard a guess that by now you know more that many people in your industry do, possibly more than some of the people you’ve worked for!
Some of you will have years of work experience up your sleeve. Some of you will have 17 pages of references in your CV from people saying how amazing you were to work with. Some of you might have published articles or books in your area of work. You are freaking awesome at what you do and you need to start believing it!
I feel like so much of the time we focus on all the things that we don’t know (the gaps in our knowledge or skill base) that we lose sight of all the things that we are good at, and that we can offer to the world as a freelancer. You don’t need to know everything, but you do have an amazing set of skills in whatever it is that you do and there is someone out there right now who needs your particular set of skills.
There is someone somewhere right now who needs YOUR skills
There is no one on this earth just like you, and that my friends is why you should have the confidence to step out into the world and share your skills. There is no other human on earth who has exactly the same experiences, knowledges and skills that you have. You (yes YOU) have the ability to share those skills with the world and by doing so to help other to solve their problems and improve their lives.
There may be people who have more letters after their names, or more certificates on their walls, but no other human knows all the things that you know and can share that knowledge and those skills with the world. And I can tell you that right now that there is someone in this world (more than likely, multiple someones) who is sitting at their desk right now wondering where on earth they can find someone to help them do what you do.
How to grow your confidence as a freelance mama
1. Look at your skills
Take some time later today (or now) to sit down and brainstorm your skills, experience and achievements.
Have a look at your CV and write down anything great you have on there, look at any old reference letters or testimonials you have, look on your Linked In page and see what people have endorsed you for, make a list of all of the jobs you have done in your lifetime and jot down any certificates, trainings or courses that you have done (including any that you didn’t necessarily get a fancy certificate for (e.g. on online course you did about how to be a social media superstar might not give you a degree, but probably did give you some awesome knowledge and skills).
If you are struggling (I know how hard it can be trying to write down how brilliant you are – this is something I’ve struggled with any time I’ve had to write a CV or cover letter), then go and make a few phone calls to people you know and have worked with. They will be able to give you some pointers on your areas of brilliance. Even if the only person you feel you can ask is your mum, give her a call! Your mum will no doubt have some great ideas about your wonderful talents (who cares if she’s a little biased, this is about building you up).
Once you have all of that information down on paper, I want you to take some time just to sit and look over it. Look at all the wonderful things you have done, the achievements you have made and the skills that you have. Pretty awesome right. Yes, that’s right…You my friend are pretty awesome.
Now give yourself a pat on the back and move on to putting your awesome self out into the world!
2. Put yourself out there
I honestly believe that one of the best ways for you to grow your own confidence is to get out there and take action. Taking action is scary. It means that you have to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and offer your services without knowing if there is anyone who will take you up on your offer. And sometimes they won’t. But sometimes they will. Often, they will. Sometimes they will even actively seek you out and ask you for your help. But you’ll never know until you try it.
If you’re not putting your idea out into the world and offering your skills for hire, you’re almost committing yourself to failure without ever having tried. This certainly will not help you to grow your confidence. But once you secure your first client and get your first pay cheque, you’ve proven to yourself (and to the world) that you have something to offer that someone will pay for and that in itself will help you to gain the confidence to keep going.
When I got my first big freelance gig my confidence was low. I’d taken a few hits doing some new things to try and earn money from home that hadn’t worked out so well for me, and it had also not been long since I’d left my corporate career behind. I wasn’t sure if I had the skills needed to be able to be really helpful to my prospective client and the area of law that she worked in wasn’t one in which I had previously had a lot of experience. But once we started working together, I came to realise that I could actually provide my client with a lot of help.
While I certainly didn’t know it all (and still don’t…hint…no one ever does), I was able to provide my client with a good quality service in an area where she needed the help of someone who had my skills. It was a win-win situation for both of us. And I would never have known this if I had never tried.
Kellie Dawson is a Mama Mentor, helping mums like you to find ways to freelance from home using the skills they already have. Kellie has two little boys aged 4 and 6, and it was her desire to be there for her boys that led her to quit her corporate job and build a work from home business. You can connect with Kellie on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thefreelancemama or follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thefreelancemama