3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed


Today we have a guest post from Antoinette Oglethorpe.  Antoinette  specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com

3 ways you can develop the confidence you need to become self-employed

To move successfully into self-employment you need to believe in yourself, your capability and your ability to make things happen.  In essence, you need to know you can make it a success whatever happens.

No-one is going to be totally self-confident all the time.  As a very successful business man once said “If things are going really well you can’t get over-excited because you’re not a genius; but if things get difficult you can’t get too downhearted because you’re not a fool either”

Sometimes the biggest risk is doing nothing and without risk there is likely to be no reward.

Here are 3 ways you can use a simple 1 to 10 scale to develop the confidence you will need to become self-employed.

  1. Personal reflection.  Thinking about a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is that you have total confidence you can make a success of self-employment and 1 is no confidence at all, where would you put yourself today?  Now the typical inclination of most people is to then focus on all the reasons they’re not at 10.  Instead of that, I’m going to suggest that you think about all the things that put you as high as you are – however high that is – and not lower.  What knowledge do you have that will help?  What skills do you have that will help?  What experience do you have that will help?  What aspects of your personality will help?  What other transitions have you made in your life in the past?  What helped in those cases?
  1. Feedback from others.  Think about all the feedback you have had from others – friends, family, colleagues, and previous bosses.  What do other people know and say about you that gives you confidence?  Ask them for their honest answers to the above questions.
  1. Focus on small steps.  Focussing on trying to get to 10 can have the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to achieve.  It can seem such a far way off that it paralyses and demotivates you.  So don’t worry about 10 for now.  Instead, think about what would be different if you were just one point higher up the scale.  Would you have developed a particular skill? Would you have obtained feedback from other self-employed individuals?  Would you have researched your business idea or something else?   What needs to happen to increase your confidence by one point?  What small first steps could you take to move towards that?

By thinking about what’s already giving you confidence, getting feedback from others and focussing on small steps you can break it down to some immediate, manageable actions that you can take to make progress.

Antoinette Oglethorpe specialises in helping business leaders and professionals take control of their careers and realise their ambitions. Her special report on “How to become self-employed confidently & successfully” is available at www.takingtheplungeseries.com.

Leadership, the Lone Worker and Getting Things Done

Cartoon of the big bad wolf reading a bedtime ...

Many moons ago when I was a manager in a large organization.  I had a fearsome reputation for getting things done! I choose my words carefully here and, yes, fearsome is the word.

Dictionary definition: fearsome – causing or capable of causing fear!

Yes, I was very well-known for achieving but most of it had a lot to do with volume (of voice) and not value!

Over the years I learnt more about leadership and that true leadership is about vision and valuing both those you lead and those for whom you are delivering.  There was very little to be gained by aggression or an aggressive style of leadership.

I learned as well about project management and that even the achievement of simple tasks can often benefit from a little analysis and planning.

When I moved on from management and into management consultancy, what surprised me, as much as the general lack of leadership, was a lack of delivery skills.

Simply – people did not  know how to manage getting things done and their goals achieved!

Well, we read all the time about the lack of leadership competence.

I suspect the complexity of modern organizations is probably far outstripping our ability to generate enough competent leaders.  If that is true it very worrying indeed.  But that is not why I’m writing today.

The lack of delivery skills, whether well–led or not, is even more frightening.

There lots of people around with great ideas.  They have vision, energy and enthusiasm and they may well have great leadership ability.  If they manage to find themselves in organizations that can support them, they will lead their teams to deliver great things.  But they can founder, if they cannot work in environments that support them in that way.

If you work alone or in a very small organization then you have to be both a thoroughly competent leader and a good manager.  Now what do I mean?  Surely when you work alone you don’t need leadership and management skills.

Sorry but I think you do!  You need to be able to articulate a vision for yourself that will motivate you to commit to the task ahead.  It needs to set-out in enough detail for you to plan the tasks you will need to do if you are to turn your vision into reality.

Then you need to plan, manage and check your project through until you deliver and enjoy the benefits.

Quite a challenge isn’t it!  If you need any help please get in touch I have lots of tips to pass on.  I will be very happy to share with you the lessons I learned the hard way when I decided that fearsome wasn’t the best leadership style I could adopt!

Wendy Mason works as a Coach,Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

  • Taking Your First Steps in Leadership (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Leader, Leadership and Leadership Styles (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Leaders versus Managers – I think not! (wisewolftalking.com)

Self Employment and A request from Dave

Dear Wendy

Dave has written me a new letter and he has a request. His letter is below.  You can find out more about Dave and the background to his letter on his page. So the next few posts here are going to be for those contemplating self employment.

“Dear Wendy

As you know I didn’t get the school administrator’s job.  I was very disappointed at first but applying for it and going for interview was a useful experience and it has helped me to clarify what I really want to do next.

When I first retired I thought I would prefer to do something different rather than seek another similar middle management post and now I feel sure that that really is what I want to do.  I’m thinking about becoming a self employed computer skills teacher and trouble shooter.   I have the technical skills and my personal relationship skills have always been one of my strengths.  I’ve got a lot more work to do to identify the market etc but I think it is a realistic proposition.

I know your blog is mainly aimed at people looking for work in the private or voluntary sector but I wondered whether you had any advice to offer for those thinking about self employment, as I am.