I always used to think that people who started their own business must be naturally confident. They must be natural entrepreneurs with the communication skills to match. I reasoned that anyone with the confidence to start their own business must have the confidence to talk to anyone.
Then I started my own business. I didn’t do it because I want to take over the world. I don’t even mind if I never become a millionaire. Although it would be nice. The real reason I started my own business is because I want to earn my living doing the thing I love best. Most of the other business owners I’ve met in that time are exactly the same.
I’m not quite at the point where I can talk to anyone, but I’m getting there. Here’s how.
Being a business owner is amazing
During my first few months of self-employment I was mostly astounded that I’d actually done it. I’d talk to anyone and everyone about my new venture. It was simply amazing to me that when people asked what I did I could say “I’m a writer”.
The novelty might wear off, especially when times get tough. But when I’m having a rough day I remind myself of how far I’ve come. That I’ve done what millions dream of but might never do. It’s a great confidence booster.
Remember your why
Every successful business owner I’ve met has a strong sense of why they do what they do. You might be motivated by your personal circumstances or a love of your craft. I started my business because I love writing but there’s more to it than that.
I can just about talk to anyone about my business because over time I’ve developed a clear idea about the ways I can help people. If you’ve found yourself talking about your own skills and talent you’ve probably also seen people glaze over. The fact is that the people who’ll do business with you are the ones who appreciate what you can do for them. When that aligns with your favourite subjects, everyone wins.
How to talk to anyone
If talking to new people finds you clamming up with nerves, you’re not alone. In the early days of my business I’d find myself wittering on about what I do, what I did before and what a big change it all was. When an attack of nerves struck I’d either hide in a corner with my coffee or offer a half mumbled response if anyone asked what I did.
It might seem horribly cheesy, but a thirty second elevator pitch can be a great start. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, in fact mine seems to change a bit every time. You can talk about your products or services in a general way or tell people about your niche. It doesn’t have to be formal either. You’re the one talking about your business so you can say whatever you like. You might feel as if you’re writing a script but it helps you to talk to anyone about your business. If the conversation flows from there, great. If not, you’ve got your message across and can move on with confidence.
Do you have an elevator pitch? Leave me a comment and let me know. If you’re feeling confident, make a video and visit my Facebook page to share.
If you need some professional support or coaching, Delphinus tmc offer personal and business coaching to help you perform at your best.