You already know the numbers; 95% fail within 5 years, over 50% the first year. There are so many aspects to have in place to run and operate a successful business including, the foundation to your business, a specific niche, a great product, great marketing, a system in place, the best people…and so much more. No wonder it can be so difficult. Almost every great business success story is filled with challenges, struggle and almost failure. Almost failing and not failing are a night and day difference. Think of so many great business leaders and companies that almost failed, and turned things around. Steve Jobs coming back to Apple, the company he founded that fired him, Lee Iaccoca turning around Chrysler, Donald Trump and his own company with real estate. The biggest challenge to success in your business and life is not money, time, resources, connections, it is self-doubt.
When you have self-doubt at the start of your business or as years go by with your ability to lead, grow, overcome changes, innovate and succeed it is your biggest enemy. There are very few if any success stories where the leader was filled with self-doubt. If self-doubt creeps into your mind and daily operations of what you are doing to grow your business, the task is just about impossible.
I heard a great recent interview with Bill Walsh, know as “America’s Business Expert”, with Sharon Lechte, the co-author of the international bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. She is now focused on expanding the knowledge of Napoleon Hill’s principles and teachings around the globe in conjunction with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. As you know the famous book written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 was the first real success book of its time and today almost every successful entrepreneur has read or at least heard of it. Napoleon Hill wrote a second book in 1938, just after Think and Grow Rich, which was never published. It was considered too controversial by his family and friends. His wife even said, I do not want this book published in my life time. Napoleon Hill passed away in 1970 and his wife in 1984. This manuscript was given to the Napoleon Hill Foundation after his wife’s passing and was just recently published with the help of Sharon Lechter. The book is called, Outwitting the Devil, the Secret to Freedom and Success. You can see from the title why this book would have been a controversy even today, much less back in 1938. The book deals with the self-doubt and fear (from the Devil) that can prevent you from achieving true success. It helps you deal head on with your self-doubt and challenges you straight on that you are capable of success and overcoming any limitation! I just ordered the book myself after hearing this great interview and am looking forward to this amazing hidden treasure that is now available. There is even a “secret chapter” when you go to buy the book at their website, www.outwittingthedevil.com (what a great idea for a lead opt in, a “secret chapter”. The essence is that at some level we all battle self-doubt, I know I have many times over the last 16 years and to me there are a few key points to overcome self-doubt and move to success.
- Recharge your identity with powerful “I am” statements. Not the negatives ones that cause self-doubt like, “I am not a good marketer, I am broke, I am technology challenged….but to replace that instead with, “I am successful, I am a great leader, I am wealthy (you have a body that would cost over $6 million dollars to recreate if possible), I am a great decision maker, I am energetic, I am a great marketer…Say this every morning as you wake up and own your new identity. This is a great strategy I was reminded of this recently while watching Joel Osteen (that guy is inspired and inspiring).
- Develop short and long term goals. Map out your future. Yes, you may have done this three or four years ago but do it now again. Once you map out your future and goals and get very clear on them the flood gates will open! Self-doubt is usually closely related to unclear or changing goals. If you are flip flopping that will create challenges. Map out your top 3 personal and business goals in the next 90 days. Then do it for the next 12 months and three years. Stick with the top 3 goals for now. Now you will need to take the steps to develop what action steps will you need to accomplish your top 3 goals 90 days from now, 12 months and three years from now. At each action step I would recommend you develop a SMART goal for it. That stands for the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Once you take the time, maybe an hour to map out your goals and get really clear on your vision of where you want to be in the next 1, 2 and 3 years things will start happening in your life!
- Practice the pattern of high self esteem. In essence you want to focus on a self-to-self comparison, not comparing yourself to others which creates low esteem and adds to self doubt. How you do that is to focus on an improvement since last week in any area of your business or personal life. It should be small chunks and in short periods of time. You might say, “The improvement I made in joint ventures since last week is ______________.”
- Focus on daily objectives. Set your top 6 priorities each day that will lead to the most productivity in your business and an amount of time allocated for each one. Work on your priorities in order and do not allow (unless an emergency) any interruptions. Stay focus on each task at a time. That will help manage your time and give you the feeling of productivity which will lead to more confidence and self-doubt.
- Join a master mind group of successful leaders. A mastermind group, properly established will help you stay focused on your goals to grow your business plus help to hold you accountable. Especially if you are the owner of the business by yourself with no one else to be accountable to it really helps to be a part of a master mind group.
Take some small action today in each of the 5 steps and establish SMART goals to help you establish more confidence in your business and less self-doubt. The key is action now in the moment for your success in life and business!