I recently met with a young woman who was very eager to start her own hair product line. She’d had some success making products for friends, and was ready to go all in. She proudly showed me her business plan, professionally designed and bound. She pulled up her website, complete with a custom URL and beautiful photography. She handed me a business card, which was sleek and gorgeous. I looked up her social media accounts, which were already populated with fun and interesting posts.
I looked up from the phone and said, “You have it all together! How are you feeling about it?”
“I feel really good,” she replied. “I’ve worked hard to pull everything together that I need.”
“So how do you feel about YOU?” I asked. She gave me a puzzled look.
“Are you ready for the challenges of owning your own business?” I asked. “When times get hard, will you still feel worthy of success? That you deserve it?”
The look on her face told me she’d never asked herself any of these questions as it related to her business. But in reality, they’re the most important considerations you’ll make. You can have the best laid plans for your new enterprise, but at the core, your success lies in your self-worth.
What is self-worth?
Ultimately, self-worth is believing that you are deserving of happiness and fulfillment. While it seems like a basic premise, there are many who deep down don’t believe this, and they end up being sabotaged by their actions as a result. From a psychological perspective, all people want to feel worthy and loved, and we all take actions of various sorts to feel that. However, the problem often lies in when we don’t feel worthy, and we start to look toward external factors to get that validation. That can be a slippery slope, because we may quickly find ourselves making unhealthy choices in order to feel that need. People with high self-worth innately feel they’re deserving of success, love, joy and everything else that makes one happy. While external validation of that feeling is nice, it’s not necessary – they already know!
People with high-self worth also are able to create and maintain boundaries, understand and properly deal with their emotions, and see the positive in challenging times. High self-worth doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time, or never in conflict. On the contrary, people with high self-worth know how to roll with the punches and find the joy in it all.
So what does self worth have to do with business?
Stephanie Jiroch, CEO of BrandPsyche Strategies and creator of the StandOut Story Strategy, has coached a number of aspiring small business owners, and she notes the top issues facing most entrepreneurs is the belief that they are enough, and their inability to trust themselves.
“If your self-worth is low, you’ll rely too heavily on what makes other people happy, which is a recipe for disaster,” Jiroch said. “Giving yourself permission to pursue your passions, that big idea, or even certain strategies – that’s where success lies.”
Jiroch also notes that when new business owners feel they’re not enough, they also question their skills and abilities, which can stop people before they really even get started.
“The idea that you need to do more, study more, and gain more experience before launching is a lie,” Jiroch said. “Sometimes you just need to DO and not overthink it. To really succeed, you need persistence, the courage to pivot without judgment, and a long-term vision to keep you in the game. Otherwise, you’ll grow impatient with the process and burn out.”
Jiroch emphasized the fact that this is a process, and one might need to work on their mindset before it’s solidified in a positive way. Yet, being aware of how you feel and taking steps to make any adjustments is time well spent.
How can you set yourself up for success?
There are strategies you can put in place now to ensure your head is in the right place for entrepreneurship. Jiroch suggests:
- Believe you are worthy of success. No matter what comes your way, you’ll be able to handle challenges and celebrate victories if you’re in a place where you believe you deserve to be in the game.
- Have a tribe. “Unsolicited advice can really stall any idea or business plan, so have a small, curated team of supporters or mentors who you trust completely to talk about your business,” Jiroch said. “And it may not be your partner, best friend or parents. It needs to be people who can objectively help steer you in the right direction when you need it.
- Put your blinders on. While it’s important to be knowledgeable about your industry, and aware of the competition, don’t let it cripple you. “Analysis paralysis makes even the best small business owners feel stuck, so focus on what you offer and don’t fixate on the competition,” Jiroch said.
- Do what you’re good out, and delegate the rest. There are people who are great at what you struggle with, so let them do it. Let others shine in their genius, so you can fully embrace yours.
Evaluating your mindset is a must before you step forth in any business. Before you open that storefront or launch that website, make sure you know you’re worthy to be in the arena, and success will follow.