Connecting with a potential client can be equal parts exhilarating and anxiety-inducing.
While the thought of landing some new business is exciting, it can quickly become overwhelming when you’re constantly fielding inquiries and following up with prospects. In fact, it might feel like your business is running you, rather than the other way around.
So what’s a new biz owner to do? While generating new leads should always be a priority, there are ways you can make the process more efficient so you can spend less time writing emails and more time building your empire.
Starting a whole new venture from scratch is certainly no walk in the park. Every day, you will be pushed out of your comfort zone. You will have to confront new obstacles that you won’t know how to handle and tackle problems that you haven’t been trained to deal with.
Working through so many unknowns on a regular basis is not only challenging – it can also really impact your self-esteem. After all, nobody likes to feel inadequate or like they’re ill-equipped to handle what life is throwing at them.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret … SO many entrepreneurs feel this way. In fact, I’ll go on the record to say that EVERY business owner has felt this way at one time or another.
Now, I’ll let you in on one more secret … you already possess an innate skill that will help you overcome those waves of self-doubt and those moments of “What the hell have I gotten myself into?!” It’s actually a skill that the best, brightest, most successful people in the world have been using for millennia.
It’s your leadership alter ego.
Beyonce has one. Kobe has one. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have one too. Okay, those last two people are fictional but you catch my drift. Your alter ego can help you move past those limiting beliefs that want to keep you in your place and silence that little voice in your head that says you can’t charge that price or land that dream client.
So how do you activate your own alter ego? There are four key steps you need to follow.
Identify your own confidence gaps
As an entrepreneur, you have to play multiple roles. You have to be a subject matter expert, a marketer, salesperson, administrator, the list goes on.
Creating an alter ego to fit all of these roles would be far too complicated. Instead, try coming up with one that embodies certain traits and abilities that will help you be your best self in a specific situation where you might lack confidence.
Create an alter ego that has the characteristics you admire
Ask yourself: who would you love to channel as a leader in your business? Or if you get anxious during specific situations like public speaking or closing a deal, what alter ego would you want to embody at that time?
For example, I have a coaching client who is a freelance writer turned agency owner. While she’s confident in her creative abilities, she’s less sure of herself in situations where she has to sell her services or negotiate a contract.
So she created an alter ego who’s a total #boss. Someone who’s a straight talker that doesn’t bow down to anybody. Think Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada. And at those times that she feels unsure of herself, this is the alter ego she taps into.
Find something to help you channel your new alter ego
There’s a psychological phenomenon called “enclothed cognition,” which basically means that your clothes can not only affect your psychological state but also how you perform. This can be extremely helpful for tapping into your alter ego.
For instance, the client I mentioned earlier is a pretty casual sneaker-and-jeans type of dresser. But wearing heels and a fashion-forward outfit helps her tap into her Miranda Priestly-esque magazine editor alter ego.
Your alter ego item can be anything. For example, Beyonce would wear a shiny robot glove when she channelled her Sasha Fierce alter ego. Even Dr. Martin Luther King reportedly wore non-prescription glasses because he thought they made him look ‘distinguished.’
Unfortunately, we’re not all born with an innate sense of confidence. The rest of us have to ‘fake it ‘till we make it’. But as you’ll come to see, the more you tap into your leadership alter ego, the more you’ll realize that your leadership alter ego isn’t an alter ego at all. It’s you. YOU are your leadership alter ego. They are one and the same.
It’s just the version of you that doesn’t conform to what others say you should be or who you thought you had to be. The version of you that knows exactly who they are and the things at which you excel. The version of you that stands completely and confidently in their zone of genius.
You have the power to show up with more confidence, clarity and certainty. You just have to own it.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services on the market. It’s relatively easy to set up, can sync across all of your devices, and offers multiple plans to help you to store, share, and securely access all your files.
However, it does have its drawbacks. For one, its free plan only offers 2GB of cloud storage, which is not enough for most solo users let alone a small team. It also lacks end-to-end encryption. This means that Dropbox does not encrypt your files when you are uploading them to their cloud, which is a major security risk.
If you feel like Dropbox isn’t making the grade and you’re on the hunt for a cloud storage alternative that’s suitable for your organization, I’ve rounded up five Dropbox alternatives for small teams that could surely do the job.
Have your dreams of working poolside in Mexico vanished under the pressure of sales calls, business meetings, invoicing, and client work?
Do you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up on everything from your inbox to your marketing and all the other things that you want to do with your business?
Did you leave your 9-to-5 only to end up with a 24/7?
I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like your business is running you, rather than the other way around.
Naturally, building a business requires a lot of long days and sacrifices. But if all your hard work isn’t paying off, then you might need to change your approach. Here are some key signs that your business isn’t sustainable and what you can do about it.
It’s Friday afternoon in the middle of July, and the family is already at the cottage. You’re packing up to join them, but you know that laptop is coming with you. You tell yourself it’s a necessary evil, but it’s also one of the key tools that let you afford that cottage in the first place. You’ve been putting off a demand letter, and your client is already on your case about when that letter is going out. While you’ve been able to placate them with an answer of ‘Monday’, that means your weekend is destined to be spent on the clock.