How to value yourself in business
The story of dirty money & how to be confident in your self-worth
At the start of a sell out business expo, a well-respected motivational speaker started his presentation in silence. Quietly, he took a £20 note from his wallet and held it high above his head.
He paused for a moment and asked the packed out audience, “Who wants it?”
Every single hand in the house went up.
The Speaker paused. He looked at the note and then crumpled it into a small ball. This time, he held the ball shaped note in the air and asked, “Who wants it now?”
Once again, every hand in the house went up.
“Interesting,” said the speaker. Next he threw the crumpled note on the floor and stomped wildly on it.
Picking it up with his fingernails, he once again held the disheveled note high above his head. “Anyone want it now?”
As before, everyone’s hand went up.
The speaker then started his talk.
“It appears that it doesn’t matter what I do to the note. Everyone still wants it because regardless of how dirty it got, it’s value remained the same”.
“So why then, would people devalue themselves simply because life had beaten them down”.
What a start to a speech!
As business owners, we have to find value in ourselves to convince other people to see value in our businesses.
It’s been said that “The value you place on yourself is the only worth you can control.”
And just as you work on different parts of your business, you need to work on your self-confidence so that other people can believe in you as well.
So how do we work on our self worth?
Here are 5 ways that you may find helpful.
1. Avoid comparison
It used to just be keeping up with the jones’, but In today’s social media-ridden world, it’s never been easier to compare ourselves to others. And I think if we’re all honest, we all do it to a point.
There’s a great song by J. Cole about comparison. He says, there’s always going to be a bigger house somewhere, a better car than the one you’ve got, and clothes better than the ones you wear. But you’ll never be happy until you learn to love the stuff you have.
Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
It’s okay to draw inspiration from similar business owners, but what’s not okay is to compare yourself and tear yourself down because you don’t think you’re as good as them.
Compete with yourself, no one else!
To find value in yourself, you have to understand that people choose you because of your uniqueness. And even though there are similar businesses to yours, there has to be something about yours that stands out, and you need to focus on highlighting that value.
This is where your Unique Selling Proposition comes in. Read more about USP here.
2. Practice affirmations
Sounds woo woo, but I promise you it works!
The subconscious mind is so powerful that thoughts become things. For this reason, you have to try to think of the ‘right’ things constantly.
What are you telling yourself about you and about your business? Do you believe wholeheartedly that you’re destined for greatness?
Imposter syndrome is a common problem among business owners, and to counter that, affirmations really come in handy!
There’s a quote that goes, “Easy to spot a yellow car when you are always thinking of a yellow car. Easy to spot opportunity when you are always thinking of opportunity. Easy to spot reasons to be mad when you are always thinking of being mad. You become what you constantly think about.”
It all stems from the Reticular Activating System (R.A.S). This is how the RAS works – It helps you to find things you are looking for. It doesn’t know whether that’s good for you or bad for you. It just helps you to notice those things.
So, think about all the good things and turn them into positive affirmations.
Here are some of the affirmations that I tell myself:
I’m a happy, healthy and fun dad
I’m a loving, caring and considerate husband
I’m a confident and competent business man
I’m destined to succeed
Everything I need to be successful is available to me
I always do better than I did yesterday
I am booked; I am busy; I am in demand.
3. Be conscious of the inner critic
Your mind is the only home you’re forced to live in, so make sure you’re telling yourself the right things.
It’s so easy to put ourselves down constantly. It’s almost natural to sell ourselves a narrative that’s untrue and believe it.
How do you challenge your negative self-talk?
Be able to catch it in action. That moment when you think, “I’m not good enough to do this.”
Cross-examine the thought. Is it actually true, or is it just a false narrative that you’re selling yourself?
Once you’ve done this, you can sell yourself an alternative narrative Switch from negativity to neutrality.
Instead of saying, “I am a failure,” say, “I see this challenge as a lesson and an opportunity to do better in future.”
You can say it out loud so that it sticks within you.
4. Allow yourself to be a work in progress
One mistake that many people make is to be too fixated on the past and the future and forget about the present.
This is when you start to be anxious.
Allowing yourself to be a work in progress means working for this particular moment. How can you be better?
Don’t linger too much on past mistakes. It’s part of the process of learning, and if anything, mistakes are just lessons.
Remember the 10,000 hour rule: It takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials.
So no matter how hard it looks at the moment, practice makes perfect.
5. Let go of the things you can’t control
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to control everything?
It would be magical…
But there’s only one problem. It’s impossible.
The irony is that to feel really in control, you need to let go of the uncontrollable.
Letting go of control is hard for a lot of us. We all want to be in control of our situations and outcomes, especially when we’re uncertain.
But contrary to what it looks like, controlling everything doesn’t make us feel safe because it’s unachievable.
Here are a few things you can’t control, no matter how hard you try:
- Economic events such as recessions
- The weather (if your business is reliant on it)
- Cultural changes in society
- Competitive forces
So, trying to control them will only make you feel the loss of control.
And if you can’t control them, why put energy into them? Why not instead put this energy into the things you can actually control?
Life deals us all curveballs from time to time that can make us feel inadequate. It’s important to hold on to the fact that no matter how hard things get, we all still have something valuable to give.
You are awesome! Believe it. Have confidence in your own value.
As someone who’s struggled with my value and confidence on and off for years, there’s a brilliant YouTube / Audio by Paul Mckenna which I HIGHLY recommend. I played it every night for 2 weeks whilst I slept and it really works, you can listen here.
In conclusion, here are the 5 ways to find more value in yourself:
- Avoid comparison
- Practice affirmations
- Be conscious of the inner critic
- Allow yourself to be a work in progress
- Let go of the things you can’t control.
If you need some help, we’ve got some great resources from confidence to business planning, you can find them here.
Onwards and upwards, my friend.