Five Confidence Boosters That Will Advance Business Acumen

Confidence Boosters Teia Harris, Founder of Love Publicity Public Relations Firm

It can be easy for entrepreneurs to get discouraged—especially when sales are low, opportunities seem scarce, and competitors appear to be prospering faster.

However, it’s important to be conscious of ways you can build your confidence during the ebb and flow of running a business. Teia Harris, founder of Detroit-based public relations agency Love Publicity, learned to push through hurdles on the way to building a solid business that maintains a high client-retention rate and a high volume of daily new-business inquiries.

“Six years ago when I launched my agency, I had a hard time getting clients who recognized the value of my creativity and intellectual power,” Harris said. “I knew my worth because I was able to deliver when clients gave my company the opportunity, but as a new entrepreneur, I often struggled with proclaiming that worth to others and also closing deals with equitable pay.”

Here are Harris’ top five practical tips for building confidence in your business.

  1. Exercise tunnel vision. What is your goal? Now, imagine what it would be like to achieve it. When you create a concise vision of what you want your business to become, you can identify steps that will get you closer to that goal. Checking off small and big victories on the way to your ultimate objective will build your confidence during the course.  
  2. Be direct. Once you have a vision, be diligent and decisive about taking the steps to get there. When you’re assertive, you ask the right questions to get what you need and want. With the mindset that you must straightforwardly ask for or tell people what you need and want, the probability that you will get those things increases.
  3. Become a know-it-all. The more time you spend studying your craft and your industry, the more comfortable you will be talking about your work to other people each day. With time and experience, you’ll be viewed as an expert in your field. In order to sustain that kind of rank though, you have to keep up with the changes in your industry. Know-it-alls have at least one thing in common: they don’t stop learning.  
  4. Celebrate the wins. While you should not become complacent in your success; don’t ignore small wins, as they are opportunities to build your confidence. Success is not a race; it’s a marathon. Every checkpoint is a victory worth celebrating.
  5. Be optimistic. Feeding your brain with positivity sends encouraging signals to the muscle that keeps you going. Establishing a network of inspirational business trailblazers surely will help raise your confidence. Read about other people in business and also write and recite daily affirmations to reinforce the mindset: “I can do it, too.” Try posting these messages on a sticky note or setting alerts on your cell phone as reminders to stay motivated.

Catch up with Teia by visiting her website at LovePublicity.com and by following her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

My Awesome Evening at the AT&T Small Business Roundtable

Sponsored Post

AT&T Small Business Roundtable - Susan Solovic, Bill Rancic, Adam Toren

Earlier this month I wrote that I was collaborating with AT&T Small Business at its first 2016 AT&T Small Business Roundtable.

AT&T flew me to Chicago for the event. And what a night that was.

There was swapping of business cards, snapping of photos, and tweeting and Facebooking. And it was also an exchange of important ideas. The event was part of AT&T’s “Power of &” campaign which is about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses engage in continuous learning to solve business challenges through the power of agility.

Bill Rancic, the first Apprentice winner and now a restaurateur, hosted the evening at one of his terrific restaurants, RPM Steak.

In the networking portion, I was delighted to re-connect with people I know such as experts like Susan Solovic and Adam Toren (pictured with Bill Rancic). Long-time friend, author and entrepreneur Barry Moltz, local to Chicago, also was there. I also met other business owners — and ran into some awesome fans of this website, too. The team back home said “no way!” when I texted and said I’d met site fans at the Roundtable. Here’s a video recap of the event capturing the excitement and energy in the event.

I’d love to share my Chicago experience with you. Here are some key takeaways and things I got out of attending the AT&T Small Business Roundtable:

  • The Roundtable was a central piece of the AT&T “Power of &” campaign. If we entrepreneurs and business owners are going to compete successfully today, we have to be agile. We have to sense trends and changes, and adapt to new environments. If we move fast and leverage technology and services provided by great partners, we can pull ahead of competitors and succeed. That’s what the “Power of &” suggests: thinking of what we do as an “and” working together with business partners like AT&T to be more agile.
  • Roundtable small business participants talked about the many ways the world is changing and how those changes affect our businesses. The range of businesses represented at the event was wide — everything from a distribution business, to a web designer, to an air transportation business, to the operator of startup incubators, to an affiliate marketer, to a small nonprofit — and more.
  • Business owners at the event also raised a wide range of issues as their top concerns. Issues spanned from the upcoming new overtime regulations, to social media overwhelm, to rising health care costs, to changing consumer habits, to affiliate marketing regulations. But no matter what industry you’re in, no matter what the challenges, the successful responses tended to be similar: leverage technology wherever possible, learn, adapt, lean on stronger partners, pivot on a dime when necessary, and persevere. It was a reminder to me in my business to stay nimble and don’t get complacent — and don’t try to go it alone, either.
  • I was impressed with the senior support from AT&T. Attending were the heads of several AT&T departments that serve and support small businesses, as well as Cathy Martine, AT&T Senior Vice President of Corporate Business Solutions. Cathy holds a key role within AT&T when it comes to small businesses. And she couldn’t have been more gracious. She sat down at every table, listening and engaging. The fact that so many AT&T execs were willing to go to Chicago for this event said a lot to me about their commitment and the entire “Power of &” campaign.
  • I also learned a lot about AT&T’s solutions and what AT&T is doing to support small businesses to be more agile. One example: I learned about the AT&T Fiber Ready Building program, where AT&T is proactively connecting buildings to its fiber network. In this way, they are helping small business tenants in those buildings respond with agility to new opportunities, without the need to bear all the cost of installing a fiber infrastructure.

AT&T Small Business Roundtable participants

Be sure to check out Business Circle, the online hub for information about the Power of & campaign, with loads of advice, pointers and insights.  And go here to learn more about the power of agility.

Oh, and I’d like to also announce the winner of our Windows Lumia 950 phone giveaway (courtesy of AT&T – thank you!).  The winner is … Jenny Ham from Kansas!  Congratulations, Jenny — your phone will be on its way to you shortly.

AT&T Small Business Roundtable - Barry Moltz in middle

NOTE: This is a sponsored article and I am being compensated by AT&T to participate in the “Power of &” campaign.  All thoughts and opinions are my own, however.

This article, “My Awesome Evening at the AT&T Small Business Roundtable” was first published on Small Business Trends

July 4th Travel: East Coast Edition

JulyJuly (Image: www.fireisland.com)

FIRE ISLAND

Fire Island, though small (32 miles in length and less than a mile wide), is a great spot for you and friends to spend this holiday weekend.

Fun Fact: No cars are allowed on Fire Island, so it’s a great time to get outside and walk, bike ride, spend the day on the beach, and head to local bars to meet new people!

See how to get to Fire Island here.

THE HAMPTONS

(Image: www.Hamptons.com) (Image: www.Hamptons.com)

The easiest place to get to on this list, especially for New Yorkers, is none other than the infamous Hamptons. The Fourth of July is magical here; fireworks can be seen from anywhere, the beaches are gorgeous, and the nightlife is like no other. Rent a house for the weekend, book a hotel, or stay with friends this holiday weekend. You won’t regret it!

Don’t want to drive? Take the Hampton Jitney!

CAPE COD

Cape Cod is made up of 15 towns and two islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. (My favorites!)

MARTHA’S VINEYARD

(Image: Mvol.com) (Image: Mvol.com)

There are six towns in Martha’s Vineyard: Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah. All towns offer something for everyone this holiday weekend!

Coming from New York City? Take the ferry directly from East 35th Street. Find the schedules for other locations to take the ferry here.

NANTUCKET

(Image: Nantucket.net) (Image: Nantucket.net)

Enjoy the fireworks and festivities on Main Street including live music, eating contests, face painting, and water activities this holiday weekend on the island of Nantucket. Read about all the activities going on this weekend here.

The only way to get to this small island off the coast of Massachusetts is by ferry or air. Book your flight or ferry today!