So my ‘day job’ is creating industry awards. For the last 4 years I’ve awarded companies in the online and offline dating space with awards which recognise their innovation, customer service, app design, safety and much much more.
It’s currently peak entry time for the UK Dating Awards (which take place in November each year) and so I’ve spent my week talking to entrepreneurs about which categories they should consider entering. And there is something I noticed about all my conversations with female founders. Every single one of them undersold herself. Every single one was second-guessing her ability to win an award. Every single one was focussed on the negatives, and not the positives.
When you run your own business, it can be easy to focus on the downside. The things you haven’t yet achieved. The plans which have been delayed, the projects which didn’t turn out how you planned. And because many of us work in a relative bubble, with few close friends who run their own companies, it can sometimes be hard to work out how well things are going. There’s no point measuring your successes against people who don’t work for themselves. They face different challenges, and at the end of the day they can leave their work at work most of the time. You work will often feel like it’s your life. You can’t just pack up and leave it at the drop of a hat. You can’t just quit!
And yet with that added responsibility comes a lot of freedoms. And it also brings with it incredible opportunities for success. You just have to know where to look for them.
Every time I spoke to a female founder this week who was doubting herself, I suggested she stopped thinking about the things she hadn’t yet achieved this year, and instead thought about the things she had achieved this year.
What about you? What steps in the right direction have you taken this week, or this month, or this year? How has your company changed shape in recent weeks?
Founding a company is a series of steps. Some feel like they are in the right direction, so may feel like they are sideways, or even backwards. But it’s a question of concentrating on one step at a time, and reminding yourself constantly of how far you’ve come. We’re often our biggest critics. And it can be hard sometimes not to compare ourselves to unrealistic goals. The only entrepreneurs we regularly hear about are those at the top of their game! The Richard Bransons and Every Ellas of this world … and yet for every household name, there are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs out there, taking the same daily steps as you.
So next time you find yourself dwelling on what you haven’t yet achieved, take a step back and remind yourself of all that you HAVE achieved!