If there were a magic formula to achieve success as an entrepreneur, we would all be zillionaires. What we do know, however, is that certain traits are universal to successful entrepreneurs, and that these traits have a through-line. What is the requirement to turn thoughts into actions? Or to be a risk-taker? Or to be authentic? The answer lies in one crucial ingredient: confidence.
At the The Art of Leadership for Women conference in Toronto, we heard BBC journalist Katty Kay speak about the book she has co-authored with Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code: The Art and Science of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know. Despite major recent gains, we all understand that women still trail men in the corporate world. Kay and Shipman argue that the key reason for this state of affairs is confidence. A lack of confidence impacts the ability of women to lead, be successful, and to feel fulfilled.
But what if you had the tools to stop the self-doubt? What if you understood that confidence is, in part, a choice?
The authors turn to neuroscience to research the quality of confidence, interview women leaders, and then provide a blueprint to help women build their confidence.
Listening to Kay, it struck us that as much as the Confidence Code applies to women, entrepreneurs too can take a page from this book, so to speak. Day in, day out, we put ourselves out there, hoping there is an audience for what we are selling. But we can self-sabotage, can't we? After running a small business for more than a decade ourselves, we understand firsthand how the grind can get you down. And we know we are not alone in these feelings. Sometimes our clients feel sluggish, discouraged, or even defeated. As entrepreneurs, it's impossible not to – especially when so many of us work alone.
But what if you had the tools to stop the self-doubt? What if you understood that confidence is, in part, a choice? The Confidence Code teaches us to act more, and think less; to spend less time worrying about people-pleasing and perfection, and more time taking action, risks, and failing fast. By taking action, even in small ways, we can actually re-wire our brains to improve our confidence.
The Confidence Code asks us to stop holding ourselves back. As women, we understand this. As entrepreneurs, we need to live it.