From Timid to Confident
as an Online Service Provider
Content Updated: August 29, 2019
Confidence can be complicated for anyone in any area of life. Even more so if you’re self employed… especially in the beginning if you’ve had NO experience in running a business and/or offering services you’ve never actually gotten paid to perform before. When I first started out as a virtual assistant, my closest experience to use as a reference for remote work was my position with a WAH company as a customer service supervisor. Which isn’t really related at all… But life has a funny way of directing your path though, right?
I didn’t have the luxury of wallowing in self doubt though. I had to provide for my son and myself so I took an action leap of faith and became self-employed as a VA, virtual assistant. Truth be told, I was scared out of my mind! But because of that experience, I get to teach you the lessons I’ve learned to help you go from timid to confident as an online service provider.
As a single mom for two decades, I was blessed with a bonus character trait because of the journey… not letting fear stop me from taking action. I didn’t have the luxury of giving into any fears I had that would keep me from going out on a limb to make life better for us. I was the sole source of food and shelter for my son. That was a paralyzing amount of responsibility sometimes. But, I had to learn how to take action in spite of any fears.
I’m not saying it was easy, then or now. I still get scared. You never know what’s going to come your way.
Let’s get started flexing our confidence muscle, shall we?
We ALL have an Occasional Lack of Confidence
Case in point, I had a potential client call with someone famous, their manager, and their assistant. They needed ConvertKit help… which I know better than the back of my hand… And I was still scared! My self esteem was so low, all I could think was… who was I to be even THINKING I could help this person and their team…?
I share that with you because it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you will always have obstacles that will challenge you and test your confidence as you grow and your business grows.
Matter of fact, I have this theory of what I think makes up a strong business. There’s four points to it. Pay attention…
- growth challenges
Confidence is a Skill that can be Developed
The point we’re talking about today, struggling to be confident with yourself and your ability to serve clients, is #4 on that list, a growth challenge. Because learning how to step into what makes you awesome as an online service provider is DEFINITELY challenging.
Confidence isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a skill that has to be developed. Somewhere along the way you have to learn how to build your own confidence and self esteem, making it a double hard whammy for most people to accomplish!
Our whole lives we’re groomed to follow, not lead. In school… they want everyone that’s naturally a square peg to conform into a round peg that fits into their definition of a round hole. In the corporate world… it’s most often the case that you have to bend to the powers that be all the time. In your relationships with family and friends… the art of compromise is key.
But becoming an entrepreneur, starting your own business as an online service provider where the bottom line starts and ends with you… well, now that’s a real test of your confidence. Don’t you feel like that most days?
Tell the truth, when it comes down to it, that pissed off client is your ball of knots to undo. That launch with huge tech issues is your responsibility to get off the ground. And that potential client that could pay you and your team for the next quarter… the burden rests squarely on your shoulders to confidently convince them that you are the answer to their problem.
Self-Awareness can Build Self-Esteem
I don’t know who you think YOU are, but I feel like I’ve learned more about who I CAN BE. As my business has grown and I’ve grown as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned more about myself and my abilities than I EVER learned in 45 years of regular ol’ real life, and this has given me a huge confidence boost. I’ll take that all day, every day. And after glorying in that space, it’s actually helped me to become more successful.
And just FYI for the curious, I nailed that potential client call with the famous person and their team. Not only did they sign for a strategic intensive and custom setup package, but they also kept me on retainer long term until all their email marketing needs were completely ironed out and running like clockwork, six months to be exact. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and a supremely humbling experience.
And you can get there, too. So let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Celebrate failure.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
You need to learn how to reframe failure. Start to see it as an opportunity for growth and something to be celebrated. Pretty radical, I know. But it’s true. If you learn how to manage failure, you’ll understand what I mean.
So, how do you do that?
One way I manage failure is to take the lessons I’ve learned and share them in blog posts like “How to Successfully NOT Create A Joint Venture Course” and “16 Lessons The Wrong Tools Taught Me About Successful List Building.”
Another way is to take responsibility when things don’t turn out as anticipated. It’s not a negative. It’s an opportunity for growth. When you face failure head on, and acknowledge that something went wrong, remind yourself that it’s within your power to correct and get back on the right path. You know, one of those growth challenges I mentioned… learning how to embrace growth opportunities.
Failure in this context won’t paralyze you with fear anymore. Instead, you’ll learn how to recognize your role in what went wrong, and how to prevent that misstep in the future. You’ll be able to go through the gaps in your processes and find where the weaknesses lie. You’ll figure out the proper systems that need to be in place to not only prevent the same situation in the future, but also improve your whole experience for your team, and in the long run, your clients.
Learning how to leverage the worst of everything will help you grow as a person, a small business owner, an entrepreneur, a team leader, a spouse, a parent, etc. You won’t have a disaster mindset. You’ll have an overcomer’s mindset.
Because how we think is how we feel. So let’s learn how to…
- acknowledge failure,
- accept responsibility for whatever happened,
- admit what happened with the stakeholders of the situation, and
- address what went wrong, and
- clarify what mechanisms you’re going to put in place to not repeat the same actions,
- then move on.
2. Expect exceptional results.
When you show up, half the battle is already won. Seriously. Most people puss out. Or end up being unreliable. If you show up, and do your best, that’s all anyone can do. But push through the obstacles that come up to persevere.
What’s more, enjoy the difficulty! I know, I know. I am crazy. Ask anyone. LOL! But really, you’ll grow. The challenge will give you a different perspective. And you’ll become a better online service provider, and a better leader. When you come out on the other side, you’ll also bolster your own confidence with how resilient and resourceful you were through the process.
Our minds are powerful beyond measure. When you master the art of expecting yourself to always show up and then always do your best… you’ll always deliver. Then you will come to expect exceptional results from yourself and those around you. And you’ll have the knowledge and experience to deliver them, too.
You’ll stop focusing on failure and set higher expectations because you’ve harnessed the power within you to rise to the challenge. Each and every time. And what’s amazing is that those around you… they’ll rise to meet you!
Because if you aren’t growing, your business isn’t growing. How’s that for a wake up call?
If you’re hiding from the world thinking you can NOT do Facebook lives and engage your community…
If you refuse to have headshots taken to put on the hero banner of your website so you become your brand image…
If you’re vain enough to think that it’s more important to worry about what people think and say than it is to put excellent service above everything else…
You will never succeed.
Is that the image and impression you want everyone to have instead… that you’re choosing to accept less than mediocre because you wouldn’t show up and play the best hand you have?
Believe you’re exceptional…
Exceptional results will follow.
3. Practice makes perfect.
Practicing for a task or responsibility is important. The act of going through the process, even if you make mistakes, will help you feel more confident. Because mistakes are part of the ‘dress rehearsal’ process. You’re going to have to go through a practice phase for each new bend your business takes in order to get to give the performance that deserves a standing ovation, right?
In practicing, you work out the kinks before hand instead of leaving them to chance. You get comfortable with your role and responsibility. And when it’s time, you’re able to confidently deliver. Because you’ve prepared yourself to succeed by practicing.
The problem is… the emotions of the situation. #CanIGetAnAmen?!?
We are over emotional creatures. Watch this quick, three minute video to help me make my point…
I LOVE Ted Talks about any subject really. But especially ones like this. Notice what he says about the emotions…?
I coach online service providers every single day. And the one thing that stops them from taking action 100% of the time is the emotion about the situation… be it fear, worry of what people think, imposter syndrome… I could go on and on here but the bottom line is it’s all in your mind. It’s a mindset issue. And whatever that emotion you are holding onto is…
That emotion is what is standing between you and everything you ever wanted.
When you learn to say buh bye to those pesky emotions, and take action, and TRY something you want to learn… do not be a wimpy quitter! Yeah, I called you that. I’m not scared either. I know I’m right.
If you just quit something because it gets hard or because you run into a challenge… you probably need to stop reading this blog post right here and move on. You’re not going to find a safe space to whine here.
I’m going to remind you that you are an amazing human being. And I’m going to challenge you to reach your full potential.
When you were a baby learning to walk, you fell down more than you walked for the first several weeks. You whacked your head on more hard surfaces than your parents can count. That scar above your eyebrow is proof of one of those incidents, amiright?
And what’s so great about having a child-like mind is you don’t know how to give up. It doesn’t even cross your mind to quit. You just get back up and keep going.
And you still have that same drive in you. You just haven’t used it in a while. Take it out, dust it off, and put it to use for what it’s made for… making this junk your biotch so you can make your dreams a reality.
Go. Practice. Prove it to yourself that you CAN!
We’re all waiting.
4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
The time to take action with calculated risk is NOW. When you take risks regularly, your comfort zone will grow with you. You’ll gain more confidence.
Think about it, when you learned how to ride a bike, it hurt the first few times you fell. Didn’t it? But at some point you figured out how to stay balanced. You got this nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach the longer you stayed upright… and before you knew it, the training wheels were actually in your way of soaring, weren’t they?
You have to take a chance and ditch the training wheels. Embrace that uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes you.
You will never know the greatness you’re capable of if you never step outside your comfort zone to try and find it.
5. Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
Have you ever heard that quote before? I love it. It’s badass. And on my good days, I like to think I’ve got a bit of badass in me. But I digress…
Everyone needs to print this quote out, put it up by your computer, carry it in your wallet, put it on your dashboard, your mother in law’s refrigerator… everywhere really. Because in life you have to deal with people all the time.
You need to proactively remind yourself of this principle every time you get a little butt hurt about something. Then suck it up and get on about YOUR business, not theirs.
Because whatever they’ve said or whatever you THINK they’ve said or whatever you THINK they’re thinking… IT’S ON THEM! And screw them!
The only important thing you need to be paying attention to is what YOU say to you.
That’s the most powerful tool you have, your own self talk.
Worry about that. WORK on that. Then get back with me.
6. Cherish compliments.
Genuine, heartfelt, deserved compliments… they’re almost non existent nowadays. We live in a society full of critics who happily share their opinions, mostly when not asked or needed.
Did you know it takes four positive comments to negate ONE negative comment?!? No wonder we’re all walking around like wall flowers…
I’ve got a growth challenge for you. It’s gonna be great for that mindset work we’ve talked about already. Listen up…
When someone takes the time to truly compliment you, do not disrespect them and their beautiful thoughts by throwing some lame objection in their face.
Open up your soul and let that compliment resonate with you… until you feel your spirit move a little. Then keep that junk under lock and key for all those days when you have to deal with the critics, mmmkay?
Take it a step further and create a compliment/affirmation journal. It can be digital or handwritten… whatever’s easiest for you. Write down the touching things people share with you about yourself over time. Refer back to it on your down days. THOSE are the messages you should use to record your inner self talk.
And if you want to go ninja mode with this new skill… reach out to someone you KNOW is struggling with self confidence issues about anything and shatter every negative self talk recording they have by telling them how amazing you think they are and that you’ve just been too shy and lazy to tell them, but not anymore. Today you’re going to rip the band aid off and start spreading the confidence.
We’ve got lots of years of critical comments to negate from people’s lives. Let’s get to work on it!
Screw the critics.
7. The 80/20 rule applied to confidence.
Most of you have probably heard that saying that goes something like, “If you know how to do 80% of a task, go for it and learn the other 20% on the fly.” You should absolutely practice this in your business. Let the potential client know so you’re both covered if there’s a learning curve. But give yourself a chance to prove to you and whoever’s watching that you got this.
But don’t believe me because I said so. Believe me because you’ve found out for yourself.
Most people need a little help getting to a confident space in their business. I’ve been at the bottom, not knowing squat, and someone helped me rise above it. Now I get the awesome privilege of helping others get there, too.
Ready to make a change?
So if you’re ready to make a change, I challenge you to confidently go where you haven’t gone before!