One thing that you may struggle with early on as you shift into business ownership is actually owning the part of being a business owner! It’s definitely a weird transition, but well worth the initial struggle.
Most people spend a good majority of their lives working for someone else, often a huge company. So you may be used to referring to yourself as an employee rather than as a business owner. This definitely will take some getting used to.
Why is it important to get comfortable in the role of business owner? One major reason is that when you have a business you need all of the free exposure you possibly can get. That includes being able to share the information in your own words, to people you meet and already know.
Remember, you are your own best advocate. Again, like most people, you probably have spent a lot of time speaking from the perspective of an employee who works for someone else. Now you are the person with the company. So every chance you get you’ll want to be letting people know about that so that they can pass the word along about your products and services to others who may need them.
Is there an emotional component to this? Why is it initially so difficult to talk up your business in real life? There may well be. Most people feel validated by the idea that they are valued as a contributing employee at a company. So when you take that away and find yourself at the helm of your own business, you must adjust to the emotional role of providing your own validation because you’re not going to get it from someone else anymore.
If you’re thinking this is about ego, yes it kind of is. A business owner must be strong and self assured without the need for that constant reinforcement that comes from working for someone else or from playing a role as part of a larger functioning entity.
That’s what makes it a little bit strange to suddenly have to toot your own horn. Because essentially that is what you are doing. When standing there having a conversation and someone suddenly announces they have a need, and that need is based on what you offer, you’ve got to be assertive. Your success will depend on your ability to mention this to others so they know… and you’ve also got to do it in a way that doesn’t make you sound nervous or desperate.
Again, it will take some time for words like “my company,” “I have a business” and “I offer services” roll off your tongue in an effortless way. But with practice, you will find it gets easier and easier to let people know that you have a business and are out there providing and answering to a specific need.