Can I tell you a secret? Something I am ashamed to share.

I had the idea for this community FOUR YEARS AGO! Years and years ago I saw the need for a place where entrepreneurs could share ideas, wins, and challenges. And I DIDN’T DO IT.

Oh, I started. And stopped. I designed. And redesigned.

What was holding me back? Believing in myself.

I have a ton of confidence in my work. I believe in my skills as a marketer and a designer. But I doubted myself in this area. I saw the need but didn’t feel that I was good enough to meet that need.

So, I kept busy with client work and focused on other things. But it kept coming back. It kept nagging at me. Why was this so hard?

Sharing challenges is a vulnerable space. Admitting you don’t have it all together is hard. In today’s world of ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments – some of my moments just don’t look like that. Actually, MOST of my moments aren’t Instagram moments.

TRUTH. Most days I work in my yoga pants (I don’t do yoga, by the way). TRUTH. I am 40lbs overweight. TRUTH. I am over 50. I am too old, too inexperienced, too ordinary, too late. All LIES.

I have been visiting with several Second Act CEOs this past week on calls to determine the needs of this community. The NUMBER ONE thing that all of these people shared is self-limiting beliefs and lack of confidence in themselves. It was soooo easy for me to validate each of these people and to see how they are contributing something valuable through their businesses. But, I had a hard time doing that for myself.

If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself.

NONE of us would say to someone else the negative and terrible things we say to ourselves. That alone validates this project for me. This is a great space for us to say to each other YOU CAN. To say YOU ARE AWESOME. To encourage one another to be the best we can be.

Conquer your confidence

Recognize your talents and skills
You are where you are today because of the talents and skills you’ve developed over time. Recognize what you bring to the table. Understand that you may have that one bit of knowledge that someone else needs.

Acknowledge your accomplishments
When doubt creeps in, make a list of your accomplishments. In a corporate environment, this exercise happens at the time of your annual review. This is a great exercise to introduce for yourself as an entrepreneur. Review your accomplishments regularly. What new skill did you learn? Did you have a project that you were especially proud of? Acknowledge what you have done.

Surround yourself with supportive people
Surround yourself with people who will help you to be your best self. This includes folks that will encourage you, help you grow, and who will be honest with you about areas of improvement. I am in a mastermind group of other entrepreneurs who understand some of the challenges and opportunities of my daily life. Getting feedback from like-minded individuals is very helpful.

Move forward (even when you are afraid)
Courage is taking action even when you are not confident. Just take the first step. Then take the second. With each little win you will gain momentum, and most importantly, build the confidence you need. Just start.

If I had just had the confidence in myself those many years ago – just think of where this budding community would be today! As the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”

I still have doubts and lack confidence, but I’m moving forward. I’m planting this tree and putting in roots!

TRUTH. I have a wonderfully supportive husband and an amazing family. TRUTH. I do work that I love every day. TRUTH. I am in control of my time and my schedule. TRUTH. I have knowledge and experience to share.

TRUTH My granddaughters are way more amazing than yours (OK you might not agree with that one 🙂