A coaching client came to me in tears, their business was failing and what was letting it down was them and their lack of self-confidence and they had a goal of restoring their self-assurance, personally and as a small business owner.
What is self-assurance?
First of all, a definition.
Self-assurance: someone who has self–assurance shows confidence in the things that they say and do because they are sure of their abilities.
Sadly, this was not my client.
The bad self-assurance story
Growing up life was a constant competition. They felt like they needed to compete with their siblings for the attention and approval of their parents. This lead to a vicious habit of people-pleasing, putting the needs of others before their own. Of course, because of the competition they felt, nothing was ever good enough.
They were embarrassed by their family circumstances and knew that they were destined for more. And while they knew they were destined for more, they felt like their family was always pulling them down. No achievement was ever good enough and any move to better themselves was called out as being snobby and trying to ‘one-up’ the family.
How the self-assurance story played out in the small business
Growing up feeling that:
- Nothing they did was ever good enough
- People-pleasing was necessary
- Competition was normal and expected
- It was noble to struggle, and
- Their needs didn’t matter
- Had to be the martyr
It’s no wonder that the business had:
- growing unpaid invoices
- debtors who would ignore requests to be paid
- poor communication with clients about expectations and next steps
- staff who would ignore direction
- no marketing
- no respect of office hours by clients
- not enough money to pay themselves a living wage
What happened when the small business owner gained self-assurance?
We met fortnightly and in one month the small business owner:
- had 1/3 of the outstanding invoices paid
- clear instruction and understanding with staff
- firm boundaries with office hours
- a clear communication strategy and regular communication with clients
- a more consistent and positive social media presence
- a marketing strategy
- was paying themselves more
- was excited for the future of their business
- knew where they were headed
- understood where things had gone wrong & their role in it
- had stopped people-pleasing, and
- felt more confident than they had in decades.
What is happening a year on?
I caught up with this small business owner a few months ago to see how they were going. In spite of the downturn due to COVID, they were:
- still clear with their boundaries
- identifying untapped market opportunities
- still enjoying their relationship with the staff
- celebrating the decision of non-paying clients to change supplier
- were not people-pleasing or the need to be a martyr
- were paying themselves, and best of all
- were still more confident and self-assured than they could remember ever being.
What I didn’t tell you
Here’s the thing, normally I conduct six sessions in the package this client signed up for; we only got to do three. To be honest, most people see a difference after the first session and by the time we’ve gotten through the second, they’re telling me they’re feeling better than they ever have.
So where to next?
My client is coming out of their COVID lockdown and bringing their business back to full swing. They are looking forward to extending their marketing and their business and their determination and focus is laser-sharp.
So, what about you? Would you like to be my next Case Study? Do you have a few questions that you need answered first? Or would you like a little “taste tester” of how good you can feel when you’re free of the gremlins that hold you and your business back?