Embarking on a new business venture can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The fear of the unknown and the persistent whispers of imposter syndrome can make the entrepreneurial journey seem impossible. However, it's crucial to recognize that fear is a natural part of growth, and overcoming imposter syndrome is critical to building the confidence needed for your balloon business success.
The Fear of the Unknown: standing in the way of you building confidence
Starting a business often means venturing into uncharted territory. The fear of Failure, financial instability, and the uncertainty of the future can be paralyzing. However, it's essential to view fear as a companion on the journey rather than an obstacle. Acknowledge your fears, understand them, and use them as fuel to drive your determination. One of the biggest excuses we use is "Perfection." We convince ourselves over and over again that something is not ready to get started because it could be better.
When I began my Balloon Business, it was really by mistake, and when I went away to balloon school, I did it scared; I was terrified because who goes to a damn balloon school? I thought for
sure these people had to be carnies and were going to kidnap me; I'm joking, but I was terrified to go away to a balloon school in the middle of the rocky mountains. However, it was one of the best decisions I've made.
But let's rewind, though. Before I attended school, I played with balloons and posted my first balloon column; it was somewhat terrible, but I still posted it confidently because you first have to start somewhere but don't let that be it. We are confident in what we know and understand and fearful of what we don't; it sounds simple enough, but not many of us break it down that way in our heads. How do we build confidence? Invest in your craft. Let's face it: starting a balloon business doesn't take much, but the business side requires education and confidence. Many people decide to do balloons and post a picture on their social media with the caption "Choose us for all your balloon decorating needs." they expect all their friends and family to run and support them, and when they don't, they lose confidence and quit. Invest in yourself, not just in the design classes but in business classes, business coaching, and marketing classes. Build your confidence to overcome your fears.
Imposter Syndrome: A Silent Saboteur:
Imposter syndrome, characterized by inadequacy and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, can be a silent saboteur in the entrepreneurial world. Many successful business owners have faced imposter syndrome at some point. Recognizing these feelings and understanding that they are shared can help overcome them. First, What is an imposter syndrome? By definition, it is the condition of feeling anxious and not experiencing success internally despite being high-performing in external, objective ways. This condition often results in people feeling like "a fraud" or "a phony" and doubting their abilities.
My name is Jessica, and I have imposter syndrome. Yes, I have imposter syndrome even three years into my business and hitting six figures, and the crazy thing is I just realized I had it when I researched the definition for this blog. When I dug deep, I tried to pinpoint why I still have imposter syndrome this many years in, and I've received much recognition and support from my community. I don't feel successful because of the chaos around me. I may have a "successful" business. Still, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off for it to be successful, and it's starting not to be fun anymore. The best part is always the final result of the balloon installation, but I often find that my work suffers because I'm trying to do it all, so maybe it's time for a team. I think event for myself I want to dig a whole lot deeper into Imposter syndrome and maybe it will be a whole blog in itself, standby.
Silencing the Inner Critic:
Building confidence starts with silencing the inner critic. Instead of dwelling on perceived shortcomings, focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Create a list of your achievements, no matter how small, and revisit it whenever self-doubt creeps in. Surround yourself with a support system that uplifts and encourages you during challenging times. Reward yourself for your wins, and remember, we are striving for progress, not perfection.
Overindulge yourself in the community of Balloons, event planning, or whatever your niche is. Sometimes, you must be around like minds and hear their stories of failure and success. I recently was speaking with an event planner friend of mine, and I told her we should do a Facebook live for event planners and balloon artists to chit-chat about the industry. Now, telling on myself this is where I didn't feel good enough and never silenced my own inner critic; I've had this idea forever but didn't think I was good enough to do it solo, so I was convinced here that this was a needed space for event planners and balloons artist, and I was right. We did our first live, and it received a ton of support, and like I said, it was a needed space. It just so happens this Sunday's live will be about doing it scared and building confidence.
Attend classes, join groups, volunteer for balloon builds; do whatever you have to do to get yourself around like-minded people who can relate to your journey. Tune into our Facebook lives every Sunday to discuss topics with other planners and Balloon artist.
Learning to Embrace Failure:
Failure is not the end but a stepping stone to success. Embracing Failure as a part of the learning process is crucial for personal and professional growth. Each setback provides an opportunity to learn, adapt, and refine your approach. Use failures as lessons to improve and move forward with resilience. When I encounter another event planner or balloon designer I like, I often try to scroll back on their social media to see their first pictures and where they started vs. their current skill level. One of the things we do that make it hard to embrace our failures is that we often compare ourselves to others, but always remember they started from somewhere, and their start was no prettier than yours; there aren't too many overnight.
Successes in the balloon and event planning industry.
Let me share with you some candid moments of setbacks and challenges I've encountered with clients. Each time, it feels like throwing in the towel is the only option. Take, for instance, the balloon display depicted above to the far right; after dedicating nearly four hours to creating this wall, it ended not standing. The overall appearance was disappointing and the other two designs had suffered because I dedicated so much time towards the wall ( I wish I had before pictures, it was a embarrassing mess), and the client expressed dissatisfaction. The first day of the event had a soft opening, so I assured the client that I would return that night to address the issues. However, based on critical feedback received via email, it was evident that the client had lost trust in my ability to execute the design and I wasn't sure that I still wouldn't be asked to return the payment even after fixing the design.
Undeterred, I returned at 9 pm and worked tirelessly until 6 am the next morning, completely redoing the entire display. When the client walked in the next morning, they were surprised to see me still at work. Fortunately, the client ended up loving the revamped design, and, to my astonishment, even recommended my services to someone else. In the face of failures, taking responsibility and making a genuine effort to rectify the situation often proves to be the best course of action.
Taking Imperfect Action:
Waiting for the perfect moment or perfect plan can lead to missed opportunities. Instead of succumbing to analysis paralysis, embrace the concept of taking imperfect action. Start small, iterate, and learn along the way. The experience gained from taking action, even with imperfections, contributes significantly to building confidence.
Surrounding Yourself with Support:
Building a business is not a solitary journey. Surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and a community of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges of entrepreneurship. Share your experiences, seek guidance, and learn from those who have walked a similar path.
Celebrating Small Wins:
Celebrate every achievement, no matter how minor. Recognizing and celebrating small wins boosts morale and reinforces a positive mindset. Acknowledging your progress and the effort you've put into your business is essential.
Starting a business scared, overcoming imposter syndrome, and building confidence are integral to the entrepreneurial journey. Embrace fear as a companion, silence the inner critic, learn from failures, and take imperfect action. Surround yourself with a supportive community, celebrate small wins, and remember that confidence is a skill that grows with each step forward. Your resilience will become the cornerstone of your business success as you navigate the challenges.