Business coach Roo Davies explains how having a positive mindset can help you grow your business with confidence.
Market conditions like the cost of living crisis can affect our mindset as retailers, making us double check our footing and play it safe. Speaking at Spring Fair, Roo Davies said it’s right to safeguard but you shouldn’t let this prevent this from moving forward.
But how do we remain confident about moving our businesses forward when faced with such challenges? Davies advises to watch out for what she calls emotional hijacking. She says our brains are hardwired to avoid uncertainty as they associate it with danger so we can get caught up in making negative assumptions about what will happen. She labels this an emotional response and says it’s based on fiction. “The emotional brain is quick and reflexive. The rational brain is slower to move but more positive and impactful to the emotional one which is more fearful,” she says.
Davies doesn’t suggest you ignore your gut instinct which is important for any small business owner but suggests you drill down on what’s fact and what’s fiction. This will help you take control of your thoughts and rein in unhelpful and negative ones. Emotion has a role in business, it’s where passion and creativity comes from but don’t let it sabotage you.”
Support and accountability
It also helps to have someone not so emotionally connected to the business to confide in. “Owners often see the business as their baby and spend too much time in their own heads.
Don’t think you need to do it all by yourself. We wouldn’t make big decisions in our personal lives without support. “It’s not a weakness and it doesn’t mean you don’t know what you are doing.” So discuss your thoughts and plans with someone you trust. It can also be useful to use this person as an ‘accountability buddy’ you check in with. “Accountability is saying out loud what you want to do.
The not ready trap
Focus on progress not perfection. “Feeling not ready can be a big sabotager. Waiting for things to be perfect and fearing you are not ready leads you to play smaller and take fewer risks. You’ll never feel ready for big bold moves.” While you will obviously want to make your business the best it can be, know when the pursuit of perfection in tripping you up and preventing you from making the next move. She suggests you think about a time when you did go bold and it worked as this will give you confidence.
1 Davies recommends scenario planning as a method to help feel confident about a change you may want to make to the business. Draw up three options: go safe, go moderately, go bold. Map them out and get them onto a board. This makes decision making less scary.
2 Davies warns against constantly making comparisons with other retailers. This can lead to ‘imposter syndrome’, to feeling you are not good enough. Social media, for many can be a source of worry. She says to remember others are presenting their best selves on Instagram, it’s their shop window: “Yes you will have issues but so will they.”
3 And celebrate the moments: “If you have enjoyed a bumper quarter enjoy it, don’t think how am I going to repeat it.”
Roo Davies can be contacted here.
Spring and Autumn Fair hosts a full programme of speaker on its Inspiring Retail stage. We recommend you check them out.