Business Confidence – Part 4
It isn’t easy to make the leap from a bookkeeping student with all the relevant theory to being a practicing bookkeeper. Many factors make this but a huge challenge is finding the self-belief to follow your dream, as well as the confidence to approach potential clients and sell yourself. We are hoping these hints and tips might help you start thinking about this crucial aspect of your new career:
9. Be Assertive
“To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare
Don’t be arrogant. Don’t be selfish. Don’t denigrate others. Don’t step on others to get where you want to be….yes, all very true, but you do have to sell yourself; you do have to state clearly what your terms are; you do have to say no; you do have to keep your own goals in mind when making decisions. This doesn’t come easily to some people. Practice being assertive – act as an assertive person would, and you will become assertive. Talk slowly, clearly and steadily; take time to construct a reply; make eye contact; don’t fidget, scratch or play with your tie, hair etc. Make your point clearly then be quiet…don’t apologise or add useless additional information. Stay on message…you can change words but keep the crux of your point be it your hourly rate, availability, or skill set. You face competition, and you might need to ‘win people over’ and you need to push your case in a clear, concise, and controlled way…and you can.
10. Keep it light….and keep smiling!
This is maybe the hardest thing of all but the most important. It’s a new career, you need clients, you need to perform for the clients you already have. You also have a family, house, bills to pay, and an ‘ordinary life’ to continue with too. What’s so funny?! It is however true that not taking the time to lighten the load can lead to anxiety, stress, naval gazing, and a real threat to all you’ve worked for (and hopefully the things you’ve learned from these blogs!). You can’t meet potential clients, or service existing ones, or liaise with peers at local small business meetings, if you’re feeling self-absorbed and failing to see the wood for the trees.
You can even link this to work by aligning goals and rewards: shoot through a barrier, or goal, or stepping stone? Switch off the laptop and work phone. Go to the cinema, or a gig, or meet friends for dinner. Get a new client? Buy that champagne and put it on ice. Complete your first set of Accounts and posted them to Companies House? Pizza and a DVD with the family that night. Your bookkeeping career is designed to free you up to enjoy a better work/life balance and you can’t let them opportunity slip away through nerves, fears, and trying to be ‘business like’ all the time. Enjoy the freedom, enjoy the newly assertive you, and enjoy the opportunities life and a new career can bring.
This is the fourth and final part of our Business Confidence series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)we are hoping these additional hints might help you start thinking about this crucial aspect of your new career.