I wrote this post the other day about how your money mindset can prevent you from booking clients. I mentioned that money issues are half the problem.
So today I want to talk about the other half: confidence.
I believe - and this is based on my own experience and of those around me - that becoming a Mum is a unique experience that can really impact your self-confidence in certain and specific ways. Of course this is not the case for everyone. But having your confidence knocked can affect how you approach booking clients.
If you are a Mum - like me - and you struggle with selling, I think I understand some of the deep-seated reasons. Some of the lasting impact of becoming a Mum.
So let’s have a chat about how having a baby can impact your confidence and then we’ll get to the part about how that in turn impacts making sales and booking clients.
Or, if you're impatient (like I am sometimes!) and want some actionable advice, you can click on this:
Having a Baby and the Impact on Your Confidence
Obviously, not everyone experiences a blow to their confidence after having a baby. But if you can relate to having had a dip in confidence when returning to work or running your business, then read on friend, you’re in good company.
After I had my daughter I spent a blissful year on maternity leave during which time I spent precisely zero time thinking about the job that was waiting for me at the end of that year - other than to scheme ways to avoid it. I hatched several plans, a prominent one including playing the Euromillions lottery (to no avail, surprised face) every week.
When I returned to work, I found it quite a shock to the system. I found switching between Mum mode and work mode jarring and difficult to acclimatise to. Loads of things had changed while I was on mat leave. Loads of people had left and new people had joined. I felt lacking in direction. And to add to it all, the Mum guilt of leaving my daughter 4 days a week had well and truly kicked in.
I also struggled with a bit of a crisis of identity if I’m honest. I’d spent a whole year happily being “Mum” but now was having to pick up my old identity of “Career Woman” and found that (as often is the case after childbirth!) it no longer quite fit.
Eventually , I got back into my groove and had more of an idea of my direction and purpose. But it took a long time.
A couple of years later I found myself mentoring and coaching several other women who were returning to work and experiencing the same feelings of overwhelm, having to catch up with change and to a certain extent, figure out who they are now.
Have a think about how you have felt after having a baby. How it changed you. How differently you feel about work or business.
Did you feel like the world had changed or moved on while you were on maternity leave?
Did you feel out of touch with current trends?
Has being tired all the time impacted your confidence in your abilities?
Does Mum guilt slow you down and weigh on your mind?
Have you taken time to redefine who you are beyond being a Mum?
Have you stopped taking proper care of yourself, always putting your family first?
Have you stopped investing in yourself (i.e. training, learning etc)?
If any of these rings true with you, you are not alone. I ticked the box on several of these myself and have coached many work returners feeling the same.
But the cumulative effect of tiredness, always putting someone else first, taking time out of your career or away from your business, struggling to get back to pre-baby weight, and a hefty dollop of mum guilt is that your self-confidence can take a blow.
And if you aren’t feeling confident in your abilities, in your worth and value, then this will negatively impact how you go about finding and booking clients.
How Your Confidence Impacts Sales
Well it isn’t rocket science to spot the link between self-confidence and selling yourself, is it?
But let’s have a look at a couple of scenarios to illustrate what the reality might be for some women after having kids:
Perhaps you have struggled with your weight after having a baby. Perhaps this plays on your mind. You don’t fit into your old clothes. You are uncertain how to dress for your new shape. You feel like you want to hide.
If this was the case, then putting yourself out there, going to networking events or approaching potential clients might make you want to run for the hills.
Or perhaps you returned to work quite shortly after having a baby (as is so often the case for freelancers or self-employed peeps). You’re trying to juggle the demands of a baby and sleepless nights with client work.
Feeling less than sharp can make you feel like you’re not delivering your best (even though in all likelihood you’re doing just fine). And if you feel like that, it makes approaching potential clients really daunting.
Ultimately, whatever your unique scenario, if you are feeling less than confident in your abilities or value, that will come across in any sales conversations. If you aren’t confident in what you do, what you are offering, and how much you charge; how can a prospective client be?
Furthermore, if you aren’t feeling confident, you are likely to avoid sales conversations altogether.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! You can work on your self-confidence and in turn, you will start reaching out to potential clients with greater success.
Self-confidence isn't always something we can change overnight, but I do have 5 quick and easy tricks to help boost your confidence (and your sales) right here: