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How the Founder of S.W. Basics Got Her Confidence Back

September 5, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228204

In order to grow our company and expand, our skincare line S.W. Basics recently decided it was time to pursue a round of financing. This is sort of like taking on a whole new job. We had to fine tune our business plan, put together a deck (a fancier version of a business plan with pictures), carefully calculate our projections and then put it all out into the world. While demanding, the most intense part was the conversations I was required to have in order to convince investors that we were worthy of their money.

Imagine having to field questions like: What makes your company so special? How do you know you'll succeed? What are your limitations? Why you?

Related: Confidence, Excellence and Independence: Business Lessons From 4 Great Leaders 

That last one can especially get you. No amount of paperwork can help you in this moment. Most of us entrepreneurs already have pretty inflated egos, we have no problem boasting to strangers about this "awesome idea we have that's going to change the world." But when the future of your company is on the line -- in the form of lots and lots of money -- it is an absolutely terrifying thing to do.

On one call, I presented a potential investor with every problem I thought the company might end up facing. Sounds silly, right? But I thought he should know. I imagined I was warning him so he could be prepared and expectations wouldn't be too high. I thought I was presenting myself as realistic and perceptive. Only later did it occur to me I was telling him exactly why we didn't deserve an investment, rather than why we did.

Related: How Much Confidence Is Too Much?

I learned a lot from that one conversation that I plan on applying in future ones with investors. Here are some of my takeaways:

What other tips do you have for building up your confidence? Let us know in the comments below.