This past year I’ve thoroughly enjoyed coaching clients starting business ventures. New coaches trying to find a suitable niche, young businessmen and women with organisational and time management issues, a lovely lady starting a franchise, a self proclaimed entrepreneur with lots of ideas but no action plan… a lot of them sharing similar fears and insecurities: Am I good enough? Do I know enough? Where do I start, and how? Is this the right time?

These are also some of the fears freezing many other people starting businesses today, and keeping them from taking action and making things happen.

But do you have to be totally confident to make it in business? And if so, how can you make it so that you are more confident and have more self-belief?

Regardless of what sector you are in, you can benefit from my 10 keys to business confidence:


When I started coaching I had zero business experience. I had an imaginary idea of what I thought it meant to run a business. I thought I had to behave “businesslike”; I had to be serious and talk the lingo and behave all businessy. But I wasn’t being myself. This was quickly spotted by potential clients and mentors. In fact it was one of my trainers, Brian Colbert, who gave me one of the best pieces of business advice I’ve ever had: BE YOURSELF.

What better way to attract the right prospects to buy your product or service than to know and like who you are, to know your strengths and to play up to them, to know your weaknesses and to improve on them. When it comes to having a competitive advantage, business lingo aside, it simply comes down to: who are you, and what can you do better than anyone else?

Extremely successful individuals and companies deliberately make choices to be unique and different in activities that they are really, really good at, and they focus all of their energy in these areas.


Companies use mission statements to state the company’s purpose. It usually tells what type of business a company is in and what customer needs it is endeavouring to serve. It also serves as a constant reminder and a guide for day to day operations, and as the foundation for future decision making. To know your own purpose you need to know the answers to these questions: What do you do? What are you trying to accomplish for your clients? What for?


A strategic vision is the image of a company’s future; the direction in which it is headed, the client focus it should have, the market position it should try to occupy, the business activities to be pursued, and the capabilities and objectives it plans to develop.

Whenyou imagine yourself succeeding in the future, what kind of enterprise has your business become? What kind of actions have you taken and are you taking towards fulfilling your purpose? What obstacles have you overcome, and how? It’s important that you think big and imagine yourself being successful, happy and positive! You can help yourself by devising a vision board that depicts what your business will look like five to ten years from now. Make it big, bold, colourful and exciting, and display it somewhere you can see it all the time and get energized.


The SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,Threats) helps you look critically at your business. It is a tool to help you produce a good fit between your company’s strengths and its opportunities.

- Assess your strengths and weaknesses by answering these questions: What do you do best? What do you need to improve on? What resources do you have– assets, intellectual property, and people? What resources do you need?

- Assess your opportunitiesand threats by answering these questions: What is happening in the world that might affect your business? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors? What are the current market/sales trends? What are potentially important market avenues you can tap on?


If you want to move your business from being successful to very profitable, you need to meet your clients’ needs and wants better than your competitors do. You need to know who your prospective client is, what his problem is and where he hangs out. In order to do this you need to be able to put yourself into your prospective clients’ shoes. What are his characteristics, needs, and motivations? Where are you most likely to find him and how would he prefer to be approached?


It doesn’t have to be a formally written business plan, but you do have to have a plan. Goals and objectives are like stair steps to your mission and vision. Realistic goals and objectives can be developed from the SWOT analysis and customer profile.

Start with some objectives that set the agenda; that are broad and global in nature. Write three to five objectives that give action to your mission and vision and will take a few years to achieve. Then, develop goals to achieve each objective.

Goals should be well formed, measurable, and support your objectives. Think about achieving them within a six month to one year time frame. Make sure both your goals and objectives build upon your strengths, support your weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities; and recognize any potential threats.


Some of the biggest stumbling blocks to a well formed business plan are lack of time and money. Prioritize key goals by asking yourself: What’s the most important thing I can do right now? Is implementing this goal financially and time wise feasible? Do I have the resources to achieve this plan, and how can I get what I need to make this happen?


Avoid waiting until you are fully ready and everything is perfect to take action. Write a to-do list for each goal. Develop and prioritize action tasks. Identify potential obstacles and solutions to these. Assign deadlines and responsibilities to ensure implementation. What is the first thing you need to do? Now, go do it.


In step six, you devised a plan and wrote goals that were well formed and measurable. Transfer these targets onto a board or scorecard which will act as a tracker, guiding you towards achieving your goals, objectives and vision. With this tracking devise, you can actively follow your progress on a weekly and monthly basis.


Your plan needs to be supported with people, money, time, systems, and above all good communication. You must commit and devote to the successful implementation of your business plan. Hold a monthly strategy meeting (even if it’s you alone with yourself!) to report on your progress toward achieving your goals. Don’t forget to take corrective actions when needed and adapt as the environment changes. Always reward yourself for goals achieved and obstacles overcome, and at all times take good care of the most important person in your business, you!

Author's Bio: 

Anna Aparicio is regarded as Ireland's top female NLP/Hypnosis Life Coach. A Self-esteem and Confidence Expert, she has helped hundreds of women all around the world feel empowered, super confident, and lead happier more succesful lives. With a unique blend of Neuro-linguistic Programming, cutting edge personal development tools, and a contagious sense of humour and zest for life, Anna is renowned for getting results fast. Now you can get her free report WHY YOU'LL NEVER GET WHAT YOU WANT UNLESS YOU DO THIS at