Personal & Business Confidence: Are you a Pioneer?
- A person who is among the first to explore or establish something new
- Develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge or activity.
Great word isn’t it. Pioneer. It originated from the 16th Century as a military term denoting a member of the infantry ‘Pionnier’ but in today’s world it is used often in the business world for those who are looking to be first or to do something new or for the first time.
Many of my friends and former colleagues are moving into a new field of work either by turning their hands to freelance work or to set up businesses on their own or with colleagues. Having done it, it really is a big step and requires many deep breaths before taking the plunge. The thing is, once a little time has passed and things start to even out you wonder what all the fuss was about. Yes you have to fanny about with tax and setting things up, but this little bit of labour intensive effort pays off to leave you free to develop your business. As time passes further you start to see your business as your baby and it genuinely feels extremely, well, pioneering. After all, it is about be first to explore something new, or to apply something new for those doing it, it is new. Often when people set themselves up on his or her own, they are often described as entrepreneurs, this term is somewhat overused and reading between the lines, I think I prefer pioneer, I have also toyed with ‘entre- pioneer’ but that doesn’t work. Support plays a big role, and having support from friends, colleagues and associates really makes a difference. For those out their starting on their own pioneering quest, reach out to as many people as possible, ask for help, take help when it is offered with a grateful smile as this will help to build your business confidence (especially when networking events beckon) and you can learn from their mistakes before you make them yourself. It is great to network this way too, be warned you don’t come across to ‘grabby’ for information and always try to reciprocate wherever possible if you are to keep your network happy.
Personally, people who have experienced some form of epiphany and make a big change in their lives are pioneers too. All to often we hear people wanting to be more confident or more assertive, and when applying some self-development principles we can really see people develop. One method I like involves asking 7 specific questions of the things we are about to embark on, this helps to get a grip on things and take control. These self-coaching questions work like this and can be applied to both business and personal situations.
- What is the specific action I am about to perform?
- What problem does it solve, or what goal does it help to achieve?
- What is the cost of doing this? (Can be interpreted not only in financial terms but also time)
- Is it profitable/worthwhile (delete as you see fit)
- Can it be sustained? If so, what do I need to do it?
- What is the first thing I can do to start?
- When will I do it? Commit!
When you have the answers to your questions, your pioneering can truly get under way, as you work through the tasks you start to feel like you have achieved something and this achievement should be recorded. Personally I favour a journal of some sort, something nice, and not a device like an ipad. I have a leather bound journal when I have pioneered something I set it out in three simple terms, this stops the waffle!
- What did I win or pioneer?
- What did not go well?
- What would I do different if I do something similar again?
By recording your pioneering achievements this way you have a record of really good, confidence building information and if things didn’t quite go to plan, well points 2 & 3 ensure you never make the same mistake again, therefore continuing your pioneering journey in the right way. This method works so effectively for people in employment too, for example sales people love to demonstrate effectively what they have delivered, using this helps them to gather evidence and can help when looking for a pay rise! Managers can use this to evidence good practice especially with a new team or if the manager is just starting out.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, look at what you do as being valuable, be aware of your own value and appreciate it. I am not saying go around singing “look at me, aren’t I amazing”, no that is not it. Rather it is simply about understanding what you contribute, what you achieve and how you can be your own personal pioneer. So go ahead, make some tracks in unchartered territory and pioneer!