Recently, I had a mind numbing series of events that reminded me why it’s important to protect yourself from the dashers of self confidence. Self-Confidence can be built, dashed and even shields if set in the right set of circumstances. When forced to discuss self confidence many students, parents and even professionals would boast of having very high self confidence but would have little to latch it onto.
Self confidence is something earned, shaped by situations and knowledge and even circumstances that makes one feels empowered or defeated. The more situations of defeat one experiences, the more they feel dashed. At a recent discussion, I was appalled to learn that I was framed over a set of incidents that really left me in ruins. A summer issue in my office send me into a series of knots and twists and wiped out my company financial footing.
As a small business owner, the feeling of your company is making it is measured in dollars and cents. A small business that gross $100,000 annually vs. a small business that grosses $250,000. If the challenges of the company was managed well and you come out of twisted situations with extra change in your pockets, the feelings of empowerment was evident.
But the opposite is equally true, when it comes to managing money, you have to have your finger on the pulses, if you are shorted $50,000 in a sudden sweep you can feel crushed. It’s how we men treat things. Men on the whole measure numbers more than others and whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad, we men tend to look at the way we walk away or come out of the situation.
So recently, when I learn that a former employee/partner was taking the company money in gobs and even paying her Jaguar note, it just send me into a sudden state of distress. Not that I want to call out the actions, but the fact that it happened under my nose while I thought, she (the employee/partner) was looking out for me.
I should have realized that when the electricity of the office was turned off in April and the bank account was recording $9,000, there was an issue. The recent revelations of all the bank records, gave me a clear understanding into not only what was done but where I failed.
Feelings of failure overtook me as I reviewed the bank records. Records I thought were shielded to give me a chance to grow my business. The account was swept monthly, monthly she paid her car note, monthly she paid her credit card and monthly she transferred money from the company in the $2000 and $3000. Yet, I did not noticed. It’s funny when I learnt this, I felt like a complete fool. I was so hard on myself that I started looking at the parent issues that were not addressed. The other staff where were having challenges and all while trying to make sense of a trusted employee/partner managing and helping me grow my company.
Growing your company means, you see that the $250,000 annual sales multiply to $500,000. It also helps you see that numbers are retained better but when people sit in circles and judge you or your worth, they tend to think they can put a price on you, a valuation on your service and a method to sweep you to the corner.
One thing I have learnt from this experience is, protect your self confidence. Not everyone who claims to have your best interest a heart does.
While I am literally out of over $30,000, I am honestly grateful that I am still standing, still praising and can reflect on this as an experience. There were many days when I went through serious depression just trying to cope with the fact that I allowed a stranger to come into my office, manage my operations and walked off with a purse full. I even tried repeatedly to press charges and finally realized that there is a method this this chaos too. I can be prepared to pull the whole way or just to push to get through the gate but to protect my self confidence, my self image and even my self worth was the first and noble thing to do.
Once you are whole, once you are able to think clearly and once you are confident that you can withstand this, then you can fight, you can push back and you can rebuild. Feelings of defeat gave way to feels of over coming and hope. This too is essential as you face the hills and valleys left unattended and that will get you back the self confidence you need to thrive and become who you wanted to be.