Productivity Trades & Services

Are You Selling Yourself Short? (Hint: Probably)

Written by Jon Dale

In my job as a business coach to trades and builders, I come across a lot of people who lack confidence in their business skills. 

Writing that just now gave me a moment of, “Well, why else are they talking to a business coach?”. But what I think happens is that people take it too far and equate, “there’s quite a lot I don’t know about business,” to “I’m deficient, generally”. 

And that part is not the case. People say things like: 

  • “I’m just a tradie, I don’t know anything about business” 
  • “I didn’t even finish school…” 
  • “I never learned about business…” 

Comparing yourself to others 

You can do this to yourself by comparing yourself to people who know more than you or seem to be more successful that you, whether they are tradies, professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, business coaches) or even corporate suit types.

Other people will also compare themselves to you, and perhaps even try and make you feel inferior because you are ‘only’ a tradesperson. Comparisons can be really detrimental.

For every successful person, there’s someone doing better that they could compare themselves against if they chose, isn’t there? I do it — I see the marketing of other business coaches and think, ‘they look like they’re doing better than me’. 

And there are people out to put you down everywhere you go. For tradies, they could likely be customers positioning themselves and depositioning you in a price negotiation or while you’re working off-site on their job. 

How to boost self-confidence 

If comparisons – both by you and others – are hurting you, I have a few things to say to you: 

  • You are selling yourself short (You’re not deficient) 
  • And in the areas where you do fall short (we all have them) it’s possible to upskill to position yourself better

Why you’re not deficient: 

  • You’re a tradesperson. 
  • You learnt a trade – it’s a difficult thing, requires effort, brains and commitment. 
  • You’re a business owner – only 14 % of employed people are business owners

You’re one of the 14% brave enough and with the get-up-and-go to do this. If you employ people, you’re already in an even smaller minority. Most business owners (57%) in Australia, don’t employ anyone else. 

So, you’re not deficient, you’ve learnt a trade, started a business (which terrifies most people) and you already employ people. 

Here’s another statistic — only 5.2% of Australians who are business owners/managers have a qualification in business and/ or management — nobody else has studied business either! 

So, you’re not deficient. You’re smarter and gutsier than most. And you must know a fair bit about business to have come this far. 

Is there stuff you don’t know about business? Of course, there is. 

There’s stuff Warren Buffet and Richard Branson don’t know about business too. 

And there’s stuff you know (about your trade, maybe) that doctors and lawyers and business coaches will never know. 

You can always learn stuff about business just like you learnt your trade. 

One way is to hire me as your business coach. You’ll learn and you’ll put it into your business all at the same time. 

It’s not the only way — you can read books, go on courses, study business — there are many options. 

You’re not deficient. Hold your head up high and don’t sell yourself short. 

Learn the stuff you need but don’t know. 

Another thing — trade businesses make money. Construction is one of the biggest industries in Australia and businesses range in size from small to massive. 

People make millions — you can be successful and wealthy if you play your cards right (and if you choose to). 

One of my clients is a high-end builder. He built a 10 million dollar house for a guy who owns a form working business! 

He can do it — you can do it. 

So don’t sell yourself short. Step up. 

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Jon Dale

Jon Dale, of Small Fish Business Coaching is a business coach for tradies - trades business owners wanting to grow their businesses. His articles will help you understand how to manage your marketing, sales, operational systems and the people of your business. His program is called the Tradies Toolbox because he hopes you can use it, like a tool, to make more money and build a business you're proud of.

There are a few ways you can explore whether working with Jon is right for you, right now:
1. You can watch these videos - subscribe here to get them emailed every week.
2. You can join the Tradies Business Toolshed Facebook Group and participate.
3. You can attend the next Tools Down Workshop - 2 days of Jon explaining the framework.
4. Or you can book a 10-minute filter call where you and Jon will both look at whether he can help.