#022: Seven Tips for Developing Stronger Self-Confidence

Lack of self-confidence is one of the biggest silent killers of freelance writing careers. As an independent professional, you have to believe in what you’re doing and what you’re going after.

But when things go wrong, how can you take yourself from self-doubt to self-confidence? How can you manufacture that experience? How can you turn things around quickly?

Even with his success, Ed still struggles with self-doubt at times. And in this podcast, he shares his own tips and ideas for getting out of a funk and developing stronger self-confidence.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

#1: You DON’T have to be an amazing writer or earn a six-figure income to feel confident

No matter where you are in your journey (new or experienced), you don’t have to be the very best writer to feel confident. Successful writers are still regular people. It’s true! The gurus that Ed has always looked up to (Slaunwhite, Graham, Bowerman, Bly, Stelzner)—all are regular guys.

Ed experiences self-doubt all the time. And these gurus are probably not immune to it as well.

If you wait until you feel ready and self-confident and fearless, you’ll never take action. You get more confident by acting, even when you’re not 100% ready or 100% sure. That’s when self-growth happens. You don’t get it if you don’t take action.

#2: Find the strengths in your supposed “weaknesses”

We look at successful writers and think we have to be just like them to achieve success. But you can’t duplicate their formula. This isn’t a cake recipe. They’re successful because they’re true to who they are.

You don’t need a certain type of personality, schooling or background.

You can borrow ideas. Copy and modify things. But you can’t recreate what someone else has done. You need to figure out what works for YOU.

Make an inventory of your strengths. These don’t have to be writing related. They can be about your career background, experience or other skills.

Look for clues to who you are. What gets you excited? Then align your business strategy to that.

#3: Be like Forrest Gump

Gump wasn’t “intelligent” enough to know what’s possible and what’s not possible.

Sometimes we “know” too much. That knowledge hurts us. We think we know what’s possible and not possible. But we need to be more like Forrest Gump.

Often, when Ed doesn’t achieve a goal, it’s because he “knows” too much. He thinks, “I could fail. Things could go badly.” So he holds back or doesn’t take action.

Instead, bring back your childlike nature. Forget what everyone else says. Just do it.

#4: What would Tony do?

Think about someone you admire. Someone who could overcome the fears and hesitations you have today. Someone who could handle the challenge you’re facing.

Visualize what they would do or what they would tell you to do.

Ed thinks of Tony Robbins. “What would Tony do in this situation? What would he advise me to do if he were here, sitting next to me?” And the answers come to him. It gives him courage and clarity.

Some people pray to God, Saints or deceased family members. Ask for help in any way that’s right for you. Have that imaginary conversation and see these “helpers” giving you the answers you need.

#5: See yourself already there

Visualize yourself breaking through fears or doubts. See yourself achieving what you set out to achieve. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between something you imagine and something you experience. This has been proven scientifically. So anything is possible.

This can be hard to do when your mind is racing, but two to five minutes is all it takes. You don’t need an hour. Really try to feel it. Ed does it in the early-morning quiet. He gets centered, which sets the tone for the day.

Or find some songs that will disrupt any negative train of thought. Play them loud! Ed likes John Meyer’s “Bigger than my Body” because it instantly triggers high self-confidence the moment he hears it (and it brings back memories of when the song first came out and he was trying to get his writing business off the ground).

#6: Get some quick wins!

Ed picked this up from a software client. They made “quick wins” a central part of their business strategy.

If you’re going after something big, you need a quick win to get over the inevitable bumps in the road. You need fuel to push you through the hard parts and avert negative downward spirals. Bigger goals can overwhelm us if we’re struggling. Small, quick wins are more attainable and help build self-confidence and drive.

Weight-loss programs understand the power of quick wins. That’s why they focus on the first 10 pounds. They know if you lose the first 10 pounds quickly, you’ll stick with the program.

Example: you’re just getting started as a business writer, and you have big goals. Start with a goal of landing any (paying) gig as soon as possible. This will prove to you that you’re moving in the right direction.

Ed’s first few clients and gigs were NOT big or prestigious. But those wins gave him the motivation to keep going.

#7: Accept that your victories may NOT materialize exactly the way you envisioned them

When Ed started, he thought he’d be writing lead generation copy or sales copy.

Didn’t happen that way. He’d pitch clients on these projects, and they’d say, “That sounds great, but we actually really need help with this…” usually a white paper or case study. Soon, that was all he was writing.

Was this work taking him away from what was “supposed” to happen? He liked the work, liked the clients and was getting paid a lot of money. What’s wrong with that?

Don’t get hung up on thinking things have to happen a certain way. Let a force bigger than you figure it out. Instead, focus on the end result. And this is true not just of your career but also your life.



Want More of This Stuff?

Want to get more tips and strategies for boosting your writing income? There are

three ways you can enjoy these tips and strategies, share them with friends and help me grow this movement to banish the starving writer syndrome:

  1. Sign up for this podcast on iTunes. Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
  2. Subscribe to this podcast through the Podcast app on your iPhone or Android phone (free from the app store).
  3. Leave a review — Share an honest sentence or two about the show on
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  4. Share the love — Share this episode with friends and colleagues. An easy way to do that is by using the social media buttons down below.

Finally, if you have a question you’d potentially like answered on a future show —or if you’d like to be considered as a guest for a future episode — please let me know: ed at b2blauncher dot com.

Thanks again for your support!

Till next time,


Post Categories: Getting Clients, Mindset, Podcast

Leave A Reply (11 comments so far)

  • Laurel-Lea

    Thanks Ed! Just the encouragement I needed today.

    • edgandia

      Awesome! Great to hear it was timely. Thanks for checking it out. 😉

  • Michael Hicks

    When it comes to self-confidence, Nelson Mandela
    said it best:

    deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”

    If you want to make it as a freelancer, learn to embrace
    the light. You were born to shine in your own unique way.

    Ed’s post emphasizes several important points.

    First: Don’t be afraid to fail forward. Do something,
    learn from it and move on. 1 plus 1 does not equal
    2. 1 + 1 = 2+ . The “+” is the added knowledge you
    carry into the next experience.

    Second: Small victories are small, but they’re still
    victories. Well-performed deeds are the easiest
    way to build confidence. And before you know it,
    small steps become giant leaps forward.

    Third: Don’t go out of your way to get in your way.
    Freelancing is challenging enough as it is. Just like
    your mother told you to measure twice and cut once,
    you should think twice and act once in your business.
    The extra time invested upfront helps to minimize
    mistakes on the back end. And even if you do fall
    short, no sweat. Refer to to my first point above.

    Extremely well done as always, Ed!!!

    • edgandia

      Love that poem, Michael. I’ve also seen it attributed to Marianne Williamson. It’s a great reminder of the untapped potential in every one of us. Hey, and great summary of these points! Love your additional insights. Thanks for sharing them here!

  • Clara Mathews

    Thanks Ed. I have my own self confidence playlist. Top of the list is Defying Gravity from Wicked.

    • edgandia

      Love that!!! 😉

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  • http://b2binbound.com/blog Greg Elwell

    Thanks to Cliff I found your podcast. Actually, Cliff’s plug was so compelling that I had to leave his show and come right over! I did go back and finished listening to #327 of PAM! Great job. I’m subscribed and look forward to more! (I host the B2B Inbound Expert Interviews Podcast, also an A to Z student.)

    • edgandia

      Oh, wow — thanks, Greg! I appreciate your checking out the podcast. And thanks so much for the encouragement. Means a lot, my friend! I’ll check out your podcast right now.

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  • Treplah Racso

    Yes, Ed, it was in fact Marianne Williamson, not Nelson Mandela, to whom that quote should be attributed.



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