Next week at our first Toronto breakfast of the season, we will be talking about how we need to grow ourselves first before we can grow our businesses. So often it is our internal dialogue that can hold us back. We question our ability to achieve our goals and as a result limit ourselves in getting there.

Self-awareness is key. Knowing both your strengths and weaknesses means you can build on what you are good at, and hire to do the stuff that would take you hours.

I immediately think of bookkeeping. When I first started my business, I did it myself. It would take me hours and my language was choice as I tried to balance my bank statements.

As soon as I could afford it, the bookkeeping was the first thing I farmed out. And today armed with a bookkeeper who keeps me on track, I better know my numbers, which is crucial if you are going to grow your business. You need to know what is bringing in the most revenue and what is more of a money pit.

But focus on your strengths. What got you into business in the first place? What unique strengths do you have? Often we take for granted skills that come easy to us, while others look on with awe. Think about it. Ask your friends and colleagues.

When I ran my group for new entrepreneurs, I would get them to do just that – ask their family, friends and colleagues about their strengths. They were surprised at what they learnt and for some it led to increased confidence.

I know when Amy and I were doing our research for the Good Enough book, frequently we were surprised at how fragile women’s self esteem can be and how epidemic the feeling of “not good enough” is. But if we don’t believe in ourselves, it is hard to ask anyone else to.

I think growing yourself means believing in yourself, taking risks because you have that confidence, building a tribe to support you and learning more about how you can succeed – be it through taking courses, reading/listening to books.

Surround yourself with people who will mentor you and be the cheerleaders you need when you achieve those audacious, hairy goals.

As Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Your attitude can make all the difference between success or failure.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.