Today I'm chatting with Aaron Morton, founder of The Confidence Lounge
. I first met Aaron back in 2013 when I'd come to a point with my last business (Head Full of Feathers) where I knew I needed help. I got in touch with a company called BRAVE
who offer practical business guidance, and I was partnered with Aaron as my mentor.
I got a lot more than I had bargained for with Aaron. I was expecting to be guided through business plans, cash flow forecasts and all other sorts of yawnsome tasks. However, at the first session I clearly remember him asking if I could see my products (accessories and purses which I sold through Etsy) in department stores such as House of Fraser. I instantly shook my head and laughed. Then I saw that Aaron was not joking, he was being serious! After the initial shock, I noticed a new thought creeping slowly into my mind; I realised that If I imagined hard enough, I could see it.
My homework for that week was to call the buying office for House of Fraser.
I thought Aaron had gone mad, the homework assignment scared me shitless. How was I meant to get in touch with this retail giant and not get laughed at? It took all of my strength to pick up that phone, dial and talk to them. I felt sick. But you know what? I didn't get laughed at. Aaron was pushing me out of my comfort zone, giving me one of the best business lessons I could have. He was planting the seeds of confidence.
Hey Aaron, I could have died the day you gave me that first 'assignment', but now I totally get it - the best things happen outside
of our comfort zone. It's fantastic to have you here to share some more of your crazy skills with my readers, how are you today?
Ah Jen, I am great thank you – Looking forward to providing my answers to your fantastic questions.
Haha nice, I'm looking forward to your answers too – when you started working for yourself, how did you know it was the right time?
I always had an idea I'd be my own boss at some point. When I left university I never felt comfortable working in an office, not sure whether that was because of the politics or because I didn't get on with the managers. But it was the right time when circumstances allowed me to leave. I was given the opportunity to be a personal trainer, so I took it and this allowed me to do coaching work as well.
There will never be a time when everything is perfect to start a new business. At some point you'll have to jump, not entirely certain the landing will be soft!
What would be your number one tip on defining your perfect customer?
If you're just starting out, don't try to define your perfect customer because (1) you just want to have money coming in & (2) you don't have enough reference experience yet to know what your perfect customer is. Just experience what you want to do & once you have had a fair amount of exposures to customers your perfect customer will emerge. For me, It is an action orientated individual who tends to be a woman & enjoys conversation. This has come from working with a whole range of people & multiple times of working with people who I suspected were dead behind the eyes, but I was starting out & needed money.
I hope I wasn’t one of the latter, Aaron! Have you ever been tempted to give up? What advice do you give to others who might feel that way?
Yes, however the problem is when you don't realise it is normal. The trick is to not make a decision in that state. You can to step away, do something you find relaxing, sleep on it and then come back to the situation in a better frame of mind.
This is such great advice, I think if more people realised how normal it is to feel that way, they would go after their dreams. I know I’ve been there - many times. What do you think are the top three things that hold women back in business?
I agree with a book called 'The Confidence Code' where the authors state the main factor that holds woman back is a lack of confidence in their own ability & their reservations to speak up. I don't subscribe to a Guardian's writer retort that it’s more about how little society values woman. So the 3 things I feel that hold woman back in business is the same things that can hold men back:
- Lack of confidence
- Hesitant to speak up
- Low competence in marketing
Agreed, all people have amazing opportunities to set up in business, I really believe that men and women are equal here. Any work on ourselves to gain confidence to go for it is valuable.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in business and how have you learnt from it?
My biggest mistake I have made in business was not appreciating the role of marketing. I left my job without knowing much about marketing and that stunted my progress. However I learnt from that and now place marketing highly in my ongoing business growth.
I would say I was the same, I used to think marketing was a dirty word. I've since realised it’s just about getting people to know, like and trust you. I don’t think there is anything dirty about that. It’s building relationships.
What would you say is you passion?
My passion is providing products and services that enable individuals to perform at their best. Personal & professional development is full of platitudes that can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside but don't progress you forward. My passion is to provide workable systems that someone can follow so they can really see what they are capable of.
I do love systems and progress, that’s right up my street - what’s next for you, any exciting things ahead?
I have a programme coming out called 'Confidence Reloaded' It is a 90 day programme aimed at doubling your confidence. To me low confidence can prevent you performing at your best. So I work on the basis of sorting you confidence out and then focus on your performance in your business/career. The programme is a system based approach and seeks to have you practice what is necessary in order to be confident.
That sounds like a great programme, please let us know when it's available.
Thank you Aaron, it has been wonderful hanging out with you today - I hope to see you again really soon.
See you soon!
I hope you've enjoyed meeting Aaron today and have taken a few pieces of advice that will help you to grow in your own ventures. If you want a taster of working with Aaron, you can get 4 Keys You Must Have to be Truly Confident
audio here - absolutely free!
Want more, you can listen to his Podcast on Cultivating Confidence HERE
, featured on the Craft of Charisma
If you are interested in finding out more about Aaron, you can visit The Confidence Lounge where you will find courses and 1-2-1 coaching in developing the mindset and skill set that make you a high performer.
I highly recommend The Confidence Lounge ESSAYS
with some great reading on minsdset, confidence and performance (and I love that they are super informative, easy short reads!)
You can also find Aaron on Twitter @TCLAaron