Welcome to www.CateCosta.com!

Did you know that there are more than 500,000 new businesses started every month in the US*? Crazy, right? I’m pretty sure you want to be one of them or you wouldn’t be here, so stop procrastinating and start building now.

Here is your 3-step action plan for today:

1) Sign up to get free tips for building your business + you’ll receive my guide to the Top 10 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make


2) Visit my blog to start getting clear, understandable, and actionable info to help you build your business

3) For personalized assistance, take a look at how I help new entrepreneurs and make an appointment with me

Have a great day and be proud of yourself for taking your first step towards becoming a business owner 🙂

In Praise of Humble Confidence

By on April 18, 2017

Today I want to very briefly discuss something that comes up over and over again when I coach business owners on how to deliver a great pitch: the art of projecting humility and confidence at the same time.

I spend a good amount of time coaching clients and other entrepreneurs for pitching to investors and/or pitching at competitions. One of the things that comes up over and over with the entrepreneurs I coach is that most have not mastered the art of projecting both confidence and humility at the same time. Generally, they’re either a bit cocky and defensive or they’re almost meek and apologetic. Neither is a good way to present yourself when trying to get an investment or win a competition.

If you put yourself in the shoes of the judge or investor, you’ll quickly understand why. The judge or investor is looking at the entrepreneur as much as she’s looking at the entrepreneur’s idea and she wants to know that this person is the right person to make this company into the next big thing.

If you come off as an arrogant know-it-all who is defensive when asked any questions or provided any feedback, the investor isn’t going to think that you’re someone who is coachable, open to the input of others, or curious and excited to learn. If you try to pretend like you have all of the answers, the investor is going to worry that your pride will get in the way of you asking for help when you need it, which could lead to the demise of your business and cost her her investment.

If you come off as timid, you’re not going to instill confidence because the investor’s reaction will be something along the lines of, “if he doesn’t even believe he can do this why should I believe he can do this?”

So how do you project humble confidence? This is really more about actually being confident and humble than projecting both confidence and humility, but to avoid splitting those hairs…

You can project confidence and humility at the same time by knowing your stuff, being passionate about your business and your plans for its growth, and being open to and honest about feedback. Make sure you know all of the details about your company and your market and your strategy so that you can convincingly answer most of the questions that are thrown your way, but also be willing to admit when you don’t have the answer. A graceful, “that’s a concern that’s on our radar and, while we don’t have the answer yet, these are some options we’re currently exploring,” will play far better than, “that’s not going to be an issue for us,” or “we’ve looked into it and it’s not as big a deal as you might believe it to be.”

Remember, nobody expects you to know everything or be an expert in every topic. What they do expect is for you to know where you need help and be willing to seek out the best answer when something arises. Your problem solving approach and ability is what they’re interested, not knowing if you’ve already predicted and solved every single problem that might ever come your way, because that would be impossible.

*****

And don’t forget to support me as I rappel down the side of a 35-story building in downtown Chicago to raise money for minority and female entrepreneurs!

 

Learn How to Make Information Beautiful from Visme’s Payman Taei

By on April 14, 2017

Today is a quick post just to give you all a heads up about a really awesome video series that Payman Taei, the founder of Visme, is offering to teach those of us  who are not trained graphic designers how

Guest Post: How Successful Event Marketing Can Boost Your Business’ Bottom Line

By on April 10, 2017

*GUEST POST* Today we have a guest post from David Janes of NCC Home Learning about the potential of event marketing as a means to help boost your organization’s bottom line. Here’s David: Trading conditions have been tough with the global

Sponsored Post: Designing a Website for Startups

By on April 7, 2017

Today we have a sponsored guest post* from Lorna McGary: Deciding to start a new business venture is an incredibly exciting time; one which is filled with important choices and decisions needing to be made. Once the preliminary decisions have

How to Read Between the Lines to Find the Truth in What Customers Tell You

By on April 3, 2017

Today I want to revisit a topic that I’ve touched on before – the fact that you really can’t trust your customers to tell you the truth. Now, I’m not saying they’re all liars but whether it be because they

Guest Post: The Ultimate Guide to Invoice Factoring

By on March 27, 2017

Lack of reliable cash flow is one of the biggest (as well as one of the most concerning) challenges that a new business owner can face. Unfortunately, it’s also among the most common problems facing many new business owners, especially

I’m Rappelling Down a Skyscraper to Support Entrepreneurs!

By on March 21, 2017

Hey Everyone 🙂 Today’s post is totally different than my other posts because I’m super excited/absolutely terrified about something I’m doing in July and wanted to share with you all to see if I can get your support. So yes, technically,

Guest Post: Instagram Is Crucial to Your Business; Learn Why!

By on March 15, 2017

It’s guest post week and today we’re hearing from Drake Nicholson about the importance of Instagram. Despite the fact that I know IG is a high-ROI marketing tool for a number of business types, I have literally never used it,

How to Prioritize Customer Segments Quickly

By on March 7, 2017

Today I want to talk to you about defining your customer segments so that you can improve your marketing. One of the things I talk about A TON with all of my clients is being very clear on who your

Guest Post: 10 Costs New Business Owners Don’t Think About

By on February 28, 2017

It’s guest post week again and today we’ll hear from Stephanie Lynch of HowMuchIsIt about some of the most commonly overlooked business expenses for new startups or small businesses that can really throw a wrench in your financial plan if