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Conquering your self-doubt: How to get out of your own way

Overcoming self-doubt is crucial for any business owner, especially in the competitive and ever-evolving auto industry. 

Running a successful auto dealership requires a mix of business acumen, passion, and dedication. Despite having these traits, self-doubt can still creep in and negatively impact your business.

By understanding how self-doubt can affect your auto dealership and learning strategies to overcome it, you can create a thriving business that exceeds expectations.

What causes self-doubt?

Running an auto dealership can be a challenging and demanding endeavor, with many factors contributing to the success or failure of the business. As an auto dealership owner, it’s not uncommon to experience self-doubt, questioning your abilities and decisions.

Now, we will discuss the common causes of self-doubt in auto dealership owners, shedding light on the underlying factors that may trigger these feelings and providing a better understanding of how to address them.

1. The High Stakes of the Auto Industry

The auto industry is notoriously competitive, with dealerships competing for customers’ attention and loyalty. This high-stakes environment can foster self-doubt, especially when facing challenges like fluctuating market conditions or economic downturns.

2. Comparison to Other Dealerships

It’s natural to compare your dealership to others, particularly if they appear more successful or have a stronger online presence. This comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, making it difficult to focus on your own growth and achievements.

3. Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is common among entrepreneurs, and auto dealership owners are no exception. In fact, reports have it that 35.2% of U.S entrepreneurs face the fear of failure. This fear can manifest as self-doubt and may hinder your willingness to take risks, stifle innovation, and prevent the exploration of new opportunities.

4. Perfectionism

Setting high standards for your dealership can be beneficial but its important to recognize the potential pitfalls of an overly perfectionist mindset. Constantly aiming for perfectionism may result in perpetual dissatisfaction and anxiousness about your own abilities.

Conquering self-doubt in the retail automotive Industry

Self-doubt can lead to a lack of confidence in decision-making, resulting in missed opportunities and poor choices. This can manifest in various ways within an auto dealership, including hesitancy to expand your inventory, reluctance to invest in marketing efforts, and difficulty in negotiating with customers or suppliers.

Furthermore, self-doubt can negatively impact your ability to motivate and lead your team, resulting in reduced employee morale and productivity.

Overcoming self-doubt is crucial for any business owner, especially in the competitive and ever-evolving auto industry. 

Next, we will explore effective strategies and actionable tips that can help auto dealership owners like you conquer self-doubt, boost confidence, and ultimately drive the business toward success. 

By understanding and implementing these methods, you can cultivate a more resilient and positive mindset, allowing you to navigate the challenges of the industry with confidence and determination.

  1. Celebrate your achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate milestones, such as expanding your inventory or hitting sales targets. Share your accomplishments on social media, send out press releases, and organize events to generate positive buzz around your dealership.
  2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders: Build a network of supportive individuals who believe in you and your dealership. This can include family members, friends, employees, and even loyal customers. Their positivity can help counteract feelings of self-doubt and keep you motivated.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others: Instead of comparing your dealership to others, focus on your own growth and progress. Set realistic goals and measure your success based on your ability to achieve them.
  4. Give yourself permission to risk failure: Embrace the possibility of failure as an opportunity for learning and growth. By taking calculated risks, you increase the chances of discovering innovative strategies and expanding your dealership’s reach.
  5. Stop trying to be perfect: Launch new ideas, products, or services even if they are not perfect. Continuous improvement is a key aspect of business success, and striving for perfection can hinder progress.
  6. Seek help for tasks you’re not good at: Delegate responsibilities, such as marketing or office tasks, to professionals who can handle them efficiently. This allows you to focus on your strengths and reduces the likelihood of self-doubt creeping in.


Self-doubt is a natural and human emotion, but it can be detrimental to the success of your auto dealership if left unchecked. By implementing the strategies discussed above, you can build your confidence, overcome self-doubt, and create a thriving auto dealership that stands out from the competition. 

As Warren Buffett once said, "The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect."

By fostering a positive and resilient temperament, you can ensure that your auto dealership not only survives but thrives in the ever-changing automotive landscape. 

Embrace your strengths, learn from your mistakes, and surround yourself with supportive individuals who can help you grow and achieve your goals. Ultimately, overcoming self-doubt will empower you to make better decisions, take calculated risks, and navigate the challenges of the auto dealership industry with a clear vision and a confident mindset. Remember, success lies not in the absence of self-doubt, but in your ability to confront and conquer it.

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Joseph Iyanu
Joseph Iyanu
Joseph is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He has over five years of experience holding various different positions in both independent and franchised car dealerships. Joseph is a dedicated advocate for the automotive industry and offers readers a unique blend of insider knowledge and the latest industry trends. Join Joseph as he explores the ever-evolving world of auto dealerships, shedding light on best practices across all departments, from sales and finance to service and parts.

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