How to build confidence

Rebecca Wilkinson: Conquering depression and becoming a serial entrepreneur
Niki Burton: "I no longer doubt my purpose or value"


By Saul Sebag

Drive and determination are commonly pinpointed as being vital characteristics in successful entrepreneurs, but the truth is that without an established personal belief these attributes have nothing to feed off. A foundation of self-assurance and security in one’s personal life is therefore essential to establishing the self-trust that enables one to take those necessary sacrifices responsibly and make ideas come true. But as our Rare Birds Luminaries testify, confidence can be one of the hardest things to build. Read on to discover how our Rare Birds Luminaries managed to erect their entrepreneurial ‘umph’.


Top 5 Rare Birds tips to being proud of your plumage:

  • Identify Role Models: For instance, the below story of Luminary, Jane Hamilton, who has never claimed to be superhuman, has managed to become an incredible business leader, achieving her own career goals, while also being great mother, wife, and having time for herself. This is not a thing of fairy tales. It is a reality that you too could experience.
  • Mentorship: seek guidance and emotional support. Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who can compensate for the skill sets that you feel you lack.
  • Don’t be afraid to learn: Be aware that entrepreneurs never stop learning – a central part of the entrepreneurial experience is the adventure, so let yourself, like all entrepreneurs, enjoy the challenge of your own enlightening ride.
  • Meet targets and celebrate: Establish achievable checkpoints to climb your Everest one step at a time. Start small and grow organically along with your goals, celebrating each victory as they increase in scale. Each time you reach your goal you will be in a strong position to pursue the next. You don’t have to eat more than you can stomach etc.
  • Remember Failure’s value: There is not one successful person who hasn’t failed at least once in their lives. Failing means you have pursued an avenue to its conclusion. Do not fear failure when it can be used to your advantage. Plus, one day you can pass down your failures as helpful knowledge to others.
The Story of how our Luminary Janet Hamilton found the confidence to succeed:


Following many years of experience across several business sectors and many roles, Janet found her true purpose in founding her venture, THE Shed Company Group: offering Australian consumers the very best made and engineered building solutions.

Although not strictly a failure of her own Janet’s response to her tough upbringing is evidence of the beneficial impact that surviving struggles and stumbles can have on creative challenges. This shows us that failure should be perceived as valuable experience, and should not put one of taking on calculated risks to affect our lives.

Janet describes her upbringing as, “Government Housing in a family, which was not only poor but broken and shattered this certainly was the catalyst for me wanting to make a difference in my life”.

By using challenges for self growth it makes future hardships more tolerable. Janet utilized her ability to overcome adversity to begin her first company in 1978. She explains, “knowing that I would have to fight to survive and to change my life gave me a dogged determination and can do attitude.”

From a hard childhood to manifesting a bright legacy, Janet has overcome many obstacles. Janet outlines how she methodically put the pieces of her success together through pursuing realistic and tangible targets, “obtaining an engineer, a software package to enable the business, the hope of having 12 franchisees and distributors and to provide them with service that has not been seen in the shed industry previously,” she restored belief that she can be her own hero in the story she’s telling. Janet also saw THE Shed Company grow to over 70 outlets across Australia.

Success for Janet is personal, “achieve your goals and see growth in the business. Yes, I have achieved that with recently selling THE Shed Company Group and am now ready for the next challenge. I don’t think we should ever ‘settle’ and say it is enough [in our lives], there is always more to do and more to achieve.”

Janet’s support system was a contributing factor in the success of THE Shed Company. “My team at THE Shed Company Group were amazing, all dedicated and driven people whilst everyone understanding the family values that the Company provided. It took many years to create this but ultimately it worked very well again as it is a team environment that grows great companies.”

There is a common misconception that entrepreneurs must have the skills to run their venture as a one-woman/man band, but this is just not the case. In Janet’s experience of building an effective team, admitting your own flaws and utilizing the skills of others is key, and increases the potential of a company to produce the quality of service it intends. When employing Janet states, “I ask them what their successes are, what they can teach me and what can they teach others.”

Another skewed perception of entrepreneurship is that the time consuming nature of the work makes it impossible to have a private and family life. Janet also shows this to be quite the reverse as her role allows her to structure her own schedule so that she can lead a balanced life and can still attend to her maternal responsibilities. She admits, “Whilst we are all busy in our day-to-day, businesses do long hours and have many pressures, time out is very important.” For Janet, family is an essential part of her downtime along with getting away and sitting by the pool.”

Since founding THE Shed Company in 2005, Janet has been awarded prestigious awards, including being listed in the top 8 Australian Franchise Groups in the Financial Review’s Smart Investor Magazine in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Now she has sold her company she is looking forward to a, “New Era, new business, [with a] new focus.”

The story of Janet’s rise from adversity to success hits on all the five of the Rare Birds tips for building the confidence to get you out there, on your feet, taking risks and living the entrepreneur’s life. Janet shows that, in essence, entrepreneurship is about believing in your idea, using your flaws and failures as experience, trying to replicate your role models, seeking support when needed and meeting your own standards: take confidence and if you have your idea go for it.


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Rebecca Wilkinson: Conquering depression and becoming a serial entrepreneur
Niki Burton: "I no longer doubt my purpose or value"

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