Plus, 10 tips on confidence 

By Kimberly Baeth, president, Golden Openings Inc.

While I worked as the member services director at the North Hennepin Chamber of Commerce in suburban Minneapolis, I discovered there was no such thing as giant working scissors. Ribbon-cuttings existed but there was no magic behind them. 

While working at the chamber, I had received countless phone calls from new businesses asking if I could provide a press release about an upcoming event, design an ad, or get them a cake, flowers, or hundreds of other things that it takes to make a grand opening happen. Unable to do these things under my current job description, I presented an idea to the chamber board of directors for a program that would have provided these services, but it was rejected because of lack of resources and staff.

I started my business, Golden Openings, in 1997 after I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. The fear and anxiety set in as I contemplated quitting my job, but I knew I could make this small business dream really grow and happen.

I thought briefly to myself, this was an awful time to start a business, being in a brand-new house, having a new husband and now pregnant. Was I nuts? No, I was just a girl who decided to go for it because it was a good idea. 

I couldn’t sleep, I was so excited. The world needed my services. I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t think of one reason not to do it. It fired my ignition and worked in the opposite way. The fear was on fire. 

When I gave birth to my first daughter, Stephanie, three weeks earlier than expected on Oct. 1, 1997, it was impossible to change my small business’s schedule to accommodate the baby’s schedule. With dozens of people in attendance and weeks of planning behind me, the grand openings and ribbon-cuttings I had organized for local businesses had to go on. My husband and I arrived at one on the way home from the hospital, still wearing the little plastic bracelets.  

Even with a newborn, I worked feverishly to grow Golden Openings Inc. I breastfed from bathrooms, brought her in her carrier to city council and chamber meetings, worked harder and longer and pushed on. 

And that “good idea” turned into over 2,500 products and services, allowing me to work with some of the most recognizable organizations in the world: Oprah, Disney, the White House, Facebook, Tesla, Walmart, Google, Amazon, Dunkin’ and more.

Every day, I still wake up excited to help the world open their doors in style. Today is a good day to start believing the best about yourself, whether you are 23 years old or 80 years old.

How to find your confidence

Writing this article takes me back in time to May 1989 when I spoke at my high school graduation, at Marshalltown High School, but I find that the same messages still ring true, even after all these years. 

Gaining confidence in yourself is as simple as ABC – Always Be Confident! 

A is for all of you. As Fearless readers, we all have more in common than you think, whether we are a 23-year-old who just graduated from college, or a retired 80-year-old woman. For example, we all want to set New Year’s goals, feel empowered, elevate each other and have a memorable 2023. 

B is for a new beginning. Today will mark a new beginning in how you choose to view challenges in your own lives and tackle them differently. Believe in yourself. Be bold. Be brave. Be you! Gandhi said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.”

C is for convincing all of you that you can have a new mindset. Your self-concept is the core of your personality. That is, the way you feel about yourself affects every aspect of human behavior; your ability to learn, the capacity to grow, and the choice of friends, mates and careers.

Careers – isn’t that a scary word that begins with C. What do you want to be when you grow up? Before you become what you want to be, you are going to have to take that leap. Jump off the cliff and figure it out on the way down. Really go for it. Life is short.

If it means starting or excelling with a small business or advancing along the corporate path, the time is now, and you can make it happen. Are you content with the status quo? If you answered “yes,” you may be missing a great opportunity. If you answered “no,” you have some fantastic possibilities ahead of you. A challenge is only as good as its rules, and how well we play the game is defined by how well we follow the rules.

Here is a list of 10 tips to help you gain even more confidence in your journey forward.

  1. Anybody, anytime, anyplace, anywhere can do anything they want if they want to do it bad enough. Yes, that means YOU!
  2. Believe it, visualize it, become it, do it. If you think you can, you can. Whatever it is – running a marathon, writing a book, raising a child or cleaning your pantry – make it a habit to push yourself. Think “mind over matter.”
  3. Celebrate everything! Find a reason to take photos, go somewhere, call someone and live life to the fullest. If you accomplish anything, celebrate it. If you have a good doctor’s report, embrace it. If your child gets a good report card, take them out to dinner. Keep moving forward and your small victories will turn into bigger milestones. Wear polka dots, light a good-smelling candle, eat the ice cream, walk barefoot in the grass – anything that makes you smile is worth celebrating.
  4. Face the fear. Facing things that scare you relaxes the fear. Take chances, regardless of failures and setbacks. Keep pushing through until you have achieved the goals you desire.
  5. Passion. Find what you are passionate about and figure out how the world needs what you have to offer. Then own it. Be confident about it. Live it, love it, sleep, dream and eat it. Find ways to make money doing it. Then help others find their dreams, too. Offer your expertise and advice to others who are looking and searching. 
  6. Negotiate. Find common ground and work to negotiate “win-wins.” Life, love and business are full of negotiations every day. You won’t always get everything you want, but look for creative ways to achieve the best outcome for everyone.
  7. Networking is key. Shake hands, speak with others in person, “Link-In” with them, attend events, keep eye contact with those you are speaking with, write little thank-you notes, plan surprises and do the unexpected. Smiles are contagious. People are everything. Don’t burn bridges.  
  8. Resilience. Be ready to get knocked down and get back up again. You must find what works for you. Encourage yourself. Throughout the day, give yourself pep talks. Build yourself up rather than tear yourself down.
  9. Give back. Take time to try to do something nice for someone every day and it will help you grow and learn. It could be something small like opening the door for someone, but it counts!
  10. Courage with confidence. The more love you have for yourself, the more love you have to give away. It is easy to obsess over your shortcomings, but they aren’t real. The bar you set for yourself should be based on your unique qualities and talents – not those belonging to someone else.

Kimberly Baeth is the president of Golden Openings Inc., a company she started in 1997 at age 26, when she realized there was no such thing as giant working scissors. 

Categories: Guest opinion