If there’s one thing that education can’t fully teach you, it’s confidence. Now, that’s not to say that learning can’t help to strengthen your confidence, but self-belief is more like a wardrobe – you either rock it or you don’t. Because the cold truth is, you may know the ins and outs of business, but if you don’t have the confidence to invest in chance or the sureness in whatever it is that your selling, you’re as transparent as a glass half empty – not full. That would require optimistic confidence.
So how can confidence help to further your entrepreneurial endeavors? Simple. It gives you the belief to take your idea from thinking to acting, from “what could be” to “what is” without recklessly meeting with business hubris in a head-on collision. That’s to say, do your homework before you hand in your test, because an irrational lack of reasonability will put an end to any entrepreneurial efforts quicker than any lack of confidence ever could.
Strengthening your confidence
Flexing your confidence muscle is a lot like an athlete training or a musician practicing. The only way to bulk up your confidence is to exude it and to do this often. Practice makes perfect.
Building your courage
Besides practicing your entrepreneurial craft, the next best thing you could ever do is to research and ask questions. Seek out fellow entrepreneurs, who, like you, may have had only one toe in on their entrepreneurial dreams before gaining the courage to cannonball off the high dive. Reaching out to successful entrepreneurs or reading success stories will help you to learn what did, didn’t and still has yet to work for them. Of course, it doesn’t always mean that their story will mirror yours, but it’s better to have “been there, done that” peer stories of failure and success to build from than nothing at all.
Dreaming big. Dreaming reasonable.
Let’s face it; strangers and even those closest to us can sometimes be the worst things for us. It’s not that friends and family don’t want to see you succeed: they’re just afraid that maybe the juice you’re chasing isn’t really worth the squeeze – that your big ideas are doomed to fail simply because, well, they’re big. These people are called dream killers, and they’re a lot like that 9th grade music teacher who killed your dream of becoming a rock star simply because it’s a hard business to make it in. Of course it is, no one denies that, but the people who do make it aren’t any different than you. The only thing that separates them is talent, which stems from practice, which grows into experience and blossom into confidence – all things already stated and all things that aren’t given, but earned. So go out there and earn your entrepreneurial dream with confidence and courage.
Image credit: CC by Micah Baldwin