Build Unbreakable Confidence in Entrepreneurship
Azula Castaneda, M.PsychTh.
Self-Confidence and Entrepreneurship
Confidence is a crucial component in the success of entrepreneurs. Self-confidence means feeling assured in your ability, knowledge, and judgment. It also refers to believing that you can take care of yourself with all the ups and downs of business and life.
When you feel self-assured, you have conviction in your abilities, even if they aren’t fully developed. Aside from self-confidence, what does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Is it about having a lot of money and success? Sometimes it can be, yes. But not always! And how do you find your inner courage on your journey into entrepreneurship?
We’ll explore these questions together in this post.
Confidence is Critical for Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, self-confidence is critical. When you lack it, your business suffers, and so do the people around you. But before we get into it, here are a few definitions;
The word “self” refers to ourselves and not anyone else; “confidence” means feeling sure of yourself, and “entrepreneur” is a person who starts up or operates a new business venture. So when we talk about self-confidence in entrepreneurship, we are talking about having belief and conviction in yourself as an entrepreneur.
Self-belief is a fundamental trait if you want to follow an entrepreneurial path. It’s one thing to know what you’re doing, but it’s another entirely for people to believe in you by convincing them. How your investors and business contacts perceive you can make or break your business, so it’s a good idea to think about how much confidence you have in yourself.
Gain this self-understanding before diving into the deep end of entrepreneurship. If not, then there could be some real problems ahead. Here’s the best advice available on how to be a self-confident entrepreneur.
Building Confidence as an Entrepreneur
1. Know Your Outcome
You have to have a clear target to aim for. What sums up your concept if you imagined your business profitable and operating at scale? Do you want to target your local area, or are you aiming to enter the global marketplace from the start? Knowing your outcome isn’t having a fantasy.
It’s about taking an objective look at your idea and where it can lead to gathering and implementing the necessary resources at the right time. You can have multiple outcomes for different parts of your business, i.e., sales, financials, employee relations, target markets, etc.
2. Believe in Your Vision
All great things start with an idea or vision. It’s one thing to have a vision, but don’t do it if you don’t have conviction behind it. The path of entrepreneurship is like walking through a jungle at night. Or, like Elon Musk has said, “entrepreneurship is like chewing glass while staring into the abyss.”
As you face the inevitable challenges and your vision begins to take form, your belief in your dream and confidence in yourself is what will carry you through.
3. Use Failures as Fuel
If you’re a genuine entrepreneur, you already live by this rule. There’s no way any venture or business can survive without it. Movies and social media make business and entrepreneurship look like a five-star holiday. The reality is different. Genuine entrepreneurship is a grueling process that will change and consume your life.
There are so many ways to trip up; you’re going to make mistakes. Be ok with that. Even things that aren’t your fault or that you had nothing to do with can negatively impact your venture. Learn from your mistakes and use them to make you a more successful, self-confident entrepreneur.
You’ll be thinking and speaking about your business seven days a week from day one of your ventures. You have a higher probability of success if you can speak in front of people and connect with them, communicating engagingly. Even if you don’t have these skills or you’re an introvert, that’s ok. You can partner with someone who does have those skills and leverage their capabilities.
5. Understand Key Numbers
Numbers are the language of business. If you don’t have an understanding of them, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You don’t need an accounting degree (though that would be good), but you need to understand financial statements and terminology. The health of your business is measured in numbers. If you understand those numbers, you know your business in great detail.
Get good at spreadsheets too; they’re invaluable to your venture.
6. Know Your Strengths
A successful venture has many moving parts that have to work with each other. Unfortunately, we can’t do everything, and why would you want to, anyway? Know what you’re good at and how you can use it productively. Outsource the rest. If you’re good at data and systems and you don’t like presenting, find someone good who can. Then put your time and energy into the areas you can make the most significant contribution to your project.
7. Start Lean
Business is a series of risks and problems for you to solve and overcome. The odds are against most businesses to succeed, but don’t let that stop you from following your vision and dream.
You can minimize your risk by using the lean approach. Eric Reyes popularised this concept in his book The Lean Startup. The lean approach says start on a small scale first, testing your idea in the real market as soon as possible. After that, you will know whether to continue as planned, pivot, or pull the plug.
8. Test Your Ideas
The ultimate rookie mistake is assuming that because you think you have a great idea, that means your idea is a great one. The only reliable way to get an accurate idea of the viability of your concept is market feedback. Your idea could be great, but the market can give you invaluable information, even the smallest of insights, that could take your project to the next level.
9. Go All In
Defining your vision and outcomes are the first steps. Anyone can dream, so, unfortunately, that’s not enough. Now it’s time to make something happen. Here’s where you need to reflect on your lifestyle and what you might have to change so you can give the most attention to your business.
Once you commit, you cut off your option to quit. You might make a bunch of mistakes, or your ideas could pivot into something new. But you have to keep going until you achieve a good result.
10. Expect Resistance
Some people have an unrealistic idea of what entrepreneurship is. Entrepreneurship isn’t the toys you have after you succeed. It’s a daily grind in the trenches, putting out the fires. That’s where your self-confidence as an entrepreneur comes into play.
People respond to challenges in different ways. Some get angry and upset; others are cool and calm, thinking their problems through logically. Setbacks and resistance don’t have to become bothersome. Instead of losing your head, ask yourself, “how can I solve this problem.” Having the right business mindset and positive psychology gives you the ability to build something great.
The mindset was my greatest weakness when I began entrepreneurship. But with the proper business guidance and mentorship, you can become a successful business person. The best way is to learn from successful people and follow the blueprint they’ve laid out. If you’re interested in learning more about business mindset and abundant psychology, check this out.
11. Learn By Doing
You can read 200 books on business and self-development and watch every ted talk online. You can even go to business school and spend four years studying business. There’s a foundation of the business theory that gives you a good understanding of what it takes to succeed.
But there’s also the most crucial part, which is to learn by doing. That means implementing your plan and learning as you go along. There’s a motto in silicon valley, the startup capital of the world. “Fail fast” means taking it as far as you can go as quickly as possible, even on a lean scale. You want to know as soon as you can if your business has legs or the idea needs to be ditched so you can go and do something else.
12. Think Plan Execute
There is a structure and science of entrepreneurship. Academics write papers about it, down to the minor details. But you master the game of business by doing it, not thinking about or studying it. Think about your plan and your purpose, and what your next few moves will be. And execute your plan, step by step, consistently, and with total self-confidence in yourself and your abilities to be a successful entrepreneur.
Confidence is a crucial component in the success of entrepreneurs. Self-confident entrepreneurs have belief and conviction in themselves. As you face the inevitable challenges and your vision starts taking form, your faith in your dream and confidence in yourself is what will carry you through.
Learn from your mistakes and use them to make you a more successful, self-confident entrepreneur. The health of your business is measured in numbers. If you understand those numbers, you know your business in great detail. Setbacks and resistance don’t have to become bothersome. Instead of losing your head, ask yourself, “how can I solve this problem.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, dare to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”– Steve Jobs
“My biggest motivation? To keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — every day I’m learning something new.”–Richard Branson
“I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” – Jeff Bezos
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.”– Seth Godin
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Reading this post is just the beginning. Now, it’s time to take action! Check out these resources that will take your business and your life to the next level, and go all in!
“Massive action is the cure-all”