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August 6, 2008

The Confident Entrepreneur

There are many different ideas and thoughts about what qualities make for a successful entrepreneur: fearlessness; inability to take no for an answer; tenacity…maybe just plain luck.

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the role of confidence and its impact on success as an entrepreneur. I first began thinking about this when I responded to a call for a book that discusses successful women who attribute their success to having an uber-positive attitude, high level of self-confidence, or a willingness to take risks. Ever since then, of course, the subject of confidence continued to present itself in my conversations.

Why does confidence matter? For an entrepreneur, confidence comes in many forms. First, you must believe you can do it - build a business, go out and hang a shingle. This kind of confidence is not only important but it essential to making the initial leap. Hopefully this ‘I can do it’ feeling will continue to grow over time.

Beyond the belief that you can hack it on your own, you need to have confidence in yourself, your skills, your abilities, your products, and service offerings. For example, if you are a gifted mediator and you believe in your ability to help people in a unique way, that confidence may be the most important asset to your business.

Perhaps most importantly though, is another ‘core’ level of confidence – an entrepreneur’s ability to trust your instincts. That may translate to sticking to your guns about a design, a way of approaching an unexpected problem, or the rate of your business growth.

Confidence can come in many forms and certainly it can increase overtime but it must be present on a core level from the beginning.

posted by Amy

1 comment:

cjanssen said...

Hear-hear! I've done a ton of research on the characteristics and motivators of entrepreneurs, and there is a set of common traits (including confidence) that entrepreneurs seem to have - whether it's genetic or acquired. Confidence comes in many forms as an entrepreneur, the first being having the belief and guts to even launch a business in the first place. But I think the real test comes once the business is launched and you run into challenge after challenge. It's at this point that you can't second guess your initial instinct and confidence to begin that journey. And I think this is when/why most small businesses falter. Hey - no one said this was going to be easy, but if you truly believe in what you are doing/offering and that your product or service is absolutely superior to other options on the market, then stick to your guns. Learn, grow, make mistakes. But never lose your confidence and the faith that you can - and will! - succeed.