I am often asked what I think are the core competencies of entrepreneurs. The truth is, there are a few things that can delineate an entrepreneur from a business manager, and if you’re curious, download our white paper on the 10 C’s of Entrepreneurship from the home page. One of the characteristics that I thought I would highlight today is the the word COURAGEOUS.
When considering becoming an entrepreneur, or even jumping out into the morass of business with your passion on fire, and your idea firmly in hand, it takes a lot of courage. Taking an idea and turning it into a reality that is visible to the rest of the world is an art form — much like a sculptor bringing a form to life out of the mass of stone in front of him/her. It takes a great deal of courage to allow others to “see” your idea. It takes courage to engage your family and friends in supporting your idea. It takes courage to talk to people you have never met before and “sell” them your idea. In all of these zones, courage is the #1 characteristic of a successful entrepreneur.
I often get asked, “how can I learn to get more courage?” The truth is, you can learn. But it takes a huge amount of willingness (and funny enough, courage) on your part to even get to that place of wanting to strengthen your courage skill. Courage is built by doing small courageous things one day at a time, and acknowledging yourself for the success you have made. If you were working up to writing a business plan for your company, take one small step in the direction of your goal, and do that. Then applaud your step, and take another one, and another one, until finally, you’re actually sitting down to write the business plan itself and share it with a friend or two. One small step might be to simply write down your idea and give it as much detail as you can think of. Another might be to look at a book on writing business plans and getting an outline going for yours. All of these steps can take courage, and you’ll strengthen your courage muscle by taking action.
You can also strengthen your courage muscle by tapping into your ituition, and doing the right thing. Sometimes when you’re in a situation, you just “know” what the right thing is to do. Having the courage to say or do the right thing when it might be challenges is an example of exercising your courage. No matter what the outcome, acknowledge yourself for having the courage to make the statement or do the right thing–even if it wasn’t popular. This is what makes outstanding leaders, and gives strength to you and your business.
Courage comes in all shapes and sizes, and is really important to all business relationships. Even though you may laugh, I will have the courage to say that my personal favorite book on courage is a children’s book! You can check it out on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Courage-Bernard-Waber/dp/0618238557/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333043459&sr=8-1
As an entrepreneur, what is important that you acknowledge yourself for being courageous, and continue to do little things courageously that lead to the big ones!
Make it a great day,