Ask any seasoned entrepreneur what the journey of entrepreneurship is all about, and they’ll say, “Problem-solving.” Every single day is another opportunity to approach a challenge head-on, and work to find a viable solution.
So why is it, then, so few entrepreneurs actually succeed? Were they simply unable to solve whatever problem they were facing?
The truth is, why some entrepreneurs are able to continue moving forward and others give up has far more to do with self-belief and trust. It’s not about knowing the answer, or even having a clear vision of what to do next. What matters more is trusting yourself enough to know that, no matter what, you will figure it out. Even if you make a misstep. Even if several more mistakes are made before the path becomes clear again. Successful entrepreneurs are far less concerned with the short-term, and instead keep their sights set on the horizon. They trust themselves enough to be able to get there one way or another.
So what does it actually mean to trust yourself? And more importantly, how can someone cultivate a better sense of self-trust?
Trusting yourself means you put the process first
Any entrepreneur with strong emotional intelligence knows that what is far more important than knowing the right answer is having a process for letting the right answers present themselves.
This means knowing how you best work. This means knowing what keeps you focused and what causes distractions. This means having the awareness to know when to dig in and when to step back. All of these things are much more process oriented, but you can see that they provide the space for answers to be revealed on their own. By sticking to the process, the rest falls into place.
It’s the entrepreneurs that hyper-focus on trying to have all the answers that end up losing trust in themselves and their ability to see the vision through to the end. They are disconnected with their own process. And as a result, they falter.
Trusting yourself means understanding how to interpret “No.”
It’s a cliché in entrepreneurship for the hungry and ambitious to say, “I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer.”
Great advice, if your strategy is simply to push forward with brute force. But the truth is, hearing ‘No’ from someone can actually be a positive point of reference. If someone tells you that you can’t do something, or just flat out says ‘No,’ there’s something to be learned there. It’s an opportunity for you to see your idea or venture from a different perspective.
The entrepreneurs that trust themselves to always figure it out in the end are the ones who have the humility to be able to hear responses like, ‘No,’ and take a second to reflect. They aren’t afraid of giving thought to that response because they know it’s not going to disrupt their own self-belief—and as a result, they’re able to learn from it.
For them, it’s actually a positive thing.
Trusting yourself means being able to step away without giving up completely
And of course, one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs is to step away from the daily grind for a moment to gain clarity. It’s a whole lot easier to just put your head down and grind forward, but sometimes that’s not what you need.
Trusting yourself to step away without giving up completely is a huge challenge. It can make you feel like you aren’t doing enough, or you are relaxing when you should be working. But this is also your time to examine what has been working and what hasn’t, and to question how you’re going to adjust and move forward effectively.
The reason some entrepreneurs succeed and some fail rarely comes down to talent. It also rarely has to do with the actual idea.
Instead, it’s about who is driving the car, who is leading the team, and who has the patience and trust in themselves to be able to see things through to the very end, no matter what.
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