There are a number of things entrepreneurs need to be successful. A brilliant business idea. Money or investors. A solid marketing plan. A smart team to help you start up. But there's at least one thing that a true entrepreneur needs above all others: confidence.
It takes someone who is courageous and determined to be able to bring a new product or service to market, especially one that people haven't seen before. A person needs to be bold and ballsy to lead a team, communicate a vision and grow a company.
While no one is immune to bouts of insecurity, entrepreneurs who want to be successful need to be confident in who they are and what they're doing -- and be able to instill that same spirit in the people who will help them achieve that success.
Entrepreneurs often try to be and do all things at all times. Unless you have superhuman powers, that probably isn't possible. Plus, let's face it: you're most likely not an expert at everything you need to do to get your startup off the ground.
But don't sweat it. Assess yourself. Realize what you're awesome at and what you're not. Be confident about the skills and capabilities you possess and focus on those. Hire people to handle the rest.
Once you're laser-focused on the things you're good at, also understand what's humanly possible to accomplish. Things don't always need to be 100 percent perfect. Even rock star leaders are bound to fail when they hold themselves to unreasonable expectations.
You can set your own internal bar for success by measuring it against what you expect of your peers. You could also ask a mentor to tell you how much he or she would expect of you. Then be confident in what you can accomplish.
As the saying goes, there's no crying in baseball. Likewise, negativity and confidence don't go together. A person can't be truly confident if he or she is focused on feelings of anxiety or doubt.
If you feel negative about something then put that assumption to the test. Say, for instance, you think that you're terrible at giving presentations. Ask yourself why it is you feel that way? What's the evidence that supports it or is against it? If the feeling has merit, figure out what you can do to solve the issue and be more confident.
Read More: How to Think Like a Confident Leader
Don't just act the part -- look it. Dressing sharp can improve the way others see you as well as the way you see yourself. Appropriate attire depends on a number of factors, including the industry you're in, but as a general rule you should dress in a manner that suggests that you are proud, prepared and in control.
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Looking good is only half the battle. A successful entrepreneur will also want to act confident. Someone who is visibly confident won't hesitate between a decision to act and the action. Whatever it is, just go for it. If you're feeling unsure about the same action over and over again, ask yourself what's holding you back. The answer can help you overcome any lack of confidence.
Read More: How to Project Confidence
In order to act without hesitating, you need to be prepared. It might sound obvious, but don't go into a meeting without doing your homework. The same goes for any other part of your business. Taking action based on tangible knowledge is better than going into something cold. Preparation helps erase self-doubt and makes you look good.
Read More: When Overconfidence Backfires
After starting and growing a company to early success, entrepreneurs can sometimes let confidence go to their heads. Not only can over-confidence be a turn off for others, it can blind you to important changes you need to make at your company. Being confident shouldn't make you think you can do no wrong. When markets shift, you can't always stay the course and ride the success you've enjoyed so far. A confident entrepreneur will know when to make the changes that will set his or her company up for success.
Read More: How Much Confidence Is Too Much?