Four Ways To Build Confidence In Entrepreneurs Right From A Young Age
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A major factor in entrepreneurship is confidence. From the moment an entrepreneur decides to start a business, they will need to be confident enough in their idea to take that first step. Confidence is a determining factor in an entrepreneur’s ability to successfully close deals, properly negotiate, and effectively lead their team. They will also need to be confident enough in their ability to handle all the overwhelming challenges of running a business.
Entrepreneurship takes courage, and courage requires a solid foundation of confidence. Just like any skill, confidence needs to be nurtured at an early age. It needs to be developed over years, so it can be tapped into, especially in difficult times when it is needed the most. If you are saying to yourself, “I wish I had the confidence to follow through with this business idea,” or “I wish I argued my point better, I knew I was right,” then you know how important it is to be confident. Thankfully, you can pass this trait to your child, and, in the process, learn from it as well. Here’s how you can build up confidence:
1. POSITIVE FEEDBACK AND FACING REALITY
Positive feedback and reinforcement can work wonders for a child’s sense of confidence. If your child excels at a particular task, they look to you for affirmation, and you should validate their achievements accordingly. On the other hand, your child may also fail something, even though they tried really hard. At this point, you should recognize their effort, but instead of offering praise, let them know that failure is common, and they may not succeed at everything. The important thing is to build a sense of resilience to these failures so that they can have the confidence to either try again or choose another path without losing morale. Every entrepreneur needs to understand this concept at an early age: there will be good times, and there will be bad times; in either case, you will need to find a healthy way to cope with both in order to succeed.
2. CURIOSITY AND INDEPENDENCE
Encouraging curiosity and exploration can build a child’s confidence by putting them in fresh situations, and receiving new information where they need to quickly adapt. Taking trips to new places, museums, or science experiments can help nurture new interests that your child can pursue, giving them the motivation to continue learning and seek out new experiences. While exploring and flexing their curious muscles, children should have the space to experiment on their own without fear of failure. This will help them to develop the independent mindset that will further reinforce confidence. This curious drive is the foundation of innovation. Future entrepreneurs will have to constantly ask questions, and figure out new ways of doing things to succeed in their industry.
3. EMPATHY AND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
The best leaders are not the toughest ones, but instead the most empathetic; they have the emotional intelligence to understand what each individual in their team is experiencing, and know how to get the most out of them. They practice empathy on a regular basis to ensure things go smoothly with their team and with their customers. Children need to start learning early how to maintain strong relationships with their friends, which will feed into their confidence. Having friends that they listen to, understand, and support will enable them to be good at making new friends and dealing with people throughout life. When they grow up, this will help them lead teams, network with peers, and deal with the many people it takes to make a business succeed.
4. CONVICTION AND DEBATE
You should encourage healthy debates at home, and start negotiating with your children on certain points to get them in the habit of defending their side of an argument. You should also give them the room to win some debates (within reason of course), so they can be proud of their negotiating skills and build up their confidence for the next round. If they believe strongly and rightly enough in their idea, they need to see it through, as this skill will serve them greatly throughout their lives. Whether it is negotiating a contract, or convincing a client of a new plan, it will take confidence to get the point across.
A word of caution here: confidence needs to be planted in self-awareness and a healthy respect for failure. Being overly-confident and without warrant can be detrimental to any entrepreneur, as their ego will get the better of their judgement. That’s why it is important to nurture confidence based on experience and combined with a respect for failure. We need to let our children know that when they fail, they need to get back up and keep moving forward. This in itself creates the strongest confidence and teaches valuable lessons along the way. Coming back from a tough experience will fortify our children, and give them the confidence that they can face the next challenge- and still come out on top.