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Have Confidence!

Whatever it is you need to get done, approach it with self-assurance.

This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

When I was in kindergarten, I was deathly afraid of a tall blonde girl named Terrie. She had never done anything to make me fear her, yet I averted my eyes when she walked by, avoided her at playtime and always ensured there were at least five people separating us when we would line up outside the classroom. Then one day, for some reason, I stopped avoiding her. I looked her in the eye, and I don't remember what my 4-year-old mouth said, but I must have decided she wasn't so scary-and soon I was swinging next to her on the playground, playing kickball with her and picking dandelions with her out in the grass. To this day I still have pictures from my birthday parties with her sitting next to me and smiling.

I think about that situation today and can easily relate it to what many entrepreneurs must feel when taking those first few start-up steps. You probably look around and see at least a couple dozen "Terries" following you around all day long, threatening to knock the wind out of your sails. The fact is, some of them are scary-but some of them aren't. Some of them can be mentors, advisors and even friends who can actually help you. Who knows? You might end up building a playground together.

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