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5 Simple Ways to Be More Courageous How you can harness the inner strength you already have to grow a successful business.
From public speaking to skydiving, there are countless things in life that take courage. Starting a new business is toward the top of that list, especially if you're trading in a full-time salary for the unpredictability of entrepreneurship.
But there are ways to face the challenges of business ownership without fear. Here are five simple ways you can harness the inner courage you already have to grow a successful business.
1. Rely on trusted experts.
If you're new to entrepreneurship, you have plenty to learn. The good news is, there are also plenty of resources to guide you along the way. A one-on-one business consultant can be expensive, usually charging a hefty hourly fee. But there are a variety of free resources available to today's small-business owners.
Here are a few to get you started.
- Financial advisors and bankers. Before your business starts building its customer base, you'll need a bank account. Find a lender that supports small businesses by offering specialized services. Don't hesitate to ask for advice.
- Insurance companies. Along with your bank account, you'll also need insurance for your company. Utilize the services offered by small-businesses insurers like Hiscox, which offers a variety of liability insurance to entrepreneurs. If you work with a broker, rely on their expertise as you set up the full coverage you'll need.
- Business mentors. Along the way, you'll likely meet people whose careers you respect. Don't be shy about asking for advice. Often, accomplished professionals are flattered when a newer entrepreneur wants to learn from them.
- Thought leaders. In addition to in-person events, you can find respected professionals in your field online. Follow thought leaders in your industry on LinkedIn and Twitter and pay close attention to their advice.
- Support organizations. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has development centers located across the country geared toward helping entrepreneurs succeed. Take advantage of any one-on-one consultations or workshops they offer.
2. Challenge yourself.
Fear often comes when we're in unfamiliar circumstances. Building courage means constantly challenging yourself in small ways. Set goals that will help you conquer those fears. With each new step you take, you'll likely feel your confidence growing, preparing you to take on the next challenge.
Most importantly, give yourself permission to fail occasionally, remembering that mistakes help you learn. If you let every setback get you down, you'll soon find that your business never progresses past the startup stage.
3. Focus on your mission.
If you're self-conscious, it can be difficult to feel courageous enough to conquer various challenges. Instead of focusing on yourself, turn that focus toward your business and the purpose it serves in the consumer marketplace. Any time you're facing a challenge or feeling less than courageous, remind yourself of your mission and where you hope your business will be in a few years.
As you add team members, have the confidence to know that they're working toward that same mission. Over time, you'll find you're no longer thinking in terms of your own leadership abilities, but you're instead focused on your business's success.
4. Join a networking group.
As important as social networking is, it's most effective when supplemented by in-person interactions. Find a local business networking group relevant to the work you do and make the time to attend on a regular basis. You'll not only make connections that will help you build and grow your small business, but you'll see that other entrepreneurs face the same challenges you do. Having that support network can be invaluable when you start to doubt yourself.
5. Protect your investment.
The very real fear that disaster could strike your new business can be debilitating at times. Consider all of the risks your small business will face and take measures to protect yourself against them.
In addition to purchasing insurance against those risks, also invest in cybersecurity measures that will protect your business against a data breach and plan for emergencies. Consider what would happen if a fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural disaster affected your building and build a disaster recovery plan that ensures you can get things up and running as quickly as possible following such an event. Most importantly, work hard to nurture your existing customer relationships to avoid a serious reputation disaster. As these relationships are formed, your confidence will be boosted by the faith your clients have in the work you're doing.
Courage comes with time and experience. However, you can gradually build your own confidence by pushing yourself to take on challenges. If you have insurance and a support network in place, you'll have everything you need to move forward, gradually growing your small business into a successful enterprise.