Running your own business is one big scary adventure. You are generally out of your comfort zone with choices and challenges to deal with. It takes creative courage to make both the small and big decisions and leap into the unknown. You have to look at setbacks and failures as part of the learning process. They are testing your commitment, enthusiasm, endurance and how much you want it.
“It requires bravery to do something no one else around you is doing.” Amber Heard
There is no rule book to follow if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner. You made a brave decision to carve a new path and follow a vision. You can read guides, attend workshops, talk to people, but you and what you bring to your business is unique. It is a culmination of your skills, experiences and values. Testing times offer opportunities and chances to establish and grown the business, break into a new market and achieve personal triumphs.
5 brave actions
1. PLAN – Have a strong grasp on “Why am I doing this?” Know what you want and why you want it.
2. TRY – Take initiative and action. Make pioneering efforts and step up to the plate. Face your fears. Do something now. Even a little step forward is progress. Learn from mistakes and move on
3. TRUST – Let go of the need to control situations or outcomes. Have faith in people and be open to direction and change.
4. THINK – Be optimistic. Tame your inner critic. Don’t let fear run your life. Focus on your strengths. Look at what you have accomplished so far
5. COMMUNICATE – Raise difficult issues, provide tough feedback and share unpopular opinions. Speak your mind. Ask for what you want.
Being brave can be really hard. It is easier to sit back and do what you have always done rather than do something that involves taking a chance. That chance is what you need if you want to build a business that is profitable, successful and scaleable. However, knowing what to do, and actually doing it are two very different things. Sometimes lack of action can be explained by laziness or distraction. But more often, it comes down to fear of losing something valued, such as admiration, comfort, connection or money.
“In order to achieve anything, you must be brave enough to fail.” Kirk Douglas
Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to carry on in its presence. Fear can keep you from taking action, moving forward and even cause you to procrastinate. You can look at the risks and then choose to stop or keep moving forward.
5 questions to ask yourself
- What am I actually afraid of?
- What harm can this thing actually do to me or others?
- What are the things that could happen as a result of my actions and/or inactions?
- What is the worst that could happen has a result of my actions and/or inactions?
- What are the risks to me and to others?
“The world is not limited by IQ. We are all limited by bravery and creativity.” Astro Teller
Bravery does not require physical strength, a high IQ or wealth. It is a quality that requires a mindset to not give up and the determination to pursue the goal. Bravery is an action that takes place despite the presence of fear, the perceived personal risk, and an uncertain outcome. But as you face your fears, they get smaller and your bravery gets bigger – and as a result, so does your business. Choose to be brave.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus