Frank McKinney, who does ultramarathons, talks about exercising risk like a muscle. It’s something that can be strengthened. Your comfort zone can grow. You start to build up a tolerance and then it starts to become comfortable. I see this over and over again. That’s why it’s easier for serial entrepreneurs, even if there is big risk involved in the new companies. They have done it before. They have more confidence and more skill managing risks. That doesn’t mean there isn’t fear, but they mitigate that as well.
The key difference between them and others though is just like I said earlier: They don’t let that stop them! They continue to grow and get better. You need to make sure you can rely on yourself and your own powers. The way to do that is to keep relying on yourself over and over again so you start to trust yourself. Once that trust builds, your confidence builds.
It takes practice. The more practice you get in, the more times you step up to the plate, the more times you’ll have to look back on to show yourself that you did it. That also means that practicing that sales call or practicing that presentation makes a difference, too. Another piece that tends to play a part in confidence is how much you value the opinions of others. If you take others’ opinions of you to heart, then either you will be too worried about what they think to even try, or you will be so focused on what others think that you can’t be confident in what you think. If this seems to resonate with you, then this is a piece that needs to be worked on!
An opinion is not fact. Everyone has his or her own perception of reality. Just like asking eye witnesses to recount an accident, there will be differences based on their feelings toward the event. You will never be able to please everyone! Don’t let the opinion of others get in the way of you creating the business you want. As you grow as a business owner you’ll rely more and more on yourself and care less about the opinions of others.
Whatever scares you, go do it, because then it won’t scare you anymore. With almost anything, once you do it, it’s not as scary as you thought it was. —Derek Sivers
The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup