By: Farrah Smith
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Who am I to think I can do this?” Or even worse, do you fear hearing this kind of judgement from your friends, family, and peers?
Whenever this pesky voice starts whispering in my head, I always turn my thoughts to inspirational people like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs, and Arianna Huffington. None of them were born masters of their craft, and they didn’t build their empires in a day, a week, or even a year.
If you are facing the festering fears of self-doubt or looking imposter syndrome directly in the face, here are three tips to success that every aspiring entrepreneur should know.
1) Get comfortable starting small.
Motivation comes from momentum, even if it’s ugly and uncomfortable. –New York Times bestselling author, high-performance coach, and speaker Brendon Burchard
Brendan Burchard has coached and studied entrepreneurs and business leaders for over twenty years. He says the majority of people hesitate to embark on their dream career or the build the business they’ve always envisioned, simply because they are afraid or too embarrassed to be seen starting small.
Even the most capable individuals are held back from reaching their full potential simply because they are too consumed by what others will think at the beginning stages of their journey to greatness. He says that we must demand more of ourselves than we are comfortable with, including embracing the messy and unglamorous fledgling stages of taking those first steps. We must hold tight and persevere forward, regardless of how hard it gets, other people’s opinions of what is possible, or how long it takes to reach the top of the mountain.
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Even Tony Robbins, who is one of the most celebrated names in the motivational speaking industry, had a mere seven people show up to his first seminar. Now he fills stadiums full of professionals who flock to hear his words of wisdom, as well as owning multiple businesses and having a net worth of half a billion dollars.
As with any goal in your life, you have to start with one small step and work your way forward. Thomas Edison was urged to give up after 10,000 attempts to create the lightbulb, but rebuffed these comments with his infamous remark:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Despite what others around him thought, without tenacity and resolve, his invention may never have come to fruition.
The same can be said for the top business leaders across the globe. They are the ones who pushed past their fears and insecurities, with fierce determination, reaping bountiful rewards for their perseverance.
[Related: Take a Leap Before You Grow Wings]
2) Sell with service in mind.
If you don’t learn how to persuade, if you don’t learn how to get people to say yes, then you are doing a disservice to the world that needs you. –American entrepreneur, real estate investor, bestselling author, and coach Dean Graziosi
Dean Graziosi says that sales and persuasion are the oxygen of every successful company in the world. The problem is that many people are uncomfortable selling. He enthuses that the way to build your confidence is to stop feeling guilty for marketing your services.
Simply put, you must love what you do so fervently that you feel you are doing people a disservice if you don’t get your customers to say “yes.” You must see a lack of sales as letting your clientele down.
Graziosi was able to go from small infomercials to running a billion-dollar business by centering on the fact he is offering a service that betters people’s lives.
When you approach sales with service in mind, you will effuse authenticity and passion, inspire people to trust you, encourage people to want to work with you, and ultimately embolden people to invest in you and what you have to offer.
3) Your success does not determine your self-worth.
I learned this from both Graziosi and Burchard, and it’s the most crucial ingredient of all. You must be confident and believe in your ability, irrespective of the results you get.
In order to reach peak levels of accomplishment, your self-worth and identity cannot be inextricably tied to the outcome of any external goal you are working on. Otherwise, you will give up at the first roadblock, first failure, or first setback you encounter.
Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of work, a lot of vision, and a lot of perseverance. But anyone can have a thriving, impactful, and fulfilling career with the right mindset, passion, and determination.
Dreams do not simply happen; it is your responsibility to take them by the hand and walk them into reality.
Farrah Smith is a Director at one of the world’s top environmental charities and is an esteemed member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. She also owns Farrah Smith Coaching, where she teaches a transformational course that helps teens reach their full potential with an emphasis on mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology.