In every industry, during every economy, there are businesses that thrive. There’s no mystery as to why this happens. In fact, we can choose to become one of them. And that’s what today’s message is all about.
I’m very specifically referring to the business owners who:
- Have the courage to do things their way. As Warren Buffett says, the best investors sell when everyone else is buying, and buy when everyone else is selling.
- Have the courage to turn away the wrong kind of projects and clients. They know that no business can thrive without a strong client base or customer base.
- Have the courage to develop innovative, new products or services.
- Have the courage to refuse to do average work. They know that people judge them based on the quality of their work. So they set the bar high and increase their value.
- Have the courage to set deadlines and deliver as promised. They’ve figured out that this is one of the best ways to earn the trust of their clients.
- Have the courage to charge 100% or 500% more than the industry average.
- Have the courage to focus on what they want. They’ve learned that we tend to move in the direction of what we focus on. So they refuse to focus on what they fear.
- Have the courage to lead. When everyone else is waiting for someone to take action, these business owners lead by example.
Time and again, I find that the most common factor behind successful business owners and entrepreneurs, is courage.
The role of courage in business success
Fact: A courageous business owner will always outperform a fearful one. This holds true, no matter how smart the fearful business owner is.
For instance, many of the most fearful and least successful business owners I have met or studied, were very highly educated. However, as former US president Calvin Coolidge famously said, “The world is full of educated derelicts“. They were great at detail. Wonderful with research, yet lousy when it came to leaving their comfort zones. They lacked the courageous mindset of an entrepreneur.
Smart and courageous
Conversely, Apple was co-founded by a courageous university drop-out. And Steve Jobs was not alone. Dell founder Michael Dell never graduated. Nor did Henry Ford, Wendy’s CEO or Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. (Ellison is worth an estimated $54 Billion, around 10 times more than Sir Richard Branson). Smart people for sure. That goes without saying.
My point is that their lack of academic qualifications had no negative impact on their success, and that gaining academic qualifications is no guarantee of success.
In the 25 years since starting my business, I’ve worked with thousands of business owners. I’ve found that nothing can stop a smart, courageous business owner from succeeding. And that nothing can stop a smart, fearful business owner from being average… at best.
The good news is that courage is NOT the absence of fear.
Courage is a choice we make.
Courage is how we choose to respond when faced with the risk that comes with every genuine opportunity. It’s how we choose to respond when faced with the current uncertainty.
And we can choose to start acting with courage, whenever we wish.