The importance of confidence and self-belief when building a business

This Masterclass on "Confidence and Self-Belief " is just a few minutes selected from over 25 hours of audio material designed to help you grow a successful business.

This Entrepreneurs Masterclass on Confidence and Self-Belief is just a few minutes selected from over 25 hours of audio material designed to help you grow a successful business. In the programme, 25 business creators (including 5 winners of “Entrepreneur of the Year” ) share their insights on how to succeed. Here are the highlights of what the entrepreneurs on this sample said:

Tim Etchells (Single Market Events)

It’s often a case of just needing to start and then you gain confidence bit-by-bit. In my case, it took over a year after start up before I began to believe that I was going to be successful.

Ivan Massow (Massow Financial Services)

Your confidence grows as your business grows. One of the keys is to start small enough that you can handle things pretty much in your stride. And after 6 months of slow, steady growth you’ll look back and realise you’ve got actually got a company.

In fact I don’t think you can fully conquer self-doubt – and I don’t think that you should – because doubt is what drives an entrepreneur. Over-confidence is what causes failure.

Chris Hughes (Brand Events)

Once you start, you often find yourself in the middle of nowhere and the good thing is that you have no choice but to keep paddling – it forces you to fight and it generally will come good eventually.

Karan Bilimoria (Cobra Beer)

As an entrepreneur, you will often find yourself going against the advice of ‘experts’ – but you gain your self-confidence as a result of being certain in the idea itself.

Mandy Habermann (inventor: The Anyway-up-cup)

When I look back on what advisors have suggested I often found it went against my instincts, but I went along with it because they were supposedly the experts – and later discovered that I had been right all along. Sometimes it can be a long road of building confidence as a result of these kinds of experiences. And I still do not think of myself as a ‘hot shot’

Luke Johnson (Grew Pizza Express, Signature Restaurants. Current Chair of Channel 4)

From time to time we all question our abilities and our direction – and I think it’s not unhealthy because if you are not aware of the possibility of set-backs then you will find it very difficult to cope with the inevitable threats and weaknesses of your business. It’s crucial not to let self-doubt overwhelm you. So success is about treading that fine line between the two.

Chris Gorman (Created and sold a number of multi-million pound businesses including DX Communications, Gadget Shop & Birthdays)

I think everyone has periods of self-doubt. But your mind is just like a muscle – and you need to flex it and train it in the right way so that the doubt does not overwhelm you.

Simon Woodroffe (founder of YO! Sushi and panelist on BBC2s Dragon’s Den)

I think it is important to step outside of your comfort zone – and I have learned that to feel a reasonable amount of fear for a reasonable amount of time is actually a healthy place to be because you get used to that feeling. And the more you get used to it the more it goes away and then your circle of comfort gets bigger – and you find yourself being capable of coping with more things.

See only: How to find the right mentor to build your career confidence

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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