C is for Confidence

So many people never begin something because they are too scared of failing. But the simply reality is, you will never know unless you give it a go. The ability to get on and do it – in other words, confidence – is what sets change-makers apart from dreamers. 

Richard Branson's A to Z: C is for Confidence

Dale Carnegie once said “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was to pick up the phone, at just 15 years old, to ring up Coca-Cola, Pepsi and the banks to persuade them to buy advertising in Student magazine. I would clear my throat, lower my voice and try to sound much older and wiser.

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It certainly wasn’t easy, I was knocked back time and time again – in fact it took three years just to get enough ad revenue to fund our first edition. But what’s great is, the more you do something, the more you grow in confidence and expertise. The more you try new things, the less daunting and more exciting they become.

With each call I gained more confidence to make the next. It was such a great learning curve, which led me to pluck up the courage to go on and interview the likes of Mick Jagger and John Lennon, and further down the track approach artists like The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson to sign with Virgin Records.

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So don’t spend too long fretting about what you are going to do next, just get out there and start. Once you’ve had one or two breakthroughs your confidence will increase, and you will get bolder and bolder. It’s no secret that opportunity favours the bold.

What does confidence mean to you? I’d like to hear about it in the comments below.

Watch more from my A to Z of business below:

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