THE 3 Cs OF THE BUDDING AFRICAN BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR
Despite the challenges faced in the African world, the budding entrepreneurs are not giving up. Taking advantage of the vast opportunities all around, they brace themselves to climb the ladder of success in the business world as they conquer their limitations and fears. Every business is a risk just as life itself is a risk but African entrepreneurs are not deterred by this but instead, they forge ahead to develop and make great the African continent. With skills development in their targeted field of interest, these entrepreneurs empower themselves with the 3 great Cs of the corporate world which are:
As a budding entrepreneur, having confidence means believing in yourself, in your self-worth, abilities and the vision for your business. Confidence begins with you trusting and having faith in yourself and also in the goals you seek to accomplish. If not inherent, confidence can be learnt. It can be developed. You can begin by developing the “I CAN DO IT” attitude. It’s one thing to just say it but it is a totally different ball game to work at it. The magic behind these words only come alive if you not only do the talk but walk the talk. Confidence goes hand-in-hand with knowledge. When one is quite knowledgeable about anything, calmness and confidence naturally exude from such an individual. Possessing the know-how and skill sets whether it is learnt or innate, help to boost one’s self-worth. There isn’t any doubt that nervousness will still be in the play somehow but your ability to downplay and control it is what counts. It is noteworthy to point out that nervousness is somewhat a blessing because it serves as a restraining tool that keeps you from getting overly confident which is never good.
It is important to believe in yourself, after all, that is what confidence is all about but being overly confident is creating the impression that you are air and watertight, without fault or weakness. To build one’s confidence, one of the most important things to do is stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself. As you do this, watch out for some key things:
- Are you interesting?
- Do you smile?
- Are you funny?
Having self-confidence is a strength and added advantage in life. Aside from the obvious fact that it positively influences your emotional and mental state, it makes you a goal getter and keeps you in focus. It makes you aspire more and more to attain your set goals; it enables you to dream big; it opens doors of opportunities to you; it removes the fear of impossibilities from you; it brings the world to your feet as you conquer your fears and gear on for success; it enables you to live life to the fullest as you maximize your potentials. John Eliot in Over-achievement says this: “Confidence is a resolute state of mind by which you believe nothing is impossible”.
Lack of confidence makes people draw away from you as you seem to be a drag. It limits your mindset and causes a mental block which makes you stagnant. It causes you to focus on all the negativity around you and makes you a constant failure because lack of faith in yourself influences your thoughts which in turn reflect in your actions. For the sole reason that you give in to fear, you will never be able to overcome challenges. Funny enough, sometimes what we fear are things that may never happen but because we focus on the fear and not on the upside, we are unable to make the push to succeed. Irrespective of situations and circumstances, confidence makes you assured of looming success and because of this assurance, you are determined to make it happen.
If it is a skill to be acquired, you acquire it. If it is knowledge to be learned or developed, learn or develop it. Confidence sets your eyes on the goal and not the obstacles along the way. It takes you high up the career ladder and makes you an achiever. Let’s look at some ways to boost your confidence as you start your journey into the world of entrepreneurship:
- Condition your mind to be confident: Most times, we are encouraged to think positive thoughts and repeat affirmative statements to ourselves so our minds can absorb them and we begin to act on them. Other ways to condition the mind is –
- Have a great fashion sense. Dress in a smart, modest and presentable manner. You have no idea how much your appearance speaks for you.
- Walk confidently and with dignity.
- Speak confidently.
- Always be calm and composed.
- Hold your head up high.
- Always wear a smile.
- Keep your mind positively inspired – using music, articles, seminars, etc.
- Read! Read! Read! No one has ever been known to go wrong with acquiring knowledge.
- Envisage positive scenarios.
- Concentrate on your strengths.
Results from conditioning the mind can be seen almost immediately in increased confidence boost. The magic, however, lies in CONSTANTLY acclimatizing or taming the mind with the above conditions until they become you. Eat them! Breathe them! Live them!
- Improve your self-worth: One may feel worthless if he/she is aware of his/her level of incompetence in business. The way to break the blockade of incompetence is KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION. When you are knowledgeable and vast, confidence just oozes out of you without any hitch. You are able to make contributions and helpful suggestions that will help in the growth of the company. All it takes to be competent is preparation and practice. Is it something to be studied? Then read as much as you can from various sources. Is it a technique? Keep practising until you become an expert at it. Is it socializing, interacting with others or public speaking? Begin with talking to a stranger every day; talking to yourself in front of the mirror and even small audiences each day.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY TILL YOU BECOME NATURALLY SELF-CONFIDENT!
- Build your confidence level in yourself: Do not seek to build your self-worth based on material possessions such as wealth, degrees etc. If this is done, the confidence only lasts as long as these material possessions are valid. Once gone, so is your confidence level. Build your confidence in yourself and not on what you have so that no matter how things turn out whether in favour of your business or not, your confidence level only always gets a boost and never a hit. While the above are ways to improve confidence levels, the fact still remains that the only criterion or requirement for self-confidence is an ardent sense of self-belief. Irrespective of what you have or do not have, you can still feel worthy and confident about yourself because you know who you are and you believe strongly in yourself. You are your worth and not your material possessions.
This is a must-have in the business world as well as in life. The ability of an individual to conduct his/herself in a confident manner, keep up and exhibit a cool and confident behaviour while keeping the anxiety in others at bay and engaging them in lively conversations that could produce noteworthy outcomes is COMPOSURE. Pressure and stress are unavoidable in business. In the process of trying to get things done, you could get heated up, lose your head in the process and become really hostile and rude. You may even become overly emotional and very touchy. Not everyone is good under stress or can comfortably work under pressure (though some people thrive on stress and pressure to be able to produce their best). Understand yourself and then understand others.
Difficult it may seem, but always try to keep your calm and stay composed. Sometimes, you just feel like you have to react or you would explode. If you must express yourself in a calm manner, not letting your emotions get the better part of you. There are days when we just find ourselves under the weather and have personal issues bothering us. Do not take it out on your employees or colleagues at work. At the risk of sounding selfish, be sure to drop all personal issues at the entrance to your workplace and focus on your job for the day.
If you have a friend at work or someone you could unburden your mind to, do so during your break. At least an unburdened mind helps you concentrate better. If not, at the close of work, you can pick your bag of issues and go sort them out. Always keep yourself happy and motivated. Let nothing steal your joy. Only a happy and positive individual impacts positively on others and has great productive output.
Be such an individual.
Meg Cabot did say, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all”. One’s ability in taking calculated risks and making prompt decisions that boldly reach for excellence is COURAGE.
Never let fear hinder you from taking on those bright and intelligent ideas and churning them into great business innovations. You never can tell, your idea may just be the missing piece to a puzzle that the someone out there has been looking for. Think big. Brainstorm. What is that thing you know that can be done that will take your business to higher places? Think big. Avoid mental blocks. When you sell great ideas to investors, you are guaranteed more funding for your business because your hard work wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Seek to impact value in the society through your business. Go out of your way to do some extra work that may benefit the business in the long run. Learn something new out of your own field. Listen to your team members and be open to their ideas as you actively put your imagination and creative mind to great use. Be an outstanding boss by letting your work, ideas and success speak for you and not just making empty noises. Be bold enough to share your ideas with your team, at staff meetings or whenever an opportunity arises.
You would be amazed at how far you will grow and go when you stop being timid and fearful but instead courageous and fearless.
These 3 Cs are a must have for anyone who wants to be a huge success in the business world and in other aspects of life too. Stop limiting yourself. You are smarter and way more than you think.
PHOTO SOURCE: MY NAIJA NAIRA