A Never Ending Journey

Success, failure, excitement, depression, happiness, sadness, etc. I’ve had the luxury to experience the complete spectrum of emotions in the past few months. 

It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever done before making as little progress as one could on some days, and sometimes none at all. I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know that I want to make a positive impact on the people around me, the community, and the world. 

Before a few months ago, I’d try to find a shortcut to attain my goals or devise a quick strategy to reach an accomplishment. Even after attaining what I wanted, I didn’t feel satisfied. I felt normal the next day after the “hype” had died down. 

Soon, I realized that goals are limitless. There’s always a next step to be taken. There’s always something new to achieve. It’s not the beauty of winning or success at the end of the tunnel that defines you but the journey you took to get there. The countless hours you spent are the real essence of the goal. Every hour you spent working to achieve your goal you learn something new, you meet someone unexpected, you figure out solutions to problems you never though possible. 

Regardless of the end result, what you will remember most is the sun coming because you forgot to sleep, the food left in the microwave because you forgot to eat, the phone calls you forgot to make, the dinner you forgot to attend, etc. The journey might seem painful or boring, but the ability to get better every day because of it is unfathomable.

Those that enjoy the journey and understand that it is never ending are the ones that achieve the highest levels of success in any domain. The drive to get better everyday even if you are #1 is the defining characteristic of all great individuals. 

Why Confidence is The Key to Success

We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist. -- Vince McConnell

Characteristics define how well you do in a career, and also distinguish who you are as a person. These personality traits will be the fundamentals that determine your friends, hobbies, and career.

Based on who you are, there are certain qualities that you are either born with or have to acquire in order to succeed. For entrepreneurs, having personality traits that are different from the majority of people around you is a must. Entrepreneurs encompass qualities that may or may not be perceived as positive.

For the most part, people are intimidated to interact with entrepreneurs because they are considered to be very self-confident. Society says that entrepreneurs are full of themselves. That they think they can do anything.

Well, it’s true.

Successful entrepreneurs are super confident. It can be taken as a positive or negative attribute, but it doesn’t matter. If you are to succeed as an entrepreneur, over the top confidence is a requirement. A high level of confidence is the trait that keeps entrepreneurs striving and dreaming bigger.

As Malcolm Gladwell said:

“When you are told every single day that you are going to fail, that your idea won’t work, that you don’t have the skills to execute your strategy, the only thing you can do is have the confidence to continue.”

No one can tell you that you’re going to succeed or fail. Only you can determine the result of your work by either continuing to go on or by giving up. In fact, entrepreneurs fail so often you might as well label them as “professional failures”.

Yet, the confidence that entrepreneurs have allows them to get back up when they fall. This sense of confidence removes the psychological pain when they fail and instead pushes entrepreneurs to their next idea.

A lot of people perceive extremely high levels of confidence as a negative trait; however, confidence can be very nebulous. Sometimes those who are not as confident in themselves see entrepreneurs as overconfident because it’s different from what there used to. These individuals have only experienced the traditional route to success. When the outliers strive to achieve success from a different viewpoint people misunderstand.

This misunderstanding has created a bias in the masses that entrepreneurs are successful because they are extremely intelligent, well-versed in their industry, or have a God-given gift. This isn't exactly correct.

Entrepreneurs have a sense of self-awareness that gives them an insatiable desire to create change that at times can result in an achievement. (I’m by no means suggesting that entrepreneurs are not smart individuals, but instead focusing on the fact that anyone can be an entrepreneur as long as they are confident enough to pursue their ideas in order to make them a reality).

Nick Woodman (Founder of GoPro) failed twice with two different startups before he created the GoPro. He developed the GoPro camera for surfers and himself to take action photos as they were surfing. Eventually, other athletes discovered that they could use these cameras as well to take videos of them doing stunts, workouts, etc.

Soon the phenomenon of the GoPro camera evolved for use cases that Nick would have never thought possible. We now know GoPro as the most widely sold camera in the world, but it would never have happened if Nick didn’t continue to pursue his dreams. He was confident enough that he could succeed and that’s what pushed him to build the GoPro that we know today.

Rarely, do we see people succeed in entrepreneurship on the first try; It usually takes a couple failures before entrepreneurs can even understand the concept of creating something from nothing.

A majority of people will quit after their first failure because society has trained us to seek a stable high-paying job in order to be classified as successful. For an entrepreneur, there is no sense of feeling better than succeeding by creating something from nothing.

This, in turn, requires a high-level of confidence. The next time you come up with a business idea or identify a problem you or your friends deal with daily, take action on it.

Believe in yourself that you can do it. If you fail, no big deal. Get back up and try again. In the case of Nick Woodman if he would have succeeded on his first try GoPro likely wouldn't have been invented.

Being self-confident is a key to success.