I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from it. I make mistakes. Some are big and some are small, but they affect me, and the people around me, just the same. Sometimes my mistakes make other people frustrated, upset and even regretful. Other times they are simple and passed off as inconsequential.
In life, in work and in franchising, success should not be considered an option. It should be an absolute necessity in order to go from good to great. You can’t wait for success to show up before you become confident in your abilities. The confidence has to be there first.
Confidence is critical for a successful career because it is the foundational building block that determines where you want to go. Confidence can manifest itself in many different ways. Some people are the quiet, but confident type. Others are boisterous and loud, but the good news is that confidence is a learned set of skills and belief.
No one is immune to bouts of insecurity at work. I deal with my fair share all the time, but I refuse to let them hold me back anymore. For entrepreneurs, franchisees, franchisors and small business owners—it means persevering through times of doubt and struggle and emerging on the other side having learned something that teaches you about yourself while appreciating others even more.
Most of us don’t know what we are truly capable of until we are really challenged. But challenge can be scary. It means you may fail, and we tend to shrink away from failure because of the consequences it brings. But failure can be great for building confidence because you’re afforded the opportunity to learn why things went wrong and how to make adjustments the next time.
I watched this movie on Netflix recently entitled Walt Before Mickey, which was all about how Walt Disney went bankrupt a few times and struggled to become an animator long before the idea for Mickey Mouse ever formed. What struck me was that Disney continued to take risks, and failed, but believed deep down that he was on the right path. That’s unwavering confidence. If you’re humble, self-aware and realize that taking risks means making mistakes, then failing should help you understand what you could have done differently—like it did for Disney.
Failure means you have the opportunity to learn from mistakes, but there is skill to managing negative feedback. It’s not easy. Many of us fail because we are unwilling to accept feedback because we’re afraid it might be negative. It’s something I struggle with and continually work on. Feedback, from any level, should be viewed as one more piece of data to analyze, digest, reject or accept as information to make better decisions moving forward. You can’t personalize it.
The best way to build confidence in any giving setting is to invest time, energy and hard work into it. It’s about practice. Dan Marino was not born with the gift to throw a football—he worked hard to perfect his craft. The same applies to business.
A great athlete like Dan Marino or an icon of entrepreneurship like Walt Disney were not always young or fresh—but they were always prepared, and had the desire, will, and determination to succeed.