Your best business strategy? Confidence.

Dec 3, 2012 | Goal-setting

When it comes to your career and your life dreams, are you willing to take “no” for an answer? Do you have enough faith in your ideas to withstand the naysayers?

Confidence is a critical component of success. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will be able to, either. When I first set out for New York, I was fresh out of college in the Midwest, with just $200 in my pocket, a dream of working on Wall Street, and a whole lot of people in my ear, telling me that I’d never make it. If I had listened to those people, I’d never be where I am today.

Then, when I applied to work on Wall Street, I was rejected by firm after firm. It was only by my unwavering belief in my skills and ability to learn that I finally convinced one company to hire me not in the receptionist position I had come to interview for, but as an analyst. It was the big break that launched me into my career.

Still, it was hardly a bed of roses from that point on. If you’re really dedicated to a dream, it’s not just about passing one test; you’ll have to clear a whole set of hurdles.

What has sustained me through all the challenges I faced—while working as a woman on Wall Street, in starting my own business, and in dealing with the exciting but intense responsibilities of being an entrepreneur—is a dedication to my vision and a commitment to believing in myself. It’s not always easy to shut out those nagging voices of worry, but fear and doubt can be the undoing of what could be a great business venture, your next promotion, or the chance to make any of your dreams into reality.

The feedback of people you love and trust is always important, but it should never be the bottom line if you believe otherwise. When it comes to my career, I have always reminded myself that “no” is just someone’s opinion.

I hope more people ask themselves, ‘Why not?’ instead of ‘Why?’ or ‘How?’  because we’re often brighter and more capable than we give ourselves credit for. When it comes to taking chances and moving up in the world, you have to be your own best friend or you’ll end up your own worst enemy. No one else will look out for you, advocate for you, or make it happen like you can.

And going after what you truly want in life? That’s good business.

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