How to Be a Bold Entrepreneur

Building confidence in yourself and your business plan is key

13 September 2016

This blog is part of a series on entrepreneurship.

It’s no secret that entrepreneurship is full of uncertainty. It requires taking risks. Furthermore, when you own a business, you are solely responsible for its success and failure.

The upside is that your income is more proportionate to the effort you put into your business—which might not be the case if you work for someone else.

The downside is that future business profits are difficult to predict—which means your income is less stable. Unstable income is the single biggest reason why most people never take the entrepreneurial plunge.

There are three kinds of entrepreneurs:

The Fearful

People who fear the unknown rarely pursue entrepreneurship. It’s easier to stay safe—especially when your source of income is at risk. If you find yourself making these types of decisions every day, then it’s likely you fear the unknown.

The Unfaithful

There are people who attempt entrepreneurship, but they pursue it half-heartedly. They like to dip their toes in the water to see how cold it is before jumping in. They seek an ideal environment before taking the plunge. This is known as Goldilocks syndrome. They are always seeking an opportunity that is “just right.” The individual who embodies this mentality is often discouraged by the disorder and chaos of the entrepreneurial environment.

The Bold

The bold entrepreneur is the type of individual who plunges forward full steam ahead, despite uncertain conditions. This entrepreneur is confident in his abilities and is completely aware of the stakes at hand.

My grandfather was a bold, successful entrepreneur. He started companies in Silicon Valley when the area’s technology boom was just starting. He helped lay down the roots of Silicon Valley before all the unicorn companies (startups valued at US $1 billion or more) arrived.

My grandfather helped guide and mold me as an entrepreneur. He instilled in me the desire and confidence to start a company. This audacious mind-set is at the core of the bold entrepreneur. He taught me that I must plunge into entrepreneurship by being convinced that:

  1. I have a great product to offer.
  2. I have the right people to bring the business plan to fruition.
  3. I must have a high degree of certainty in the business plan I will write and present to investors. Those investors must have a high degree of confidence in me and my plan.

The bold entrepreneur knows that he or she must project this confidence to his or her team. The team will help put in the effort that is needed for a startup to be successful. There should never be uncertainty, because it would greatly impact a small company.

The bold entrepreneur must show a positive attitude no matter what. He must find the good while everything is crashing down around him. He will then find the time to right the ship. He knows he will get it done.

No startup goes through its early phase without facing adversity. The company’s leaders should minimize the adversity, investing time (and sometimes money) to ensure success. The bold entrepreneur is never uncertain about what his goal is and puts superhuman effort into attaining it.

Devon Ryan, a founder of Lion Mobile, a mobile app development company in Austin, Texas, represents the IEEE Young Professionals group on the IEEE-USA board of directors. Follow him on Twitter: @DevonRyanI.

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