I've learned now in business to listen to everyone but actually take advice from a very small list of people. One person on that short list is my younger sister Lindsay. She told me right from the get go that a business will only be as successful as you believe it will be. She was absolutely right.
Lately I've been meeting with many people interested in starting their own business ventures. They have been inspired by my story and are eager to hear my outlook on their ideas. In the past week alone I've talked to six entrepreneurs – Matt thinks small business consulting is becoming my part time job! I had specific pieces of advice for every one of them but the only constant was the same thing Linds told me: you need to have confidence in what you're doing more than anything else. If you don't, how can you begin to expect that somebody else will?
It's interesting now having the perspective of actually starting a business how I approach ideas very differently than I would have before. I've learned that there are no bad ideas – there are just bad believers in those ideas. If you don't believe in what you're selling, pitching. promoting, etc. 1000% of the time then you might as well just give it up now. In order to be successful you have to be steadfast in your thinking and stance. If you go around asking people what they think of you your business it just won't work – the second an idea is born you need to back it – know the difference between seeking validation and information, if you need the former then you need to drop the idea.
I know that the way to tell if an idea will work is that the pieces will naturally fall into place. Just like a great relationship a great business idea should just click – I learned that the hard way! If it feels like you're pushing water uphill with a rack the business will never ever be authentic and natural – it will always be and feel forced and you won't feel confident.
The point I'm trying to make here is that confidence is the most essential ingredient in starting a new business. Believe you will and you most certainly can.