Smart Business 101: How to Really Succeed


Most people assume that overconfidence can lead to failure. And to be honest, it can, especially if you overestimate your accuracy and depth of knowledge, fail to keep an open mind or listen to others, and even believe you everything about everything.

We all know these people. You may even be one of these people without knowing.

But those counting themselves as experts on just about everything may want to reevaluate their level of confidence. Researchers have found that those who perceive themselves that way are more close-minded..

In some ways, overconfidence can cost you dearly.

At the same time, such confidence is what led you to become an entrepreneur in the first place. Even though about a third of all entrepreneurs are convinced they can’t fail, 90% of them will. But it’s that high level of confidence that keeps many moving forward.

Sure, there’s plenty of research on how overconfidence can muddy our decision-making skills. But there’s also evidence that it contributes to success. In fact, as pointed out by Fortune, “overconfident individuals are perceived as more competent by others and they can attain higher status.”

Put another way – if entrepreneurs were not as confident, they’d go back to a regular 9 to 5 job and collect regular paychecks every other Friday.

To be a success, you must be overconfident, yet smart in your approach.

Believe you are already a success without having achieved success yet.

Without a great deal of confidence, you wouldn’t have been able to convince others to become your customers, employees, or even your investors. Again, overconfidence can lead to failure, but it can also lead to success.

Bleed confidence, but be smart about it.

Here’s how to do just that.

No. 1 – Understand the Weak Points, and Improve

As Mark Cuban once said on his weaknesses, “There are so many, I can't begin to count. There are a lot of things I suck at. I'm not organized. I have to have partners and people around me who dot my i's and cross my t's. I'm sloppy. I'm a ready-fire-aim guy. I need to have people around me who aren't,” as quoted by Inc.

In short, shrug off failure. Move forward. The average person is crushed when the fail. They sit and wallow. Get over it. Entrepreneurs accept fail, as a temporary setback and as a teaching lesson on what to do, and what not to do next time.

No. 2 – Listen and Learn

The worst thing you can do as an entrepreneur is fail to listen to others opinions, or fail to learn something new. Understand how to listen to feedback and opinions. Well-known entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs were reportedly stubborn and independent, perhaps unlikely to listen to others. But a smart, new entrepreneur will always listen.

In fact, there are three groups of people you must engage, including your customers. Plenty of businesses have failed because they thought they knew what the customer wanted, instead of asking them. Two, your employees – the very eyes and ears of your company as decisions become more complex. Three, your investors – if you chose the right investors, they’ll have the feedback you may be looking for.

No. 3 – Act the part. Dress the part. Be positive.

Whether you know it or not, the way you present yourself can destroy you. It can scream self-confidence, or it can scream insecurity and lack of respect for even you. If you look confident, you aspire to be successful. Dress like a slouch and well… good luck. Be confident in the way you speak without “ums” and “ahs” that interrupt the flow. Be assertive, yet not too aggressive as well. And above all else, avoid the negative self-talk. Have the can-do attitude.

Success isn't a guarantee.  But if you work for it, anything is possible.  Most of us know this to be true.