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Self-belief vs. self-destruct

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Author: Calvin Dorman
23 - 12 - 2012

SELF-BELIEF is a character trait any entrepreneur must have to experience sustained success in their business. Yet many people overlook it. 

When the question is asked: What are the qualities I need to be successful in my business, you will find that many of the experts will list the following: leadership, persistence, innovative, self-motivated and highly skilled. Yet many overlook , the fact that you need to have loads and loads of SELF-BELIEF.

Why is this?  Because that is your “staying-power”.  It is that part of you that simply won’t give up when others  in business will throw in the towel  when things go pear-shaped. Instead of saying “what have I learned; what can I do differently next time” , they say “ I should never have started in the first place”.

The SELF-BELIEF ENTREPPRENEUR will start a new business again and go on to be successful, while the BLAME-OTHERS ENTREPRENEUR will never
start again. Bitterness and resentfulness will forever haunt them.

Without self-belief, you run the risk of losing your instinct as an entrepreneur to adapt to the changes around you.  And even worse…you run into the temptation to become dishonest when things go pear-shaped. Many owners will  then ”take from Peter to pay Paul” or “cook the books” or other devious accounting practices. This is proof that they lack self-belief and cannot adapt to changing market trends or economic uncertainties.

There are many SELF-BELIEF and SELF-DESTRUCT examples, but let me quickly give you one that comes to mind.

SELF-BELIEF:  Bill Gates. Both Google and Apple started overtaking Microsoft in the past decade as the most dominant players in their industry. You could say that Microsoft started going Pear-shaped, but you never saw Bill Gates panic or appear less confident when compared in interviews with the success that Steve Jobs was getting with the phenomenal  iPhone and iPAD. Yet I predict that over time, Microsoft will yet overtake both Google and Apple, simply because of the self-belief that Bill Gates displays in himself and his company. He still holds the most shares in Microsoft. (PS. I think Windows 8 is awesome).

SELF-DESTRUCT: Bernard Madoff. Here is a person who is spending the rest of his life in jail because he did not truly believe in himself and his wealth management company, but instead decided to manipulate people and markets with a pyramid (Ponzi) scheme. And  when his profits declined hugely in 2008 with all the problems in the property/banking sector at the the time, he finally could no longer prop up his business.
The SELF-CONFIDENCE became SELF- ARROGANCE and his “house of cards” came tumbling down.

Gentle reader, I was able to recognize the importance of having this quality of self-belief in my life when my own business went pear-shaped in 2008. I had to adapt very quickly to continue making the profits I was used to making in 2007. I was humble enough to face the facts and make the necessary short-term changes and claw my way back to success and higher profits.  I am still not entirely “out of the woods” but I have concrete business opportunities ahead of me in 2013.

I constantly Blog about personal development qualities, because the fact is that you can always equate successful businesses to the personal character traits that its owners display over a long period of time.

Therefore, it is essential that you also start acquiring these same qualities to guarantee success, not only in your business, but in your personal life as well.


I have written 2 other articles which can be read from my website about the same topic:
1. Self-Belief will make you unstoppable
2. Self-Belief: the foundation for success


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ECalvin, Business consultant: Graphic Design and Training in Cape Town, posts articles on his blog on the News24 site.t

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