While reflecting on my childhood recently, I realized that self-esteem has a phenomenal impact on one's ability to become an entrepreneur. In order to do something new, one must believe in oneself, and that is very difficult with low self-esteem. It is critical that every child be brought up in an encouraging environment. I remember my father once said, "if we only tell them (referring to us, their children) negative things, and then the world reinforces that, how will they ever develop confidence?" I realize that if not for the wisdom of my father and his decision to encourage us, I may have never developed the confidence to move forward and have faith in my ability to succeed.
Self-esteem is the knowledge that you are a capable human being, one able to learn from mistakes and turn them into triumphs. When you step out into the world, you must be able to converse and act with confidence in business and with friends. Home is one of the best places to start. Everyone needs encouragement and a sense that they are doing something right; without this feeling, it is easy to fall into the habit of self-doubt and pity. These frames of mind are horribly detrimental to success in any walk of life, but especially in business. In starting a business, you must have the self-esteem necessary to defend your ideas while listening to accomplished people contradicting you. Everyone from Famous Amos to Bill Gates had to have a phenomenal amount of confidence in order to make it to where they are now. The story of Famous Amos illustrates the confidence and lack of self-pity necessary to succeed in business. Famous Amos not only had his company stolen, but the rights to his own name as well. This, however, did not stop or even slow him down, as he went on to create a new company, Uncle No Name cookies. In the face of his defeat, he did not complain nor make excuses rather he focused his efforts on overcoming the injustice, and persevered to become successful for a second time. He was able to bounce back because he was confident in himself and his ability, so he simply made up his mind that he would do well again, and he did.