Ignorance + Confidence = Success

22 Jan

All you need is ignorance and confidence and success is sure. -Mark Twain

I would like to use the above quote to talk about starting your own business. I have started a number of companies over the years and I can attest to the validity of Mark Twain’s quote. Although I cannot necessarily agree that “success is sure.”

It takes a fair amount of guts to start one’s own business and a lot of naiveté. I wish I could tell you that I had the guts when I started my first company, Michael Luckman and Associates, but if you’ve read my book you know that’s not true. I started my company after I was fired from my marketing position at National Semiconductor.

I’ve always had tremendous admiration for anyone who started their own business. But especially for those who have a dream and then leave the security of regular employment to start their own enterprise.   But it really doesn’t matter if you leave a secure life voluntarily or involuntarily, you will still be faced with the most awesome and debilitating emotion, FEAR.

Starting any new venture, no matter what your experience, is scary. You will be faced with many new situations that you have never faced before, but you learn as you go. Simple things like should I incorporate or be a sole proprietor, to borrowing money from friends, family and banks. Everything you do will be cloaked in fear. But that’s to be expected. After all, you’re only human.

So, moving past the ignorance part, let’s talk about confidence. Nobody can instill you with confidence. Yes, others can motivate you. They can tell you that you can do it. That you’re smart, intelligent and that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. That you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. But when everything is said and done, your confidence in yourself must come from within. This is why I have such a strong belief in God and the Universe.

I believe that each of us is a part of God. And that part dwells within us. It speaks to us in ways that we don’t fully recognize and often ignore. Some refer to it as our sixth sense or our gut instinct. There are times we wish it would just scream out to us, DON’T DO THAT!!! But because God gave us free choice he will never give you more than you ask for. And there lies the problem. Most of us don’t ask. I certainly didn’t at the beginning.

I think perhaps I was overconfident. I believed I could do it all with just sheer willpower. I wasted a lot of time and energy swimming upstream against the current believing this was the way to go. It wasn’t. Once I asked for guidance everything changed. I entered the water and let God and the Universe guide me. Instead of going in the direction “I felt” was right I allowed myself to go the other way. I did not panic, but let the current take me to where God wanted me to go.

My advice: Know that you can do it, and never be afraid to ask for help.

May you always be blessed,


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