Characteristics of Successful People – Courage
This characteristic is so important, for without it, you will be paralyzed by fear and unable to take any productive action.
So, what is courage?
According to dictionary.com courage is defined as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.”
But what if I feel fear, does that make me a coward?
Absolutely not! I've felt fear myself plenty of times, especially as I made my transition from being a student and employee to being an entrepreneur building my own business. So what makes one person who feels fear a coward and another courageous? How you handle it. I doubt you'll find a single person alive who hasn't, at least as some point in their lives, felt some level of fear.
The difference between success and failure is really how you handle your fears. Do you let them paralyze you? Or do you act anyways, knowing that you must do this to better your survival. Now, that doesn't mean going out and taking all kinds of crazy risks either.
If you're just going to throw a bunch of money at business ideas, then you may as well go to a casino and gamble, since that's what you're really doing anyways. That also doesn't mean going off and doing a bunch of extreme sports, like climbing cliffs freestyle or jumping out of airplanes or anything like that. I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with doing extreme sports, at all, just don't go running off and doing them without the proper training and preparation, otherwise you're just gambling with people's lives.
In a sport like skydiving, you would want to get training by an experienced skydiver, get a good quality parachute that you know you can rely on, and make sure you know how to take care of it and prepare it for use yourself. In other words, you can be courageous by doing this high risk activity, but you also must realize the steps it takes to prepare yourself to do this high risk activity as safely as possible.
You see, there's a fine line between being a courageous action-taker and being a foolish gambler. That fine line comes down to managing your risks and that's a skill you can learn. You learn that by learning the skills you need to perform the action you want to take safely. That's managing risks.
In business, you manage risks by having multiple products, multiple customers, a “plan b” or an insurance policy, just to name a few ways you can manage your risks. You can also manage your risks by borrowing money instead of using your own money, or bringing in an expert to do the work instead of trying to do it yourself. These are just a few examples of how you can manage your risks in business.
Still, managed risks or gambled risks, if you're paralyzed by fear, you will not take the actions you need to take to get to the success you want to have.