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Start-Ups

Trusting Your Instincts as a Business Owner

By Townes Haas   |    January 5, 2016   |    11:48 AM

Entrepreneurs: Trust Your Vision

Making decisions can be tough as an entrepreneur. As a business leader, you must constantly be coming up with new ideas but you also have to generate the confidence to bring those ideas to fruition, not to mention the fact that there is often a lot of noise involved in the creative process. As an entrepreneur, you’re creating a world that doesn’t yet exist and one of your greatest resources is the ability to trust your own instincts. Here are a few techniques to generate more faith in your own unique vision.

1. Follow your nose. When you can’t help making a beeline towards an idea, often it’s your gut telling you it’s a good thing to do. Often entrepreneurs create their own paths simply because they know in their heart of hearts that it’s something they’re supposed to do. That kind of instinct burns hot in entrepreneurs, fueling their work ethic and lending them energy even in trying times. When you serve the ideas that you care most about, you are more likely to create the psychic energy you need to get the job done.

2. Jump in with both feet. Ideas don’t live and die by inspiration alone. They’re born into the world through a lot of hard work. If you know definitively that you’re going to work harder than anyone else to launch an initiative, project or business, your faith in yourself is far more likely to be justified in the end. Here it’s worth taking a page from zen Buddhism and live in the moment. Like the man said, fear leads to the dark side, but it also makes you question yourself. Any hesitation or lack of commitment can undermine entrepreneurial insight and derail your plans, so don’t let fear rule.

3. Take a deep dive into your subject. Even the most ambitious entrepreneurs aren’t born with business acumen—knowing how to run and grow a business is something that is learned with time and experience. However, when you become fully immersed in a subject or a community of like-minded thinkers, your mind can draw down more knowledge with less effort. Your instincts are transformed from emotional decisions to informed choices that can be made faster, more efficiently, and with greater resolve.

4. Learn the rules by breaking them. Silicon Valley famously lives and dies by the ethos of “move fast and break things,” but as soon as entrepreneurs manage to monetize their businesses, that instinct slows down in a hurry. That’s why it’s important when you’re just starting out to break the rules often and hard, not only to learn from your failures but also to hone your instincts so you’ll be sharper next time. The rules are made by the people who can anticipate and solve the problems that tomorrow presents, not today.

5. Accept the chaos of change. It’s important to learn to let your ideas change if opportunity or obstacles present themselves. Your basic instincts may be sound but ideas and the environments in which they breed change and evolve over time. As you launch new enterprises, pay attention to how people respond and be willing to accept authentic feedback as an opportunity to improve. Giving yourself the freedom to adapt lessens anxiety and gives you another arrow in your quiver of entrepreneurial tools.