The name of the entrepreneurship program at the University of Notre Dame is called the "ESTEEM" program and it seems incredibly fitting. It stands for Engineering, Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters but the acronym holds a lot of meaning for entrepreneurs as well, as confidence can carry a large role in whether or not an entrepreneur is successful.
Lets begin with how someone comes around to becoming an entrepreneur in the first place. Think about the pressure placed on many of us to find a 9-5 job, to work for a pension, to take the most secure "normal" route. It's not easy at all to become an entrepreneur and the outside pressures often magnify the pressure to simply conform; it takes an incredibly self confident person to make that leap to becoming an entrepreneur.
Then once you have become an entrepreneur you have both sell yourself and your product to investors. Research on the topic shows that confidence is one of the most important pieces in sales, sometimes even more important than competence. So, for an entrepreneur who is constantly convincing people that their product is needed in the marketplace having a positive self-esteem and understanding that you can sell your product is incredibly important. In addition, once your startup grows you'll need to develop a team and persuade them to be as confident as you are about your product. This leadership takes a high level of confidence and self-esteem to be able to build a confident team.
However, there is little that will damage self-esteem more than when you fail. As we've noted in earlier posts, failure is an important part of being an entrepreneur, and failure happens often. What having a high self-esteem will do is push you, even when you fail, to dust yourself off and get back at it. Failure is only truly failure if you allow it to stop you - the confident leader will realize the lessons learned and keep moving forward.
High self-esteem, while often confused with cockiness or arrogance, is a trait that should be fostered in entrepreneurs and be sought after when building your team. Self confident people are often positive and outgoing and those are the types of people you want on your side.
Do you consider yourself to have a high self-esteem?