It sounds super cool and trendy to be “a boss” but one thing is for certain, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Instead, being an entrepreneur takes daring, risk-taking, confidence, and yes, sometimes audacity.
Dee Williams is the CEO of Individual Audacity, a company that teaches driven, audacious individuals and leaders how to decide on a course of action in their career, business, or life and how to execute on those decisions. She’s the new co-founder of the tech startup MyStartup Assist.
Williams is also founder and CEO of Identifize Consulting, a recruitment and staffing consulting firm launched in 2011 after she left corporate America working as a recruiter and staffing professional in the IT space.
According to Williams, it takes a lot of inner work of choosing where you want to direct your energy, thoughts, and emotions to overcome adversity. It’s systematic by focusing on the end goal and not the present circumstance or what’s happening now. Despite the adversity, know where you’re going and where you’re going to focus. This is what she calls Individual Audacity—a conscious choice and unapologetic resolve of “this is who I am; these are my goals, and I live by that freely.”
Williams shares seven reasons why entrepreneurs must have audacity:
1. Unpredictable Challenges:
It’s inevitable in business, there will be good days, bad days, ups and downs and in order to maneuver through, you must be audacious. Sometimes, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world and winning, and other times, it’ll seem like you’re the biggest loser. However, be bold in your decision-making in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
2. Idea Ownership
The idea that you’re bringing to the table is unique to you. So, if you don’t own, embrace, or uphold it, then who will. It was given to you, so you possess the tenacity and willpower to execute. You must be audacious to bring your ideas into the world. Most people die with world-changing ideas still in their mind.
3. Marketplace Competition:
Competition is fierce and employers today are fighting over talent. They’re fighting over people who can bring their business initiatives, goals and objectives to light. Don’t just start something that already exists with the same business model and put your personality on it. No! Take that business model, do your research, get your market fired up and create something that your market absolutely wants and enjoys. Showcase your ingenuity by introducing something of high value to the marketplace.
4. Doors of Opportunity:
Being audacious is about seizing the opportunity to meet new people; about hearing and seeing what’s happening around you so that you can identify the opportunities made available to you. But you can’t do that if you’re stuck in a box or expecting things to be one specific way. You must be audacious enough to recognize connections and how they are a part of your plan. You could be seated at a dinner table and a conversation leads to a new partnership or business deal. Recognize when opportunities show up because they’re all around you. However, if you don’t have that audacious spirit within, you will never be able to recognize the opportunities and the people that can help you realize them.
5. Profitability and Growth:
Generating revenue is not always as easy as we think it should be. So, you start the business, price and package your product or service. You market and get out there, and it’s not selling. Now what? This can really shake a person’s confidence after so much time has been invested. You must be audacious enough to create different ways to present your business and generate income. For example, understanding your market better and know what your market needs.
6. Authenticity and Transparency:
In a world where everyone is supposed to think, look, and act the same, what really draws people to a business or brand is pure authenticity. Being true to who you are regardless of your dialect, height, weight, background, race or religion. Being audacious with your message is also key. People aren’t looking for perfection these days; they are looking for identification and connection. When you can bring all that you are, even your flaws to the surface, people resonate with that.
7. Believe What’s Possible:
There is a fundamental difference between “knowing” and “believing.” Many believe they can start a business and they do. But they don’t know that the business can be successful especially after hitting some major bumps in the road. They have enough audacity to start a business but not enough to sustain an entrepreneur’s mindset. You must believe it can be done and know that it’s going to happen. You can’t just have one half of the equation. Check your self-talk. Examine what you are feeding into your mind on a consistent basis that’s shaping your belief system.
Black Enterprise Contributors Network