One of my friends recently shared with me, “I have a dream of starting my own business, but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. Maybe I should wait. Maybe I need more experience.”
She was shocked when I told her, “Jen, you don’t need more experience. You’re ready now. What you need is more courage.”
The Myth of Experience
People often think that the more experience you have, the better you’ll be at something. I’ve found that this is only sometimes true.
In all industries, let’s say marketing, you can easily find people with twenty or more years of experience. But does that really matter? What if they have two decades of experience but only one year of learning?
Many people go through their careers (and lives) doing the exact same thing, in the exact same way. The people who get ahead are those who innovate and blaze new trails, not the ones who repeat old ways of doing things. The people who get ahead welcome new ideas: They listen; they adapt; they are constantly learning and challenging themselves.
Get Started Now
Whatever your dream is, get started now. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Don’t wait for more experience before taking the next step. If you wait until you feel comfortable, then it’s already too late.
Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg said to himself, “I don’t have enough experience to build a company like Facebook. I’m still a college student! Let me wait a few years. I should get some experience at Google or Microsoft first. Maybe then I’ll have the skills to go out on my own.”
If you read the stories of entrepreneurs, such as Sir Richard Branson or Sara Blakely who have built billion-dollar businesses, you’ll find that most of them had very little experience (and sometimes no experience) when they launched their ventures. That’s because experience is only a small part of the equation.
Yes, today we admire their knowledge and business know-how. But how did they get there? They got experience by getting started.
Courage Matters Most
Anything is possible. But you must believe in yourself before others can believe in you.
You must be willing to get in the game, make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on—wiser and stronger.
As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. The courage to continue is what counts.”
Failure Is a Step Toward Success
In an interview with GigaOm, entrepreneur and startup mentor Steve Blank said, “Do you know what we call a failed entrepreneur in Silicon Valley? Experienced.”
You cannot have success without failure. The two are inextricably linked.
So if you’re afraid to act because you might make a mistake, stop and think again. Roadblocks and setbacks provide us with the information we need to grow, change, and make a move in the right direction.
That’s why we should be thanking our failure.
After all, it’s through our failures that we gain experience. So move forward with courage and know that you are headed in the direction of success.
Selena Soo (founder of S2 Groupe) is a business strategist for personal brands, focusing on marketing and publicity. Through her signature course Elevate Your Brand, Selena loves helping visionary entrepreneurs, experts, and coaches reach more people and change the world. Join Selena’s newsletter for weekly inspiration and tips to improve your business and life.
*Photo by Nemodus photos.