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Self-esteem is critical to sustaining wealth

Armstrong Williams | 11/7/2013, 2:41 p.m.
Self-esteem has a phenomenal impact on one’s ability to become an entrepreneur
Armstrong Williams

While reflecting on my childhood recently, I realized that self-esteem has a phenomenal impact on one’s ability to become an entrepreneur. In order to do something new, one must believe in oneself, and that is very difficult to do with low self-esteem. It is critical that every child be brought up in an encouraging environment. I remember my father once said, “If we only tell them [referring to us, his children] negative things, and then the world reinforces that, how will they ever develop confidence?”

I realize that if not for the wisdom of my father and his decision to encourage us, I may have never developed the confidence to move forward and have faith in my ability to succeed.

Self-esteem is the knowledge that you are a capable human being, able to learn from mistakes and turn them into triumphs. When you step out into the world, you must be able to converse and act with confidence in business and with friends. Home is one of the best places to start. Everyone needs encouragement and a sense that they are doing something right; without this feeling, it is easy to fall into the habit of self-doubt and pity. These frames of mind are horribly detrimental to success in any part of life, especially in business.

In starting a business, you must have the self-esteem necessary to defend your ideas while listening to the accomplished people contradicting you. Everyone from Famous Amos to Bill Gates had to have a phenomenal amount of confidence in order to make it to where they are now.

The story of Famous Amos illustrates the confidence and lack of self-pity necessary to succeed in business. Famous Amos not only had his company stolen, but the rights to his own name as well. This, however, did not stop him or even slow him down, as he went on to create a new cookie company, Uncle Noname. In the face of his defeat, he neither complained nor made excuses; rather, he focused his efforts on overcoming the injustice and persevered to become successful for a second time. He was able to bounce back because he was confident in himself and his ability, so he simply made up his mind that he would do well again, and he did.

In order to obtain the knowledge necessary to excel, one must be willing to take time to learn. Self-esteem can be shot down very quickly without knowledge and wisdom to back it up. That is why increasing your intelligence and level of understanding is so important. Once you have studied something diligently, you will be confident that you understand it and have the desire to learn more. You will find that people will respect you and come to you in search of understanding. This could boost your ego, but ego and self esteem are two very different things. Ego is your measurement of yourself with regard to others. This is neither good nor helpful for self-esteem. If one is egotistical, then they will always be disappointed to find someone better, or they will feel that people do not seem to understand how great they are. In any circumstance, they will always be disappointed.