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<title>Confidence required </title>
<!-- Confidence required -->
<p>
Most of the time, we are working hard, head down, using what we know.
</p><p>
We get better and better at it. We make little improvements, and keep working. Our expertise and confidence keeps increasing.
</p><p>
We can’t afford to stop and question everything. We can’t go back to school. We have work to do.
</p><p>
Until we don’t.
</p><p>
Last year I left my company, and decided to start a new one.
</p><p>
I wanted to <strong>replace my old thoughts with new ones</strong>. I had been working hard, doing one thing in one mindset for ten years, and needed to install a new operating system in my brain.
</p><p>
I read <a href="http://sivers.org/book">a lot of books</a> on <a href="http://sivers.org/book/EMythRevisited">business</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/Influence">social psychology</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/UltimateSalesMachine">management</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/HowWeDecide">behavioral economics</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/FourPillarsOfInvesting">investing</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/PredictablyIrrational">cognitive biases</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/WisdomOfCrowds">crowds</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/CultingOfBrands">marketing</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/NeverEatAlone">networking</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/ArtOfLearning">learning</a>, and <a href="http://sivers.org/book/YouInc">communication</a>.
</p><p>
But each book that made me feel smarter (“Aha! I think I understand the world better now!”) also made me feel dumber (“Wow, I’ve been an idiot. It’s surprising I survived at all.”)
</p><p>
For example, when I read “<a href="http://sivers.org/book/WhatGotYouThere">What Got You Here Won’t Get You There</a>”, I realized what a horrible manager I’d been - how I’ve been dealing with people all wrong. It felt like the author had been hiding under my desk for 10 years, making a list of what not to do, and he was right. I’ve got so much to learn to be a good manager.
</p><p>
Business experts like <a href="http://sivers.org/book/Execution">Ram Charan</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/InnovatorsSolution">Clayton Christensen</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/book/ArtOfProfitability">Adrian Slywotzky</a> and <a href="http://www.poorcharliesalmanack.com/">Charlie Munger</a> made me feel like a court jester next to a samurai. I long to have their insight and expertise. I could study hard for 30 years and barely catch up.
</p><p>
Plus an ex-employee I’d fired, and an ex-girlfriend I’d broken up with, made sure I knew what a horrible horrible person I am. Not only am I an idiot, I’m dangerous! Destroying others in my path.
</p><p>
<strong>It was all very humbling.</strong>
</p><p>
So humbling, that I found it hard to do anything at all.
</p><p>
I had designed and announced my new company. I was psyched for it to exist. But when it came down to doing the necessary work, I hesitated and procrastinated. “Who am I to be starting another company? I’m just going to fuck it up like last time.“
</p><p>
After all I’ve learned, I can’t believe anyone actually thinks they’ll succeed in the complex world of business. Don’t they see all the really smart people who have tried and failed?
</p><p>
I can’t believe how foolish I was to start my first company. Just <a href="http://www.jpfolks.com/ECRoadTrip00/ECpages/cdbaby.html">me in my bedroom</a> with no experience, making a little website, when I was up against giant IPO-funded competitors.
</p><p>
I was an over-confident punk, thinking I had the answer, and everyone else didn’t.
</p><p>
But it worked.
</p><p>
And in fact, <strong>isn’t that kind of confidence absolutely required to get anything done?</strong>
</p><p>
Isn’t the role of the entrepreneur to be the bold, daring, audacious one? The over-confident reckless one who says, “<a href="http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/books/screw-it-lets-do-it/">Screw it. Let’s do it!</a>”?
</p><p>
Yes! Of course! It’s the essential final lesson: that <strong>all this learning means nothing until you make something happen</strong>.
</p><p>
Whether you think you'll win or not - you need to jump in the game, and say, “Let’s go!”
</p><p>
Whether your confidence is naïve, inspired or crafted - you need its high-horsepower engine to get uphill and go anywhere.
</p><p>
And no matter how humbling the lessons of life are, this final lesson is the most important of all.
</p><p>
And thus, I graduated from my self-created Entrepreneur 102 class.
</p><p>
Time to go make <a href="http://muckwork.com">something</a> happen.
</p>
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