Courage in business

Courage is a great word. On the footy field, it’s not always the biggest and fastest that show the most courage.

To me this is because courage comes from within and is definitely a mental game. Playing footy is similar to having courage in business. Even to start a business takes courage. And plenty of it if you are leaping into a new venture from a well paid job!

You need stamina and grit to show up each day and to constantly innovate. But you need courage to make the big calls when they happen, and these are the courageous decisions that can make or break a business.

So what are some of the areas in a business where you’ll need courage?

1. Starting up – as I said, starting a business takes a mix of courage, awareness and a touch of luck. You need courage to make the call to go it alone and jump headlong into your passion. The real courage though comes when you realise that you need to find your first customers. You’ll need courage to make those cold calls or connect via LinkedIn to grow your prospects list.

2. Terminating a new employee – many businesses find it tough to terminate someone new. Many find it easier to do the “ostrich” and put their head in the sand hoping the misaligned staff member will be sorted out. Sometimes though it just doesn’t work out with new staff and you need to have the courage to do what is best for both parties – part ways amicably and quickly so you can find a suitable replacement. This process takes courage as you need to show leadership and resilience plus communicate it well to staff in a public forum explaining your rationale.

3. Saying no – a recent article explained how to say no to business sales. However it does extend further than this, as many parts of your business will at some stage need you to say “no”. Of course you aren’t going to walk around the office snapping off “no” or “nup” all the time, as all your staff will think you’re an arrogant wally. But after making a decision and having the courage to say “no” to something (big or small), it’s all about the delivery and execution of the message to staff, clients or suppliers. You can actually say “no” in a nice way. It’s taken me a while to perfect this one though!

There must be many other areas where you need courage in business – let us know below where and what you think these are.