In a few days, on July 23rd the next Grow America Springboard Competition begins giving away $1 million in awards to entrepreneurs.
The competition awards winners in three categories: those with an idea, but no business yet; a start-up business working on getting customers; and existing businesses that are looking to grow their business.
Described as “Shark Tank meets American Idol,” Grow America was created by Utah businessman, Alan Hall in an effort to help grow companies, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Each contestant has three minutes to make their case before a panel of business executives and then answer questions for four minutes.
Winners advance in the competition and eventually the top businesses receive cash prizes.
It’s a concept that makes sense because most people believe that money is the thing that is stopping them from starting a business or growing their existing business.
The truth is, money is rarely, if ever the thing that stops you. Rather it’s fear that paralyzes.
I wonder how many would participate in a competition that helped you conquer fears instead—something that, in my opinion, would be far more valuable than free grant or prize money.
One of my early ideas is that the most powerful people are powerful because they have long ago shed any concern over what others think of them.
The entrepreneur able to take business risks, experience failure, accept losses and incur criticism of others without insomnia, ulcers, or remorse has overcome his fears of failure and humiliation and in doing so, has acquired immense power.
A number of years ago, I remember watching the CEO of Archer-Daniels-Midland being grilled by John Stoessels of ABC-TV about so-called “corporate welfare.” Stoessels told him that, in one magazine, his face was put on a pig’s body and he was called the greediest of all pigs at the Washington trough.
The CEO calmly, literally with zero-emotion, said, “Why should I care about that.”
Why indeed? The magazine gone and forgotten in days or weeks, while he remained CEO of the largest agricultural corporation in the world.
It’s a variation of the famous exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor; she said to him, “You are disgustingly drunk” and he said, “Yes, madam, I am drunk, but you are ugly and I will be sober in the morning.”
Lacking this total freedom of being fearful of what others think, a person is continually making judgments based on criteria other than his beliefs about what will or will not work, should or should not be done or is right or wrong.
It stops people from turning that idea jotted down on a napkin into reality.
Fear of others’ opinions about the outcomes of your decisions and actions hamstrings you more than any other obstacle or handicap.
I was taught that the level or strength of your belief shows in your results.
In other words, your outcomes reflect beliefs.
In considering the rich, successful, powerful and persuasive individuals I know, I would summarize their most significant beliefs as follows:
- A belief in unlimited abundance, not lack.
- A belief that the Universe, Universal intelligence, God or whatever you call “It” responds to committed thought (prayer) and determined action.
- A belief in unlimited and unrestricted capability, i.e. either that you can do a thing as well or better than anybody else or that you can learn to do a thing as well or better than anyone else. Meaning, if someone else can do a thing, so can you.
- A belief system of self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence based on realistic assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses, attributes and flaws potential and limitations. A profound disinterest in perfection in all things. And a disconnect between deserving and being perfect.
- An unwavering, even somewhat stubborn and obsessive belief in attainment of their goals.
If you want to be rich, powerful and successful, you’ll have to first learn how to check your fears at the door. If you don’t, it will catch up to you, even if you are the next winner of Springboard Competition.
NOTE: If you’ve wanted to start a business but been held back by the fear that you’d have to risk too much to do it, I wanted to recommend you check out Michael Masterson’s new book The Reluctant Entrepreneur. You may remember Michael Masterson from when he spoke at InfoSummit 2010. He’s started many companies without taking any risk and amassed a $50 million personal fortune along the way. Click here to learn more.