First of 4 Tips to Apply Entrepreneurial Courage

As entrepreneurs maneuver through business pursuits, they recognize defining moments and apply “everyday courage.” Cognizant of the etymology of courage (meaning, “heart and spirit”), their courage consciousness is vital to their success, particularly during times of uncertainty.

Based on thirteen years of original courage research, twelve behaviors of courage emerged that are significant if you wish to keep stepping up at work—it’s the only way to cultivate a reservoir of courage. Below, the courageous entrepreneur will find four of the twelve behaviors they can utilize to keep stepping up. The remaining two sets of four will be featured in the next courage blog posting. You might wish to prominently display this ancient Chinese proverb: “He who hesitates before each step spends his life on one leg.”

1.  Affirm strength and determination
The entrepreneurial spirit is a disciplined machine that knows why it is important to take time to practice daily reflection (at least twenty minutes) to evaluate and apply the best resources available. When doubt seeps in they ask themselves, “Do I really need this?” Then, after reevaluating their path, they decide whether the sacrifice is worth the objective. If they need to make adjustments to their plan, they do. Applying courage consciousness, they constantly refocus, and continue to step up (remembering to focus on the proverb).
2.  Hurdle obstacles and take risks
Every behavior you exhibit and every action you take is a choice. There is a big difference between reacting, such as being foolhardly, and courage consciousness. Give yourself permission to choose the risks you take so you can creatively navigate your way around, through, or over any obstacles that cross your path. Entrepreneurs know that mediocrity is the kiss of death. When you feel reluctance set in, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” Usually the worst never occurs, so take the risk and step up to the next rung of the ladder (even though it might feel like double steps).

3.  Manifest vision
There are no shortcuts when it comes to business success, so it’s important to know where you want to go and develop a crystal clear vision of your goal. Become stubborn about attaining your vision so you can discard any non-productive judgments others put on you. Committing totally means you stay “true to yourself” (that’s your everyday courage at work!). You can accomplish this by developing your SQ (Spiritual Intelligence). How do you do this? Stay present so you can shift gears if the goals you set forth need modification. Imagine if you were on a cruise chip to the Caribbean and the compass on the ship was off one degree! It won’t take long before you end up in Nova Scotia! Are you off one degree?  

4.  Reflect self-esteem
All your actions reflect who you are and what you stand for. If you’re repeating a certain behavior that you don’t like, don’t editorialize! Look inside and ask, “What old script needs adjusting?” To move out of an old “B movie” sharpen your skills and abilities through education, reading, training, time for reflection, and surround yourself with the kind of people you want to learn from—the people that display higher levels of courage consciousness. When was the last time you learned something new?

Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She is an organizational effectiveness consultant, speaker, internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE, trainer and courage coach. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI®. Please visit

Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert

Innovator, StuckThinking

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