What’s the basis for your self confidence?

1. Introduction

I’ve been on the road for five weeks, and thus this newsletter comes to you a few days late. All my travel has once again filled me with the sense that I’m blessed and my life and relationships are quite fulfilling.

Now, do I feel that way all the time?

But certainly more and more.
And the feeling reaches ever deeper.

In community,

2. What’s the basis for your self confidence?

Does your level of self confidence tend to go up and down like the stock market? Or perhaps it goes up and down because of the stock market!

A number of years ago I had the good fortune to make contact with a Japanese businessman that had an amazing roller coaster career. Yamamoto-san began his career by running a successful family business into the ground. After his bankruptcy he said, “Even though my business had failed, I didn’t feel like I had failed. I still had confidence in myself and knew I could do something good. I didn’t try and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Instead, I realized I needed to continue to believe in myself, while simplifying the vision I had.”

It didn’t take him long to borrow money for a new business, and in a fairly short time he ran this business into bankruptcy as well. Afterwards he said, “I saw some flashes of brilliance, and felt like I had made further progress. I was left with a strong desire to get more seed money and start out fresh.”

And start over fresh he did,
While once again failing shortly there after.

After his third bankruptcy he said “I found myself really frustrated this time, because I knew I had come so close.”
“But even with my frustration, I realized I needed to slow down, and gain a new perspective on life. Not having a business to run, made slowing down much easier, and I was thankful for the free time I had. Fairly soon, I understood what I wasn’t able to understand when I was busy trying to be successful.”
“I realized I had been trying to be successful, rather than actually believing I was. In short, I was faking it!. I realized that if I needed a big win before I truly believed in myself, then likely that big win would never come.”

With no one else believing in Yamamoto-san any longer, the burden of faith was now fully on his shoulders.

Unable to raise any seed money, he was unable to start a “real” business. He thus rented a tiny Japanese pick-up truck and scoured various wholesale markets looking for inexpensive goods that offered exceptional value for price. In a flash of brilliance, he decided he would only buy goods that he could sell for 100 Yen each (about US$1). Kitchen implements, children’s toys, cans of tuna packed in Indonesia, and anything and everything that would lead people to say, “Wow, can this really be so cheap?!”

He loaded his goods into the back of his tiny truck and parked illegally on a busy street near a train station calling out to all who passed, “Right here, right here, look at the great values I have!”

People did indeed respond, and in the beginning, his cash flow was so limited he had to go back to the wholesalers twice a day to replenish his stock.

Over time he parleyed his success with his one tiny truck, into a chain of highly successful retail stores, located in every major city in Japan.

When eventually interviewed for a feature story in a newspaper he said, “I couldn’t be the success I am today, had it not been for all my previous failures!”

Upon hearing his story I couldn’t help but wonder, if I perhaps didn’t need another failure or two, to better prepare myself for true success.

Let us know your thoughts...