In a previous post we described how and why we wanted to understand the nature of small business confidence. As a seller and servicer of small business insurance, we know that our products provide a safety net against the everyday and not-so-everyday risks that lurk under the surface. If insurance, by design, protects a business’s cash flow, property, customers, products, employees and reputation, then it follows that insurance also elevates a business owner’s confidence. Being properly insured certainly strengthens confidence, but its initial source lies somewhere within. But where?
Small business superpower: how is confidence built
Like superheroes, small business owners have a superpower—that dominant work attribute that drives them and their business forward. It’s the force that powers them to rip open opportunities and unleash the value within and to exert Herculean force in order to overcome the drag of inertia. Sound a bit dramatic? Well, that’s the point. Ask a small business owner how they feel at the end of a normal work day. Don’t be surprised if they answer, “like the Incredible Hulk at the end of his day.”
In our survey of small business people, we asked owners to identify their business superpower. The most popular answer was never giving up—tenaciousness. In fact, nearly 43 percent of respondents identify this as the source of their confidence. This is a similar trait found in inventors, marathon runners, mountain climbers and artists. That’s great company and, in our opinion, each perfectly analogous to how business owners find, use and replenish their own confidence.
Another 20 percent of respondents told us their superpower was being visionary (less Hulk, more Hawkeye?) Either way, the abilities to keep eyes on the prize, ignore distractions, and even see opportunities and threats that aren’t yet in full view for most all figure into how this group of small business respondents find their inner confidence.
What’s also interesting are the traits that weren’t selected from the survey answer choices as sources of confidence: fearlessness and keeping a cool head. Whereas these may be positive attributes and predictors of success, only four and five percent of respondents, respectively, consider them sources of personal confidence. Could it be that small business ownership is naturally and unabashedly scary and unnerving, but that excellent vision and unwavering persistence lead to unshakable confidence, nonetheless?
In the next Nature of Small Business post, we’ll dig deeper into our findings to see if confidence can indeed be shaken and, if so, how it’s defended.