“Don’t not take meetings because you’re scared. The best advice I got early on in my career is that being an entrepreneur, whether you like it or not, you have to pretend like you’re the bomb all the time. Exaggerate like nobody would ever. Be confident. I know it’s hard. You’re young but you totally get it. Just go in there. Get good advice and be prepared before you go…but go.”
This was the advice an experienced entrepreneur gave to a young woman who has started her own company and is growing faster than she can keep up with. Worried she is not ready yet or that people may take advantage of her she asked for some advice.
I love the advice to pretend like “you are the bomb”. It’s the same advice Steve Jobs got early on in his career. That’s when the former CEO of Atari told him that if you act like you can do something, then it will work.
“Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.” -Bushnell, former CEO of Atari
And what most 40-somethings realize is that they were the bomb all along…they just didn’t know it so they couldn’t own it. But you are probably much more ready than you think. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a employee…find your inner bomb. You do have something to offer.
It doesn’t just go for meetings or entrepreneurs. When someone asks you to do something or gives you an opportunity (to present, go to a conference, teach a class, write an article, be interviewed live, be on a panel, attend a big meeting….the list goes on) never say no because you think you aren’t ready. That is probably the best reason to go. Last week I heard Catherine Levine, the woman who started ArtSpace and former COO of Daily Candy among many other things, speak about how she stays confident. She cited the quote, “If you are not doing something you are scared of, it’s probably not worth doing.” Then she added, “and then you just remind yourself it’s only going to be an hour…it will be over soon.”