Why bravery in business is the ultimate superpower
UPDATED 2ND SEPTEMBER 2023
Bravery in business isn't always about grand heroic acts. It's about the quiet moments, the subtle whispers that only you can hear. It's about having the courage to trust your instincts and speak up for what you believe in. Let me tell you how…
What is bravery in business?
Bravery in business? When sitting down to write this article, I must admit, I pondered this at length. What does being ‘brave’ really mean when it comes to entrepreneurship? To be ‘brave’ in everyday life is easily defined. It’s overcoming death defying feats, by staring adversity in the face and remaining strong, or even carrying out a heroic act of selflessness — this is being brave. Perhaps the same is true for business?
Certainly, at times, running a business can definitely feel like a treacherous journey. I often describe it as being ‘captain of the ship’ and my goodness, sometimes it really does feel like we’re in some choppy waters holding on for dear life!
And yet, for me, bravery in business is much quieter. It’s less heroic, loud and boisterous. For example, it’s the faint hum of your instinct knowing the decisions being made around you, the opinions being shared or the project the team have all worked so hard on, just isn’t right… and sharing that. Bravery in business is being that voice in the room that ‘calls it’.
Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone
Bravery in business is also shown by standing out from the crowd, when possibly others in the room agree or possibly they don’t — but as a founder, it’s your job to have the absolute courage of your convictions.
Without gathering your muster in this instance, your brand will be diluted and ultimately your business runs the risk of being run by those around you who shout the loudest, not necessarily those who are right.
Your business needs brave people: why everyone in business should be brave
Being brave doesn’t sit just with the founder either. Much of being a leader is empowering everyone within your business to be brave, too. To be bold with ideas, think differently, question the ‘why’ of what you are doing. The braver we all are, the further we will push ourselves to see what we’re capable of — and ultimately, the more the business will benefit and the more confidence we will gain, too — which really is golden business advice.
What are examples of courage and bravery in business?
I never thought of ‘bravery’ as being my superpower, but it was my father, a couple of years ago, who commented on how he admired my ability to make the tough decisions, at the right moments, even if they were unpopular. As a man of few words, it meant so much to hear this from him.
My best friend Amie, and right hand woman Harriet, uttered similar sentiments when I had to make the excruciating decision to close the deli we’d spent 18 months renovating, staffing and pouring money into — only to quickly realise we were haemorrhaging funds and I needed to ‘call it’.
Making difficult business decisions is never easy
I knew the power of regeneration as I’ve written about before, yet the decision to close has been one of my hardest in recent years, particularly because it not only meant letting go of more than twenty staff, but it was also so public. The fact it hadn’t worked and yet I was supposed to be the one person people look to, to help guide them on running their own businesses… Perhaps admitting that fact right here is another act of bravery?!
The point is that unless we are prepared to find the courage to make ourselves vulnerable and take risks, we will never know what we are truly capable of or ultimately, do what’s right in order to move forwards. So whether you are starting a business or are growing your company, have courage, dearheart. As feminist icon Gloria Steinem said, “Being brave is not being afraid. It’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway… When you feel fear, try using it as a signal that something really important is about to happen.”
Bravery in business: key takeaways…
You should question yourself if you feel as if your bravery isn’t being called upon and ponder if that’s because you’re saying ‘yes’ too quickly or you’re not being bold enough with your business. Remember:
1. True bravery in business isn't always loud or heroic:
It’s often about listening to your inner voice and trusting your instincts.
2. Always find the courage to trust your instinct:
Speak up and share your opinion, even when you’re going against the crowd.
3. Everyone in your team should be empowered to act bravely:
A team that thinks differently and questions the status quo can foster innovation and growth.