As a young entrepreneur I strive to become the go-to-guy in my area of work. I’m hungry to stand out in my circles, and become the best at my craft. These feelings and desires are shared among many recent grads starting businesses and entering their careers. It’s likely that many of us are reaching this level already, but the truth is we don’t even realize it. As “specialists” we’re expected to have all of the answers and naturally, we feel pressure to deliver. And when we can’t, we sometimes question whether we’re cut out for our jobs. We create an imposter phenomenon, where we’re unable to internalize our achievements. Despite evidence and praise that we’re successful at what we do, we convince ourselves otherwise. We compare our abilities to those around us and wrestle with whether they are more intelligent or more skilled. I know I’m guilty of this. These thoughts can negatively impact our entrepreneurial spirit, influencing us to obsess in our preparation and exert more effort than necessary. While we may think this is a great way to execute, it often results in burnout. The truth is, attempting to “know it all” is overrated.
We fail to realize that accepting not knowing is the best way to learn and progress. Another benefit: by admitting when we don’t know and giving honest answers, people learn to trust us. It gives power to the things we actually know. Not until the end of my college experience did I fully recognize the power of admitting when I don’t know. I now understand that my eagerness to learn from the wealth of wisdom around me is the key to my success in both business and in life. By practicing humility and accepting that failure is inevitable, we allow our learning to reach its maximum potential. As entrepreneurs and rookies in our careers, being curious will do us all a favor. We should allow ourselves to be vulnerable and embrace “I don’t know”.
My name is Alec Fetterer, Founder and CEO of Transform Tutoring. I blog to share the knowledge I’m accumulating throughout the start-up process. If you like what you see add me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AlecFetterer, or connect with me via LinkedIn. For more about what I do, check out my website:www.transformtutoring.wix.com/transform.