I started from scratch, and I am not afraid of failing. I’ve accomplished so much over the last four years that I feel like I’m winning every day. This is where I draw my courage from. Instead of looking back, I keep moving forward—in business and in life.
—Kate Hancock, president, OC Facial Care Center
I draw courage from the historic bravery and sheer will that my ancestors exhibited and on whose shoulders I stand. Whenever the task ahead seems insurmountable, I think of how exponentially more difficult it must have been for my forebears, who lacked much of the opportunity, equal rights and protections that we now all enjoy.
—Calvin Sims, president, CEO, International House
I am grateful to have had huge struggles and a big life crisis that forced me to deal with and conquer my fears. I don’t need courage anymore. Now I just do it!
—Jan Ryde, owner, CEO, Hästens
My courage comes from the fact that I find regret to be way more painful than failure. I am much more likely to go for stuff than I am to let a potential opportunity pass by.
—Elisabeth Vezzani, CEO, Sugarwish
I draw my courage to push myself out of my comfort zone by knowing that it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. It’s better to do something—be it invite someone out to dinner, launch a new business, or pursue a major partnership—rather than regret the decision later of never having pursued it. When you try something new or challenging, you grow stronger with the experience.
—Adelyn Zhou, CEO, founder, Alight Labs
It can be difficult as a leader to summon the courage to stand at the front of a room and offer explanations or unwavering enthusiasm. Some days, it’s difficult to find that extra “oomph,” but I’m driven by thinking about my team. When running a business, it’s not about you, but rather the team behind you, and I simply don’t want to let mine down. So I draw my courage from thinking about them.
—Kyle Wong, CEO, co-founder, Pixlee
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.