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Nurturing High Self-Esteem to Encourage Entrepreneurship
By Galit Zamler

Nurturing high self-esteem to encourage entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs with high self-esteem are more daring, take on more responsibility, and achieve more. Therefore, nurturing high self-esteem throughout childhood will enable growth and achievements.

It will be easier for us to nurture self-esteem if we accept Rabbi Nahman from Breslov's prospection, he said, "know that each and every shepherd has a special melody. Know that each kind of grass has its own special song."

The Courage to Ask Questions

The courage to ask questions

The entrepreneur:

Already in the early stages, the entrepreneur understood that he/she must learn a lot to promote his/her project.

Part of the learning process is asking questions. An entrepreneur who is afraid to raise questions will learn things the hard way.

Each and every one of us has a field of expertise that we tend to be better at than others.

It might be possible that in some fields, we are entirely ignorant. However, that does not reflect our ability to succeed in life. If we find it right to ask questions, we should do it without fear.

In practice, sometimes, we tend not to ask questions so as not to harm our image by revealing a lack of knowledge. If this is why we do not ask questions, then this actually indicates our lack of self-confidence.

A person who feels comfortable raising questions is a person with high self-esteem and who has no problem revealing his/her does not know or understand a particular subject.


First of all, I apologize for mentioning this example due to a person's honor, but the subject comes across well in this example:

One of the Israeli defense ministers toured the north of the country, and he received binoculars to observe the area.

Although he didn't see anything, he didn't ask why, because he felt that there was an expectation of a person in his class to know how to use binoculars and if he asked, perhaps, he'd hurt his public image. But a person with self-confidence and high self-esteem would ask and would not fear a question like that would harm his status.

In this case, it turned out that the binoculars lenses were covered.

The fear of asking questions may stems from those days at school or at various social gatherings where there was someone who asked a question, and in response, there were those who giggled or mocked. Such reactions, in fact, suppress the desire to ask questions and get answers.

The solution to this lies in education for tolerance.

Galit Zamler has noticed that in many cases, there are people who would like someone else to come up and ask questions, so they do not have to ask themselves. She also learned that those who laugh at you, often don't know the right answer themselves, either because they are not experts on the subject or because they don't really understand the question. Their behavior reveals a lack of understanding, a lack of self-confidence, and arrogance.

Asking questions is important, even when everything seems clear because we can find that one person means X and the other means Y. Both sides are absolutely sure they understood each other, but only by asking questions and getting answers can we confirm our understanding.

There have been more than a few mistakes made throughout history that came from a misunderstanding between the parties.

When it comes to children:

As educators, we should encourage children to ask questions and allow them to get satisfying answers. And if we think the query is an "unnecessary" one, we can ask the child what he/she thinks the answer might be, and, from his/her response, we can understand why he/she raised the question.

Developing Independent and Positive Thinking

The entrepreneur

Successful leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs aren't afraid to speak their minds and walk their own path, even if it's not acceptable to those around them.

As authority figures, we should encourage the children to express their opinions, even if they think differently from the others. That's the way to encourage kids to think independently.

Most likely, none of us would want his child to behave like the same of students who participated in Solomon Asch's study that researched social peer pressure:

Source: Wikipedia Asch conformity experiments

Asch conformity experiments

The experiment found that, although it was clear that the left line is equal in length to line C, under the influence of peer pressure of collaborators with the experimenter, there were students who agreed with the wrong answer given by the collaborator group.

Examples of people who choose positive, independent thinking, despite their critical surroundings:

People with positive, independent thinking, are capable of taking their idea to a performance stage, even if their surroundings don't believe it's possible, such as in the following examples:

* Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl, the visionary of the Jewish state - "Everybody says I'm crazy, because that's what I see, and I see one solution: Jews exodus from Europe and the establishment of a Jewish state in their historic homeland."

* Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the initiator of the revival of the Hebrew language - initially considered by those around him to be crazy: Firstborn child, Itamar Ben-Avi, did not utter a word until the age of three. But fears lest his father's madness will cause the child mental retardation, were proved wrong. (From the book: Pillar of Fire by Yigal Lucien, Keter Books)

* The Wright Brothers developed and flew the first plane - but for their first flight, the press didn't come to cover the event, because the two brothers were thought of as somewhat insane. Only four adults and one child, in addition to the Wright Brothers, attended the historic moment.

* Mario Levi, the founder of organic agriculture in Israel, said in an interview with the Haaretz newspaper: "It was not easy at first. When I first said 'organic food,' people thought I was crazy."

* Dr. David Harari, a pioneer programmer of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) of Israel, said in an interview to Globes newspaper: "When I started working on the UAV program indoors and the aerospace industry, people laughed at my crew and me. All that was toward the end of the '70s and most people did not believe in me, including members of the board... at that time there were no drones anywhere, and we had to make something from nothing. We were stubborn, despite getting laughed at and being told we were children playing with toys. Since then, the UAV project has made significant success in the world."


unmanned aerial vehicles

* Oren Shoval, one of the founders of Via's that develops a smart system for public transportation once said: "There were people from the field who were very skeptical about the ability to build a very efficient technology that will know how to handle the city complexity such as, passengers who'll not make it on time or drivers who'll get lost. But as concerns grew, we got more determined about it, because we understood that people are afraid to get into this field with a technology solution."

* With the sale of MeyEden Company, Dan Naphtali wrote about its founder: "In those days, people thought he was crazy. No one believed that Israelis would pay for bottled water. And years later, there are other competitors, and paying for good water has become a culture, just as in Europe."

* Although we're familiar with the USB Flash (flash memory device), and in fact, it seems like this technology has existed forever, in reality, this Israeli-developed technology wasn't around before and was invented by M-Systems, about 20 years ago.

In his book "100 Doors: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship", Dov Moran describes the cold welcome his invention received by the market at the beginning: "M-Systems brought the USB Flash to the market and revealed it at the Comdex conference in Las Vegas in November of 2000??? And what was the market's feedback? Nothing. That same December, I gave a lecture at an analysts conference where I presented the USB Flash for the first time in Israel, and the response? At best, ignoring. At worst, disrespect. There were comments like: "Pocket-size memory stick? Who needs that?"

Exercise with children:

Brainstorming activities are a great way to allow each team member to practice self-positive thinking and express opinions, ideas, and solutions without getting criticized.

Build Self-Confidence

The entrepreneur is required to have high self-confidence to believe in himself/herself and his/her ability to realize his/her dreams.

It is not that the entrepreneur is born with self-confidence, but that he/she develops it over time, with many experiences that build his/her resilience, and lead him/her to the conclusion that he/she can succeed, even if he/she encounters difficulties.

Dr. Ivan Joseph explains in his lecture that self-confidence is a skill that can be learned and developed.

He says that in order to build self-confidence, there is a need for great practice, determination, and perseverance. We must avoid negative thoughts that stop us from trying. We must think positively, understand that we are the masters of our destiny, and we have to believe in ourselves.

Dr. Ivan suggests educators who want to help their students, to focus on positive feedbacks on successes and positive behavior, and avoid negative feedback.

One of the things that characterize people with self-confidence is their ability to interpret reality in the way they choose, and not in the way others expect them to.

Entrepreneurs do the same. This way, they manage to deal with negative reactions in a way that promotes them. Even when they hear the word "No" many times, they do not withdraw from continuing their journey.

Sharing Knowledge

Sharing knowledge

The entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs, especially in the service field, get recognition and appreciation from their colleagues and customers when they share the knowledge they have accumulated. Sharing knowledge indicates confidence, faith in yourself, and high self-esteem without fear for your status.

Galit Zamler: "A culture of keeping the knowledge to oneself, in my opinion, attests to the person's weakness and reveals one's concern about his/her status. This occurs in workplaces where there is no employment security, or the employee's position can be impaired. When a person feels confident and has high self-esteem, he/she will willingly share their surroundings with the knowledge he/she has gained."

People who share their environment with their knowledge benefit:

* They are considered experts in their field.

* They show openness to those around them as well as the ability to build social and business relationships.

* They get an appreciation from their environment.

* And most of all, they get to learn a lot from their environment, because they are perceived as experts, and people consult with them and share them with opinions, experiences, and problems. In this way, the person who is sharing becomes an authority.

Besides, sharing encourages camaraderie and empathy and, therefore, thus helping to harness partners for a commitment to success.

An example from the business field:

Social networks have become a conventional means of communication. This happened mainly as a result of the development of Facebook. One of the most basic rules of marketing through social networks is to market yourself or your business expertise by uploading professional content to the web, which will add value to your target audience.

By sharing knowledge (alongside other marketing actions), the number of clients will grow.

People who share their knowledge show that they have confidence, high self-esteem, and are not afraid for their status. They convey the message that they have many more insights to provide and that they are an authority in their field.

And that's the reason why we can find many articles on the internet today.

When it comes to kids:

Sharing knowledge at a young age is reflected in collaboration.

Team assignments, especially challenging, according to the children's age, encourage collaboration among the team members and harness each child's knowledge and abilities for success in the mission.

Caution From Overconfidence

The entrepreneur

One of the common reasons for entrepreneurs to fail is overconfidence; Entrepreneurs who believe they understand their field the best and refuses to listen to their environment and clients.

The third module of the Entrepreneurship for Kids (EFK) Program deals with learning from others' failure, addressing the element of excessive confidence.

Caution from overconfidence

Yossi Yassur, in his book "Did You also have No Hot Water?" refers to this issue:

"Overconfidence also relates to optimism. Most people see themselves through rose-colored glasses. They believe their future is rosier than of others, that they're better than others.

The combination of optimism and overconfidence causes people to exaggerate about their knowledge and their ability to control a situation, and also to underestimate the risks of their actions."

This phenomenon that Yossi Yasur describes is quite obvious when it comes to entrepreneurs who are technical people. Sometimes, for them, the product which they develop is the best there is, and exactly what the market needs. Therefore, the product will sell itself almost without any marketing efforts.

But the reality is usually different, and it turns out that there are already competing products. Clients have demands for changes, so if they don't take the right marketing actions, the product won't sell itself.

The Ability to Ask for Help

Ask for help

The entrepreneur

Cases in which the entrepreneur knows and can develop a project and bring it to market success solely on his/her own, are rare. The entrepreneur usually needs help.

The ability to ask for help comes from high self-esteem: A person who asks for help acknowledges his/her strengths and limits and does not fear to let others know he/she needs help.

The need for help can be in any field, and only by admitting that we need it.

Ed Mlavsky, who knows the entrepreneur's field in all aspects, talked about it in a video that was produced through Global Entrepreneurship Week. He said: "Don't be ashamed to ask for help."

Critical Thinking

To develop critical thinking, we first have to believe in ourselves

For an entrepreneur to succeed, he/she must have a critical mindset, such that doesn't accept things for granted and correct.

To develop critical thinking, we first have to believe in ourselves, in our judgment and have self-confidence.

Critical thinking plays an essential role in asking questions and looking for solutions. If there is not a good enough solution, then the next project can be formed.

One of the common problems today, which spreads because people don't think critically enough, is the "Fake News."

But the "Fake News" problem can be easily turned into an advantage, training ourselves to think like entrepreneurs. This is an ability that can be developed with little attention.

When we stumble upon a "new item," we will exert our discretion, ask questions, appeal, and will not accept the item as absolute truth.

When everybody acts like that, on one side, the "Fake News" problem will diminish because people will not behave like a herd, and less will share false items. On the other hand, our society will develop critical thinking skills, which are required to create an entrepreneurial culture.

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