June 19, 2013


This reflection is inspired by this week’s Startup Edition, “What mistakes have you made?

I was recently asked to teach a course on Adii Pienaar’s new entrepreneurship education startup, PublicBeta. My immediate response was one of self-doubt.

  • Who am I to teach? I’m not an expert.
  • What if I’m wrong? The trolls will tear me apart.
  • Can I even accomplish this? I don’t have a ton of public speaking experience.

Insecurity. Uncertainty. Hesitation.

Fuck that.

We all self conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.

This bar from (the confident) Kanye West stuck with me since his album debut, as a reminder that we all have self-doubt. How we react to those doubts is what matters.

  • There’s no way I can learn how to code. (Wrong)
  • I’m unqualified to build a startup. (Nope)
  • I have nothing to teach. (Yes, you do)

Every great engineer, entrepreneur, and teacher started somewhere with just enough confidence to believe in themselves.

Don’t allow a lack of confidence hold you back from pursuing great opportunities and moving forward. Yes, unfamiliarity and the pursuit of the unknown instigates unconfident emotions. But remember, fear is healthy; a fear of fear is not.

It’s natural to avoid “scary” opportunities. Instead of retreating from Adii’s offer, I will embrace the challenge. Look forward to a future announcement of the course and sign up for my email list or follow me on Twitter (@rrhoover) for updates.

Read the mistakes of other founders, hackers, and designers at Startup Edition.

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