Preparation is over-rated: it’s self trust and resilience that lead to success

When considering many successful individuals – regardless of industry – the success they’ve achieved is almost always built on risk, confidence, and resilience. 

This is certainly what I’ve experienced throughout my career. It began at the age of 24 when I was offered a position that I wasn’t completely qualified for.

If I had waited to be qualified to try something, I would never have left my hometown of Laurel for the larger and multiple options available in a big city like Dallas. 

I have met many people in business and in life who seem to trust in the philosophy that your next move should be the one for which you’re already prepared.

I disagree; I believe in pursuing your desired path regardless of your level of preparation.

Be decisive to achieve success

Be confident that if you’re smart and focused, you’ll learn faster when you’re in over your head or out of your depth. People tell me that I’m a risk-taker, but it hardly ever feels like a risk.

The thought that I might be too young or underqualified to apply for that position never entered my mind. I trusted my gut, brain and myself not to get in my own way, and it worked.

I apply this approach at every step and turn in my life which hasn’t been a linear track.

You must be willing to not only dive in and do even if you don’t feel prepared, but you also need to accept that the most significant lessons are those you don’t see coming.

Keep searching for success

How we respond to the unpredictable will determine our level of success in life.

I’ve been thrown curveballs that could have easily discouraged or benched me. I remember a call I received while working for a start-up called Link Scientific Imaging. I picked up the phone. “Mr. Webb,” the voice on the other end said when I answered in my office.

“The company has been sold, and the chair you are sitting in needs to be vacated by the end of the day. You have no equity, so therefore you are terminated.” I was floored.

I was ragged trying to keep up with the job, my ego, and the fantasy that I was in control.

It was like a bucket of cold water in the face, followed by a hard slap, and I suddenly saw the mistakes I had made following someone else’s dream.

I also saw the opportunity I had uncovered. If I’ve learned anything over the course of my life it’s that resilience is the most important aspect in life and business. It’s the key to success and will never let you down. There were a number of times when I could have quit.

I could have soothed self-pity in the bottom of a bottle, but instead, something wouldn’t let me fall prey to the victimhood I’d seen so many times in my life. 

People who get up and back to work are the ones who succeed.

You are capable of whatever it is you want to achieve. Seize the available opportunities even if you feel out of your depth and get back up every time you get knocked down.

James Harold Webb is the author of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity. His career in radiology saw him rise from a technologist to becoming a leader in the industry as the entrepreneur of several companies.