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Merrimack Analysis Group

Web: http://www.merrimackanalysisgroup.com
Class: 2013 Summer Accelerator

Company Description

Online identity and security. Seminars for student groups, parent groups, job seekers, and senior citizens that help explain the ins and outs of digital footprint. Proprietary analytic software to review social media profiles. Consulting engagements by request.

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I saw a quote the other day that resonated with me quite a bit.  Here it is: "The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."  -- Robert Hughes

I've spent a good chunk of the last several months surrounded by students preparing for the GMAT (tutoring is one of my side incomes while I build my business), as well as entrepreneurs, both in b-school and in the Sandbox Accelerator.  

I think this quote is pure genius.

No matter how many times you hear self-help gurus and motivational speakers say, "It's all about confidence" I beg to differ -- strongly. Confidence -- along with three quarters, two dimes, and a nickel -- will get anyone a ride on the LRTA from downtown to the train station.  

What moves people along is hustle.  To borrow from the phraseology of one of today's panelists, someone who sees the end destination -- and can navigate the obstacles in between -- is going to succeed.  That's all about the day-to-day grind that brings someone towards their big-picture goal.  

Everyone should have an overall sense of confidence (Yes, this is possible...Yes, I can do this) but that's about as much as they need. From there, I'd be more inclined to place my chips on the table closer to the person who's a bit terrified (but instead of being overcome by fear, is moving through a series of tactical steps each day).  Someone who is so confident in their product, service, or idea that he/she thinks the world will beat down his/her door is NOT the horse I'd choose.  

As a tutor, I see students who get a problem wrong, and then become introspective.  Why was it wrong?  How can I do it better next time?  How can I be sure to get something like this right in the future?  They are the ones who tend to do well, at least based on my tiny (but growing) sample size so far.  

As hard as this may be to believe, there are other students who get a question wrong but rely on cognitive dissonance to dissuade themselves from ever believing it was wrong in the first place ("Oh yeah, but I meant to choose 'B' for that one").  Those are the ones I worry about.  

I had lunch today at Viet Thai with a friend who was an amateur boxer.  In his entire career, he told me, he only lost three bouts.  

Guess what all those bouts had in common?

Those were the ones in which he didn't come into the ring feeling at least a little bit scared.