Taking risks and making big decisions is all part of a standard day for a business owner. Juliet Simmons shares some wise words from entrepreneurs who have gone on to make it big.

If you look in the dictionary bravery is defined as being ready to face and endure danger or pain, and as showing courage. What does that mean for an entrepreneur in 2014? We don’t go to work and fight dragons every day but running a business does mean being constantly courageous, strong and ready to expect the unexpected.

If being brave means being in charge of our own destinies then how do we ensure that’s the case? What are some of the steps that we need to take to head in the right direction? The following steps sound simple but it takes courage and commitment to make them happen. That’s why taking them makes you brave.

Take Risks
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and to play it safe. Why bother to try for something new, especially when there’s a constant voice in your head saying that it’s just not possible? The truth is that to grow you need to try new things. As Anthony Robbins, an American advisor, put it, “if you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got” – it takes courage to be different. Step out and take a risk.

Don’t be afraid to say no
Be brave enough to say no. When you know something is wrong, you don’t need to justify it and saying no allows you to focus on the areas that are most important. In his exhibition at the Design Museum designer Paul Smith is quoted as saying “our strength has always been to know what to say “no” to as well as “yes”. It’s certainly worked for him

Trust yourself and be honest.
However sure we are that we want to be our own boss there is no doubt that there are days when it’s challenging. Those are the days when we realise that we are the ones that make things happen and that we must trust in ourselves and our abilities. It’s hard to imagine that there’s an entrepreneur out there who hasn’t considered going back to the 9 to 5 but being brave is about holding on to your self-belief and trusting that you are capable and able to make great things happen.

Be Vulnerable
Brene Brown, whose TED talk on vulnerability is one of the most watched ever, has said that “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

True bravery kicks in as we carry on running our businesses. We’re really brave when we admit, to ourselves and to others that what we do is hard, that not every day is filled with inspiration and that some are filled with worries about where the next client will come from, how we’ll pay the bills or if we’ll be able to keep on having those really great ideas. In many ways it’s not about putting the armour on and fighting those dragons but taking it off and having the courage to believe in your convictions and to believe that great things are possible, deserved and waiting to happen.

This article originally appeared on The Guardian’s website.