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So by now you’ve probably heard of the whole situation surrounding Susan Boyle, a 47 year old Englishwoman who recently appeared on the TV show: Britain’s Got Talent (which is similar to American Idol.) I don’t tend to watch TV all that often, but I read about her story on CNN and then checked out her performance on YouTube.

Please take about 5 minutes to watch the video before reading the rest of this post; it will make much more sense if you do.

(Back from watching?)

Ok- so I saw this clip last night and was totally overcome by what a fantastic lesson and inspiration this video has for every entrepreneur.

I mean, consider this: when you are “putting yourself out there” – whether you’re launching something new, or stepping out in a new way, aren’t you secretly afraid of everyone jeering, catcalling and making fun of you? This is what happened to Susan in the first few seconds of the video. She experienced the all too direct impact of stereotypes, criticism, and limited thinking.

Many of us would completely shut down and stop if we were treated this way. We’d shrink, hiding our wisdom and brilliance, and backpedal out of the spotlight in order to avoid further rejection.

But not Susan. She deflected the negativity as best she could, and then stepped up to the plate and sung her heart out.

Her voice is incredibly beautiful- almost unreal.

Her video has now received millions of views, and she’s being interviewed on major television stations. She’ll likely be getting a recording deal, if she hasn’t signed one already.

So how does this relate to courage?

By being brave for a 3 minute performance, she has suddenly and completely changed her destiny. She captured the audience within the first one minute, and kept going. Audience members rose to their feet, and gave her a standing ovation for the rest of her performance.

So what I learned about courage from watching this video is that each of us needs to step up, been seen, be heard, and keep going, even when people are rejecting us.

Stepping out boldly and taking a big risk can open the door to a huge and bright future.

This definitely has me thinking…. where will I start showing more courage in my business?