MOST entrepreneurs who enter the Pitch and Polish competition are not bold enough about selling their business.

But all the contenders agree that the competition taught them how to sell their businesses with confidence.

After overcoming “the fear” – the fear of failure or looking stupid – most entrepreneurs learn to love pitching ideas. And you can teach yourself!

The mirror is a good place to start, followed by the Three Fs: friends, family and fools – or anyone who will listen. And even if the Three Fs in your life do not actually end in an investment, the advantage of getting over the fear of pitching is huge!

Allon Raiz, Raizcorp CEO and founder of Pitch and Polish, said to become a “pitch addict” is simply to breathe deeply and to tell yourself that no matter what feedback you get, you will use it to your advantage.

“In this way, you build up your toughness and learn to distinguish between bad advice and valuable criticism. The more good advice you get, the better your ideas and pitch. You get into a positive feedback loop and get more experience and more courage,” he said.

The fear never goes away – even the most seasoned pitchers feel nervous before speaking about their business.

Murendeni Mafumo, the winner of this year’s Engen Pitch and Polish, said he was nervous before the final pitch but once on stage all his preparation helped him deliver a winning pitch.

He walked away the winner of the night, with R60 000.