No one is going to believe in you… first.
Unfortunately, the nature of the world is that you’ve got to prove yourself. And that actually starts with proving yourself to yourself.
As much as we might romanticise the idea, you’re actually incredibly lucky in life, if you have someone who believes in you unconditionally.
You hopefully felt it as a child, from your parents, but it still had limits, right?
I mean, if you were 12 and announced plans to build a car-share empire, your parents probably would have balked at backing you.
“I’m going to do amazing things!”
“Of course you are son. I believe in you.”
“I’m going to convince my school buddies to let me manage their pocket money, and I’m going to plough it into a share-trading algorithm strategy.”
“I just need $2m of seed funding from you.”
“Ok, I think we need to chat.”
When you get into the real world, no one is going to back without reason. No one is going to get behind your ideas without having a good look at them first – without evaluating you and your vision against their own ideas of how the world works and what works and what doesn’t.
I’m stating the obvious, right?
And yet belief is a key ingredient in any successful project.
You need to convince investors and all your stakeholders that the idea is a winner.
Even your staff, if you have them. Salaries only get you so far. If you want to get the most out of people, then they need to believe in you. They need to think that they’re on a winning horse.
The idea of staff who are working for you who don’t believe you… who are only there to make as much cash as they can before the ship goes down in flames… how much gold are you going to get out of them?
Belief is a key ingredient.
And it’s got to come from you.
You have to be the believer in chief. You have to lead by example and show them what belief in your project looks like.
And you really have to be feeling it. You can’t fake it. People can smell doubt. It stinks and it’s repulsive.
(Amateur tip: bake bread during important work meetings to disguise the stench of fear.)
If you’re not backing yourself 100%, no one will want a bar of you.
And don’t think any one is going to be swayed by the strength of your idea alone. You definitely need a project that stacks up on paper. Everything needs to make sense. But belief is based on belief.
No one is going to say to you, “Hey you know this idea you’re working on that you’re um’ing and ah’ing about, I think it’s awesome. I believe in it 110%.”
You are the believer in chief. You have to be your own cheerleader. And when all those around you are wavering, you have to be the rock they come back to.
This is hard. Make no doubt about it. It one of the most challenging things there is. To stay strong in your beliefs while everything around you is going to sh!t.
But as I say, no one else is going to do it for you.