Last week we talked about understanding opportunity cost – the cost of using resources for one thing at the expense of having them for something else. It does you no good to secure money, talent, or anything else for your company, if you misuse those assets and don’t apply them to the right things at the right times.
This week, I want to talk about one of the most important things you can do to be successful in securing those resources and customers for your company in the first place. It is the number one reason we’ve accomplished so much at Earbits with so little in terms of funding.
Believing in Your Own Vision
I have always been relatively good at sales, except for the short period of time that I was a car salesman. The simple fact is, while many people need a car, or even want a car, most spend outside of their means, or walk onto the lot feeling threatened and worried that they’ll get a bad deal. I sold almost no cars when I was in that business, simply because I didn’t believe that my product was what the customer needed, and so I could make almost no effort to sell one to them. Even if I did, they saw through me. My eyes said, “This isn’t what you need right now,” and they walked away.
When you start a business, a true startup, the difference in your ability to get people to work with or for you, or to get business partners to believe they should make the leap with a new, untested company, has everything to do with your ability to sell them on your vision. You can only do that if you believe strongly in it yourself. If you hesitate or aren’t sure that you can do what you’re trying to convince someone else that you can do, they’ll know. They’ll either pass, or ask you to provide guarantees or compensation that is much different than if you’ve sold them completely on your vision.
We’ve got four full time people working on Earbits right now, and about 3 part-timers. Only one takes a salary. Every person on our team believes in our vision, and they do so because I believe in it so much that when I talk about it, everybody in the room believes that our solution is critical, our team is amazing, and that success is our only option. You don’t get those results when you think your product is “okay”, or that your team “will do for now”.
Find something you love, a product or solution that you truly believe the world needs, and then invest your heart in it. Once you do, others will do the same. Go in half-ass, and you’ll get the same from your partners, employees and customers.