I have been called an optimist on more than one occasion. It’s true. And while I don’t believe anyone is just one thing (as I talk about here), I do tend to see problems as solvable. As I have said before, I see challenges as they are. I just believe I can impact them in a positive way. That’s what I mean by an optimist.
But there is no one more optimistic than an entrepreneur at the beginning of a venture.
When you are at the beginning of starting a new business, you have to be optimistic. If you are not, you would not have started the journey. You would have talked yourself out of it a long time ago. And when you are climbing up that hill to launch your new venture, you are going to need to overcome a mountain of doubt, frustration, confusion, insecurity, and more.
You need to be optimistic to survive.
But it’s a fine line. You need to be optimistic, but you need to be realistic with the numbers. You need to be strong-willed, but also willing to listen to the customer. And you need to be willing to make one very important distinction. It’s the distinction between “I would” and “I will.”
When you are in the beginning stages of a business (or telling people about the business), you are likely to get plenty of vocal support. Don’t get me wrong, you will likely hear a few people that question your idea, but many just want to be supportive. They want to tell you something to make you feel good. That’s great and it feels good. It’s encouraging to hear people “love” your idea. But it’s important not to get caught up in empty positive comments.
“I would love to see something like that!”
“I would be thrilled to see a sandwich shop downtown.”
“I would definitely buy your cookies!”
These folks are well-meaning. They want to be encouraging. And they do it by telling you that they “would” support your new venture.
Yeah. But will you?
They might say “I would definitely buy your cookies.” That’s great. But if you follow up and say “I am taking pre-orders right now for a dozen. Will you buy some?” That is a different commitment altogether, isn’t it?
If they say “Yes…I will,” (and then they give you money) then you have a real customer.
As you begin your new venture, make sure you don’t get blinded by too many people saying “I would,” when you need to hear people say “I will.”
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