If You Want To Get Going, Get Rid of “Going”
I am sitting across from would-be entrepreneurs in a setting that is eerily similar to a combination of Shark Tank and Speed Dating. They told us the pitches would last 5 minutes and then the bell would ring.
The would-be entrepreneur across from me stands up and is soon replaced by another. A new pitch begins. Again.
We repeat this dance for nearly two hours. I hear a lot of pitches. I give advice and my recommendations to all of them. Some of them listen. I think.
Most of them don’t. I don’t blame them. Its not that I don’t know what I am talking about. I do. I have been in that seat before. Maybe not literally, but I used to be like them. I used to know nothing.
I am the first to admit I don’t know everything. But I know some things. I even know some things about starting a business.
It doesn’t matter though. I soon realize this is more about perfecting their pitches than changing their business model as I tell them their product or idea isn’t ready, well-thought out, or even good. In their minds they just didn’t pitch it well enough.
While I am explaining to them the hurdles they are facing and ways to streamline processes and systems, they are staring at me with a blank face re-wording their pitches in their heads.
Maybe not all of them. But some. Maybe most.
One person even sits down and immediately asks me what I have to offer them. Despite the fact that I am donating my time to mentor these would-be entrepreneurs, I immediately break into my pitch.
What the hell? I didn’t even know I had a pitch. But there I was, pitching myself to a would-be entrepreneur. It wasn’t half bad either.
Get Rid of “Going”
My big take away from this event? Your idea doesn’t matter. Some people had good ones and some people had better ones. The right person with a good idea is going to succeed. The wrong person with a great idea will not.
I didn’t always think this. I used to think the idea was everything. I used to think I needed one big idea and then everything would work itself out.
I now know that the ‘work itself out’ is the magic part of this formula. The unfortunate truth for these would-be entrepreneurs is that this ‘work itself out’ part consists of a lot of really hard work.
If you tell me you are going to do something, I will not believe you.
I am going to lose weight.
I am going to raise capital.
I am going to work out more.
I am going to start writing.
I am going to start reading more.
Then I am going to call you a liar. Maybe liar isn’t the right word, because you aren’t lying. You might actually believe yourself. But I don’t.
Tell me if you see a difference here:
I am losing weight.
I am raising capital.
I started working out more.
I started writing.
I am reading more.
The difference is in the “going”. If you say you are going to do something, why haven’t you started doing it already? Is tomorrow easier? Next week? Did you get too busy today to start?
I am not perfect. I used to have to go to the Nike Store and buy all new workout gear before I could start my next phase of dieting and working out. A few weeks would go by and then life would happen. Maybe I lost some weight during this time, but it always came back.
“I am going to lose weight,” I would tell people.
“I am going to lose weight,” I would tell myself.
Today? I am losing weight. Right now. I am burning calories as I write this. My mind is focused on it and all of my decisions throughout the day are helping me achieve this goal. I am not going to do anything. I am doing it.
Do you see the difference? Its ok if you don’t. I used to not. I used to be sitting on the other side of the table too. Pitching my great idea to someone hoping they would tell me how great I was and do all the work and give me money.
I really thought this.
“I am going to start a company that will-” No you won’t.
“I am going to create an app-” No you won’t.
“I am going to raise capital to-” Nope.
Some people make things happen while others hope things will happen. I learned long ago that hope is not a strategy. I also learned that you can become whatever kind of person you want to be.
“I am not a runner.”
“I am not a morning person.”
“I am not a writer.”
“Good things like that never happen to me.”
The truth is, you can actually be any type of person you want to be. The first step is deciding who it is you want to be.
The next step is becoming that person. Just don’t say you are going to become that person.
I am a runner!
I am a morning person!
I am a writer!
Good things keep happening to me!