In just 9 months, snap40 has achieved a lot and we have huge potential. I have achieved more with snap40 than I ever did with Dizeo. Recently, I have been doing a lot of presentations, a lot of pitching and a lot of talking about who we are and our vision for the future. I am actually naturally a fairly introverted person so I have had to put myself out of my comfort zone and very quickly develop a lot of self-confidence. This has been the hardest part of building snap40. Building confidence.
I delivered a presentation recently, which went very well but it was pointed out to me that I talked a lot about we had achieved already rather than what we were going to achieve. This got me thinking and I had a look through some of the e-mails and documents I have written and there is a similar trend. I justify our right to exist and be where we are by our achievements. Its therefore not just about developing personal confidence, its about developing startup confidence.
Subconsciously, I wanted to justify our right to be giving the pitch or presentation by showing we had achieved. Actually, we didn't have to justify ourselves, we were already there. Now it was our time to sell where we were going, what we were going to achieve and convince people we had the ability to do so. In the first paragraph of this post I wanted to caveat the phrase "we have huge potential" with "we have huge potential if we make the right decisions." Its a subtle difference, but I think it has big implications.
I have now went back and re-structured my presentations, my pitches and my written communications to shift focus. We have a fantastic, truly exciting proposition and its about how we are going to deliver on that proposition. Instead of spending a great deal of time speaking about whats behind us, it should be about spending a great deal of time talking about whats in front. Thats where confidence is key. You need to have the confidence to say this is where we are going and we are going to get there, backed up with solid knowledge of the how.
Early stage investors know that you don't have everything solved yet - if you did, would you be early stage? You need to have the confidence to be able to stand up and say this is where we are going, this is how we are going to get there, and, by the way, we have already achieved huge progress. Intelligent confidence is king.
What have you found hardest about building your startup?