Eric Karjaluoto

Faith

I’m an atheist. This doesn’t limit my appreciation of faith, though. I recognize that it lends strength—and that in its absence, it’s easier to get lost.

Before you launch your startup, faith comes easy. You’re convinced that everyone will love your idea, and that it will be a hit. Most are too soft on their ideas at this stage—and way too hard on them, later. This is because dreams are free of friction.

Your dreams create a standard that’s difficult to achieve in real life—in which friction is ever-present. Within days of launching, you discover others who’ve made similar things. You start to question whether you’re making the right moves. You fret a competitor eating your lunch. And you write off positive feedback too quickly, while taking criticisms overly personally.

Each of your fears leads to the more real threat: that you’ll give up. The way this happens is quite common. You experience enough friction that your faith wavers. You want to return to the warmth and happiness of your dream-world. Soon, you come upon another, seemingly better, idea. (In actuality, it’s no better than what you’re working on—you just don’t see the friction in it, yet.) So, you pursue it, only to find similar obstacles. Some repeat this pattern for years. Jim Collins calls this construct “The Doom Loop”—and it’ll kill your startup/idea before a competitor does.

Ideas die when you lose faith. I’m not proposing that you rely on blind faith. Instead, I urge you to maintain an unbiased view of your situation. Start by returning to your purpose. Then, itemize each of your problems/fears. Now, write a single means of dealing with each of these obstacles. Finally, act on one of these points. As you do, you replace doubt with doing—which leads to a virtuous cycle.

Most things worth making/doing are challenging. That’s why so few make extraordinary things happen: they hit the snooze button instead of doing the hard work. And, even if you do this work, you still might fail. The question for you, is whether you are persistent enough to make your vision a reality. (Often, it’s not those who’re smartest/best who achieve their goals; rather, it’s those who keep the faith.)

If you need a little encouragement (or a reality check), reach out to one of these advisors. Some of them have been where you are, and are willing to share their experiences. Personally, I think you’d get a lot out of talking to Andrei Soroker—he has grit.

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