A friend asked what gave me the confidence to pitch the first Praxis investors on our projected growth when there was no real way to prove or back the numbers, since we were building something brand new.
If I approached it from a place of needing to make investors happy, or make them believe in the credibility of my numbers, I wouldn’t have been confident at all. It’s unlikely any amount of market research or experience I can compile will result in data with a higher degree of credibility than the investors themselves might come up with. But I don’t like playing on turf I’m unfamiliar with, so I didn’t.
Instead, I focused on who I am and what I know. I know the problem we’re trying to solve is real, and here’s my argument for it. I know the solution we’re building is logical and valuable to people, and here’s my argument. I know we’re going to build this one way or the other, and it will either work or it won’t. If it works and these logical arguments prove valid, it will work big. If not, it won’t. I won’t stop until I get an answer. If you don’t buy my arguments, no hard feelings, we shouldn’t work together. If you do, you already know this has huge potential at least up to the numbers I’ve projected here. If so, let’s work together.
This keeps me entirely on territory I know and will defend with skin in the game all day. I don’t need to pretend to know or be anything I don’t or amn’t (yes, I said “amn’t”).
When you stick to your turf and don’t fudge in areas outside it, confidence isn’t hard. People value self-awareness and honesty more than prediction accuracy anyway.