Being an Entrepreneur is About Selling Your Vision
Being an entrepreneur, almost by definition, means having a high tolerance for risk. Entrepreneurs forgo traditional careers in which people work for someone else and the relative security that comes with a predictable paycheck.
Entrepreneurs also seem to have a unique type of courage. Despite what some might call foolhardy behavior, being an entrepreneur means being willing to forge ahead despite uncertainty about the outcome.
And entrepreneurs have an enviable degree of self-confidence. Being an entrepreneur requires you be willing to make a decision, see what happens, and learn from the experience. For entrepreneurs, “failure” is just one step closer to getting it right.
As necessary as these characteristics are for becoming a successful entrepreneur, they play second fiddle to an even more important prerequisite—having a vision to which you are passionately committed, and using that passion to sell it to others.
Where’s Your Proof?
For Patrick Kelly, this week’s guest on Stay Paid, his vision of being an entrepreneur was to make life easier for financial professionals who were selling insurance to their clients. He wanted to streamline the highly redundant application process by creating a universal interface that would automate the various forms that needed to be completed.
Of course, Patrick needed financial backing to get his idea off the ground. In his interview with Luke and Josh, he talks about making his way through the world of venture capitalists. And it’s there that he runs into the conundrum that entrepreneurs everywhere know too well …
Before investors shell out any money, they want “proof of concept.” They want to know that the product or service works, and that people will buy it. But the entrepreneur needs the investors’ money before they can build and sell the product or service.
So what do you do?
For Patrick, he needed to sell his would-be investors on the viability of his vision.
How do you sell something only you can see?
If someone is going to invest in your vision, then they need two things: first, they need to trust you. Second, they need to trust in your idea.
For someone to trust you, they need to have a relationship with you. For Patrick, he worked on getting to know people in and around the world of venture capital. Once these initial people got to know him, they would introduce him to others. And so on down the line …
For someone to trust your idea, they want to know you’ve done your homework, that you’ve thought it through, and that it’s going to work. It’s this last point—that it’s going to work—where Patrick and other entrepreneurs can get stuck. How do you sell someone a vision when only you can see how well it’s going to work?
You’ll need to listen to the podcast for all the details and how Patrick put them into practice, but here are two ways you can sell a vision that we talk about in the interview:
- Make your vision big enough so that others can see themselves achieving their visions if they buy into yours.
- If you don’t have resources, be resourceful. Move forward anyway.
- Patrick’s experience being an entrepreneur and trying to get investors to back his product proves that when something doesn’t go the way you had hoped, it doesn’t mean that something better didn’t happen.
- Great entrepreneurs are ones who can sell a vision without any tangible proof that their idea is going to work.
- While the problem isn’t restricted to financial professionals, many typically don’t properly measure the success of their marketing, and they end up trying and discarding tactics with little data. If you’re not accurately measuring the effectiveness of your marketing, you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
- Don’t be discouraged by a lack of direct leads. A consistent presence, retargeting, dozens of touchpoints over months of time, Facebook ads, video text messages, and more … all your marketing efforts go toward building mindshare around your brand so that when people think of an industry, they think of you.
First, make sure you have a strong vision. It should be big enough so others can see their visions coming to fruition if they buy into yours. Then ask yourself, “Am I selling my vision with passion?”
You can connect with Patrick by emailing him at Patrick@signaladvisors.com.
- Josh talked about our free guide to branding. You can download it here.
- Luke mentioned our YouTube webinar on Facebook Ads. You can listen by clicking here.
- If you “hate the freakin’ maybes” as much as Luke, then listen to Episode 172, “How to Overcome Any Objection.” In this Silver Dollar episode, Luke and Josh explain a three-step process to squash the maybes and other types of objections.