“What do you do for a living?”
It’s one of the first questions you’ll get asked when you meet someone for the first time. That is, unless you live in Melbourne, in which case it will be the second question immediately after “which footy club do you barrack for?”
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If you want to launch a start-up, this question means regularly explaining to people that you want to give up a comfortable job in order to potentially reshape an entire industry.
It is almost inevitable you will face doubts from people who are only familiar with the comfortable status quo. The doubters won’t just be strangers you’re meeting for the first time either – friends, family, potential investors, accountants, former colleagues and others will all almost inevitably chime in on why your idea won’t work.
It’s a topic Old Taskmaster has discussed before, where people bleat that most mind-numbing of lines, “that’s not how the industry works!”
The question to ask yourself, when confronted by a doubter, is what their experience is.
Sure, if Ruslan Kogan tells you your eCommerce business won’t work or Mark Zuckerberg gives you a reason your social media idea won’t fly, it’s worth listening. They have experience. They’ve been in your position.
But it’s a very different matter if you are talking to a career public servant who would not have the courage to start a small business, even if they had just returned from accompanying Dorothy and Toto on a journey to a Wizard in an Emerald City!
Seriously, you wouldn’t sell your shares based on stock market advice from a cabbie. You wouldn’t listen to dating advice at a computer convention. So why listen to the business doubts of someone with no experience in entrepreneurialism?
So Old Taskmaster says this: The next time you get confronted by a doubter, pay attention when they answer that age old question “what do you do for a living?” Because a doubter without experience probably isn’t really worth listening to.
Get it done – today!