Yeah, it sounds like this is a post about religion. It isn’t.
Actually, this idea came to me after reading an article on Medium where a woman says that she finished a 24 hours running competition by believing that 90% of the women that started the specific race finished it. It said so in a book she read (Born to Run, I also enjoyed the book a lot).
The truth was, though, that only 45% of the women that started the race actually finished it. The information in the book was incorrect, from the lack of documentation (which makes you wonder how much of the book is incorrect, also). The thing is, though, that it didn’t matter. She finished the race because she believed she should and she could.
And I find a lot of similarities between this and business (especially startups): you rarely have enough numbers and facts to go on, but you hold on to the ones that give you the energy to keep going.
Like the fact that when you start your own business, you think you will have more time for yourself because, let’s face it, now you’re your own boss. But this is not true, you actually work a lot more, on worse hours, on a much smaller wage than you could get if you got hired. But the fact that you KNOW it’s gonna get better (even if it doesn’t, most of the time), makes you go through with it. And, yes, at some point, it MIGHT get better. So you keep hoping :D
Or the fact that businesses fail a lot in the first year (they say 95%). But, well, you find different numbers, that say a different story. Even if they are not suited for you (Y! Combinator ot TechStars companies aren’t a good example, because of the ecosystem around them), you still prefer to believe those numbers. After all, only 22% and 10%, respectively, of the companies failed. Which is a lot better than 95%, right? :)
In the end it doesn’t really matter. As long as you are getting closer to your dreams, who cares what leads you there and what kept you going? It’s only about what you believe…