“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” -Mark Victor Hansen
In my early 20s, I got involved with a pyramid scheme that I mistook for an ethical company.
I didn’t realize it at first, but most people were only pretending to make money because they believed they eventually would.
Since the revenue came mostly from attracting new recruits, the head of my young team had rented out an office suite, largely to establish a sense of credibility. This made it look less like a risky network marketing business, and more like a lucrative career path. Of course, I didn’t realize this at the time. I wanted to believe, so I did.
On one of my first days after joining, right before a scheduled presentation with 30 potential recruits, we got kicked out of our office because of a dispute with the rent.
In that moment, I had this vision of our entire 40+ person team setting up shop in the tiny Starbucks downstairs. I grabbed all the marketing materials and overflowed with earnest enthusiasm as I told everyone, “We don’t need an office. We just need to bring our heads and our hearts!”
In the movies, this kind of thing always seems to work. Things fall apart, and yet they somehow come together simply because people care, they’re determined, and they find a way.
I learned from this scenario that we need to be discerning about what we choose to believe, and clear about why we care. But I also realized that it isn’t naive to believe we can create miracles when we recognize our passion is our greatest asset.
In most situations, it’s not smoke and mirrors that create the magic—it truly is the people who believe in it and as a result never consider giving up on it. People run the companies. People create the brands. People change the world.
People just like you and me. It’s not a fancy office that does it. It’s not a massive paycheck. It’s not even the best laid business plans.
When it comes to building anything worthwhile, it starts with a willingness to believe in ourselves, each other, and what we can create when we have good intentions and keep going.
Photo by Scottfeldstein