I heard a story one time that Bill Gates and Steve Balmer were in a meeting with IBM trying close a deal. IBM listed all of the requirements that they needed for an operating system. When they asked Microsoft (Bill and Steve) if they could make that, Bill Gates without hesitation said, “yep, that’s no problem.” They finished up their meeting and signed a contract to begin working on one what would become one of the most popular operating systems to-date. As they were walking back to their car. Steve Balmer asked Bill “What were you thinking in there? We can’t build what they are asking for, we’ve never done that!” Bill Gates responded with “We’ll figure it out.”
While I don’t know the exact specifics of this story (and I would like to fact check the story), what is interesting to me is the idea of going all in. Committing yourself to the goal. Making moves before it feels like you are ready. I am confident that those opportunities are the opportunities that every company could only hope to have. They are scary a lot of the time, and it requires a bold courageous group of people to take on the challenge.
Once again the fear of failure arises. Steve Balmer was afraid of biting off more than they could chew. I think Steve represents the majority of people (including myself). I think we often use the excuse that we don’t want to lie to the client, or that we aren’t ready yet. But, I think the reality is that we lack confidence in ourselves. I think we are so much more capable than we think.
How do we know when we are ready to take the next step?
I wasn’t ready to hire my first employee. I wasn’t ready for my first client. I wasn’t ready for the first ten thousand dollar contract we closed. I wasn’t ready to move into an office and take on a new rent expense. I wasn’t… I wasn’t… I wasn’t ready. Or was I ready? I did all of those things, and what happened? Our company is still alive, and we are still growing.
When I reflect on these situations, it energizes me. I feel like I am not ready for a lot of the things I need to do in the coming months for our business. But, when I look back and remember all the times that we have accomplished the things that we thought we couldn’t do, it makes me think that we are ready and we can do so much more than we think.
Currently, we have a few contracts on the table that are challenging us in ways we have never been challenged. We are being asked to do things by clients that we have never done for any other clients. But, I’m very tempted to just make the promises to the clients, sign the contract and start working away and following through with the promises that we make. I have the utmost faith in our crew and I know that although we might not be able to get it right on the first try, I know that we will try and try and try until we get it right. I’m excited to commit myself and our company to the next big thing, and then work towards the solution.