I am currently working on an idea which I think has great potential to improve the experience of buyers and sellers in the real-estate space. While investigating this opportunity, I have sought the advice of many friends, particularly business minded ones and advisors. My goal was to get as much advice as possible, and see if my idea makes sense.
As I got a lot of very positive early feedback, I needed to validate it by talking to real potential users of my service.
To do this, I decided to call some people who left their phone number next to adverts on Gumtree and asked them for a minute of their time to help me validate my idea. I talked to a dozen people this way, and most of them were happy to spare a few minutes to help a total stranger validate his idea.
I have discussed this at length with my wife, and she told me that she would not have dared doing this. I think it is very normal to be scared of calling random strangers. You may be worried that they would not appreciate your call and perhaps be angry at you. After all, you do not know these people.
But I keep telling my wife:
I believe that “giving a fuck” is what holds a lot of people back. If you want to be successful in business and in life, it is very important to stop giving a fuck and to instead do what it takes. If validating your business idea means talking to random people, just do it. People will always judge you, so it is better to accept that whatever you do, some people will not like it. Once you have come to terms with this, you will feel free and grow as an individual.
So I was fascinated when this video of Steve Jobs randomly showed up on my Facebook stream. In this video, he describes one of his younger experiences aged 12, of calling his neighbour Bill Hewlett to ask for some spare parts.
The video starts by Jobs saying “I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked for help” and concludes by the memorable quote:
“Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask and that’s what separates sometimes the people that do things from the people that just dream about them”.
So take it from the master, and pick up the phone!