The thought came down onto me as I was leaving a job interview. I don't know where it came from. I didn't care. It was here now. And it was obvious.
Whatever the idea. Whatever the project. Wether you are raising funds, building or keeping together a team, selling a product, running for office, trying to save bees or aspiring to help kids discover the arts and gardening at school, succeeding, whatever your measure of success is, always comes down to the same one and songle thing. People buy-in.
It's a funny thing to realize that the most important thing to generate and maintain is almost always that same one.
And that everything we do, wether it's a pitch, a pitch deck, marketing, building an awesome product, great growth, a job interview, being the first one in and the last one out on your first days. You can always all make it come down to that one same thing.
User buy-in, investor buy-in, employee buy-in, management buy-in, partners buy-in. At it's core, it is all the same thing.
Trust within a team? All about buy-in. Trust in management? Employee buy-in. A founder's vision? Investor, employee and customer buy-in. Building an awesome product? Same.
Where does people buy-in start? With yourself. If you want to have any chance to get other people to buy into you (confidence), your product, your company or your humanitarian project, you need to have bought into it yourself, your vision, and your ability to execute on it.
Next, you need sufficient interest in others, empathy, as well as an ability and a desire to communicate to them why they should buy into both your vision and you.
Beyond that? I don't know. I've never really successfully gotten any further than that for now.
It all comes down to people buy-in
It goes the other way too. Many things, such as stocks and housing prices would come crashing down without widespread people buy-in. The stock market is actually a great example of that. And so are rents.
Why do we pay as much as we do each month for a roof over our heads in big-ish cities? Because enough of us can and very strongly believe we have to. In accepting to pay these prices, we enable them, and encourage landlords to rise our rents. Until too few of us either can afford to pay, or believe it to be worth it.
And, quite funnily enough, the same applies to customs, governments, laws and borders. Oh, don't get me wrong. They exist. They have real and deep impacts on our everyday lives.
But, in the same way our team, job, idea or startup doesn't just float around imposing it's will upon the world, laws and borders only exist because their are enough people here to enforce them. On themselves and often others. Their existence too ultimately comes down to people buying into them. Willingly or not.
Once, when we last talked about this, someone very dear to me sumed it all up in a much more beautiful way than I ever could.
She called it a collective dream.