We all get nervous before an important event. Maybe you’re fundraising and there’s an important meeting coming up with some potential investors. Maybe you’re young and about to meet somebody important. In these cases there might be some 20% chance that, if you can knock the meeting out of the park, you reach some great outcome. Therefore we get anxious about our chances and obsess over that 20% outcome.
I’ve found that this mis-aligns my thinking. The real probabilities you should be thinking about have nothing to do with the event. You have a 80% chance of being the same company you were before the investor meeting, so how about you focus on that. After you meet this important person, you’ll still come home to yourself, so why aren’t you anxious about that?
So many companies focus on fundraising as an end that they forget the most important thing for getting there – you have to build a fundable company. I do it all the time when I think about how this next meeting or opportunity is going to make all the difference in the world, but I’m kidding myself. I find it’s a lot more calming to focus on the things which have the highest chance of coming about (you’re still yourself), and just as importantly, are things you control.