One of my all time favorite TED Talks is this one by Derek Sivers.
It talks about the importance of your first follower. The first person who believes in your ideas.
“The first follower is what transforms the lone nut into a leader.”
I believe this is an important lesson for anyone starting a new project they plan to show the world.
Whether you’re starting a business, creating art, pursuing a new career — all of them apply to this simple principe.
Your first follower is the most important journey on your path.
I remember when I was considering starting my first business. I had a notebook full of ideas but every person I spoke with didn’t like any of them.
The ones they did like — they had too many skepticisms. Too many reasons why it wouldn’t work.
Then one day I met with a friend who I respect a lot. A venture capitalist and wholesome person who feels like an older version of myself.
He asked me about the ideas on my mind, and I told him about my ideas to help people find jobs around the world.
He loved it. He immediately had people for me to talk to and ways to get started. He believed I had something that I could work with and run as a legitimate experiment.
I had my first follower.
I had the first person who believed in me. Who inspired belief within myself that I could get it done.
Looking back on this memory, and seeing the above TED talk, makes me appreciate the people who believe in me. The people who believe in my work.
I might not have a huge crowd dancing with me, but I have a great small group dancing by my side. Encouraging me along the way.
I believe that we need to find these people and embrace them. If you have a supporter, nourish that relationship. Those relationships will be the key to your future growth.
If you’re starting a new project, embrace your first followers. If you have people who reach out and express interest, make a point to regularly check in with them and cultivate a genuine relationship.
The more others believe in you, the more you believe in yourself. Cultivate faith in yourself by surrounding yourself with others who believe in you.