#43 — Conviction vs Confidence

I often think back to the moment I left my nice management consulting job to do a startup in 2008 (the one that painfully shutdown ~2 years later).

I dove in with confidence, but I didn’t have conviction.

Learning from other founders and successful leaders, I’m increasingly curious how they find conviction.

For Omri Mor, it was doing 300 interviews prior to writing a line of code at Routable. For Elissa Fink, it was feeling the problem first-hand before she moved across the country and joined Tableau. For Grant Goodale, it was studying his market from multiple directions before starting Convoy.

Confidence is fairly easy to see from the outside.

Conviction is harder to uncover. It’s an internal strength. It can be quieter.

Confidence can be mustered without much work. Conviction is about doing the work required to have an opinion. Conviction takes rigor + insight + confidence. Without confidence, you don’t take the shot. But it’s an ingredient, not the complete recipe.

So back in 2008, I thought confidence was all I needed. I optimized for the thing I could easily see easily and manufacture. That mistake causes a lot of pain.

Looking forward, I’m asking how I get on the path to conviction.

What’s your take?


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