A few years ago, there was a client of mine, who became a friend. He was looking to start his own business and he needed money to fund it in exchange for named sponsorship.
The idea behind the business was that they would put on a concert with top line artists, Pharrell Williams and Lady Gaga for example. However, the only way you could get a ticket was to do four hours of community service, paint a playground, helping the elderly etc. Now, clearly, if people are not parting with money for a ticket, this leaves something of a financial hole regarding artists and venue to name but two, which is where the sponsorship came in.
What was fascinating was his attitude when it came to selling the idea to potential sponsors. Most people in his position would have turned to the classic salesman routine “If you give me this money, I have got this brilliant product” type of thing (Think Dragon’s Den, if you’re reading this in the UK).
His approach was to boldly state to his potential clients that this concert was going to happen with some amazing acts and he’d be delighted if they could be part of it. If not, however, no problem, it’d be happening anyway. At no point did he lie about anything, the acts had all agreed deals in principle and the venue was provisionally booked. The first client he had a meeting with signed up.
I spoke to him about this approach and he said; “If you’re working for yourself, it’s not enough that a potential client believes in your future offer, you have to as well, you have to act (as if) this thing is going to happen.”
The name of the company is Rockcorps, who have now held concerts in over 39 cities around the world.
So if you are considering striking out on something new, instead of thinking of reasons why it might not happen or worrying what other people might think, try acting “As if”.