Why was I so big on social media when everyone told me it was “just a fad”? How did I have the confidence to invest my savings into Twitter and Facebook — now Meta — when everyone said that it was insane? What makes me so bullish about NFTs and how they will revolutionize the future when it’s still so ridiculously early? The answer is simple: conviction.
People often ask me how I “know” certain things before they happen. The truth is that I don’t really “know”…I just have amazing conviction backed by tenacity and humility. Once you’re able to master that balance, things get really good.
What is Conviction?
A firmly held belief or opinion.
For me, conviction is something that comes very naturally. Once I believe in something, I believe it, and the noise of the crowd — whether cheers or boos — doesn’t change my mind. As strong as my own conviction is, I know it isn’t the same way for many others, so let me try to explain.
“I’m living in a constant state of curiosity and empathy, which lay the path toward strong convictions.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
It’s easy for me to have conviction in things because I’m incredibly curious. It’s in following my curiosities that I get to actually test the ideas I have, learn new things, and form my own opinions. That, plus the empathy to actually understand others and the market, optimism about the future, and the patience to play the long game allow me to hold onto that deep conviction in the things I believe in.
Any time you’re doing something that other people don’t understand — your friends, your parents, etc. — deep conviction is a must. You have to have the belief and tenacity it takes to fight against the obvious and persevere around a cloud of judgment from others to actually spend time on your craft or your passions. In a lot of ways, this is what separates true entrepreneurs from fake ones. A lot of people have “hope” that their ideas will work out or an ambition to be cool or successful…Not many have that real unwavering conviction in themselves or their dreams.
How can you tell the difference? Those who lack conviction love to convince. 🔑
Don’t Convince, Have Conviction
To me, having conviction means that I’m not in the business of convincing others. Even if it’s something I believe in with my whole heart, I’m not interested in getting people to agree with me just for the sake of being “right.” I’m interested in executing and putting in the work. In other words, I don’t need to convince you — I’m gonna show you.
When I launched VeeFriends back in May, for example, I put out a lot of educational content. This was not to convince people to get on board or persuade them to buy my tokens, but to help position my community for what I fully believed would be a major opportunity. I wanted you guys to do your own homework so you could build your own conviction, and become early players in a game most people were still unaware of, or too busy saying “no” to.
“Conviction is the north star that keeps you on track, helping you be tenacious throughout your journey, despite the inevitable difficulties.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
Developing conviction means saying “yes” even when others are saying “no.” Get this concept down, and I promise it will change your life!
Deep Conviction and Wild Humility
That being said, please do not confuse my conviction and my passion for a lack of humility. Humility — the next trait coming up in this series — is incredibly important to me and another core part of how I operate.
You know why? I don’t think that everything I’m gonna do is gonna succeed — even today. I’m very grateful to be where I am, and I’m at a point in my career now where a lot of people are saying lovely things about me in real life and in my comments sections, but these things don’t make me feel more special. I’m not any more special than anyone else.
Even though I have crazy conviction in myself and my ability to execute, I also deploy wild humility. I literally think that I could be the greatest of all time…and equally know that I mean nothing! Deep conviction mixed with wild humility — this is a staggeringly unusual combo but very powerful and can lead to a lot of happiness.
Conviction versus ego
Unfortunately, having intense conviction is often misunderstood. I see this a lot in the way some people react to me. I have a natural tendency to get very excited and loud when I know something, which can come with a lot of potential baggage. The way I talk may work for some, but I’m quite aware that for some people, it’s an instant turnoff — a little too much, too aggressive.
People may feel like my conviction and passion sometimes comes across as egotistical or as a know-it-all, but I’m honestly empathetic to that feedback. I respect it, and I also know that it is the furthest thing from my intent.
I think for everyone else who is bullish on something and believes like I do, you have to remember that this is about you…not anybody else. Don’t worry about what other people think or if they “get it.” As long as you get it, that’s all that matters. After all, it’s your fucking dream. Do your dream! Have conviction and go out and execute.
If you don’t take it from me, take it from Logic:
Having Conviction Means Dying on Your Own Sword
As important as conviction is, it’s important not to slide into delusion. Just because you believe in something doesn’t mean you’ll always be right. I’ve been wrong about a lot of shit, but still, that doesn’t keep me from being confident in the decisions I make today. Why? Because I’d rather die on my own sword.
“I prefer dying on my own sword over dying on someone else’s. I hold on to my convictions until the market tells me I’m wrong. And when I’m wrong, I make adjustments with conviction too.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
When you have conviction in yourself above everything else, you don’t need to be “right” and being “wrong” won’t destroy you. You won’t dwell on your mistakes or “failures” because the conviction comes from your belief in yourself to execute more than anything else. In ten years, if I’m wrong about NFTs, that will be completely fine. I won’t need to feel ashamed because at least I won’t die with the regret of never trying. Also, if I’m wrong, I’ll know that I was wrong about something that actually made me excited.
This is an important lesson, especially in the current explosion of the NFT world. What I want more than anything is for you guys to do your own homework and make your own decisions based on the projects and artists you actually love. Too many are making purchases based on the hot new projects instead of their own beliefs about which projects have long term potential. If you listen to anything, please understand how important it is to do your own research and make decisions based on your own conviction.
At the end of the day, having conviction means tuning out the noise of what other people think — positive or negative. It means not being discouraged by the booing, but also not getting high off the cheering. Ultimately, it means having so much belief in yourself that you don’t have anything to “prove.” Your execution speaks for itself. If you can get this down, you’ll be so much happier.
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