A Case for Betting On Yourself
There's going to come a time when you have to place your bets. Are you going to bet on the traditional ideas of success or are you going to go out on a limb and go after your own idea? Your own project? Your own standard of success?
This decision is harder than it looks. It's rough and tumble out there on the field of choice. It's lonely. The only anchor you have is your intuition and a bit of hope, if you're lucky. So when you're headed into the wilderness, deciding whether you're going to bet on yourself or not, and trying to figure out what that even looks like—betting on yourself can mean:
saying no to commercial success.
forgoing income for space and time to do your work.
saving up money to invest back into your own project.
getting more excited about how much you can produce rather than how much popularity you can gain.
In other words,
"Betting on yourself can feel like you're going against the grain."
If you find yourself asking, don't you need money and influence to really bet on yourself? And shouldn't you be super smart? And shouldn't there be evidence in the universe that you are the right person to do this?, then chances are you're on the precipice.
Those questions circle like vultures right as we're about to commit. And money, influence, smarts, and evidence would, of course, be extraordinarily helpful at that early stage of the game. But this is why it's called placing a bet.
Are you going to believe the traditional idea that money, influence, smarts, and evidence are necessary to make a substantial impact, or are you going to believe in the X factor:
the instinct you know how to follow,
and your oddball assortment of skills that will be essential to creating this thing,
and the community you're a part of who might just have the attributes you don't yet possess?
That's what placing bets is all about—the big question mark. You don't know how all your decision-making will turn out. Maybe it won't be the exact right thing. But once you jump, hurdle as fast as you can forward, dodge the asteroids of Resistance and self-doubt. Because placing your bet was the hard part, and now all that's left to do is get to work.