Keep the faith. That’s what I said to a client who is going through a crisis of confidence. Over the summer he had put together the underpinnings of what on paper looked like a promising growth business. But — as is usually the case — the more he analyzes, the more he doubts; the more he shows the results of his analysis to senior leaders, the more questions they ask, and the more they doubt.
If you are doing something that hasn’t been done before, careful analysis will by definition highlight reasons to not proceed. Market demand can’t be validated. Experts dismiss technological assumptions. Partnership discussions stall. There is always something that causes this crisis of confidence. Harvard Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter has seen this so frequently that she coined Kanter’s Law: Everything can look like a failure in the middle. When you first formulate an idea, excitement peaks. But the more you study that idea, the more you realize the challenges that lie in front of you.