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Book 356 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: Going Beyond Google to Answer Your Beautiful Question!

Book – Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You by Suneel Gupta

Book Description:

After getting rejected by every investor he pitched, Suneel Gupta had a burning question: Could “it” be learned? Drawing lessons from hundreds of the world’s biggest thinkers, Gupta discovered how to pitch new ideas in a way that has raised millions of dollars, influenced large-scale change inside massive corporations, and even convinced his eight-year-old daughter to clean her room. Inside Backable are long-held secrets from producers of Oscar-winning films, members of Congress, military leaders, culinary stars, venture capitalists, founders of unicorn-status startups, and executives at iconic companies like Lego, Method, and Pixar. Backable reveals how the key to success is not charisma, connections, or even your résumé, but rather your ability to persuade others to take a chance on you. This original book will show you how.


If you want to be backable, you must first believe yourself.

When I say believe, I mean BELIEVE!

There can be no doubt in your mind on the path you are going down, otherwise, that doubt will subconsciously present itself to whomever you are sharing your story with if you don’t. People aren’t stupid, our bullshit detectors have been fine-tuned over the millions of years, and we can spot a fake a mile away. We can be duped, reference stories from Talking to Strangers about Bernie Madoff, Hitler, or even someone like an Elizabeth Holmes of the recent infamous fame of her failed business called Theranos. Luckily, those people are the exceptions, at least, I hope. I subscribe to the HumanKind philosophy these days that people are inherently good at their core, so I believe that last statement to be true. That said, those people may have been liars, but I guarantee no one could say that they didn’t believe in themselves and what they were doing.

So, if to become backable by someone else we must first truly believe ourselves, how does one sell oneself in the first place to find that certainty?

That is where it gets tricky, but I do have a hunch based off my experience of this past few years of this Year of Magical Learning adventure. Let’s explore…

Before Emilia came into my life, I had tried a few times to start up my own software venture, but never was able to turn any of my efforts into any real traction. Don’t get me wrong, I tried my best and gave it everything I had. I pitched many people, asked for help from a ton of influential players, invested a ton of personal time and energy into proof-of-concept experiments, recruited and secured co-founders, and even invested almost 100K of my own money into an MVP (minimum viable product) of the platform. All of that ultimately failed to attract any other financial backers, or even a true co-founder for that matter if I’m being honest.

So, why did I fail?

I truly believed in that idea; I really did and still do. I was incredibly passionate about what I was building, and it pulled from my real-life experience and a world I knew so well. It was perfect! I knew the problem inside and out and had crafted a very clever solution. I knew the right people to talk to and I knew what we needed to do. Upon reflection, I think the knowledge of how to solve the problem was the primary thing holding me back from being backable.

It was obvious that I had already answered the question that kicked off the start of that venture in the first place. I had a question and did couple of google searches, a few subject matter expert interviews, and it spawned an idea. From that idea, I built an MVP and performed some experiments, and I thought I had found my answer and was ready to share it with the world. That sounds logical to me. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work?

What I know now that I didn’t then, is that people don’t back answers, they back questions and seekers of truth.

People want to hear about your beautiful question that keeps you up at night. They want to invest themselves in your story and the journey you’ve been on to seek your own answers and solve your own problem. That journey for truth is what builds that sincere belief deep down in your core. That sincerity is what other people feed off when they first meet you.

It all starts with your truly beautiful question. The more unanswerable your question, the more you will explore. The more you explore, the more you will start to believe. The more you believe, the more it will come across in how you show up to others. Then, and only then, will you become backable.

I know this because I’ve lived this.

I started this YOML journey with my own beautiful question of how can I figure out a way to stay connected with my daughter and still be an active father to her every day of my life even though she isn’t physically with me?

That question has led me down 300+ books, thousands of hours of learning, exploration, and daily practice to take me one step closer to answering my unanswerable, but beautiful, question. I will spend the rest of my life in pursuit of this mission.

Now, do you believe me? If you don’t, maybe go back and review reflections 1-355 and let me know if that changes your answer.

Question: Are you busy telling people answers or sharing your questions?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? - An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

YOML Bookstore - Backable by Suneel Gupta

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