Remembering that one time we ran out of gas in Nothing, AZ.

You’re either first or fastest.

For the vast majority of you reading this, I have bad news: you’re not the first one that’s pitched your idea before today. Someone else is probably sitting in a coffee shop halfway around the world from you right now.

“But Paul,” you might say, “no one else is doing this — we have to do it!”

Um, no.

If no one else is doing whatever it is that you want to do, there are two likely reasons:

  1. You haven’t actually looked for competitors. This is one of the best ways to lose all credibility, if that’s your goal.
  2. Your competitors have already shut down. Sometimes, the timing is all wrong. A company starts up and the market just wasn’t ready.

If you do happen to stumble across a relatively empty competitive landscape, the best thing you can do is dig deep to figure out how quickly the surviving companies might be growing and why others have failed. And then talk about it with your investors and advisors. You’ll look smart and you’ll make better decisions.

For the rest of you: just focus on speed, it’s your weapon.

If you’re making 2 sales calls a day, dial it up to 20. If you’re cranking out one piece of content a day, dial it up to 10.

Whether you choose to raise other people’s money or bootstrap with your own, this is the only strategy you need (and the best way to introduce yourself to potential investors and advisors): Understand your funnel, start filling the top of it and keep dialing it up every single month.