Startup Founder Confidence is Key

If you are the founder of a startup, be it a non-profit or for-profit,  you must have absolute confidence that your product or service will succeed. Period. Startup founder confidence is key. It is not about hoping and praying for success, but more just knowing success is going to happen. 

When pitching to investors, potential customers, sponsors, or donors, tone is crucial. If they hear even a shred of doubt in your voice, that you are not completely convinced what you are doing is going to work,  it gives them a very easy reason to pass on your dream. 

Don’t just take our word for it, listen to the co-founder of Y-Combinator, Paul Graham, one of the most successful startup incubators on the planet:


“Determination has turned out to be the most important quality in startup founders. We thought when we started Y Combinator that the most important quality would be intelligence. That’s the myth in the Valley. And certainly you don’t want founders to be stupid. But as long as you’re over a certain threshold of intelligence, what matters most is determination. You’re going to hit a lot of obstacles. You can’t be the sort of person who gets demoralized easily.” 

~Paul Graham – Co-founder Y Combinator

Let us be clear…We are not talking blind faith. A startup founder must also have the intelligence, business model, and discipline to deal with uncertainty. You must be willing to pivot when needed too. Don’t confuse confidence with stubbornness. However, when you are at the point of putting another person’s money at risk (investor or donor) you must believe with every fiber in your body that what you are doing will be successful. Too many startups are looking for money to “test” an idea, and while that might have worked a few years ago, investors today are looking for startups that are more “investable” than every before. 

Yes, there are always exceptions. You might get lucky and raise some seed money with a pitch deck and a dream, but the odds of failure are through the roof. Instead, build a minimum viable product (MVP) on your own dime, earn a few users, and prove your model. This will give you a higher caliber of investor, and give you the highest probability of success.


“Having confidence might sound like common sense advice, but every single human suffers from self-confidence issues. It’s just how we are wired. Working on confidence needs to be a daily ritual, and getting to the point of absolute confidence in your mission is just as important as the mission itself.”

~Harrison Painter – Founder Amplify Indy

Harrison Painter

Amplify works hard to give startup founders, business owners, and corporate partners more confidence. Our Amplify Hope Program, an incubator for purpose-driven entrepreneurs and non-profits, is starting our third month and we are seeing incredible results. The team is now in process of launching the Amplify Vets Program coming in April. This will be an incubator for military veteran-owned startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. We have a Youth pilot program launching in the fall, and in 2019 our offerings will be available to everyone in the Indianapolis area. 

This Amplify team believes with every fiber in our bodies that we can not only create jobs in central Indiana, but we can also create massive positive social impact while doing it. Our heart desires to see Indy get the respect it deserves. This city is not just a flyover town anymore. We are a legitimate force of global innovation and disruption, and it’s time we stop being so humble and let everyone know where we stand Amplify Indy is honored to be a part of this incredible ecosystem, and we appreciate all of you working hard to make a difference.

Hope this helps. Now get back to changing the world folks! 


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Harrison Painter is the Founder/CEO of Amplify Indy and serves as Marketing/Communication Committee Chairman to non-profit COFFE (Community Outreach for Financial Education). He is a U.S. Navy veteran and Google Certified marketing professional who has had two of his marketing companies acquired, one privately and one publicly.

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