What if we all assumed goodwill?

I’m part of a group called Assume Goodwill.    It’s built off a simple, powerful premise that people want to help.      By making that assumption, asking for help becomes easier, new ideas flow freely, and obstacles don’t seem as insurmountable.   

G.L. Hoffman, founder of Assume Goodwill,  lives this philosophy throughout his life and I can’t help but get excited about what the world would be like if we all did.    

If we all surround ourselves with people we respect and assume they are willing to help, trusting they will do the right thing shouldn't be a stretch.    

Sure, we might get burned from time by time.  But if we took all the time we spent putting up barriers to protect against what might go wrong and instead focused that time on assuming goodwill; I’m willing to bet the results will speak for themselves. 

"NO" vs. "NOT YET".

Over the last 10 years, I’ve read over 2,000 business plans and met hundreds of entrepreneurs. Many have gone on to launch and build incredible companies, others have eventually chose not to pursue their idea.

As entrepreneurs, perseverance, determination, and resolve are vital to our success.

As I meet with entrepreneurs, how they answer some of my earliest questions sheds light on whether they have what it takes.

  • Have you shipped your first product?
  • Have you signed your first client?
  • Have you raised the money you need?

When someone answers “no”, the door seems closed forever. When someone answers “not yet”, it seems like a minor speed bump on their journey to success.

So what do you do?

I’ve always struggled with that question.  It always feel like I’m being cornered and being asked, “what’s your job?”.   Over the last 10 years, I’ve never created a resume, never had a 9-5 job, and my “jobs” rarely felt like “work”.   The work I’ve done has been engaging, challenging, and rewarding.    I’ve been an entrepreneur.

So what am I going to do next?   

I’m going to find ways to help.     If I can get home at the end of the day and feel like I’ve helped someone else solve a problem, find clarity, and strengthen their companies culture.  I’d be honored to say that’s what I do.