“What truth do you know that very few people agree with you on?”
This is the question that legendary entrepreneur and VC investor Peter Thiel likes to ask startup entrepreneurs who are looking for an investment from him.
For Peter, this question drives at the core of what their business is all about.
“Every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world.” – Peter Thiel
He has a point here.
Especially in the early stages, startups are betting big on something that most people would consider a far-fetched or even crazy idea.
For example: AirBnB was convinced that millions of people would be willing to rent out their homes to random travelers they’d never met.
Similarly, Uber was sure that millions would get in the car with complete strangers, while this is pretty much exactly what everyone’s mom warned them not to do when they were a kid.
Every startup business has a ‘secret truth’ like this.
And knowing that can help you tremendously on your job hunt!
After all, imagine you’re a startup founder. You are deeply convinced of this one truth few people agree with you on, and now you’re staking your own money, reputation and years and years of hard work on bringing this secret truth to life.
Given that context, who would you rather work with?
A co-conspirator who shares your deeply held beliefs, or someone who’s just there for the paycheck?
The question answers itself.
As Niccolo Machiavelli already knew 500 years ago and Sun Tzu thousands of years earlier still: true believers count double.
“The nominal strength of mercenary troops may be 100,000, but their real value will be not more than half that figure.” (The Art of War, Sun Tsu)
Every entrepreneur intuitively knows this as well.
You want to be in the trenches with somebody who shares your passion, not with someone who will check out when the clock hits 5.
So ask yourself: what problem are you truly passionate about?
One of the highest ROI things you can do on your job hunt is finding companies that are working on a solution for that problem, and then pitching them on your passion and on how you can help them further their mission.
Not only will this massively increase your chances of actually landing an awesome job, but I can also tell you from experience that there’s nothing like waking up in the morning and going to work for a cause you truly believe in.
Go find yours!