Uninformed Optimism is a cognitive bias that wreaks havoc in entrepreneur brains.
It goes like this:
The less you know about a project or business idea, the easier it is to believe it’ll be simple to make the idea succeed.
This is particularly true for “marketing tactics”. The people selling “shortcuts” know it, too.
The best way to make millions with a scummy info product is to be on the absolute bleeding edge. Sell a course on Facebook Messenger Bots a week after Facebook releases the feature.
This works because early on, almost everyone is uninformed of the details of the new money-making tech. So it’s easy to convince people to optimistically invest.
People naturally believe anything new is a huge, easy opportunity. They’re optimistic because they’re uninformed.
Uninformed Optimism is rocket fuel for get rich quick schemes.
(Look no further than the uniformed laypeople jumping into cryptocurrencies last year, and the snake-oil “courses” about crypto investing be sold to them.)
Be warned though. If you do actual the entrepreneurial work of creating value in the world, your relationship to your new idea will change.
Unformed Optimism naturally evolves into Informed Pessimism. The more you actually execute on any idea, the more you learn. You start to realize how complex (and challenging) your idea actually is.
This is why wannabe entrepreneurs endlessly flit from idea to idea. They’re intoxicated by the optimism of newness. As soon as something gets familiar, it gets tough. So, they talk themselves out of it and find something newer that – by definition – is vastly more promising than the idea at hand.
Success happens when people push through the Informed Pessimism that develops. It’s impossible to skip, but beyond it lies Informed Optimism.
Informed Optimism is the promised land of business success. It’s where you have both expertise and real experience. And it’s where entrepreneurs really capitalize on opportunities.
And the biggest thing to help get you there?
Awareness. Knowledge of these inevitable mental bias “bugs” and how they effect your mind.
The only other thing you need is the determination to execute, in spite of the bugs in your brain.