I had once heard a story that forever comes back to my mind when going to a presentation or an important meeting; I’m not sure if I remember it in detail, but the essence is there:
Once upon a time, a young man started dating a young woman. Things were going pretty well, and even starting to get serious.
One day, our guy asked his roommate: “say – my girlfriend and I are supposed to go meet her parents tonight - I'll be meeting them for the first time; we’re going out to dinner. I haven’t received my paycheck yet – could you please lend me a hundred dollars?”
The roommate promptly agreed, and took out a hundred-dollar bill from his wallet and handed it to his friend, who in turn folded it and put it inside his trouser pocket.
Hours later, our young suitor came back from meeting his girlfriend’s family, to find his roommate sitting in the living room, watching TV.
“How was it?” the roommate asked.
“Not too bad. Her dad’s a good man. Oh – before I forget – here is your hundred-dollar bill back. Thanks again!”
The roommate looked at the note given to him. “Didn’t you say you were not paid your salary yet? Did you get the money someplace else?”
“No. Actually, it’s the exact same note that you’ve given me,” said the guy. “I didn’t use it; in fact – I wasn’t planning on using it.”
“So why did you ask me for it?” asked the roommate, puzzled.
“Simple: when I go out to meet my girlfriend’s father for the first time, I feel a whole lot more confident doing it with hundred-dollar bill sitting in my pocket.”
Whenever you go to meet someone, whether it is a private investor, a venture capital firm, a prospected client, a potential partner, a news reporter – try to find your hundred-dollar bill to put in your pocket. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate employee, there are many events in your professional (and personal) life where you need to have that small amount of assurance as to your value as a person who represents and idea you believe in.
It could be an achievement you’ve made; a sale you once closed; an idea of yours that came through to execution; a product you’ve championed. Whether it is a personal accomplishment or professional success, it is always good to have that positive outlook that tells you “even though I’m about to meet the most important people in the world, who have done great things, moved mountains and poured oceans into valleys, I know that I have something to show for as well.”
Even if that hundred-dollar bill will forever stay in your pocket, you will know that it is there.