Success is a function of time. When you treat it as such, success becomes not a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when.” From day one, everyone you lead must know that success is not optional. It is inevitable.

Billionaire investor Chris Sacca says the primary characteristic he tries to sense when he meets with any founder for the first time is “the inevitability of success.” For him, it’s a reliable way to gauge whether the project is even worth investing in—and whether the founder genuinely believes in their own work.

As the leader, the tone-setter, and the one everyone looks to, you are the “founder.” Each member of your team is an investor. They are investing time and effort in you to take them where they want to go. They are believing in you and your vision of what is possible. And because of that, every action you take, every word you use, and every thought that runs through your mind must point back to what you’ve defined as success—your “saltshaker.”

If there is any doubt or uncertainty in what you are trying to achieve, it usually comes out subtly in your language. Start by eliminating the word “if” from your vocabulary. As a leader, your words color your team’s thoughts. And their thoughts serve to inform their actions.

But ultimately, it is up to you to convince yourself of your success before you can convince anyone else. If you don’t believe in the mission, if you don’t believe in your abilities or those of your team, if you don’t genuinely believe that success is inevitable, who will?

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