Hard-boyled

by Parvez Sheik Fareed

Here at the Global HQ of the world’s most unknown agency we disclose the unpleasant fact each entrepreneur is very likely experiencing: the VUC, pronounced /fʌk/, (some sort of) acronym  for “void filled with uncertainty and challenge”. The VUC is the part you don’t read about in the success stories; it’s the part that is omitted or just mentioned briefly. From time to time the VUC keeps you awake at night, resulting in asking yourself how the hell you’re going to make it. The VUC is the phase in which you might need to search for a part-time job  in order to pay the bills (currently my scenario) because your biz is not yet up and running to the extent you wish it were. The VUC is the part that blocks you occasionally:  The thought “What the fuck was I thinking trying to pull this off..” becomes a frequent visitor of your mind. That’s when inspiration comes in handy. And the best inspirations usually come from people who are the underdogs, the ones who are not favoured by the majority.

Susan Boyle is such a story.

She appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009. Until this day the video has been viewed over 120 million times on YouTube. You know immediately that she nails it when she starts singing.

What I find particularly interesting is the reaction of the spectators before she starts singing. Everybody treats her like a loser, nobody takes her seriously, they are laughing at her. A guy in the audience whistles at her, obviously mocking her. When she states she is 47, you hear more laughter. The jurors are highly sceptical, just observe their facial expressions resulting in frowning and raised eyebrows. When asked how successful she would like to be, she names Elaine Page. More laughter. When asked which song she’s going to perform, she says “I dreamed a dream” from the musical Les Misérables. One of the jurors, Piers Morgan, laughs in a way that says “Oh my God, I don’t think that will go well”.

No one was believing in Susan Boyle. Everyone thought that this performance is going to be an embarrassment. They were all proven wrong. They were the actual embarrassment.  The only person believing in Susan Boyle was Susan Boyle herself. She just needed to find a spot, where she could evidence her gift. As a matter of fact she did so successfully that she went from being unemployed to being a millionaire in a very short period of time.

But nobody saw that at first. What everyone saw was a chubby, too-old-for-whatever woman, coming from the countryside, trying to achieve something that wouldn’t work out. Regardless of how many people didn’t believe in her and made fun of her, Susan Boyle stayed self-confident.

When you are surrounded by scepticism, but you believe in something, you feel it’s the right thing to do, that’s when you need to keep sticking to your game the most. Disregard everyone else who doesn’t believe in you. At the end of the day people have their own realities. Their perception of what and how things are or should be, must not impact you.

Do it like Susan, just trust yourself and never give up. She was 47 when she made an entrance. That’s a hell of a long time enduring the VUC.

Hard-boyled.