The Things That I Believe

I keep a journal that I hand write when I need to process life in intense bouts. I’ve got a mentor responsible for massive progress in my life in the past year who basically forced this upon me early on, and Thank God she did. It works to work my thoughts out into words, and my feelings into digestible chunks so I recommend this to people who are facing some inner decision.

Going back through my journal in prep for new years, I came across a list of 33 things that I wrote at one of my last trips to a monastery. I wrote them in a stream of consciousness, but had the foresight to number them, and upon re-reading them, all but one or two were good enough (and non-specific enough) to be worth offering up to the small, *but growing* community of people who tune into my blog.

The list now has a permanent home at, where it will probably evolve over time. For now, here are the 33.

  1. Every person (entrepreneur) has the ability to see the visions in their imagination become reality. You can’t imagine it if you can’t make it real.
  2. Forget your 5-year plan. Focus on being happy today, right now, doing work you love, with people you admire. In 5 years, make sure you’re just as stoked to be alive. The rest will work out.
  3. Life is too short to not grow constantly. Be around people who push you to be better. Get rid of those who hold you back.
  4. Startups should create real value and make the world a better, wealthier place in real human terms.
  5. The world’s economies and cultures will be saved by the people willing to strike out and start something new.
  6. Companies must encourage their employees to be entrepreneurial. Autonomy and independence are key to productivity, creativity, and innovation in the 21st Century.
  7. Your customers will no longer be “sold to.” But, if you’re nice, they’ll let you help them out while they “buy.”
  8. Never publicly disparage anyone you work with or have worked with, including your customers. Every experience should teach you something, so be grateful.
  9. Scrappy startups, when successful, stop being the underdog. This means people root for you a bit less. The more awesome you were along the way, the easier you made it for people to continue rooting for you.
  10. Self-awareness will unlock the keys to your potential. Be aware of your station and act accordingly, but always keep an eye out for new opportunities.
  11. Fast-growing companies evolve quickly. That means the employees must be ready to do the same. Bake this into your culture, and hire accordingly.
  12. Ask: “How does the company need me to evolve so it can grow?” and then ask, “How can I stay humble and willing to change along the way?”
  13. It’s just a game. Don’t take it personally.
  14. Grace is more powerful than Justice. Offer Grace and it will be returned to you.
  15. Trust people. You have more in common than you could ever realize.
  16. When a person violates your trust, act appropriately. Don’t let yourself get hurt unnecessarily.
  17. No one will seek you out to mentor you. If you want mentorship, create your own mentors.
  18. Believing you’ll be successful is the first step to actually being successful.
  19. Believe that things will work out for the best, and somehow they always will.
  20. Know that the universe is conspiring to do good things for you, and then let it.
  21. Know when it’s time to get out. Don’t overstay your welcome when you’re needed at the next stop.
  22. Trust yourself.
  23. It’s not about what you do. It’s about who you are. Don’t worry if that’s hard to believe. We all spend our entire lives trying to learn that same thing.
  24. Believe that you can always figure it out. You will.
  25. Dress well, and learn the subtleties of etiquette. This will help you stand out to those who have already been successful.
  26. Remember, everyone around you can be your teacher.
  27. When you’re broke, find someone with even less than you and give them more than you can afford. Money will flow back.
  28. It’s often not your fault, but it’s always your responsibility. This is the most empowering belief in the world.
  29. Make zero excuses.
  30. If you can inspire yourself with your belief, you can go as far as you want to.
  31. Believe in something. It will be the thing that saves you.
  32. Love yourself. This can be harder than it sounds.
  33. Learn to forgive yourself.

Austin Gunter

I’m Austin. I live in San Francisco, practice Tai Chi, have rheumatoid arthritis, listen to a lot of loud music, and host a lot of dinner parties. Want more? Start here.


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