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Startup Secret No. 6: Live the shirt

Your biggest critic is a coward. Yeah, I'm looking at you.

"Believe in your fucking self"

--Dave McClure's T-Shirt

500 Startups founder Dave McClure is a quote machine. He swears a lot (very entertaining) and his slide decks are filled with aphorisms about building teams, getting funding, and coming out with products. But the core of McClure's mission in life is summed up on this shirt. He goads people to believe in their ideas and their skill, and then to take the leap to execute on it.

And then he funds it. A little. His incubator will put in "up to $100,000" to get a company off the ground.

I believe, Dave! Kathryn Shantz, Geek Fashion Week

I love Dave's shirt, because this is what entrepreneurship is really about. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Pushing your idea, pushing yourself, and pushing through the dismissive and small-minded negativity from people who don't share your passion. Let me tell you something (should I be quoting myself here?): You don't want people to share your passion. Because if they did, they'd have done your startup for you.

(Of course, there's enthusiastic, and then there's delusional, but that's a topic for a future Secret.)

You have to be your own biggest booster. Live Dave's shirt.

Startup Secrets is based on personal interviews with people building companies and from their blog posts and news stories. Subscribe to Startup Secrets on Twitter or come back to Rafe's Radar every day for a new one. See all the Startup Secrets.