I was giving a talk last week to the team at a New York based company called GameChanger where I’m an investor. Part of the talk focused on why I invested in the company and it came very easily to me.

This reminded me of something I’ve learnt over the years that I think is important whether you are pitching a business or investing in one. That is, you have to believe in what you’re selling – not just on the surface but right down to your bones.

If you don’t really believe in something then the likelihood of success is so much lower. Just as importantly, life is just to short and too precious to be selling something that you don’t completely believe in.

I think we all have better instincts than we give ourselves credit for but we don’t use them nearly enough. If you don’t really believe in something then either change it so you do or move onto something else.

I’m not saying you need to believe in every aspect of you business and your product – there will always be things that you want to change and should be obsessive about doing so. But you have to believe completely in the essence of what your doing.

Gamechanger are aiming to be the first ever media platform for amateur sports. They are doing this by giving coaches great tools to score and manage their teams – this makes them better coaches and, at the same time, means they are creating very valuable content because it is both live and exclusive. Gamechanger then make this content available to the committed fans of these teams through a range of packages on mobile devices. I truly believe in what they are doing and thing they have what it takes to build a really big business.

At MessageLabs we were the best in the world at identifying new viruses and stopping them from reaching our customers. I believed passionately in this vision and the whole company obsessed about stopping viruses before anyone else.

It seems like an obvious thing to have a clear vision and believe in it with every bone in your body but it’s amazing how many people don’t. And you can’t fake it.