What magnitude do you think at?
Thinking bigger means it is always Day 1
When most people think about improvements, growth or numerical targets — they often have very specific numbers in their mind. Something like we aim to grow x% MoM or aim to hit some super detailed number. I mean it makes sense to optimise a system to reach certain metrics. However, as a broader trend I see is that everyone is playing the same game of incremental improvements.
Most of them time, measuring things like that can be rather limiting. Instead, think about how you reach to the next magnitude of growth which forces you to rethink about everything from scratch and start all over again. That sounds kind of counter intuitive on the surface but it means that you never really stay comfortable due to the nature of the task up ahead.
I’ll give an example to make this more tangible. Suppose you run an ice cream shop in a somewhat central part of town. Your annual turnover is $1m at the moment. You want to grow revenues so you go down certain avenues such as hiring an SEO agency, experimenting with pricing and potentially working longer hours. I class those as optimisations you can make to try to make the system more efficient and extract more out of it. However, even a best case estimate you might only get a 100%-200% improvement in revenue assuming you skim all the incremental improvements out of it.
Now, let’s suppose instead of perpetually optimising it you decide to set your target as $10m in annual turnover ($1m → $10m is one magnitude larger). Suddenly, it doesn’t matter how much SEO optimisation or longer hours you do, you’ll need to think from scratch about what it’ll take to reach that magnitude of scale. As an example, you might realise that even the most well optimised ice-cream shops do $2m in annual turnover. So the only way to do $10m would be to have 5 ice-cream shops? Now, how would you get 5 ice-cream shops? Well… <insert brainstorming here>
This may sound “obvious” on the surface here but I want to illustrate the point about how asking the simple question of “what would it take to take this to the next magnitude?” entirely changes your approach to thinking about problems and growth. One thing I find as a trend is that people are too afraid or cautious to do the work required to 10x since it basically means starting all over or doing things you haven’t done before. The first time it can be daunting, however after a while it becomes very fun because you’re learning about a very large variety of things you’d never be exposed to otherwise.
The human mind is a very powerful instrument, what you think, shall manifest.
Think bigger and chase larger magnitudes.
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