If you’re an entrepreneur, a sales professional, work within your city’s start-up ecosystem, or are a follower of one of the dozens of personal/professional growth coaches, chances are you’ve seen or heard of “10X”. This has become a hot term in the last half-decade, and I wanted to break down my interpretation of what this means, and how it’s meant to be applied to your efforts. It started as a way to describe the “best” engineers who are 10 times as productive as their “worst” counterparts in the field of software development. The term has been appropriated, perhaps most famously by Grant Cardone in his book “The 10X Rule”, as an understanding of the levels of effort and thinking required to break out of the average results and truly succeed.
The first component in The 10X Rule (get it here free, just pay shipping) takes a closer look at how we think about success, and how we set goals. While we’re taught “slow and steady wins the race”, this puts our mindset in a place where average is OK. However, average is a sliding scale. If everyone is struggling, your struggles are justified. We set smaller “realistic” goals, limiting our belief in what is possible. I believe this way of thinking is rooted in the fear of failure, so we celebrate even the smallest victories. Failure is necessary for growth. As we fail, we learn what doesn’t work and improve our efforts for the next attempt. Welcome failure, set audacious goals that are “10X” what you originally thought possible. 10 new clients a month instead of 1. Raise $1 million for your start up instead of $100K. Thinking in these magnitudes, even a “failure” of getting 3 new clients or raising $200K is still better than the original goals.
Now thinking at a higher level than before is great, but making them happen can seem daunting. This is where the second part kicks in, and understanding the order of magnitude of your actions comes into play. Break down what it takes to reach your goal. Does it take 5 meetings to get that 1 client? Schedule 50. Does it take 10 calls to get 5 meetings? Make 100 calls. Don’t have 100 people to call? Start building your network by sharing what you do with others and ask them if they know anyone that fits your ideal client profile (ICP). Start somewhere and create the activity to get to the next step.
“But Tom, I’m a solopreneur and I’m already working 60 hour weeks, I can’t possibly work 600 hours a week, it’s impossible.” or “Those numbers aren’t realistic, in my industry a 20% growth is considered a huge margin.” Excuses are a justification of our fears. We stay in a comfort zone to avoid failure. Well a solopreneur can leverage tools like CRM to manage a sales and marketing strategy, making scalability much more attainable. A strong digital marketing campaign can grow an audience 100 times what was previously done with more traditional methods at a fraction of the price (and often at no cost at all). The fear of failure is stopping more people from succeeding than the actual failures ever will. Stop thinking small and start doing, because nothing ever happens overnight, and every great journey begins with a single step.
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