CareerPersonal Growth

Sequencing Makes Your Biggest Goals Achievable

Everyone with a sliver of imagination has had lofty ambitions at some point, but few actually succeed in reaching those highest elevations. In an article for Inc., Ramit Sethi posits that the reason why people do not succeed is that they have been undervaluing a very basic factor. It involves dominoes.

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YouTube videos will show that dominoes, when knocked over, can knock over other dominoes upward of around 1.5 times their size. This means that a little effort properly focused can produce dramatic results. For example, if you wanted to start a business, you might be tempted to build a website, create social media, build a convoluted marketing plan, etc. But as Sethi notes, in the beginning, all you actually need is one single customer willing to buy your product or service.

That experience becomes your proof of concept, from which you learn and find your next handful of customers. After those customers, you will have developed a strong idea of what your offering does well, allowing you to build basic marketing that attracts even more customers, etc. By working sequentially, with slight escalations in effort, you can produce something excellent that would have been much harder to build with a “big bang” approach.

Overnight successes only seem like overnight successes because nobody has heard of them until they have put in their quiet decade of effort already. Sethi points to Elon Musk, who reportedly read two books a day as a child building his knowledge foundation and cultivating passions. That is how a foundation for tremendous success is built. And in closing, Sethi warns of the danger of letting “all or nothing” scripts inhibit you. These are lines of thinking such as, “I don’t have enough time or money to start a business,” which is typically not true since—as mentioned before—starting a business just requires one customer. The fact is that all worthwhile endeavors will entail some struggling:

Either you go looking for a magic bullet–like a fad diet or a get-rich-quick scheme–that will knock over the final domino, but skip the preceding, critical dominoes; or you just throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall and hope something sticks.

Just like a lottery ticket, the magic bullet and spaghetti-on-the-wall strategies indulge our need for fantasy and immediate gratification. You think to yourself, “If just one of these hits, I’ve made it.”

But, just like a lottery ticket, they don’t actually make sense for accomplishing big goals. They are forms of escape.

Think about what the smallest possible step you could take toward your bigger goal is. Then take it from there. You can view the original article here:

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