"What's the fastest way to <insert whatever>?"
I get this question a lot.
The whatever in question can be anything — building a big list, getting a bunch of social media followers, making your content go viral. It basically means anything with a big payoff for you. This really is not a bad question; however, You will probably be at it for a while if it is your FIRST question.
What About All of Those Great Stories?
I agree that the stories we hear about are cool. Someone does X and their list grows like crazy, Someone does Y and they got a million views of their YouTube video. Someone does Z and suddenly they are the next Facebook success story. It is perfectly natural to want to know how to replicate that. It is perfectly natural to think that if you "just do it right," you can do the same thing.
But growing fast usually happens for one of two reasons:
1. You happen to be in the right place at the right time.
2. You SEE the right place and right time, and you know what to do when it comes.
The first one involves a lot of work and the hope that you will be lucky. The second one involves a lot of work and an experienced eye (that
comes to you through the work).
If you are asking yourself what path you should take for really rapid growth, that is probably a sign that you are not as strong as you should be on the fundamentals. The quest for rapid growth generally comes from a desire to skip over the fundamentals. But if you want to figure out how to get more people buying from you more often, then you need to start at the beginning rather than the end.
Imagine the following two dating scenarios:
Ready Freddy asks "How can I get girls to say yes when I ask them out? Tell me and I will do that so I can get a date this Saturday night."
The other guy asks "What do girls generally find attractive in a guy? Tell me so I can start working on my core skills and make them better."
Ready Freddy is looking for a quick answer. The other guy is looking to UNDERSTAND. Ironically, the other guy is going to get a lot more of the girls because he is going to work on the fundamentals. The things that do not get him floods of phone numbers NOW. The things that do not get him a date this Saturday, but will get him more dates, more easily over time. The un-cool stuff that will gradually MAKE him cool. Ready Freddy wants to be cool now and wants to know the "one thing" that will turn his luck around forever. Good luck, Freddy…you are going to need it.
It is not that you shouldn't want to grow your business faster. But before you do that, you need to become really good at understanding what makes you grow in the first place. And that, generally, is the un-cool stuff. It doesn't involve looking at another person's process and then reverse-engineering it. It involves working on your own processes and improving them until you get to the point where those opportunities for rapid growth start presenting themselves. It's not cool, but it will continually make you a little bit more money every month, over time, until you find yourself in front of The Opportunity.
Here is how to make The Opportunity happen:
- Spend more time thinking of the un-cool things that works in the first place. Then start doing more of the un-cool things.
- Spend more time thinking about why it works and looking for patterns. Then start adjusting your approach based on that and see if your adjustments work. Learn by doing.
- Spend more time thinking about the why behind the why so you know WHY your adjustments worked or didn't work. In other words, get a deeper understanding of the fundamentals.
Keep doing that, and you will grow. Maybe slowly, but you'll grow. This will eventually bring you The Opportunity. It is what happens when you have spent so much time understanding the why behind the why that you can truly call yourself a pro. And when you are a pro–whether it is with YouTube videos, copy or headlines or sales emails–you see a unique opportunity where all your deep experience in the fundamentals can give you a multiplier.
Those people who "got lucky" and got a million views on their viral YouTube video? You can bet they spent a lot of time learning to understand why people watch, like and share the videos that AREN'T viral, but are still doing pretty well.
The rapid growth comes after the deep understanding–not before. Focus on the un-cool things first. You will get your rapid growth spike when it's time. But you will be able to enjoy the growth you are getting now while you are waiting for The Opportunity to present itself.
Sometimes we just need to Go Slow to Go Fast.
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