It’s happened to all of us, we get so enamored with our idea for a great new product or goal or service, that we just go for it without a second thought.
We tell our friends, “I’m going to make a million dollars, because if I just sell to one out of every thousand people in China with a one dollar markup…” but we never stop to actually step back and see if our idea is supported by reality – will 1 in every 1,000 people people in China even want your product?
Or how about that friend of ours who is constantly trying a new diet that will make her lose “50 lbs in 6 months!” That’s all well and good, but how many of those diets has she been on, and how many have actually succeeded in doing anything more than putting her wallet on a diet?
Humans are self-interested creatures, we like to see our ideas succeed, so very often we paradoxically ignore reality just because we can’t admit we don’t know what we’re doing.
We’re at an age when just about anyone can claim to be an expert on anything from cat husbandry to personal finance for midgets, and very often we mistake the advice of these ill-conceived experts for actual research. It is not.
Anyone with a big ego andgood cold calling skills can get themselves onto a morning chat show as a “diet expert” or “business expert” and so long as they are sufficiently in-your-face-ish and controversial enough they will seem to know what they’re talking about.
The real trick is to ignore everything anyone else might tell you and become an expert in your own right. But how do you do that?
In Step 2 of The Road to Success, I loosely broke down the process I went through in dividing my overall goal of starting a business down into smaller goals. If you go back and read it over, the first 3 out of 10 goals are entirely research based. Read that again, nearly a third of my time and effort was spent NOT doing anything but learning everything I could about my field. I didn’t go to some “business guru” or call up a “start-up specialist,” by breaking down my goal into individual tasks I knew what I had to research.
In the previous article, I had you break down your goal into 5-10 individual, micro-goals. I want you to read those over now. If the first 1-5 of them don’t involve research of some kind, see if you can break it down further. By doing this, you become an expert in each of these goals, which gives you the ability to change tactics on the fly.
If I was to start a new hair care business, now, I’d still be able to pull up my research on what products salons want as well as what companies can produce what I want and they methods they’d use. Those that listen blindly to “experts” are forever locked into the one solution that the expert spoon feeds them. So is it any wonder why so many people who listen to experts fail?
Your homework, and I really hope you do this if nothing else, is to take your current goal and come up with 3 separate things you can research in order to become an expert in making your goal happen. Share them in the comments or by email if you’re feeling brave.