Sunday, November 9, 2014

The four steps to success Think Big, Start Small, Fail Fast, Succeeded

The four steps to success
Think Big, Start Small, Fail Fast, Succeeded

Article: from Huffington post,

If we took this approach in education we would create an environment for success.

Step One: Think Big

This is pretty self-explanatory. Few people start out with a mediocre vision or a plan to build a tiny business. Thinking big allows people to free themselves from constraints and get as many great ideas, including internet marketing ideas, on the table. It also serves to get people excited and engaged in a new idea. That said, there’s a difference between thinking big and pursuing pie in the sky ideas. That gets us to our next step.

Step Two: Start Small

I once met a guy who wanted to revolutionize the study aid industry by changing the way that content was created, marketed, consumed, and purchased. He wasn’t alone in his view, but he was pretty uniquely positioned to get something done. He’d been in the industry for decades and knew it inside and out. He wanted to raise a few million dollars to launch a new venture. He clearly was thinking big.

When I asked him what inspired the idea, he told me his former employer had just discontinued selling a series of very successful Advanced Placement (AP) study books for high school students and reverted copyright to the authors. After a bit of discussion, I learned that he could buy out those copyrights and sell secure PDF copies of these books on Amazon for a few thousand dollars and test the waters.

That wasn’t big enough for him. A year later, someone had started even smaller—buying warehouses full of printed materials and liquidating them on eBay, generating a few hundred thousand dollars in sales—while this guy I met was still looking for funding.

There’s no shame in starting small. No big successful company ever started out that way.

Step Three: Fail Fast

It’s a cold, hard fact that failure and hardship are the means by which people learn and grow. Failure teaches us what not to do and hardship allows us to truly value the rewards we earn. The beauty of starting small is that our failures are then equally small. The key here is to understand when an experiment has run its course, cut bait and move on. Small failures are easier to walk away from as there’s often less of an emotional desire to “turn things around” or throw good money after bad. The goal is not to succeed the first, second, or third time but to identify ten or twenty things that might work and then cycle through them as quickly as possible. Think of it as A/B split testing for a new venture.

Step Four: Succeed

This isn’t meant to be funny; very few ventures succeed in their first iteration. Success is a process of trial and error. The key to success is longevity, and unless you’ve got a bottomless pit of money (or an unlimited corporate budget), you’ll need to stretch your resources as far as possible.

In my own travels, I’ve had more than my fair share of clients who have turned to me after having dumped enough money to buy a house into a failed digital venture. In many cases, my clients believed that they had a flawed strategy or a bad idea. In most cases, it was more about execution.

Sometimes people are shocked to hear that a few free web services and a five page micro site can serve as a pretty good internet marketing starting point for a new venture. Consumer grade web services may not be scalable, but until you know that your venture will succeed, what’s there to scale?

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.