If this is true, you may be doing more harm than good

“Leap-of-faith” assumptions can sometimes drive us to act in ineffective or irrational ways because, let’s face it, sometimes we don’t always look at the facts. For instance, you may implicitly believe that getting to work by taking the second exit instead of the first exit is the quickest route to avoid morning traffic, so it has become your routine. However, you’re still routinely late to morning meetings so you decide to wake up earlier and drive quicker, determined that this will fix the issue (we are very reactive beings). But the fact is, changing your route and taking the other exit could have gotten you to work on time without making those peripheral, uninformed changes. Working smarter [not harder] requires a more measured and thoughtful approach, but the payoff is grossly disproportionate in your favor in the long run.

group-of-people-sitting-indoors-3184360

Below, this book is a realistic start point if you’re looking to fiddle with a start-up or if you’re in the process of ideating a product. Though mostly tech-based, there are plenty of far-reaching concepts, systems and processes that can be applied elsewhere – to test market viability, get a real look at your customer’s needs, and iterate quickly and constantly for the best results.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Regarding today’s five sentence blurb – It’s important to question our unconscious biases and leap-of-faith assumptions because we draw conclusions from these frames of thought which then inform our actions. Imagine that business growth has flatlined for my company, so I assume there is something wrong with my product. Maybe my product is not enough or doesn’t have all the features that my customer desires.

So I determine to add more features, making the “leap-of-faith” assumption that this will add value for the end customer because they are not happy with the current features. With this line of reasoning, these added features should now supposedly increase my sales. However, if I had done my due diligence, dug in a bit more and looked at the real data, the fact is my real core set of current and potential customers are completely content with the product as is; but I have been marketing my product to an outlier group when they are actually not the core customer driving my business.

Neglecting my real avatar (or template customer) and instead being reactive by tinkering with the product’s features may now push away my core clientele and have the opposite effect of what was intended. Sometimes, the whole playbook doesn’t need to be thrown out. One simple tweak may do the trick.

Anyway, the Start-Up mindset is applicable to more than business. I see it as a way of life. If we approach our lives like they are fragile, early stage start-ups with limited time and resources to make things happen, and if we occasionally play the risky hand in the interest of a better future – well, that sounds like a tasteful balance between measurement of facts and a healthy opportunity to enjoy the experiences life has to offer.

BizBlurb adapts key insights from business, strategy, productivity, and leadership literature into simple 5 sentence posts. One click, five sentences and an applicable business insight that you can apply to your own life.

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