When to Go Balls to the Wall (Without Risking It All)

Feb 11, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

What's worse than staying in your head and taking no action?

Putting so little time and effort in things that if they don't work out, you don't need to look yourself in the mirror and ask what you could've done differently. Of course you didn't manage to grow your audience on that platform, get more people at your workshop, finish your book, or successfully launch your new program, you didn't really try.

No further reflection required.

Like the paralysis from overthinking, the low effort approach is a highly effective way to keep you feeling safe. Safe from being seen, safe from judgement, and safe from having to look inward at what you're actually afraid of. On the surface level you get to say that you DID try, while subconsciously being off the hook for the subpar outcome.

You stay safe while stifling your growth +  impact.

So how do you know when to go flat out, all-in, and balls to the wall on something without risking an embarrassing face-plant like a failed public marriage proposal?

It requires taking an approach that's a bit contrary to what you learn as a coach. You need to act more like a lawyer when deciding where to put in massive effort.

Good coaching involves staying curious and frequently asking questions you don't know the answer to.

Lawyers are taught the complete opposite: Never ask a question you don't know the answer to. And that's probably something the guy proposing in that video should've considered.

How do you put that into practice?

By using a Jim Collins concept that I love: You regularly try smaller, lower effort tests that require little resources. He calls them bullets. Then, once in a while, when a bullet you've fired hits a target, you load up plenty of effort and resources to fire a big-ass cannonball at the target you've found.

And it's never been easier for you to test a new idea.

You can share it in a post, send an email to your clients, or pitch what you're thinking in conversation. Then, when something hits, you pour intentional time and effort into creating a cannonball aimed directly at what you already know resonates.

What can that look like more specifically?

Here's examples of how I use bullets + cannonballs.....

  • I share half-baked ideas on Instagram stories. Why? It's a highly forgiving medium. You can post several times per day and no one is expecting "high-quality" there. Then, when something lands, I'll spend more time fleshing it out into a fuller post. You can do the same thing on Twitter.

  • The themes for my weekly newsletters come out of questions and conversations with clients. I spend hours on my newsletter each week and I'm OK with that as I know there's interest in the topic as I've already coached someone in this area.

  • I wasn't scared spending the immense time, money, and energy I did on writing my book. The foundation for it came from a handful of stories that had received incredible response when I shared them on LinkedIn. I already had feedback on what people loved.

In the coming weeks, I'm going to start publishing regularly on my YouTube channel.

The videos I'm going to make will be based on the issues of this newsletter that generated the biggest buzz. I don't need to worry about the amount of effort I'll be putting into making videos or the money I'll spend on having them professionally edited because I already have the evidence that these are winning ideas.

It's hard to grow your business and your impact if you never put massive effort in.

Making your big bets on the juicy opportunities that you already know hit home with the people you're looking to serve will make you feel safer in doing so.

Now go start testing your ideas in a low-effort way and go big on the ones that hit the spot so that you can help more people.

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