What would you do if you HAD to quadruple your income in the next year without breaking the law, causing other people harm, or negatively impacting the other parts of your life?
This is one of those ‘step change’ questions I was asked recently. And it’s easy to roll your eyes, and just get back to ‘reality’, mumbling about stupid questions… But stick with me.
If they’d have asked for a 10% improvement, it would have been ‘better’ yes? – because then it’s just about fine tuning what we’re already doing. Incremental change is comfortable. It’s the known, it’s just a bit more work, a few more calls, a bit of a push.
But 300% improvement can’t be made with just fine tuning. 300% improvement needs some major rework.
It requires some indepth questioning into the ‘rules’ of the game that we’re playing… and that isn’t something we’re used to.
I ran a workshop a few years ago for team who needed to really up their game. We found that although there were 20 explicit rules that they had to follow – formalised in the company handbook – there were far more implicit rules that no-one had told them about.
These were the under-the-waterline rules that were holding them back… and the secret to them moving forward!
It’s like that puzzle where you have to make 4 triangles out of 6 matches… no-one tells you the puzzle has to be played in 2 dimensions, but you assume it, so you never try to stack the matches into a tetrahedron (the 3D answer)
“The significant problems we face can’t be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
And that’s the level that we have to get to if we HAVE to improve our income by hundreds of percent. We have to dig out those implicit rules, and by doing so find the opportunities for bending and breaking the arbitrary barriers… we literally have to change the game!
Don’t get me wrong, some of the rules are there for good reason: legal, moral, physical reasons. But there are also arbitrary rules we’ve set that can be twisted, flipped or purposefully broken.. (which tees up the gratiuitous ‘matrix’ quote for the day)
This is … similar to the.. reality of the Matrix. It has the same basic rules… What you must learn is that these rules are no different than rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent, others can be broken. Understand? Now hit me!- Morpheus
Leaving the excellent Wachowski Brothers alone for a moment and getting back to your 300% profit increase, two questions come to mind.
1) What ‘rules of reality’ are you assuming that you might be able to bend / break for your 300% improvement?
2) What if we didn’t make this about your income, but made it about a 300% improvement to your energy levels, enlightenment, health, or relationship?
We live within a mesh of a thousand assumed rules… and that’s good for being able to play without questioning what we’re doing every five minutes. But every so often, it’s worth doing a ‘rule review’ and seeing if any have outlived their purpose.
Not talking to strangers was a good rule for you once, it probably doesn’t serve you so well any more.
Is it time to rewrite your rule book?
Sure, but you’ve got to understand what’s in it first!