(This post is inspired by Gary Keller’s The One Thing which is one of my favorite books)
Watching dominos fall is addictive. But there is a little known secret about dominos that will change the way you think about creating and executing on your vision…
The power of x1.5
The incredible fact about dominos is that a domino can actually knockdown a domino that is approximately x1.5 its own size. It means that if you start your chain reaction with a standard domino then domino #25 would be the height of Eifel Tower and domino #56 would get you to the moon! It’s crazy.
Such is the power of exponential growth.
For us to harness the exponential power of the x1.5 domino two things have to happen:
- You have to stack our dominos (sounds trivial but most of us don’t)
- The next domino we stack has to be x1.1–x1.5 larger than your current domino
Stacking our dominos
Stacking our dominos is about ensuring that our actions drive results that fuel your next actions.
Let's take the example of a Yoga teacher that tries to fill her first 4-week workshop.
Case 1: Failing to stack our dominos
Our Yoga teacher works really hard to fill her workshop. She advertises on Facebook, she distributes flyers, she answers the phone calls… and after weeks of hard work, she finally has her 10 first students. She made it!
But when it’s time to fill her next workshop her ad campaigns are over and she has to start her efforts all over again. She failed to stack her dominos and all her hard work didn’t fuel her next results.
Case 2: Successfully stacking our dominos
The first difference is that this time, before working on filling her workshop, our Yoga teacher thinks of her next workshop (domino) and asks “What is the one thing I can do while filling my first workshop that would make filling all my following workshops much easier?”
She answers herself: I should work on generating followers instead of leads and convert a percentage of my followers to customers.
She has stacked her dominos and now instead of investing her time and effort on advertising, she now creates quality content with a focus on subscription to her newsletter.
It takes more time to take off but it works! Her efforts are gradually building loyal followers and each workshop becomes easier to fill than the previous one.
Positioning your x1.5 domino
Our Yoga teacher has figured out how to stack her dominos but her growth is linear and limited. To grow exponentially she will have to ensure her next domino (workshop) is 1.1–1.5 larger than the previous.
So she asks herself the growth question: What is the one thing I can do that would grow my business x1.5?
She considers her options and decides to focus on growing the #of customers per workshop x1.5.
But then she realizes that only 10 people fit into her studio :-(
Going x1.5 requires change and we humans hate change
Our Yoga teacher has spent 5 years in building her studio. She invested time and money in making it her own but her current setting, which she loves is her ceiling. To evolve exponentially she will have to change her setting or her paradigms. But change is really hard!
The reason most of us spend our lives toppling one domino after the other without going for a x1.5 domino is that going for the x1.5 almost always requires change! And because humans hate change and like comfort we avoid growth.
Once our brain thinks x1.5 a new perspective emerges
But our Yoga teacher learned her lesson. She thinks of her next x1.5 and then her next x1.5 and she realizes she would need a huge studio in 3 years.
So she asks herself the growth question: what is the one thing I could do that would enable me to grow x1.5 endlessly?
And then it dawns her: All I need to do is add a virtual Yoga studio to my existing studio. Invest $250 in a great camera and lighting, add a virtual subscription to my website and I can grow my business without even leaving my current studio which I love so much! :-)
Why not x10?
You’re reading this and you are thinking why not x10? Why are you thinking too small?
There is a difference between thinking about x10 and going for x10 which people and companies often confuse.
It is perfectly fine, even recommended, to think about x10 and even x100 but then the art is going “small” to x1.5 and focusing 100% of our time and resources on unlocking our next x1.5.
What people and companies often do instead is think of the x10 and then go directly to the x10 which often fails because they choke on the bite they took. They forget that x10 is less than 6 cycles of x1.5.
So if you want to get aggressive on your x10 it’s better to optimize the time each x1.5 cycle takes than increasing the size of each cycle. Because this is how dominos work.
What is YOUR next domino?