Try This Trick If Your Business Is Stuck In A Rut

A solid piece of advice that I’ve often heard is to start from first principles when faced with a problem. I’m a strong believer in using first principles but sometimes you hit a roadblock that you can’t deconstruct no matter how much you try.

Over the past year I have learned (and relearned!) an important strategy to use in this situation:

Start Backwards!

I’m the backwards man, the backwards man, I can walk backwards as fast as you can.

Last month I set a new goal for my business of landing 100 new paying clients. Using first principles I was able to find a few more ways that I could generate enough leads to convert but I felt a little powerless. There was a wall that I couldn’t get over. So I had the idea to start backwards.

Instead of asking

How can I get to 100 new paying clients?

I asked

If I had 100 new paying clients what new problems would I have to deal with?

This question opened up a whole new set of issues that I had been ignoring or suppressing. In fact it turned out that those issues were the ones preventing me from reaching that milestone in the first place!

Next time you’re stuck in a rut, try this simple trick. Ask yourself what would happen if you reach the goal that you’re currently aiming for. What new problems would arise? What would you do next?

I’d love to hear how other people get themselves out of a rut in these situations!