Learn as You Go

It’s amazing what you learn as you begin a project or goal. Many times you believe you have it all figured out and then as soon as you begin to do the work, you find it’s completely different than you envisioned and a major adjustment is needed. Sometimes this turns out to be a good thing because the goal turns out to be much simpler than you had imagined. Humans have a natural fear of the unknown and by Starting Small, we can bring some clarity to the goal and reduce the fear that existed before the project began.

Just this week, my team had a meeting to discuss initiatives we’ve been working on for a few months now. We gave two projects the green light to begin because we felt the best way to dial them in completely was to start using them and find out what needed to improve by experience rather than keep forming strategies around the ideas. There are limits to the Start Small method though and I don’t recommend throwing something out there if there are consumer or worker safety concerns. For the majority of personal and professional goals, it works out great to figure things out through experience rather than devote a ton of time to planning the whole thing out only to find it doesn’t work in the real world.

I recently had a customer who was dead set on purchasing an expensive product based on the specifications. Just to be sure, we decided to show the product in action at a different customers’ site and 10 minutes into the visit, the customer came to the realization that the product wouldn’t work with their material and they would need to continue researching alternatives. In this case, they were able to learn from experience without spending money or time to find out something didn’t work in their world. I’m willing to bet you have similar opportunities to learn by someone else’s experiences, Start Small and get out there!

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