The Big Domino
While I was reading a book by Russel Brunson called “Expert secrets” I stumbled upon a section called “The Big domino”
I would like to recap a paragraph from that section.
“I was sitting in a room with about 120 other successful entrepreneurs, all of whom made at least a million dollars a year, a requirement to be in that room. One of the featured keynote speakers was Tim Ferris, the author of The 4-hour workweek. After his presentation he opened up the floor for questions. A woman stood up and asked, “Hey Tim you seem to get so much done. What is that you do all day?”
He paused for a moment, then gave an awkward half-smile and said, “If you watched my daily routine, you’d be bored out of your mind. Most people wake up every morning with a task list of a thousand things to do. They go through the day trying to knock down all of these things. I wake up every morning, and I meditate, I drink tea or coffee. I go for a walk, and maybe I read a book.” He said he might spend three or four weeks doing that and nothing else. “My whole goal is to slow down and look around. Instead of looking for all the tasks I could do, I try to identify the one Big Domino — the One thing that, If I could knock THAT down, all the other dominos would either fall down or become irrelevant.”
This extract from the book shook me a bit. Because this is precisely what I try to do at every turn
I will try to explain why and how.
Yesterday I was video-chatting with my colleagues Arif, Anar & Vurgun. I was trying to explain them a clients’ expectation from us and while doing that I was referring to my notes on the glass board that I have at my home.
Vurgun pointed out that he liked the board that I have installed and it made me re-examine the content of the board. Sadly I cannot share the full content of the board. Nonetheless later I will focus on two key things that are pretty much aligned with the “Big domino”. The glass-board contains notes, strategies, philosophies that I live & work by. Some notes are permanent and some are temporary. Two of those are outlined below.
1 Reduce friction
To explain this one I will have go back to basics of Maths & Physics. First thing first, the quote of “maths was not invented it was discovered” falls into category of best of all time. As far as physics is concerned, it is the study of energy and matter in space and time and how they are related to each other. Friction falls into category as one of forces in physics & is defined by the formula Ffrict = µ • Fnorm. And in human terms, friction means the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.
Now that I have taken you back to memory lane & 8th grade physics class, I will try to go back to making my point & what I mean by reducing friction.
I truly believe that almost everything in life is quantifiable and subsequently any opportunity is put against a measured risk. Throughout my career I always tried to make sure that ATL can thrive without my constant involvement in daily operations. This is a tough challenge, I must say. Two major pillars of this challenge is to make sure that you have an efficient system & a functioning team. If you have browsed through my previous posts, you will see that I try to shine a light on these two factors at every turn.
So by reducing friction I mean observing the pathway(s) for the foreseeable future & its surface and to decide the most efficient set of tools & practices (system) to take with me. This philosophy can be put in simpler ways as practical or pragmatic. However my definition has a bit of more science to it. It can be applied to simple decisions from your daily commute from home- to work – to gym and back and even your customers’ journey throughout your company’s website. It is basically an action of coming up with a process that just flows & glides along the surface and it does not require your constant nurturing.
2 Addition by subtraction – reduce wasted effort
“Addition by Subtraction” is a phrase used by sports coaches to mean that sometimes your team can get better not by adding more talent, but by shedding some people or practices that are interfering with or inhibiting your success.
During my 9 years at ATL group I came across challenges, specifically the ones involving the right style of management was the most fruitful & painful at the same time. I remember that during 2014 we started growing very fast and I had to come up with a more decentralized approach & I created a board of directors. I was 25 years old back then and like majority of 25 year olds I was passionate, ambitious & inexperienced.
The board consisted of 3 relocated expats and 3 locals & all of them were highly professional in their respected fields. However shortly after I understood that we need shift again to a different decentralized version. I dissolved the board and paved the way for a new. Format where the business units would be managed by its CEOs & not by the board. To this day since 2016 we are continuing and growing with the same format & It has proven itself a successful strategy. Moreover by applying this system I have gained more friends & partners, which has brought our professional relationship to a new level.
Although this second note on my wall has many sides to be approached from. However I decided to give you a brief example of decisions driven out of necessities. Those times required those changes & I am glad that I faced those challenges.
These two sections from the wall pretty much align with the big domino or are pathways that lead to it. However this does not mean that l want to have same daily routine as Tim, that really seems very boring. Nonetheless the level of tranquility he has is making me envious. What we do have in common though is the trust we have in our colleagues. That is very important in this day and age.