I’ve started to read a book about the 10x rule. The author has a good point in saying that we often underestimate the effort which is needed to achieve a certain result. We then give up, frustrated, believing the result is not achievable.
Dating certainly feels that way. There are lots of “duds”. Dates which don’t develop. Girls which don’t write back. An initial great connection, and then something happening and things falling apart. (By the way, sometimes this is due to attachment styles – things fall apart BECAUSE they are going great! People become triggered by too much closeness, and enact self-defeating “protective” behavior).
I’ve decided to try the rule of the author out in a situation I’m dealing with currently (I need tax advice for a certain situation for dealing with a US customer).
A trade organisation provided me with a list of tax consulting companies, which might be helpful.
Initially, I cherry-picked the companies which I thought might be a good fit. I called, and was most frequently told that I should write an email. In many cases I only reached an automated answering machine.
This was not working.
So I decided to try the 10x rule. I decided to write to ALL of these companies.
Here are the results, broken down by numbers (percentages rounded):
- Total number of companies I contacted: 23 (100 %)
- broken e-Mail addresses: 1 (4 %)
- automatic out of office replies: 4 (17 %)
- outright rejections: 1 (4 %)
- forwarded to other person: 2 ( 9 %)
- outrageous pricing: 1 ( 4 %) (NB: no advice)
- emails with useful advice: 3 ( 13 %)
- email with wrong advice: 1 (4 %)
- no (immediate) replies: 10 (44 %)
Looks a bit like dating, doesn’t it 🙂 (Mostly no replies, the odd golddigger thrown in)
The hourly rates varied from USD 500 as a flat fee, to USD 1.120 per hour (for a partner, charged at the standard rate). At these hourly rates an estimate between USD 2000 to USD 3000 is understandable, sadly this would be the entire margin of the project.
Some of the companies provided useful advice, some even without offering an hourly rate / trying to sell me more services.
Interestingly, the advice varied a little, as will real results in dating.
Only 13 % of the replies were directly useful to me. Quite likely, I will be able to act on that information, without having to take on additional advice.
I declare this initial test of the 10x rule a success. It didn’t cost me much time to implement it. I would have even be able to delegate it (copy & paste, and changing the names).
I got feedback from “the system” much quicker than if I would not have tried this approach – and I probably would have wasted much more time trying to reach selected companies, and phoning them up again and again.
This way I can also quickly select from the “winners” who give me some value immediately, and stop chasing the “duds”. In the future, if I need tax advice, I can go to these companies which reacted quickly, and provided some initial value already. (NB: also a good thing to keep in mind for myself as an entrepreneur – always provide some value in the answer).
“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson Jr.