The 20x rule

A while back I read a pretty inspiring book, Body of Work: Finding the thread that ties your story together by Pamela Slim, said to be the career handbook for the modern day. 

Given it's increasingly rare to have a career in just one field - more and more of us are blending corporate jobs with startup gigs, freelance work and side projects - it can be difficult to explain why we do what we do and join all the dots, something Pamela addresses in the book. Pamela shares how to find the connections amongst our diverse accomplishments to tell our story well and give an overall purpose to everything we do.  

A section of the book that really stood out for me was this. Pamela explains the 20x rule, to make life or business progression happen faster. 

"Much of my time spent coaching is egging my clients on so they finish their websites, pitch to new clients, and test and try new products in the market. 

The enemy of a new entrepreneur is endless planning and perfection. 

After celebrating that they finally took a serious first step, I often get a slightly dejected email or deflated check-in on the next coaching call."

We all know that dejected feeling. Working on something new for the first time not seeing big results straight away makes you think you've failed - and what's the point in carrying on. 

"I sent that email to two potential clients, but neither of them has gotten back to me yet"

"I designed and launched the webinar we talked about but only one person signed up. And it was my sister."

Sounds familiar right? 

The 20x rule

Here's where the 20x rule comes in to play. Pamela says,

"In business, as well as other areas of life, you have to sow twenty times more seeds than you think is realistic or necessary to make things happen. What do you think would happen over the course of one year if:

  • Instead of reaching out to one new journalist a month, you reached out to twenty?

  • Instead of reaching two prospective clients a month, you reached forty?

  • Instead of testing three new product ideas a year, you tested sixty?"

I love this concept. The chances are if we adopted this thinking we'd see some radically changing results. 

So, I put the 20x rule to the test

In past months, I would send one or two emails to people who had taken part in our previous Happy Startup Home School programs for a chat to see how they're getting on since the course. It's really nice to keep in touch and it's useful for me to hear their needs and successes to see how I (or our team here at The Happy Startup School) can help to support them further. 

This week instead of just one or two emails, I tried emailing 20 of our past home school students (well 19 to be exact) to catch up with them since. The response was really unexpected. 

Apart from general chats about life and the progression of their idea, I got talking to one lady about the interior design business she's been setting up since the program. When I'm not Happy Startup-ing, interiors is a bit of an addiction of mine.

She'd been feeling for a while like she needed somebody to be held accountable to, someone that understood the challenges that came with decoration and styling plans for clients, and given I love the work she's doing and we do similar things, we're now being business buddies, having monthly check ins to encourage and support each other. 

It made me see that if I hadn't of used the 20x rule, this opportunity would never have come to us. 

Imagine the possibilities if you talk to 20x more people about your idea or project today? 

Serendipity is an amazing thing.

If you enjoyed this post, our founders at the Happy Startup School Carlos & Laurence are running a free webinar soon to help you make progress with your ideas. You should join us :)

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