A welcome hurdle


How do you know if someone is truly committed to take action?

[ By action I mean doing something that will put something at stake ]

Short answer: Wait and watch. If there is no change in status quo in a reasonable time, then something was a on a “wishlist without a deadline to take action.”

That seems obvious but..

What if you want someone to take action?

or better yet..

What if you want to detect who will take action?

If you know who will take action, you can invest more on those people rather than go on a crusade to change the world. You have limited time and it is better spent where there is a possibility of a reasonable ROI.

Here is what you can do to detect who will take action:

Present them with a welcome hurdle. A welcome hurdle is something that they have to do that takes real time, energy and mindshare. This gating activity should cause “enough” pain and discomfort that in order to complete the activity they have to “experience being out of their comfort zone.”

If they are willing and actually take that step and navigate that hurdle, the chances are higher that they will up for the task at hand. They may not succeed but at least they have proven to you that they are willing to take the next step.

I have used the concept of “welcome hurdle” with people who come with all kinds of requests. Examples include:
* “I think I have an idea and I want to start a company”
* “I am ready to write my book”
* “I can’t wait to lead that charity project”
* “I want you to be my mentor”

If every “best intention” could get a dollar reward, there would be lot more millionaires in the world. However, nothing happens until you take action. And if you can’t take a small action, then chances are that you won’t take a big action.

What would be an example of a welcome hurdle?

If someone says I am ready to write a book and want to meet with me to discuss it, I might simply send them a detailed template to write a book proposal and send it back to me so that I can review and be ready for a conversation.

What happens next?

Most of the times, the case is closed and I never hear back from them.

Here is another one:

I announced The Art of Leverage course where I teach a handful of people the basics of increasing their leverage recently. Everyday, I get several people who express interest. Without a delay, I use WittyParrot (see video) to send them a welcome hurdle. After that I forget about them because I know from experience that very few people really will take action. If they cross the hurdle, I will take more action, else my investment is limited to the few seconds I took to set the welcome hurdle.

In summary, a welcome hurdle is a carefully crafted filter that will save you time, energy and mindshare.

Photo Courtesy: Tulitomaatti on Flickr