If you want more growth, then this story holds important insights you need to overcome invisible barriers to growth…
Legos net profits are up 35% this year.
Why? Because in the first time in the companies history since 1934 they produced Legos for girls.
Everyone knows that boys like legos — not girls. Right?
That belief has obviously been wrong.
And of course, now that it has proven successful, the critics are emerging. Some are expressing critical concern because they believe Legos is stereotyping gender roles by making pink Legos and giving the female figures long hair.
There are two lessons we can apply to our life and business from this.
Invisible Barriers To Success
First, many of the barriers to our increased growth and are invisible. They are beliefs. What we think we know about a market or area of expertise that just isn’t so.
Belief has kept Lego from creating Legos aimed directly at girls for since 1934. That’s 79 years.
And more importantly, invisible beliefs are keeping you and I from greater growth and profits (more on this in a minute).
Second, even when wildly successful (perhaps especially when wildly successful) we’ll be criticized.
Take a look at best selling book on Amazon. Ones with 1000 5 star comments. Guess what, just about 10% of the time there will be angry, critical 1 star reviews. Its so common I call it “The Amazon 10% Law of Criticism”.
So, this is the bad news: If you desire growth and success, but; want everyone to like you — they won’t.
Now, lets assume you and I have these invisible belief barriers blocking us from more growth and profits. How do we find the invisible. And what do we do about it once we see them?
Fact: We are blind to these barriers
The Truth: We are blind to these barriers. They are invisible to us. If we knew we believed things about life and business that were not true and actually hurting us, we would stop.
So, we need a way to find the stuff that is hidden to us.
Here are a few places to lift the rug and look for the invisible barriers…
1. What’s not working that should be?
Generally, when stuff that should be working in our lives and business, isn’t, there is a hidden cause. It’s a big, red, waving flag saying, “Hey, somewhere in the middle of this frustration and failure and unfathomable-ness are assumptions, beliefs and facts that are just wrong.”
Time to start revisiting our basic assumptions here.
Look at areas where you are failing or blocked or frustrated. Don’t ignore them. Meditate on them. Ponder them. Start asking, “What if?”
2. What won’t work?
Take any area of your life or business, working or not, and ask yourself, “what will never work?”
Selling Legos to girls maybe?
Here’s a few variations on the theme:
“What solutions will you NOT consider?”
“What markets would NEVER consider your products or services?”
“What CAN’T your product be used for?”
“What marketing tactics or strategies would be STUPID to pursue for your company?”
“What would you or your company be EMBARRASSED to do?”
“What would be UNPROFESSIONAL?”
3. What do you KNOW to be true about your life and business?
This is taking our mind in the opposite direction of “what won’t work”. Here we are examining that which we know to be true, that may not be.
“What do you know absolutely to be true about your business, customers, markets, competitors?”
“What’s most important about leadership?”
“What are the secrets to success in: work, life, leadership, management, marketing?”
Those Are Your Hidden Beliefs
Go through those three major questions. Write down your answers. Make a list. Those items are a pretty good indicator of your hidden beliefs.
Here’s something that will jump out at you as you look at this list of ‘truths”…
You and I begin to see how hard it is to overcome them. It’s because you BELIEVE them. You’ve got a dog in the hunt. You’ve got an emotional stake in being right.
You now see that your greatest critic may be yourself.
Both you and I have to overcome embarrassment, feeling foolish, etc. to even test those ideas.
Yet, that is often the path to breakthrough growth in our businesses (and lives).
The Greatest Barriers To Growth?
The truth is that other people aren’t the biggest barriers to our future success. WE are. What’s between our ears. Hidden in our minds.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your stories of areas in life and business where you or others have challenged these invisible barriers and created success. Please, leave your thoughts below.