There is an old saying -- "feedback is the breakfast of champions." I would make a small change. In my version, it would be -- "good feedback is the breakfast of champions." The only thing that would ace this is "good, immediate feedback."
Good, immediate feedback is what is used in games and gamification engines to get people to engage (and in extreme cases, get addicted)
Here are three ways to get good, immediate feedback:
#1 Smart Tools
#2 Smart People
#3 Smart Thinking
#1 Smart Tools
Let's look at a case in Point: Headline Analyzer
One of my friends, Richard Weiler of Advanced Marketing Minds, posted in our marketing group on the Headline Analyzer tool that analyzes headlines for emotional value. You just have to paste your headline and you will get a score anywhere between 30% to 75%. A score beyond 50% is good.
I wanted to test this out immediately for the landing page of one of my upcoming books "Writing Zero."
Here are the various iterations and scores:
Version #1: How to Bring Your Ideas to Life on Paper, FAST!
Version #2: Do You Want to Bring Your Ideas to Life on Paper, FAST?
Version #3: Do You Want to Bring Your Ideas to Life on Paper With Speed?
Version #4: Do you NEED to write with SPEED?
Version #5: Every time you NEED to write with SPEED...
The final version is what is on the landing page of Writing Zero.
Whatever be the real value of the tool, one thing it gives you is a good, immediate feedback. You can compare the current score to the benchmarks set and keep improving the effectiveness of what you are writing.
Headline Analyzer was just an example of a smart tool in action.
#2 Smart People
Tools have their place in your world. When you need to get "good, immediate feedback" on topics where the stakes are higher, the tools start to become insufficient. You need the mindshare of smart people.
What if you could get good, immediate feedback when you are hiring a key team member?
What if you could get good, immediate feedback when you are taking an important career decision?
What if you could get good, immediate feedback when you are pursuing that marquee deal for your company?
What if you could get good, immediate feedback when you are thinking about making that strategic acquisition?
What is the difference between the above two scenarios?
In cases like the above and more, you need to tap into the mindshare of super smart people around you.
Tools have limits. And, you may be able to buy your way into getting access to tools.
On the other hand, you can rarely buy your way into capturing the mindshare of smart people. The right and royal way to get this done is by capitalizing on the power of reciprocation. More about that kind of growth is explained in the six simple growth equations.
Smart people willing to lend their mindshare for your projects is pure gold.
#3 Smart ThinkingThis is where YOU and investment in yourself comes in. Imagine that you had spent a few years before today immersed in the following activities:
- brainstorming with smart people on diverse topics
- reading about brilliant minds
- reflecting on what works and what does not based on the feedback from the marketplace
- investing in great mentors
- being part of exclusive clubs where you get access to other smart people
- helping solve complex problems voluntarily
- being vulnerable
- open and willing to receiving good help
The more you had invested in yourself to deal with the kind of situations at hand, the more easy it is for you get good, immediate feedback from yourself.
If you have smart thinking today, it is ONLY because you systematically invested in yourself for years before today. The good news is that you can start investing more in yourself right the next minute onwards and start getting a payback in the near future.
All the best!