What is the Fastest Way?

What is the Fastest Way?

"What's the fastest way to <insert whatever>?"

I get this question a lot.

The whatever in question can be anything — building a big list, getting a bunch of social media followers, making your content go viral. It basically means anything with a big payoff for you. This really is not a bad question; however, You will probably be at it for a while if it is your FIRST question.

What About All of Those Great Stories?

I agree that the stories we hear about are cool. Someone does X and their list grows like crazy, Someone does Y and they got a million views of their YouTube video. Someone does Z and suddenly they are the next Facebook success story. It is perfectly natural to want to know how to replicate that. It is perfectly natural to think that if you "just do it right," you can do the same thing.

But growing fast usually happens for one of two reasons:

1.  You happen to be in the right place at the right time.

2.  You SEE the right place and right time, and you know what to do when it comes.

The first one involves a lot of work and the hope that you will be lucky. The second one involves a lot of work and an experienced eye (that
comes to you through the work).

If you are asking yourself what path you should take for really rapid growth, that is probably a sign that you are not as strong as you should be on the fundamentals. The quest for rapid growth generally comes from a desire to skip over the fundamentals. But if you want to figure out how to get more people buying from you more often, then you need to start at the beginning rather than the end.

Imagine the following two dating scenarios:

Scenario 1:  

Ready Freddy asks "How can I get girls to say yes when I ask them out? Tell me and I will do that so I can get a date this Saturday night."

Scenario 2:  

The other guy asks "What do girls generally find attractive in a guy? Tell me so I can start working on my core skills and make them better."

Ready Freddy is looking for a quick answer. The other guy is looking to UNDERSTAND. Ironically, the other guy is going to get a lot more of the girls because he is going to work on the fundamentals. The things that do not get him floods of phone numbers NOW. The things that do not get him a date this Saturday, but will get him more dates, more easily over time. The un-cool stuff that will gradually MAKE him cool. Ready Freddy wants to be cool now and wants to know the "one thing" that will turn his luck around forever. Good luck, Freddy…you are going to need it.

It is not that you shouldn't want to grow your business faster. But before you do that, you need to become really good at understanding what makes you grow in the first place. And that, generally, is the un-cool stuff. It doesn't involve looking at another person's process and then reverse-engineering it. It involves working on your own processes and improving them until you get to the point where those opportunities for rapid growth start presenting themselves. It's not cool, but it will continually make you a little bit more money every month, over time, until you find yourself in front of The Opportunity.

The Opportunity?

Here is how to make The Opportunity happen:

  • Spend more time thinking of the un-cool things that works in the first place. Then start doing more of the un-cool things.
  • Spend more time thinking about why it works and looking for patterns. Then start adjusting your approach based on that and see if your adjustments work. Learn by doing.
  • Spend more time thinking about the why behind the why so you know WHY your adjustments worked or didn't work. In other words, get a deeper understanding of the fundamentals.

Keep doing that, and you will grow. Maybe slowly, but you'll grow. This will eventually bring you The Opportunity. It is what happens when you have spent so much time understanding the why behind the why that you can truly call yourself a pro. And when you are a pro–whether it is with YouTube videos, copy or headlines or sales emails–you see a unique opportunity where all your deep experience in the fundamentals can give you a multiplier.

Those people who "got lucky" and got a million views on their viral YouTube video? You can bet they spent a lot of time learning to understand why people watch, like and share the videos that AREN'T viral, but are still doing pretty well.

The rapid growth comes after the deep understanding–not before. Focus on the un-cool things first. You will get your rapid growth spike when it's time. But you will be able to enjoy the growth you are getting now while you are waiting for The Opportunity to present itself.

Sometimes we just need to Go Slow to Go Fast.

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About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Rachel, I just love this. It’s true any path worth taking, no? It’s funny, I hear this literally all the time from writers coming to me for editing. In the days of yore, a writer HAD to spend years learning and honing the craft. But now, with self-publishing, anybody can throw anything out there and call it a book. So, new writers all the time ask: “What’s the fastest way to become a bestseller?” Um . . . I honestly don’t know any fast way 🙂
    I simply love: “The rapid growth comes after the deep understanding–not before.”
    Yes, ma’am!
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…7 Surefire Ways To Murder Your HappinessMy Profile

    • Hi Susan,

      I have not written a book but I think that I would laugh if I were a fly on the wall whenever you get these people in front of you.  I have read some of those self-published books and a lot of them leave a lot to be desired.  I’m becoming numb to it all :).

  2. I am a firm believer in… if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Plus, doing faster isn’t doing more efficient.. so it will take the right amount of time to get it done right. Great points.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Weigh the Cost & Time Factors of OutsourcingMy Profile

    • People do love the things that are too good to be true, don’t they?  I’d say that it’s better to start to learn how the real business world works and you will begin to observe certain patterns. 

  3. It has taken me a very long time to understand what people mean when they say how important mindset is. Posts like this one are helping me understand it. Thank you for the inspiration today.

  4. Great post, Rachel. We live our lives in the now but we really should ask ourselves why are we doing what we are doing. It brings more focus on our business and creates more vision in the process. Thanks for sharing this reminder.

  5. Agree completely that you have to be open to opportunities when they arise. Generally, that means not being too invest in “this is how I’ve always done it” and, as you say, just doing the work. So many people want to be successful without making the investment in time and — in some cases — money. Good stuff!

  6. This is so true. Understanding is so important. Because without it the success usually is fleeting and can’t be held. Like what is the fastest way to lose weight. It usually is in the ‘struggle’ that the learning and growing come. It just can be hard.
    Karen recently posted…Health Starts in the GutMy Profile

  7. Perfect timing does have a lot to do with some things taking off quickly, Rachel. But, I like how you focused on understanding what opportunity analysis has to offer for the long run. Finding out why things are happening is a big key to being able to propel your business forward by doing more of what’s working and less of what isn’t. Cool or uncool, if you are getting the results you want, then it’s all cool! While luck may run out, critical thinking will stay with you forever.

    • And don’t you find that it really is unfortunate when a person achieves some success via ‘luck’ because then they don’t really learn…they don’t even know why they were ‘lucky’.

  8. As I read this I thought I should start paying closer attention to my stats, insights, analysis on all my platforms. It did take a while when starting out to learn & understand the fundamentals. And I always felt it was not good to compare my business or actions to others. What works for them is a function of their business strategy.

  9. Teresa Salhi

    I am embodying the un-cool and being cool with it. Great article, thank you!

  10. Yes, it is funny how people think others do things so quickly. People tell me that they envy me being able to play the piano well. Duh, I took piano lessons and practiced for many years and majored in piano in college. They even sometimes tell me that they envy my flying ability. Duh, I spent many, many hours learning that skill too. But I am at fault too. I wondered why I wasn’t making more progress learning the guitar. Duh, I only practiced once a week.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…When You Really Need to Get a Lot Done FastMy Profile

  11. Hi Rachel 🙂
    What an awesome post! Yes, it is sometimes much better to go slow to go fast 🙂 You must take those little steps to get to those bigger steps to get you going faster 🙂 Enjoyed reading, thank you for sharing!!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…Why You Should Be Considering Blogging As A Marketing Strategy For Your Business If You Are A Business Owner?My Profile

  12. Hi Rachel,

    I enjoyed reading your post. You have illustrated learning and patience in a practical way. When I reading your post, Aristotle’s quote came to my mind: “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

    Of course, every effort we make to understand and work on the uncool things today takes us one step closer to victory.

    Michael recently posted…SavingStar CashbackMy Profile

  13. So many people are often in a rush to get to the destination rather than learning from and enjoying the journey. It is best to take the time needed to do things right and to learn from anything that may have not gone according to plan.
    Dr. Elise Cohen Ho recently posted…5 of The reasons you were rejected when you wanted to have sex (and some tips on how to change that)My Profile

  14. I think your point is well taken. A huge portion of the population is over 40 years old. Most are women. They hold a great deal of all disposable income. And yet, it’s hard to name the media sites that this population frequents. Facebook, for sure, but youtube, instagram, twitter … not so much. And I have to believe it’s because no-one has really thought about what appeals to this group of people, and HOW to market to them. (I’m working on it, though!) I just don’t think we’ve thought through the un-cool aspects of this un-tapped marketing niche.
    Joan Potter recently posted…FIVE FUNNIES FOR FRIDAYMy Profile

  15. Love your writing style for getting your point across Rachel. It seems everyone is in a hurry to make it to the top using some kind of short cut. And, they learn the hard way that you need to master the basics if you’re going to be successful in the long run.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Live to be 100My Profile

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