Do you feel like every risk you take ends in the opposite desired effect? Utilize this tactic to better predict outcomes, boosting success in all areas of your life!
Your work and personal life are generally two worlds exclusive of each other. Most prefer the two to be kept separate. But, certain successful strategies in business can help you gain success in your personal life as well. The “Test Before You Test” strategy I developed has proven itself useful as a success predictor for both my business and personal decisions. It began as a business tactic and has now become an aid for just about every decision I make.
What Does “Test Before You Test” Mean?
Through my business practices, I realized surveys and research could only get me so far in reducing risk and predicting successful outcomes. I needed to take risks, but I also needed to come as close as possible to guaranteed success. Why waste a lot of time, money, and energy implementing an idea if it doesn’t have a good chance of working out? Most people get an idea, try it, and hope it works out. But I want to know whether a new project or decision is going to work before I devote my resources to the plan.
We often try to predict an idea’s success or failure, but that often means guessing or taking a shot in the dark. We ask our friends whether they think it’s a good idea. But that doesn’t give us any clue about success or failure in the real world. With Test Before You Test, you can set up a real-life scenario that’s as close to your idea as possible without investing a ton of time or money. Then if that simulation is a success, you can feel confident in going ahead and trying it out for real.
Let’s say you wanted to add a new product to your company’s website. Most people would invest in the new product, get a batch manufactured, stick it on the website, and hope for the best. But what if you could find out whether that product will sell before you invest in the design and manufacturing process? With Test Before You Test I would create a Web page showcasing the new product as if it were actually for sale. Then, I would see how many people clicked to buy it. When consumers click, they are greeted with a friendly “coming soon” message. If enough people want it, that’s a successful test, and I’d go ahead and start the production process. If not enough people want it, I might modify my plans or scrap the idea altogether. I can set up this page, run the test, and have my answer in a day or two.
How Can This Be Used Outside of Business?
Using this strategy in business helps predict profits and create revenue. But when it comes to your personal life, the goal is to find optimal happiness for you and your loved ones. Sometimes, predicting your wife’s reaction to a surprise can weigh heavier on your mind than predicting the public’s reaction to a new marketing strategy. My wife is extremely hard to surprise, and I wanted our one-year anniversary to be really special. So, I planned ahead and created a test to guarantee she would love her gift.
I decided I wanted to give her a piece of jewelry, but I didn’t know which piece would be the best choice. Rather than just guessing and hoping for the best, I designed a test. I took her to a store that had jewelry, among other things, and I casually watched her reactions to different styles. We weren’t shopping for anything in particular, so she didn’t have any reason to be suspicious. When she pointed out a ring she really liked, I memorized the design and color. Later, I was able to find a heart-shaped necklace very similar to the ring she had noticed before.
On our first anniversary, I gave her the necklace, and she loved it so much she cried. My test was successful! I had a very happy wife. I’ve often felt like I’m taking a risk when I buy her presents (maybe you can relate), but this time, I knew she would love it because I had already seen her reaction to a similar item in another situation.
Test Before You Test helped me again when I was thinking about purchasing an Xbox. Rather than just buying one and hoping I liked it, I decided to borrow one from a friend for a month and run a test first. In this case, I ended up deciding it was too addictive for me. The ultimate outcome would not be successful. By running my little test, I eliminated the risk of wasting money on the Xbox so that I could devote my resources to more important things.
How Will This Strategy Help Improve Your Life Overall?
It’s easy to measure risk and payoff in business because you can assign a dollar value to each outcome. But in your personal life, the risks are emotional and personal. We can all identify a time when we took a risk and ended up disappointed or upset because of it. Although life is unpredictable, using Test Before You Test can reduce your risk and help you build a better life.
Over time, using Test Before You Test to help you make decisions can have a snowball effect. Your desire for happiness can be achieved faster and with more successes than failures. I’ve found this to be true for my personal life, my business, and my family.
You don’t have to feel like you’re playing it too safe and missing out while life happens around you. You also don’t have to jump headfirst into high-risk situations and sacrifice all peace of mind for the sake of moving forward. Try testing first, and you can predict success faster, make the most of your life, and live with fewer regrets.
Because this article was published, a donation will be made to Reading Is Fundamental so a book can be given to a child.