— Summary —

In this episode, I am going to teach you how you can learn from your mistakes before you even make them. It is about getting it wrong to getting it right.

If we don’t get this right we have no clarity, no action and we get no results. But if we do it right then we will have clarity and purpose, our actions will be intentional and what ends up happening is we get great results. So, what you need to know is:

  • You need to be real about yourself and your capabilities.
  • Know your target and where you want to go.
  • What the worst case is so that you can mitigate it and grow.

The Antithesis Advantage

Using the framework, we are going to look at the worst case scenario, analyze our strengths and values so that we know where we stand and what we need to do. It is a quadrant model rated using value in the horizontal axis and strength in the vertical axis.

There are four quadrants in this model:

  1. Delegator: Low in both strength and value. Meaning that there is very little critical nature to it.
  2. Scholar: High on values and low in strength. This is when we need to study, work and learn. You can also get someone to help you out because it’s critical to the outcome.
  3. Overseer: Low on value and high on strength so you are going to let someone else do it and then you review it.
  4. Mastery: It’s high on both value and strength so this is where we need to be spending our time.

This framework can be used for any skill, goal or opportunity. You can list out the skills needed and then rate it on the basis of strength and value. You can then imagine the worst case and prepare an antithesis for it. In this way, you can plan the solution before the problem ever arises so that you raise the likelihood of success.

— Begin Transcript —

Hey there, I’m Mel Abraham, the author of the #1 best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Solution and the founder of Thoughtpreneur Academy where we teach you how to capture, package, and monetize what you know so you can have more impact, more income and more freedom. And welcome to this episode of The Entrepreneur’s Solutions show and in this episode, I’m going to teach you how to learn from your mistakes before you ever make them.

I’m going to teach you a process and a framework that I call The Antithesis Advantage. It’s a process that I go through when I’m typically going into a new venture, a new deal, a new program, a new product launch, a new opportunity where I’m starting to walk through what are the things that could happen, in other words, understanding and anticipate the potential issues or problems before they become real.

Now there’s a downloadable tool and action guide for this episode. If you want to get that, just go to MelAbraham.com/session076 and we will make sure that we get that to you. And if you’re not at your computer, maybe you’re running around, you’re at the store, you’re at the gym, you’re listening to this on your iPhone or anything like that then just text me. Text me to 38470 one-word MYLEGACY to 38470. I will send you the download link so you can get the maximum value out of this episode. So let’s just jump in and let’s look at this. This is about getting it wrong to getting it right.

How do you learn from your mistakes before you ever make them?

So, one of the things to think about is this. If we don’t get this right, if we don’t go through this type of a process, here’s what ends up happening. You have no clarity.

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You don’t know necessarily what could happen, what it might happen. You haven’t taken the time to really understand what the potential is that could go wrong. And if you don’t have that then the other thing is that because of a lack of clarity, a lot of times there’s a lack of action.

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In fact, I will tell you a story about a mentor of mine. I was struggling with one of my employees, one of my team members years ago in one of the businesses I owned and I said, “God, he is just not motivated. I can’t get him motivated. I can’t figure it out. I’m going to have to let him go.”

And my mentor looked at me; it was kind of Zen line, it was like he was sitting there and he says, “Oh”, he says, “Are you sure it’s not motivation?”

I said, “Well, he is not doing anything. It’s got to be lack of motivation.”

And he says, “Yeah”. He says, “It’s interesting.” He says, “A lot of times we interpret it as lack of motivation when it’s really lack of clarity.” And he says, “If it’s lack of clarity, that’s your fault not his.”

Boom. I mean, reality is, is that if we have no clarity, typically, we take no action because

  • We’re not sure what to do
  • We’re not sure how to go about it
  • We’re not sure where to go with it

So, if we don’t get this right, lack of clarity and then you end up with no action and ultimately because you take no action, you get no results.

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You get results but they’re not the results that you want in the process.

But if we take the time to go through a process to get that you will find yourself in a position where you’ve got clarity and you have purpose.

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You’ve got direction. All of a sudden, things come into focus and all the stuffs that’s distraction, the things that are moving you away from where you want to go, they just fall by the wayside. You ignore them. At least, you realize that

  • They don’t impact you in a positive way
  • They don’t move you towards your outcome
  • They don’t move you towards the goal that you’re going towards

So we get that clarity, we become more tunnel vision in the sense of moving towards our outcome and towards the purpose that we’re in.

And when we get this right, ultimately we take intentional action

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And I think, the keyword there is that it’s intentional. The idea here is that you can have action, you can be busy but busy work doesn’t mean that it’s progress. So, the key is that what actions do you need to take to move your forward? And those are the actions we need to take.

So we need to be really intentional about some very specific, very deliberate actions that are actually going to move us forward towards the outcome we want, towards the goal, towards getting the thing accomplish that we’re trying to accomplish versus kind of just a sale in the wind, just kind of going whichever way the wind blows and so, a lot of people I see struggle with that because they’re not intentional in their lives or their businesses.

So you look at it and say,

If I want a good relationship.
I need to be intentional about it.
I need to work on it.
I need to be direct about it.
I need to take steps each and every day to make that happen.

If I want a good business,

I need to do the same thing.
I need to be intentional.
I need to be deliberate.
I need to take steps each and every day.

If I want to build wealth or freedom again,

You got to be intentional.
You got to be deliberate.
You need to take steps.

Each and every day that move you towards that and anything that distracts you, anything that is not deliberately towards that outcome is taking you away from it. So we need to be intentional in our actions and ultimately, what ends up happening is we get great results.

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So, that’s kind of the why this is so important to get it right and that means that alright, so if I understand why, what happens if I get it wrong? What happens if I get it right?

What do I need to know?

Well the first thing I think that you really need to know is to really understand that you need to be real.

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You need to be real with yourself. You need to be real about your capabilities, your capacities, what you want. To be transparent first with yourself and honest with yourself; to be real with the people around you about:

  • What your capabilities and capacities are?
  • What you can deliver?
  • How you can deliver it?
  • What are your skill sets?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What are the things that maybe just maybe we need to get someone else to help us with or get guidance?

And be real about it. Be open about it and transparent about it. This can be a struggle though. All of a sudden be vulnerable to acknowledge that maybe you don’t know it all because I could tell you, I don’t know it all and I will ask for help and I will be honest, I’m not the best at asking for help and I’ve got some really great mentors, some great friends, some great family members. They will kick my behind and say, “You got to ask for help” and it’s something that I struggle with from time to time but impact and building something that is meaningful doesn’t happen in a, it doesn’t happen on an island, it doesn’t happen as a solo pursuit.

I think you hear the term about self-made millionaire or self-made billionaire. It’s all hogwash. It’s crap. I mean, it really is because the fact of the matter is, is that the success that I have today is not because of just me. Yeah, I had something to do with it because I was in it but at the same time, there is a lot of people that I could, I don’t have the time to list out that enabled that success, that supported that success, that surrounded me with their support, their love and their help to be successful and it’s on their shoulders, in their soul and in their heart that I created that success and had that success.

And I don’t forget it. I’m grateful and it’s been blessing throughout the process of doing that even if there were bad things because through the bad, we learn and we grow and so, bottom line is that there’s been a lot of people that have contributed to that success. So being real about where you are, where you want to go, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, are really important.

The second thing you need to know is know your target.

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Where do you want to go? And if ultimately, you’re not sure where you want to go then guess what? You’re going to be spinning around or jig jagging and you may or may not get to your destination. And if you do get to your destination, it’s by coincidence only.

  • It’s not because it was deliberate.
  • It was not because it was intentional.
  • It was not because it was directive.

It’s as if you’re going to go take a trip and you say, “Hey, let’s just jump on the car and drive.”

Well, which way do you go?

If you have no destination in mind, then it’s a challenge. So, you got to know your destination. You got to also look at what’s the worst case?

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Because it’s through that worst case scenario, that worst case planning, that worst case looking at it that you get a chance to grow. I’ve had a lot of folks that have come to me for mentoring and consulting where I’ve sat with them.

I said, “Well, what’s the worst case?”

And we can evaluate it and say, “Here’s the worst case scenario” and we can one, do some things to make sure that that worst case scenario is at least mitigated. Reduce the risk of that ever happening because we’ve thought about it already. We’ve anticipated it or we may look at it and say, “Worst case is too much of a worst case and we don’t even do it.”

But I would suggest that if we do worst case planning, it’s going to help us to raise the probability of success and I’m going to give you the process that I use to do that in this video. So stay with me. That’s called The Antithesis Advantage.

So, here is how this works. We’re going to actually do some worst case planning. We’re going to look at the worst case scenario. We’re going to start to understand where we are from a value standpoint and a strength standpoint. I’m going to give you a framework and a process here. So, you ready? Here we go. Let’s jump in.

So, what I call The Antithesis Advantage and what we really do is we’re looking at something that we want to accomplish, a skill, a goal, an opportunity and I’m going to look at what are the skills, on one hand, what are the skills that are needed and on the other hand, what are the strengths and value ranking that exists. So, what I’m going to do is look at the list of skills that I need to make something happen and then I’m going to rank myself, I’m going to rate myself or my team or whoever it is on the level of strengths, is it in my strengths from 0 to 10 and how much value is it?

Another way to think about value is, is it critical to the outcome?

So, for instance: If we’re going to do, if I’m going to do these videos or I’m going to go do an event, creating the content is high value, it’s very critical to the outcome. Is it my strengths? It certainly should be and I think it is. So, it’s high on the strength.

But maybe, doing some of the printing or maybe some of the admin, it may be high on my strengths but from a value or a critical standpoint it’s not something that I probably ought to be doing. So, were going to rate all of those. I’m going to give you a process to look at that and this is the strengths value ranking system that I use.

It’s really a quadrant model so I’ve got little just four boxes and I’m rating things on the upward axis. We’re talking about the value. How critical is it to the outcome that we’re trying to get? And on the bottom axis, we’re going to look at it based on my strengths. Is it one of the strengths that I have?

And if you look at the four quadrants in this model, if it’s low on the my strengths and it’s low on a value scale, in other words, there’s very little critical nature to it. Maybe, it’s responding customer service emails, things like that then that’s something that I’m going to delegate. So, I’m going to delegate those so in that bottom quadrant, in that lower left box, it’s, we call that the delegator.

But what happens if it’s high on the values but not on the strength? In other words, it’s really critical to the outcome but it’s not where my strength is. Well, that’s when we need to become a scholar. That’s when I need to study. That’s when I need to work. That’s when I need to learn. That’s when I need to get with someone to help me out to move it and get my strengths on it because it’s critical to the outcome to learn what it takes to be great at that particular skill. This will make sense because I’m going to take you through an example in a moment.

Well, what happens if it’s low on the value? In other words, it’s not critical but it’s one of my strengths. For instance: I’m a CPA by education so the numbers and the financials and the accounting and the book keeping and all of that stuff is a big strength for me. Is it of critical value?

Probably not. The analysis and the review of it and the looking at it is of high value because it allows me to make some proper decisions in my business but the actual doing of it is low value, low critical value from the standpoint of the outcome. Then you have those elements that are high in the critical scale, high on the value scale and high on the strengths scale that’s where you master, that’s where you want to spend a lot of your time.

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  • So, in delegator, I’m going to just delegate it out.
  • In the overseer, I’m going to oversee it, I’m going to review it but I’m going to let someone else do it.
  • Scholar, I need to learn it, I need to get good at it, and
  • Mastery is a place that we spend our time.

So, if you look at this let’s see how this comes to life with an example.

And so, we’re going to come back to this and to the first worksheet and here’s how I look at this. Let’s take an example of I want go to do a webinar.

So, I take it and say, “All right, if I’m going to do my very first webinar, if I’m going to do any webinar, I got to look at it and say all right what are the skills that are needed?”

Well, I got to choose the topic.

So, I rank it, and I said, “Is that of critical importance to the outcome?”

Yes, 10 on that scale.

Is it of critical strengths?

Yes, it’s something that I do well.

So, bottom line is I’m going to rate it 10/10

Well, what about the next one? I got to create the presentation. It’s 7 or 8 on my strengths and it’s 10 on the value. It’s highly critical and high on the strengths scale.

And technology to use. What technology? This is one of the challenges that some people will look at. So, technology. What technology should we use? Well, ultimately it’s not necessarily one of my strengths to know all the technology and in fact someone on my team, happens to be my son who is on my team that knows most of the technology and when it comes down to doing it, I will usually have a conversation with him and a lot of times, he is the one that will execute on the technology.

Is it critical to the outcome?

Yes, it’s critical to the outcome but not extremely critical. So I rate 3/6.

How to market it?

That’s another skill set that we need. Well, it’s not high, it’s about mid lane on my strengths. I’m working on marketing more and more. Look, listen, I’m a CPA so I didn’t come from a marketing background but I really believe that we can always improve our marketing, our communication. So, I rated it 5.

What about the criticalness of it?

– 8

Let’s look at the other ones. How to get people to show up?

Someone might rate it as a 2 on strengths but if I don’t get people to show up on a webinar then the webinar is not going to be successful. So it is very critical. So, you’re going to rate it really high on a critical nature.

Now, when I say rate it high, rate your ability, the level of your skill, not the importance to the outcome but the level of skill. If it’s truly important to the outcome, we got to get your skill level up to a 8, 9 or a 10 to make sure it runs.

Because I will look at it and say, “Getting people to show up on a webinar, that is an importance of 10.” But if your skill level is down at a 4 then we got to get it up to an 8, 9 or a 10. Hopefully that makes sense.

Then hitting your mark, meaning that the message gets conveyed. Well, it’s a matter of can you deliver the presentation in a way that has an impact? Is it in your strengths category? Is it in your criticalness category, the value ranking?

And then, last is what’s next for them. How do you take them from the webinar to do something else with them and do the follow-up? So, this is an example. This is not necessarily me. I was just kind of going through the numbers. But you see what happens is now I look at this and I go, “Huh, there’s a couple of weak points here that I need to think about. Make sure that I’ve got someone with technology”.

  • What about the marketing?
  • What about getting people to show up, hitting the market?
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All those things with the numbers that are below 8, I got to look at. I got to really start to evaluate and say, “Do I need to bring someone in? Do I need to learn something on that?”

So, let’s take it to the second step of this. Now that I have listed out the skills and rated the skills, how do I use The Antithesis Advantage to anticipate the problems that could happen and put something in place to stop them from happening?

So, let’s go back and go the worst case planning again. It’s webinars again. We will do worst case planning and so, I’m going to just put in the various worst case scenarios and what’s the antithesis. What’s the way to solve it before they ever become real?

So, wrong topic area for the webinar. We’re going to do beta tests. We’re going to do ask campaigns. We’re going to do surveys to understand what the market need is and what the customers are? That will eliminate or at least reduce that risk in the context of a webinar.

What about a boring presentation? That is certainly a risk. Well, we’re going to get a presentation coach. We’re going to run tests. Again, beta tests and surveys but I’m going to get someone to help out if that was the case.

Technology crashes and I’ve had this happen in a number of situations. Well, what are your back up systems? Run dry run so you understand it. Ask how do we deal with this? If all of a sudden, the system goes down, what happens?

In fact, we had a situation a while back. I was about to do a webinar the following morning and all of a sudden, the internet went down and the internet service provider told me, “Well, I’m not sure when it’s going to be up.” Well, I got hundreds of people coming on a webinar. Well, I wasn’t going to wait around to see if they got the stuff working so I ended up driving to another place that night, spending the night in a place where I had guaranteed internet and ran the webinar from there. It’s just what you have to do. You’ve got to run some of these things and anticipate it in order to make it, avoid the problems and learn before the mistakes are really mistakes.

Marketing is ineffective or costly. Well, learn and use best practices. I’m going to see what other people are doing. I’m going to have a conversation with some of the top marketers. When I see someone hit it out of a park on a webinar, I’m going to ask how do they do it? I’m going to get coaching in that process.

Well, what about no one shows up. Can you imagine? You’re talking to an empty room? And no one shows up on the webinar. Well, I’m going to put in an engagement sequence and this is what we do with our webinars. In other words, from the time that they sign up for the webinar, there is an engagement sequence. We keep them in the game. We have a conversation with them to increase the likelihood that they are going to be there because you become invested in the outcome and there is a whole host of different strategies to bring people on to a webinar and this isn’t a presentation on webinars but I’m using it just as an example.

Delivery didn’t land. In other words, we didn’t get the outcome we want. Well, we’re going to go through feedback loops and we’re going to tweak it and we’re going to try it again. We’re going to go back and survey the audience—

  • What happened?
  • What were the considerations?
  • What where their thoughts?

And change and do it again. So, we’re going to use a feedback loop system to really understand it. We’re going to record all of them so we can go back and review it and unpack it and see what’s happening.

And then, lastly you know there is no continuing journey. In other words, we do the webinar and they never hear from us again. It’s the wrong thing to do because what we’re trying to do is create a relationship like I’m trying to create a relationship with you. So, what we’re going to do is spend some time with what I call pipeline mapping. That we create a pipeline map for what the journey is for the people that are coming to the webinar and beyond the webinar in this case.

And you can do pipeline mapping for your customers whether you are doing physical products, online products, speaking. You really want to do the pipeline mapping so you know what the journey of your customers really is.

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So, I use this as example. This is not something that, this is not the one that we do when we did webinars. There is a couple of things that those of you that know me, that have had some nightmare stories on webinars that I’ve learned a lot from. But the point is, is this: We use worse case planning to find the solution before the problem ever becomes a problem. And by doing so, you raise the likelihood, you raise the probability of your success because you’ve eliminate or created some backstop that will stop the problem from becoming real.

And so, that’s really the nature of it. The fact of the matter is, is that things are going to happen and we need to prepare for them, we need to handle them when they do happen but if you’re going into something that you haven’t done before especially, a new business, a new project, a new product launch, a new skill set, use the antithesis advantage. Use worse case planning to anticipate what could happen and then find the solutions before it ever happens.

I remember, back in the day when I was 18 to 22, I was doing stunt work and I remember my teacher, the one that taught me about the stunts. He said to me, “The day you believe that you got it all dialed in and you get up, maybe you’re going to go do a jump off of a building and you walk up there like it’s nothing. You say ‘Ah! I got this. I’ve done this millions of times and I’ve got this’ is the day you need to stop because you’re not going to give it the presence and the attention it deserves.”

And I tell you that story because I think it’s important for what you’re doing and what I do and what all of us are doing in our lives and in our businesses. When we come and approach a situation as if we’ve done it a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times, we’re not present to that moment. When I go out and speak, it’s like the first time. I still get nervous. I still get anxious because I want to deliver I want to serve the audience where they are at. I want bring them to a higher level and I think, that that’s important.

When you get used to something, you start to become complacent and so, when you start to feel that you’ve done it a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times and you are not preparing like you did before, that’s the time to either get out of the game or shake yourself up and get back in the game.

And why I am saying that is this is not just a process to use for something new. It is also a process to use each and every day as you’re walking through your business, your relationships, and your life. To sit back and say, “What’s the worst case? What’s the solution? Solve it before it ever becomes real.”

I hope that you found this of value. Use the process. Download the action guide. Download the worksheets. It will make sense to you that way. Start using it because you’re going to find that your probability of success goes up and the actuality of your success goes up because you eliminate problems before they ever become real.

To download the action guide, just go to: MelAbraham.com/session076 or just text me: MYLEGACY one word to 38470. I will make sure that I send you the download link and if you haven’t done so already, subscribe, stay with me. I’ve got a lot more coming your way about building your business, building your thought leadership getting you to become free and have a piece of mind. And if you haven’t done so already, I’m going to also ask you to do me a favor: Share this with a friend because, especially, this antithesis advantage can be used in all aspects of life. So do me a favor, share this with a friend. Leave some comments below, leave me some questions and I will be more than happy to answer them. If you have questions, you’re going to leave them below or you can go to AskMelNow.com. Leave me your question there and we will make sure that we get it on an upcoming episode of the Entrepreneur Solution show. Till then,

May your vision be grand, your journey epic and your legacy significant!

See you soon. Cheers. Bye!!

— End Transcript —

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Like this? Please share it and help a few more people bring their dreams out of the darkness and give life to them again. Cheers, Mel

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