Earlier this week, I wrote about how ignorance is its own obstacle.

We operate with half formed ideas about our business. Internally, these concern the nature of roles, team members, offers, systems, and etc. Externally, we develop theories about trends, markets, and competitors.

These half formed ideas are emerging beliefs still coalescing from experience.

The challenge is that these emerging beliefs aren’t accurate, but we operate as if they are.

For example, a couple of years ago, we launched a service that I tested by selling some initial customers through PPC. Having established that customers were in search, we built up our SEO for those terms. I projected sales based off traffic. The traffic came, but the sales did not.

I believed, erroneously, that PPC ads would be treated the same way as content that ranked for those terms- but that wasn’t true. I would have been better served to spend that time and money optimizing PPC campaigns.

We don’t know where our beliefs are off, but we still have to operate based on something.

The trick is to identify what beliefs matter. Where are the obstacles to growth?

Once you’re clear on where you’re stuck, what are your assumptions about these obstacles?

Finally and most importantly:

What data would eliminate assuming?

Featured image is one of the maps that Columbus used as a basis to seek out Asia by crossing the ocean. The missing North American continent is super-imposed over the original 1472 map created by Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. Revised illustration by Bartholomew, J. G. – A literary and historical atlas of America. Used under Public Domain