I sat in a dim conference room in a fancy hotel in Mexico City listening to Paul talk about his business. Around the table, other entrepreneurs listened carefully as he laid out his challenges. We were at a group discussion that preceded a business conference.

Paul shared that he was a solopreneur who was a remote version of a real estate agent. He would go through a specific process that took two months and would generate a predictable number of sales each time. He said that he was stuck and couldn’t grow because the process required his involvement and he had finite time and energy.

When he finished explaining his situation, everyone was silent as they thought about what they would do.

I asked Paul, “Do you think you have fully optimized this process?”

He thought about it and said, “I feel like the answer is ‘no.'”

We dug a little and found that he could probably at least double the speed of his two month cycle by improving parts of his process.

The capacity for him to run a 2x business was there all along. The reason he hadn’t grown to the next level was because of how he thought about the problem.

Human beings have a bias towards magic.

We believe that the solutions to our challenges require something beyond our kin. A new technique or tactic. A byzantine cross technology marketing funnel.

The solution is outside of us, unknown, and maybe unknowable. Magic.

Most of the time though, it’s something familiar. It’s a simple reconfiguration of what already works. A more effective approach using tactics we already know. A deeper understanding of the basics.

This means that what holds us back are beliefs that are just a little off.

Paul believed that his process required his involvement and he couldn’t scale because he had to run the process. That’s why he was looking for magic. In reality, little of his process required his involvement and it was possible that none of it did.

It’s hard to identify blind spots, but the good news is that when you find them they unlock leaps in growth. The place to start is by questioning your premises: especially when your instinct is to explain with inscrutable answers. Because your solution, whatever it is, isn’t going to be magic.