Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Helping Creators Reach Their Potential

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How to Identify Blindspots In Your Business

One of the biggest obstacles to starting or scaling a business is not having systems in place to uncover blindspots.

Blindspots in your business quickly lead to you being blindsided by a catastrophic failure that, in hindsight, you should have seen coming (or at least, that’s what you tell yourself).

So what makes blindspots so difficult to uncover before they lead to catastrophic failure?

I was coaching an entrepreneur the other day and wanted to share an exercise I used to help him identify blindspots in his business.

But first, we have to understand what causes blindspots in the first place…

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What Causes Blindspots in Your Business

Blindspots are typically rooted in basing our decisions on untested, unexamined, or false assumptions.

For example, 2020-2021 was the “Golden Era” for cohort-based courses (CBCs) in the Creator Economy. Creators were making high six and seven figures in revenue running CBCs.

As other creators saw this, more jumped on the CBC bandwagon and built their own hoping to cash in big.

Many creators built their businesses entirely around the CBC model.

So when the market shifted away from CBCs because of factors like Zoom fatigue, return to office work, recession leading to less expendable income, and other factors, many creators’ businesses (and their livelihoods) took a huge hit.

Because they based their decision to go all-in on CBCs on the false assumption that the market for CBCs would remain stable over time.

But the creators who survived (and even flourished) when the market conditions changed already had plans in place to pivot.

They basically said, “Assuming the market stays stable, we’ll do X. Assuming the market shifts away from CBCs, we’ll do Y.”

So when the market shifted away from the CBC model, these creators had already examined their assumptions and had a plan to pivot into membership models, self-paced courses, or other offers.

It’s also why having an email list is essential for any creator or entrepreneur. Too many people have been blindsided because they built their entire platform on “rented land,” aka on social media websites where they don’t have access to their followers’ contact information. All it takes is one shadowban, account suspension, or getting hacked and you no longer have any way of contacting your audience. If you had a million followers yesterday and lose your account, you have zero today. Because you assumed you’d continue to have access to your audience through this channel—which was an untested, unexamined, false assumption.

But blindspots are rarely so black and white. Most of the time, they compound subtly with one micro-decisions based on untested, unexamined, or false assumption at a time—over weeks, months, even years.

It’s like the “1 in 60 Rule” in aviation. If pilots deviate just one degree off course, for every 60 miles they travel, they end up straying one mile from their destination. This can result in catastrophe if you’re expecting to fly over a tranquil lake but end up flying straight into a mountain. You didn’t realize you were so far off course because the deviation compounded so slowly, so you never saw the mountain coming before crashing into it.

This same principle applies to why so many entrepreneurs crash and burn due to blindspots—because they made a series of decisions based on untested, unexamined, or false assumptions that slowly compounded and progressively deviated their course until they were nowhere near their planned destination.

So how can you uncover blindspots before they happen, so you can make better decisions for your business?

•••

Use This One Question to Uncover Blindspots in Your Business

Before you make a decision or take an action, ask yourself:

What assumptions am I basing this decision on?

Not, “Am I basing this decision on an assumption?” Because it’s too easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re not making assumptions.

We all make assumptions every day—we basically have to because we need a foundation to reason from.

For example, you might make assumptions like:

  • You’ll continue to have internet access to work on your business tomorrow
  • Whatever obstacles you face are figure out-able
  • People will still want your products tomorrow
  • An asteroid won’t hit earth today

And the one assumption almost every decision we make relies on:

You’ll still be alive tomorrow.

Assumptions are the foundation for any decision we make, which is why learning to examine our assumptions is critical to making the right decisions.

•••

How to Incorporate This Question to Uncover Blindspots

One of my professors in grad school was into witchcraft, Neopaganism, and other New Age practices. She was awesome.

So of course she was into lucid dreaming.

When the topic came up in class, she taught us a simple exercise to help anyone learn how to lucid dream:

Develop the habit of routinely asking yourself throughout the day, “Am I dreaming right now?” Most of the time, the answer will obviously be “No.” But once you develop the habit of routinely checking in with yourself, eventually you’ll be asleep and dreaming and—out of habit—ask “Am I dreaming right now?” And the answer will be, “Yes.” And you’ll then, hypothetically, be able to start exerting control over your dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you’re into lucid dreaming or think it’s complete bullshit, because the concept of regularly checking in with yourself is applicable to helping you uncover blindspots.

The best way I’ve found to uncover blindspots is by building a habit of regularly checking in with yourself about the assumptions you’re making.

It’s not about checking in with yourself every now and then. It’s about incorporating this practice into your regular routine.

Because assumptions start off as a subtle whisper—which is why we rarely realize we’re making assumptions before they’ve compounded into something that blindsides us.

So we have to find ways of cultivating stillness—to give our minds time to wander and listen without distraction—to uncover them.

This is why the greatest entrepreneurs and leaders all have practices that help them cultivate stillness—from Bill Gates’s “Think Weeks,” to Marcus Aurelius’s journaling, to Albert Einstein’s daily habit of walking a mile and a half as he refined his theories on quantum mechanics.

Here are a few simple routines you can incorporate the question of, “What assumptions am I basing this decision on?” into:

  • Take a 30-minute walk (no podcast, music is fine)
  • Journal in the morning (write our your thought process)
  • Call up a trusted friend and talk through your assumptions

And if you want to dig deeper into your assumptions, add these questions to your reflections:

  • What is my plan if this assumption is true/false?
  • What assumptions need to be true in order for this to work?
  • What are the repercussions of this assumption being true/false?
  • What assumptions do most people believe to be true/false that I believe the opposite, and how can I use this to my advantage?

Build these into your routine before making a decision and you’ll significantly increase the number of blindspots you uncover or avoid happening altogether.

•••

Final Thoughts

Whether you assume something will go right or go wrong, every other decision you make or action you take is predicated on that assumption being true.

So the better you get at testing and examining your assumptions before making decisions based on them, the better you’ll get at uncovering and avoiding blindspots in your business that could lead to catastrophe.

And ultimately, make the best decisions possible for you and your business.

•••

P.S.

One of the most common reasons founders and entrepreneurs hire coaches (like me) is to help them uncover blindspots.

Because a blindspot you don’t uncover now can blindside you in the future.

If you’d like to uncover your own blindspots and develop the clarity and strategy you need to move forward and make the best decisions for yourself and your business, I’ve opened up a few laser coaching sessions so we can work together. Click here to book your spot now.


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