To A Large Extent, Success Is Just A Matter of Numbers

Law of Large Numbers

Our Australia trip has been amazing so far.  In addition to the incredible scenery, the amazing and unique wildlife, and the sincere hospitality and warmth of the people, we’ve also had the chance to connect, in several meaningful meetings and conversations, with various team members here in Australia. They are hungry to succeed and wanting to know any advice that we can share that will help them as they walk a similar path that we did 5 years ago – introducing a new product to a new market.

In re-telling our story, and attempting to provide them with as much meaningful advice as we can, I’ve really reflected on our business and the concept of success at large.

What I’ve come to recognize, both through our entrepreneurial experience, and my pursuit of any worthwhile goal, is that at some point, everything is simply a matter of numbers, and that if you just embrace this concept you can really work it to your advantage.

If you keep practicing anything, eventually the scale of competency will tip in your favor, you will master the actions you are taking, and you will then see significant results.

I really believe in what has been described by other writers (namely Nick Murray and Steven Pressfield to name a few) as the “Law of Large Numbers”.

In my words, here is an explanation of this law:

At some point success, in any endeavor, becomes a certainty if you are willing to stick to a task long enough, taking the results that you get as instructive feedback, thereby improving upon your actions as you continue along, until you get the results you want.

When I realized the full scope of this principle it excited me because it demystified everything, and better yet it made anything theoretically possible.

I just had to apply the law of large numbers, adjusting the actions I took (based on the feedback that I received along the way) and continue on until I get the results that I want.

It also flattened the playing field because I realized that everyone has the same amount of time in a day. Sure people may start with advantages and more finely turned skill sets, but this law makes success achievable for any person in any circumstance:

Lock onto a target, take large volume action towards it, adjust your actions as you go based on the feedback you receive, and stick with it until you get it.

Name a pursuit: the law of large numbers applies. Eventually – if you stick at something long enough, always making course corrections as you go, you are guaranteed to get your result.

Who knew math could be so awesome?

If you make enough sales calls, adjusting your approach based on the feedback you receive, then eventually you’ll hit your sales target.

If you write enough pages, continually improving your writing abilities as you go, you’ll finish many books, and over time at least one of them will be a success.

If you take enough jump shots, correcting your form as you go, eventually you’ll be a dead shot. Name a pursuit – this law applies.

So why is the pursuit of success so complicated?

Why don’t they just had this formula to kids in the first grade, and simplify all of life. Well, for one, the most important factor (in my opinion) of the formula – the feedback loop – causes people to become discouraged.

They associate their self-esteem with their performance and as a result internalize failure too much, rather than just embracing the feedback as part of a much larger game of numbers.

Second – we live in a “fast food everything” culture. We want things NOW. We don’t like to wait, especially if it means that we slog away in obscurity building that business, or pursuing that goal.

By definition, the law of large numbers creates a possibility that the pursuit may take a long time for results to manifest, and many people aren’t committed to the long-term path. They don’t love the journey enough to stick with the day to day. They haven’t learned to self-validate.

They haven’t learned to find happiness in their own effort, but rather they use external things (like what they achieve or the results they get) to control how they feel.

Freeing yourself from societies external rewards system can be one of the most liberating acts that one can take. When you learn to do things for their own sake, and enjoy the actual actions you’re taking, the law of large numbers is easy to apply.

So whatever you’re doing right now, whatever your top three goals are – take a look at them from the lens of the law of large numbers. It is a certainty that eventually you will get the result that you are seeking if you just stick at it long enough, correcting your approach as you go (based on the feedback you receive).

Are you willing to stick it out? 

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