How To Predict The Future?
Several years ago, my eating habits went out of control and I rapidly started gaining weight. Now I did not know that I had gained weight. I thought that I still was fit because that is what I saw in the mirror. It was only when people who saw me after a gap of a few months started commenting how much weight I had gained, that I realized how overweight I had become.
Now the thing is, you or even the people around you who see you on a daily basis will probably not see much change in you because it is so very gradual . By the time other start noticing that you have changed a lot, you will have already put on at least 20 pounds.
Wouldn’t it be much better if there was a way to figure out if you even gained just two pounds, so that then you could quickly make the required changes and get back to normal weight? Of course there is! It’s called a weighing scale. But you need to stand up and measure yourself everyday and then make changes accordingly.
You also need to ruthlessly dissect the past. What do I mean by that? What foods make you gain weight? What habits resulted in a positive or negative change. At what calorie intake level do you start to gain/lose weight and so on. Thankfully I studied the same, made the changes, tracked the progress and started weighing myself almost every day. Based on this strategy, I was able to reasonably predict what I needed to do maintain a healthy weight. Following the same, I have been able to maintain a healthy weight range for over 10 years.
Now how does it apply to business? Most businesses look only into the future when trying to figure out how to achieve their vision. However, another important thing they need to do is to study the current metrics based on past actions. What exactly led to their business’s current situation? What strategies worked and what did not? What gave a high ROI and what led to losses? What were the exact conversion rates of prospects from the moment of contact and what channels worked best to reach paying prospects?
It is once these metrics are clear and every measurable element inspected that one is truly in a position to plan for the future based on predictions from the past. If you are entering a new industry and don’t have enough data of your own, study other businesses in your industry and get your hands on whatever data you can! Finally, the future is never certain and there are multiple macro and micro-economic factors that determine a business’s success, but the greatest predictor of the future, is generally the past.
In Summary: If you want to predict the future, you have to dissect the past and measure the present every day!
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