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Reverse Engineering

by Randall Craig on September 21, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational, Planning

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How often have you admired someone else’s accomplishments, and said to yourself, “I wish I could do that!”. Or when faced with a daunting goal, are not sure where to start?

Conventional wisdom suggests that you start at the beginning, and take small, easily accomplished steps. Doing so moves you closer to your goals, and also builds your confidence. Unfortunately, taking small steps also can result in an outcome far from your original goals.

Instead, start with the end in mind, and reverse-engineer each step. What happened just before the other person accomplished their goal: what precisely did they do? Building the process backwards might seem counterintuitive, but it guarantees you’ll end up where you want to be.

This week’s action plan: Reverse engineering works on just about everything – your career, business plans, even your relationships. If you have a goal in mind, the process to achieve it can be reverse engineered. Give it a try this week. (When you succeed, it will be the others who say, “I wish I could do that!”)

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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