Strategic Hurdles

How often have you seen someone get famous “overnight” only to crash & burn a year or two later? Sometimes a slow success is a blessing; not a curse.

Mainly it happens because they haven’t had time to adjust to the new challenges, demands, and problems of managing their time & demands for their attention.

Seems like the moment you get a little bit of exposure, people start contacting you out of nowhere, expecting you to give them value in exchange for no effort on their part. If you don’t have a way to protect yourself from those requests, you’re going to crash and burn hard.

Personal Example

In 2013 I had the honor of performing at the world famous Magic Castle in LA. It’s an exclusive members only club. If you’re not a member, you have to know one to get in.

No exceptions.

I can’t tell you how fast my Facebook “Other Messages” folder filled up with people who were asking me to put them on my list of comps.

No thanks.

Now, how do you deal with those kinds of demands on your time & resources from people who are only interested in what you can do for them?

Strategic hurdles!

Use low stake, trivial demands on their time to earn the request.

“Hey Frank! Thanks for your interest in being my guest at the world famous Magic Castle! Take a picture of yourself in front of a palm tree, holding a sign that says ‘I love Jonny!’ and tag me on Facebook. I’ll see the alert on my feed, and add you and a guest to the comp list. Looking forward to seeing you Friday!”

This is a club where actors, directors, designers, and those in the know are regularly in attendance. This is an incredible opportunity to rub elbows with movers and shakers if you play your cards right (pardon the pun). People go to incredible lengths just to get in.

Know how many strangers took me up on the offer?


Strategic hurdles make a difference.

They save you time. They save face. They help weed out the takers.

How can you apply this in your own business?

Next time you’re looking to partner up with someone, or hire the best candidate, put a small hurdle in their way.

The motivated people (who recognize the value in the opportunity you’re offering & are willing to put in effort to get it) will clear it with no problem.

For the people who aren’t willing to put in the least effort possible with trip over it and fall.

It can be something as simple as asking for a review of your site in the form of a haiku. Tagging your company in a fun photo on Instagram. Sending you an email with your followup thoughts after an interview. It can be anything.

Save yourself the headache of wasting your time on energy vampires who only want to take, so you have something to give the winners!

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