An MVP philosophy, adopted from the field of software development, is the fastest way you’ll find your dream career. Why? Because taking consistent, imperfect action (a key element of the MVP philosophy) builds two elements of a fulfilling life: clarity and confidence.
The problem with your typical approach
We often think we need to figure everything out before we move forward. But action leads to self-discovery, giving you loads of information about what you want.
Action also builds confidence since it requires facing fear. And this isn’t faux confidence—it’s evidence-based.
Once, I had a dream to run my own Etsy shop. I spent most of my free time in my fully-stocked craft room making things. Why not make money too?
After weeks of researching and planning, I opened Color Riot. I liked being an entrepreneur, but I didn’t like sitting at craft shows all day. I enjoyed designing new products, but I didn’t like recreating them in bulk. So after running the shop for a year, I stopped.
I learned so much that I couldn’t have known before taking action, and I had the confidence of a woman who had made her dream a reality.
“Action is absolutely essential for people who don’t know what they want.”Barbara Sher, speaker, coach, author
The MVP philosophy
The concept of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is popular in software circles, but everyone in every field should know about the power of an MVP philosophy.
In simple terms, an MVP philosophy asks this question: What’s the least amount of effort I can exert to create any amount of value?
Instead of focusing on creating the most value—which means lots of time thinking and planning upfront before delivering anything—an MVP philosophy ensures that you’re creating and delivering value as quickly as possible. Instead of waiting for everything you do or create to be “perfect” before anyone sees it, an MVP philosophy pushes you to incrementally take real-life action and experience how that feels, one small step at a time.
Applying the MVP philosophy to your work life
Think of your work life as a “product” that you’re continually building and enhancing. With your career, what’s the least amount of effort that allows you to feel the way you want to feel, at least a little bit?
What’s the easiest way to feel the way I want to feel?
Here are some examples of how an MVP philosophy of life can look:
- You want to write a book. So, you create a blog website. Then, you write a short article. Then, you write another article and share it with friends…
- You want to create a product you can sell at a much higher price point than your existing products. So, you list out your ideas for the dream product. Then, you package up the elements of that product that you can already deliver, and sell that. Then, you build one new dream element…
- You want to feel more balanced by working 35 hours per week instead of 60. So, you experiment with one week at 50 hours. Then, you reflect and ask your coworkers for feedback. Then, you try a week at 45 hours…
Make it easy, every day
Have you ever been super jazzed about a goal, but soon after completely dropped the ball?
Maybe you signed up for a marathon, but never made it out of your neighborhood.
We get overwhelmed when we try to take too much action at once. Remember that all change, no matter how big, happens one tiny step at a time. To run a marathon, you have to run a mile. To run a mile, you have to put on running shoes.
“All change, no matter how big, happens one tiny step at a time.”Mandy Kubicek
Always identify a next step that’s literally easy, otherwise keep breaking it down.
I once went months without working on my memoir. So, I set a goal to write 15 minutes a day. It sounded easy. But, it didn’t happen. So I let go of my ego and allowed myself to commit to just 2 minutes of writing a day. Once I was consistently writing for 2 minutes, I was able to write even more. Why hadn’t 15 minutes been possible before? Who cares! Without overanalyzing my resistance, it was gone.
Making it easy also means you should be able to do it every single day.
Every day, take at least one step towards what you truly desire. Think of these as your daily risks. They’ll be scary, but if you can make them easy, you will do them!
“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.”Jen Sincero, author, speaker, coach
Are you ready for action?
Are you ready to take action? Do things you’ve never done before? Lean into fear and discomfort so you can create the life of your dreams?
YASSS! I’m so excited for you, and I’d love to help make your dreams come true. Let’s talk.