How to be ambitious

One way to be ambitious is to work on a mission, not a product. Products come and go, according to what the market needs currently. Sometimes a product is too early or late for the market, which is no good for the people working on it. No market means there are no users or customers.

Working on a mission, however, takes market timing out of the equation. If a company's mission is to index the world's knowledge, that company will try multiple products over time to address that mission. A mission is time and product-agnostic.

Missions are well and good as conceptual frameworks, but they also need an ambitious tactical plan to reach fruition. One tangible method is to take a goal you have and put a number to it. And then multiply that number by 10x. Then work backwards from that goal, similar to how mazes are solved.

This method forces clarity on efficient processes. If a goal is a mere upgrade (1-3x), existing processes usually work to address that goal, plus some hard work here and there. But if a goal is 10x, whole processes need to be engineered to reach that goal. Processes that are inefficient are discarded, and processes that are efficient are emphasized.

Once processes are understood, then the right people can be hired. It's more clear what the necessary talent and experience is need to bring those processes to fruition. With a deconstructed list of skills needed, hiring is much more easily done.

Even if one doesn't achieve that ambitious goal immediately or in the allotted timeframe, one has developed the processes to get there. Timing is a function of forces out of specific control, and it is next to impossible to predict those forces. Processes, however, are under one's control, and to have them set before the timing is right is a great way to be ready before the race has started.

10x goal setting is also powerful in the way it forces expansive thinking. By thinking 10x, one is forced to think what's possible to achieve that goal. One spends more time thinking about what one can gain, not what one can lose; on the upside, rather than the downside.