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A simple system to triple your chance of startup success

Jonny Gibaud - Guest post - A simple system to triple your chance of startup successThis is a guest post from Jonny Gibaud, a serial entrepreneur and world traveller who helps people rewire how they think, turning normal people into abnormal success stories. Find out more at: jonnygibaud.com


A startup changes you. Permanently. After taking on a startup, whether it’s successful or it fails, you are never the same again. You think differently, you act differently and you view the world differently. It’s an incredible time. It’s a terrifying time. It’s the time of your life.

If you are one of us who are just crazy enough to think you can change the world, you just might – with a little help. And it all starts with how you think. Today, we’re going to focus on a simple system for deconstructing your goals that will help you triple your chances of making things happen, and maybe give your mind some space to breath.

Why you need to wire your brain for success 

All success begins in the mind – with how you think, how you view the world and how your brain is wired. Your mind is the starting place for all creativity, achievement and action. It’s also the starting place for your startup’s success or failure. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you will need to rewire your brain and change how you think about almost every aspect of your life and how the world works. It takes time, but the rewards are worth it.

The importance of having a system of thinking

Systems make the world go round. They are the cornerstone of great achievements and the powerhouse of creative endeavour. And they’re the secret weapon of every entrepreneur and subsequent success story. The little thinking system I will teach you today will help you keep focused on your goals throughout the crazy ups and downs of the average startup. Being a serial entrepreneur myself, I am well aware of the craziness that can ensue.

The different lives of normal and abnormally successful people

Most people live their life like this:

A simple system to triple your chance of startup success


They bounce around chasing one goal after another with no system in place to ensure they are always moving forward with their main objectives in life. So things get murky.

Successful entrepreneurs live their life like this:

A simple system to triple your chance of startup success

They have a major objective, then break down the steps towards this objective into gateway goals to achieve it. Then they apply a system to keep the whole thing moving forward. This way makes everything a lot clearer.

The Half Life system of thinking: 

Like all startups, your startup has an objective. For this example, let’s say it is to cashflow in 12 months. So your top objective at your startup becomes to cashflow your startup in 12 months. Using the Half Life system of thinking we can now deconstruct this goal into organised gateway objectives to help you keep focused and always moving forward towards it, rather than running around like a headless chicken. Using your own objective for your startup, apply the steps below.

Step 1: 

To set our first Half Life goal we need to half our 12 month timeframe and set a goal to achieve in 6 months. In order to meet our main objective we might set a gateway objective of ‘establishing 1000 core users as a 6 month goal’. We reason that if we achieve 1000 core users in 6 months we could maybe triple that over the following six months and work out a way to monitise a small percentage of them – 10% for example. If we could find a way to make £10 from 10% of our core users we could be cash flowing to the tune of £3000 per month at the end of twelve months. This is of course a hypothetical situation but it is important to start thinking and running numbers in this fashion. Set your first half life goal for your own objective now.

Step 2:

Next we set our second Half Life goal. We break our 6 month goal down again by half and create a 3 month gateway goal. To achieve the 1000 core users we probably need a beta product ready to launch and test in 3 months. So this becomes our next nearest goal – ‘To launch the beta product’. Then we would have 3 months to advertise and tweak to gain 1000 core users, then the following 6 months to monitise it. Now set your own second Half Life goal.

Step 3:

Now our third Half Life goal. We take our 3 month goal and create a 6 week gateway goal that we need to hit to achieve our 3 month objective. Perhaps ‘finalising the product schematics and architecture of our product.’ Set yours.

Step 4:

The forth Half Life goal needs to be accomplished in the next 3 weeks and might be to ‘finalise all team members and their interests’. Set yours.

Step 5:

Finally, our fifth Half Life goal gives us our gateway objective for the next week to week and a half – the main short term focus for our mind. Perhaps this goal is to ‘Finalise the product idea concept on paper.’

Using this thinking system our Half Life plan for our startup now looks something like this:

A simple system to triple your chance of startup success

It’s a structure that will keep us focussed and always moving forward towards the main objective and is simple enough to keep at the forefront of our minds.

This Half Life deconstruction system can be applied to any objective you have in your life. It works particularly well with fitness goals, for example:

Run a triathlon (12 months) – Run a half triathlon (6 months) – Run a Marathon (3 Months) – Run a half marathon (6 Weeks) – Reach 7.30 min/miles (3 Weeks) – Run a 5 Mile run (1 Week).

If goals are longer than 12 months, the same rules apply – simply half the timeframe each time until to get down to a goal for the upcoming week.


Success for your startup, and in life, is as much about how you think as it is any other factor. With a library of thinking systems to help you work through ideas, create solutions and plan you actions, a whole world of opportunity opens up to you.

If you would like to learn how to rewire how you think, and discover many more thinking systems that will expand your world visit www.thearchitechbook.com and sign up to become a beta reader of the upcoming book, for free.

Make the first step with your business idea and learn ‘How to build a happy startup’ with our free ebook & startup toolkit ››


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