The 15 Second Principle

Dinesh Goel, MD - India, South East Asia & Middle East, LCR Capital Partners Headquartered in Connecticut, U.S., LCR Capital Partners is a private investment firm that sources capital from globally known high net-worth investors who are seeking permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 Investment Visa.

The 15 Second Principle is a cardinal tool that I have been extensively using for my personal and professional development for many years. Al Secunda, an acquaintance and the author of 'The 15 Second Principle', originally wrote about it in his book under a different context. In the book, the principle was designed to give successful people the tools and techniques they need to stay focused and committed to their forgotten or abandoned goals.

As an entrepreneur and a decision maker, you are always going over multiple ideas that could create, add and deliver value to your objectives. The challenge is always developing an actionable plan, prioritizing and ensuring appropriate execution. The 15 Second Principle is a simple process that I have utilized and it has helped me achieve success on and overcome a good proportion of the challenges that I have faced personally and professionally.

The Process
Whenever you have an idea, that you believe can add value to achieving any objective that you have set, put it down on a piece of paper, at the top of the page. I recommend doing this for ideas of any scale, whether it small or big, low value or high value. The next day, pick up the same sheet of paper and read the idea you penned down for a few seconds (15 seconds is metaphor). As you look at your own idea, pen down the questions (possibly 4-5) that occur to you.
Invest the next day or two (or take a few more days), looking at each question, finding and documenting answers to those questions. Once you've addressed each pending question, go back to the top of your page and invest 15 seconds to look at that idea again. You are sure to see the same idea in a different, more refined light because you have answered some questions about it by now. You’ll again come up with a new set of questions and you can use the same process to answer them.

As you do this a few times, you’ll reach a point of a strongly refined, documented idea with valuable inputs that you have generated (possibly an actionable business plan). After spending considerable time and cognition you should have a better idea of where you would like your idea or business to be. This process of deep dive into key ideas also helps when facing difficult decisions.

As an entrepreneur and a decision maker, you are always going over multiple ideas that could create, add and deliver value to your objectives

Breaking It Down
I have personally benefitted from following the 15 second principle in various situations both personally and professionally. It has helped me dig deeper into the core thought, develop the idea, seek insights, discover key questions, identify critical factors and do some strategic thinking and re-thinking.

It’s been a nice tool to get the ball rolling, document important specifics and ensure that you stay the path rather than have a fleeting thought that occurs and disappears into the subconscious mind. It is also a great way to compartmentalize the broad idea into smaller elements of executable possibilities-possibly 15 seconds at a time.

How It Helps
The 15 second helps break the monotony and switches your brain to enter 'the growth mindset'. Repeating this flow a times helps you draft key elements of your business plan, structure ideas, fill in the gaps, create a launch-pad for entrepreneurs and decision makers to act quicker or even a major personal decision.

Becoming 'Un-stuck'
One caveat of this tool is we often get stuck and run in circles with fine print of an idea / situation. There is a possibility that you’ve not through it through and got stuck. Stop and don’t invest time into it, unless it’s a recurring niggling thought. Reset from the point where you last saw an emerging solution and restart the process.

Go ahead, experiment with it. All it needs is investing 15 seconds of your time. It has helped me immensely. Everyone has 15 seconds to invest - especially when thinking of something valuable to your self.