Seeing process: the ratcheting power of success

Please email me if you find a typo or something unclear. Thank you. Sophie

One of the concepts that none of my students have gotten before is process. Until now.

And maybe when she shares what she sees you’ll be able to see what you haven’t seen before. Whether you are a student of mine or just a reader.

This is from a student of mine. She has been in training for nine months. It’s taken that long to reach the state where she is ready for ‘step 1’ as she calls it.

Why nine months? Because she, like all of us, live in the dirty waters of media bias, campaign attitude, homework attitude, pretenses and lies of the world.

It took nine months because seeing yourself is not as easy as just saying those words. Seeing yourself accurately and KNOW why it is not working to be the way you are is fast in nine months.

That is why she is the first… and not number 99. I have students who don’t see themselves and why that way of being doesn’t work, after as long as 10 years. so celebrating this first one is quite in order.

Hi Sophie,

This one is about ‘the ratcheting power of success‘. or why Warren Buffet & Jay-Z like baseball. This is another one that had my name written all over it. it’s pretty much about the PROCESS of getting where we want to be. I’ve never been a fan of process. and it really shows in my life, more than I ever realized.

He starts out with a principle, that Warren Buffet learned from Benjamin Graham. that what we REALLY should do is not make many mistakes in life. Hmmm. that’s not something I ever made a goal of. I guess because nobody really plans on making mistakes – we all just assume that some will happen.


I do see that there’s a balance here. that we know there will be some mistakes and we must learn from the mistakes we do make. but he makes a good point that some of the really major mistakes have a horrible outcome. or you can’t recover from. which is something I’ve never really considered.

This reminds me of a documentary I saw, about a particular battle where a guy sent troops of Marines in for a mission in boats. he wasn’t familiar with the area he sent them in to. and he wasn’t aware of the depth of the water. and at the point that he deployed the troops the water was still over their heads. they were all laden with weapons and they all sank & died.

I remember thinking that was so truly unbelievable and horrible.

I just thought of it again because the guy who sent them in said nothing like that would ever happen again. so he did the mission again, completely differently. and it was successful.

Perfect example of a huge mistake that couldn’t be undone. and also one that they learned from to never repeat. but also one that would have been prevented completely with a just a little bit more preparation. just finding out the depth of the water.

There’s another principle here in what Warren Buffet said, that we ONLY learn from mistakes. but there is no rule that they have to be our OWN mistakes.

Less mistakes in comparison

Charlie Munger also said something interesting, that they made a lot of business mistakes, but they made a lot LESS than most people, which is also a good principle – to be a success, we can make mistakes, but we need to make a lot LESS than most people.

It sounds so simple, but again something I really never considered. Interesting point.

There’s another principle here, in that if we make LESS mistakes than 99% of the people, we’ll be doing great. I guess the key there would be to learn the ones 99% of the people are making.

I also see as a principle that a good new mindset to have is ‘don’t make many mistakes on a relative scale’, which essentially says the same thing-there must be a set of common mistakes that most entrepreneurs make.

I know from working with manufacturers over the last 20 years that many of them get good at making something and then quit their jobs because they’re sure they can do it better.

All but one that I worked with COULD do it better, but were not business men, they were manufacturers. They didn’t learn how to run a business, and all but one of them failed to accurately account for their overhead costs and underpriced their products, and of those none of them went back to change it after they were told about it.

Two of them ended up going out of business and the rest ended up selling out for pennies on the dollar because they were so far upside down…

I always wondered why on earth that would have to happen once they were educated about properly accounting for their overhead.

I guess this must be one of the ‘relative scale mistakes‘ that he’s talking about, I’m sure there are more of those than I would think. This seems like it should be obvious, and yet even with that experience that I had, I wouldn’t have considered finding out and exploring what the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make are. I can see that finding that out would be a valuable principle for ANY area of life, every bit as important as whatever we do to build the skills.

80% or more projects fail

He mentions here that of the average entrepreneurs, 80% of them fail within the first 18-36 months. Wow – I didn’t realize the failure rate was that high. Clearly the mistakes they are making are ‘deadly’ to their operation or result in them being out of business, and in looking at this they are probably those relative scale mistakes he’s talking about, probably they all fall into the same few categories…

This is something I never considered, wouldn’t have looked into before.

The next principle follows this, that we should try to make only 20 mistakes as opposed to 80. Or make far less than most people, as Charlie Munger said.

Thinking back on the previous steps, I can see how using all of those previous principles, such as the

      • mentoring,
      • being humble and teachable,
      • planning for the worst case scenario,
      • understanding the cognitive biases,
      • being adaptable,
      • having motivating fear as opposed to paralyzing fear,
      • not being over-optimistic, etc. –

all of these are the very tools to help to reduce the number of mistakes we make.


Looking at how many principles there are over the previous steps. I would think if we could implement them, it would prevent probably at least 80% of the mistakes, but from this step I can see the value in really getting a handle on exactly what the majority of the mistakes that are made entail.

There’s a great principle here from Benjamin Graham – that what we want to do is hit a lot of BASE hits, as opposed to going solely for the home run.

This totally hit home for me, no pun intended. getting a visual on this for me is a perfect depiction of being hasty and forceful and immediately trying to jump up and hit it out of the park with no training, and then missing the ball, thus proving that I don’t measure up, and considering that starting out with just a first base hit would take way too long to get around the bases, and then quitting and beating myself up for not hitting a home run right out of the gate. Ugh.

Being able to look at it in this light really shows the repeating cycle so plainly – yet as many times as I’ve repeated this I never saw it.

He talks about this being a great path to quiet desperation. SO TRUE. I can completely see this, as well as all of the marketing all around us that feeds it. I’m thinking about all of the people who go jumping at whatever opportunity comes up and then finding themselves staying there in quiet desperation, all of the people who come into money and then put it all into a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, all of the people this time of year who will be launching into some hardcore unsustainable diet plan…

This is exactly why diet pills and ‘get rich quick‘ schemes make a lot of money, capitalizing on this.

This example really shines light on how ‘slow is smooth, and smooth is fast‘. This also really speaks to how we never see the whole process of things that we want to achieve, we just see the end story, the success story, and that we can have it too if we buy ‘one thing’. nothing about the process, nothing about taking small steps and building the skills – a perfect depiction of that media bias that he describes in previous steps.

slow is smooth, and smooth is fast

Maybe it’s why 80% of new businesses fail, also why at least that many marriages fail or experience infidelity. certainly why so many diets fail, hmmm. certainly why I have struggled with bashing along trying to force results with this work, thinking if I dove in and immersed myself in it I would hit a home run & the key to life would magically appear.

He tells an interesting story about the guy who comes with a billion-dollar idea, who never had a million dollar business, or even a hundred thousand dollar business. and he tells him to show him a plan to start a business that brings a $1,000 per month before he shoots for the billion dollar idea.

Again, in this light it sounds so simple, like it should be obvious. I have always jumped at the billion dollar plan. as I look at that, I think deep down I thought that the $1000/month plan was for ‘regular’ people, and I somehow thought I was above that. WOW – that ‘superior’ mindset really screwed me over in more ways than I realized, I really never saw that before.

I thought I was too good to start small like everybody else.

Why on earth did I believe that, especially in areas where I had no skills (which is pretty much every area)?

I’m having to admit that I thought I was smarter somehow, that I was above other people. Ugh – again not a very pretty revelation. That cost me a lot of time that I could have spent developing marketable skills, rather than floating along in the waves waiting for the next billion dollar opportunity to bounce into.

He notes here that Michael Jordan made most of his points doing easy jump shots, taking the safer and more consistent shots. I never knew that. the shots of him you see on TV always show those spectacular dunks.

I’m seeing that not only do we need to be aware of those media biases, but we also have the responsibility to look beyond the snapshots we’re shown, to see what the actual process was. to understand there had to be a process behind what we’re shown. There’s definitely a principle in that saying, ‘slow & steady wins the race’.

or Like the turtle plugging away in that Tortoise & the Hare tale. This even sheds new light on that old tale – I always determined the moral was that the hare lost because he was cocky and arrogant, but never really considered that any typical tortoise would have quit that race, or never started in the first place, let alone plugging along for the entire thing to the finish line.

No catastrophic decisions

There’s another good principle here in what Warren Buffet says, that he only needed 10 good decisions to reach his success, but he needed to not have any catastrophic ones.

So interesting. 10 really good, instrumental decisions, and none that are irreversible deal-breakers…

That makes it sound more do-able, what a great way to look at it.

Looking at that in the context of a lifetime, I can see that 10 great key decisions, and no truly horrific mistakes, would change an entire life for the better. and yet most of us couldn’t manage that, or couldn’t manage the great ones without one or two horrific ones that changed the course of things.

Looking at it that way I can see that those major mistakes can undo everything we’ve done, which I see as a principle that applies to every area.

I also see as a principle the quote from Art of War. if we know ourselves but not our enemy, for every battle we win, we will lose one. It’s like taking one step forward, and one step backwards, which happens when we don’t just go for the base hit. This is another new way of looking at things – the big catastrophic mistakes are the enemy that we need to know, to avoid taking one step forward and one step back.


The next part is his concept of ‘ratcheting’, where you go up one notch and then lock it in there before going up another notch. this is really a great way of looking at it, this makes it really clear.

There’s a principle in ‘the first thing to do is to Stop the Negative Inertia’. Or, Stop the Bleeding. If I’m spending more than I earn, this is pushing down on me and possibly leading towards a major mistake.

The principle here is to first and foremost stop the money loss, stop the weight gain, at least try to make one dollar or break even, stop doing whatever we’re doing that takes us in a negative direction.

As I look at it, this would apply anywhere. like, ‘stop beating yourself up, stop trying to hastily force things, stop pretending to be interested, stop sleeping in, stop watching endless TV, stop listening to conspiracy theories, stop believing that one person or thing is going to save you or fix everything for you’, this list would be endless, but in each case that would be step one to getting to the next level.

What a great principle, and a perfect starting point, which is do-able, not unattainable.

I can see how this first step would prepare a person for the next ones, because stopping the bleeding behavior is probably the toughest part, certainly it requires daily, maybe even hourly attention.

It’s interesting to look at this even with regard to loneliness, to first start out by get out with the one or two friends you have, stopping the loneliness little by little.

I see a principle in ‘One Step out of the backwards motion, this is the starting point’ – this is first base, in every area of life – I really never looked at it this way before.

It makes perfect sense – stopping the negative momentum, and then, most importantly, locking it in there, not going backwards. Even for 67 days.

In a million years I wouldn’t have started with this, I love this concept. I would have thought this would take too long, or that I couldn’t wait even 67 days to get to the next step. which explains why I haven’t managed to overcome the negative issues, why I really haven’t amounted to much. I see this in every area of my life, and it’s still so amazing to me because I didn’t know this about myself at all.

Looking at it this way, it’s impossible to not see how I’m responsible for where I am, how I got here, how I haven’t been able to take any steps to move forward. Really amazing, it’s a new look at life, but also a new look at my own life as I look back over it, and a new look at why so much of humanity is ‘stuck’ where they are, why people in general can’t seem to get started let alone follow through with their goals and plans. Wow.

The second step is also a good principle, to achieve a small amount of Positive Momentum, once we’ve locked in Step 1. Or, to try to make one new step, one small positive step in the right direction. Such as if you’re lonely, try to make ONE new friend. If you’re depressed, try to take 5 minutes to think of all that you’re grateful for if you’re unhappy.

Just some positive momentum.

One of my issues is money, my income has dropped, but I am spending the same.

I always put off looking at this because I’ve wanted to make one big lump sum contribution to pay off credit cards and have cash to work with, and that never has worked. I see that what I really need to do is assess all of my payments and income now, at this moment, and as a first step, make the numbers at least break even.

I’m sitting here wondering why I never thought of that before – I keep saying this, but these steps really spotlight that how I do anything is how I do everything.

There’s another principle here in that most people who try to go from zero to home base quit – it’s too much inertia, too much energy, too big. Bingo, I’m the poster kid for that one. I never considered that most people do this, but I can see it now, and I can really see how companies capitalize on that in their advertising, everywhere in the media, marketers prey upon this propensity.

But ultimately it comes back to responsibility, it’s up to us to recognize that we’re being manipulated, up to us to govern our own issues, up to us to see that we are ultimately accountable for where we are, clearly blaming the media or anything else won’t get anyone into any kind of forward motion.

Third Base

Third Base is interesting, where you start to have other people noticing what’s happening, where there are noticeable changes in us. Maybe people notice that you suddenly pay for dinner, maybe they notice you’ve been happier or more social.

This step sounds to me like an awesome ray of light, because it would mean that the root changed to where the fruit is changing. There’s a good principle in that each step needs about 67 days, to lock it in and ratchet up…

There’s a great principle to keep in mind here, that we can’t rewire things too fast, and we shouldn’t try.

I can really see this in the context of Ratcheting – locking in is so critical, this will never work without ratcheting in the previous step.

It’s a whole new concept to me, but it really clarifies the necessity to give it the time, otherwise it’s a step forward and a step back, always in the same spot. quiet desperation.

Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

That is definitely a principle. Looking at it this way makes being hasty and eager look completely undesirable – suddenly those two things look like a deadly mistake, the brick wall that blocks me from the other side. nothing but the grease for the hamster wheel.

I’m physically feeling this in my chest as I write this, I really want to let hasty and eager go and never go back. I do feel ‘hasty and eager’ now physically when it arises, but I’m seeing them in a different light with this step, I feel like I’m really seeing the ugly side of them more than before.

I know that they are my self image & part of my soul correction, but seeing it this way makes me feel much more amenable to a long process than I have felt in the past. This is such an interesting look at life.

Looking at ‘home base’, or reaching the goal, be it making some money, losing the weight, going to a new place I’ve never been before, envisioning this in the light of this step really gives it a completely different look at achieving the goal.

Having gotten there vs being in the process

Where I’ve always looked at it as just seeing myself as having whatever the thing is, in this light I see the pure satisfaction you would feel, a happy that is much deeper, steeped in satisfaction and a sense of peace. a whole different level of happy than I’ve ever imagined, a whole new meaning to gratification. Wow.

I’ve truly never imagined that before, it’s beautiful.

The two types of happiness

He gives another principle here, that there are two types of happiness: One is ‘in-the-moment’ happiness, and the second one is ‘memory’ happiness, where you can really look back with satisfaction. That second one sounds a lot more attractive, a lot more gratifying. I also see a principle in, Given enough time and focus, we can get to ANY goals that we have, but almost anyone can do better than they are doing right now. BUT, we must give it enough time.

I like this as well, I can wrap my head around at least doing better than I am right now, and taking steps to ‘stop the bleeding’ right now. I also see a principle in ‘once we score one run, we have some momentum, and it can become easier, and we can start to get excited. it will go a little easier, a little faster’. A great principle to keep in mind in every area of life. Of course we’ll have some failures, but in the scheme of things we’ll be above 99% of the people who struggle their whole lives.

Where have I tried to hit a ‘home run’ in any area of life, and what was the end result? Ugh… where haven’t I? I have purchased countless courses similar to that Carleton Sheets course, where people were promised quick & easy success.

I have tried to rush to home base on my unicycle with sheer force, where I had my most spectacular crashes. I joined Amway when I was 19 because the guy promised I could be independently wealthy in a month… I have a bunch of these… I think my life speaks pretty clearly about how they panned out.

What do I want to change in my life, in health, wealth, love & happiness?

I want to get my health numbers up, particularly the ‘1′ scores. I want to determine if I can really make a good go of it with my marriage. I want to find work in an area that I love, where I can develop a skill & work on implementing the principles I’ve learned with this program. There are so many things.

I got so much more out of this step than I initially expected, I really saw a different vision of things, and a real hands-on look at the PROCESS that it takes to achieve success, in all areas of life… I really got so much out of this step.


She is in the 67 step coaching program

She is in the 67 step coaching program, and this step is step 49. It’s taken her four months to get here. So the program is really, it seems, a six months program.

Not everyone will get what she got, I promise. Because being able to see yourself, your mindset that kills life for you needs humility. and humility is in short supply in today’s humanity.

Want to embark on this journey of six months? Or preferably 18 months, i.e. doing the program three times? here is the link to buy.

Enroll in the 67 step coaching

PS: I know you hate it, but the very first step, step zero is finding the mindset leaks. and eliminating them. For good, not just temporarily

If you don’t do them effectively, all your efforts will come to naught. Just see my previous article

The biggest issue is ratcheting is lacking. Ratcheting is a way you maintain the result you have achieved. It is also the retaining what you learned. Without ratcheting you’ll always remain a beginner with no achievements whatsoever.

And that is where all, literally all the other students are. nothing has remained from what they learned.

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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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