How to Reverse Engineer Your Way to Success

Tips from Silverback Social’s Christopher Dessi.

Before founding my social-media agency and launching the Westchester Digital Summit, I worked at a company called Buddy Media, from which I was fired in 2009. I was pushed off the cliff. Refusing to let myself fall, though, I set a new goal: Never let anyone else have control over my future. So, focusing on the end result, I launched my company, allowing myself to loosely roadmap my way to that goal. In doing so, I found five ways to reverse-engineer my way to the top.

1. Don’t overthink it.  
Take baby steps. For instance, I found small moments throughout my day to silently contemplate, focusing my mind on the bigger problems. Another useful step was writing out my goals and objectives. Something happens when you put pen to paper. It’s more powerful than you can imagine.
2. Set the goal first.  
Google keywords associated with your dream. If you want to start a cookie company, seek out others who are doing it already and see what’s working. In my case, I was trying to think of a big idea that would motivate me. While searching for keywords like “digital media New York,” I stumbled upon the Long Island Digital Summit. I fell in love with the concept, and began exploring with my eyes wide open.

3. Those who don’t believe in you or your vision are poison. Leave them.
I approached my former business partner with the idea of the summit. He was concerned about the amount of work it would take to launch. His inability to see the bigger picture of a summit frustrated me, so I eventually chose to venture out on my own.

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4. Surround yourself with likeminded people.
A friend, John Zanzarella Jr., mentioned his dad produced and marketed large events. He put me in contact with like-minded business leaders that I needed to be aligned with to make my dream a reality.

5. Being a touch delusional is okay.
I was convinced that LinkedIn and Facebook would send speakers to the summit. People snickered. In the end, the summit was named by as one of “4 Lesser-Known Conferences That Deserve Your Attention in 2013.” Just because others think it’s impossible doesn’t mean it is.  

Christopher Dessi is the founder of Silverback Social and the Westchester Digital Summit, which will take place May 15 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester.

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