Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Acting As If: The Power of the Present ..(or.. Weight Loss and Web Conversions: What Do They Have in Common?)

If you enjoy self-help and personal development, chances are you’ve heard the phrase acting as if. 

Simply put, the concept means we "act as if" we have already achieved a desired end goal. By “acting as if” a goal has been met, or some desired end has taken place, we take the actions now that we want to achieve a future end-state.

Create Conditions for Success

The emphasis is on taking action now.   The power of the present, and all that.

Instead of looking at a goal as a far-off achievement, when we start acting as if, we behave in specific ways to make a goal come to life.

A Lighter Perspective
Personally speaking, in November of last year I decided to act “as if” I were 40 pounds lighter.  Each day, I was mindful of food portions, snacking and drinking choices, and the amount of exercise taken in a given week. 

I acted as if I had already been successful.

Several months later nearly 30 pounds are gone, so it is still a process of acting “as if” those last 10 pounds have dropped.  When that goal is achieved, as long as the “as if” focus is consistent, I will own and keep the behaviors since I’ve had so much practice.

Back to B-to-B
Professionally speaking, in terms of business-to-business marketing, a marketing department can certainly act as if. 

Let’s say the goal is to increase lead generation, or to increase web conversion rates.  Another desired end-state could be to increase the number of closed sales that came from the marketing program.

Each person on the marketing team needs to "act as if" those marketing goals have already been achieved. The team can focus on the key strategies and tasks to take the actions now to achieve a future end-state.

The Power of the Present
What would it look like to act as if web conversions were higher? In other words, how would one act if an increase had taken place in the number of website visitors acting on an offer (or filling out a form) divided by total website visitors over a given period of time.

By acting as if that increase had already happened, a program would include continuous A/B testing of page designs; optimizing forms; driving more traffic to the website; adding compelling, relevant calls to action; making the “download now” button more prominent and so on.  This is the process if the goal had already been achieved.

Instead of looking at increased web conversions goal as a far-off achievement, by acting as if, the team behaves in specific ways to make the goal come to life.

Think To Make It So

This isn't that easy, but it's a great mind-set to cultivate. Whether personal or professional goals, what can you do to create the conditions to achieve a desired end-result?


  1. Update: 47 pounds gone since Nov 1 2010 by acting "as if" -- now the opportunity presents itself every day to continue to create the conditions to maintain this desired end-result.

  2. Have kept 52 pounds off for 6 months. Who knew? This little blog post is my secret little online diary of success!