By Warren Jolly, CEO of adQuadrant, a leading omnichannel digital marketing agency in Orange County, California.
The best thing you can do for your long-term success is to look outward and maintain a constant thirst for new concepts to implement in your business. That knowledge can come in all forms, no matter how big or small, including books, speeches, podcasts and events. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the latest, freshest advice, either, to have a significant impact on your business. It’s how you apply it that counts.
The first concept I try to honor in the day-to-day running of my business is from Peter Thiel’s book Zero To One. In the book, he takes the idea of “escape velocity” and applies it to business — in other words, trying to get so far ahead in your industry or niche that your competitors and anyone new entering the market cannot even fathom getting to your level. In physics, escape velocity is defined as the minimum speed needed to break away from a gravitational pull — in other words, getting “unstuck” from repeating the same patterns over and over again.
If there was a standard in business, this would be the benchmark for breakthroughs and growth — and then there would be you in a whole different league. A few examples include Airbnb and Disney. It’s ambitious, but if you can run your business with that escape velocity mindset, every decision you make will be growth-focused and ambitious and, ultimately, will move your business forward in a stronger direction.
Once you understand the escape velocity concept, applying the second concept I want to talk to you about today becomes that much easier. It’s Tony Robbins’ general idea of modeling yourself and your business on the best in the world. The key thing is acknowledging you don’t have to be the best in the world to achieve what you’re looking to achieve. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to the best and make your chances of surpassing your expectations and goals faster that much higher. All you need to do is find the best at what you’re trying to achieve in your business at any given time in marketing, sales, lead generation, brand creation and so on and reach out.
If you can prove you’re bold enough to cross the threshold between “us and them,” more successful businesses and entrepreneurs will be willing to share their advice and guidance than you think. It can give you an edge like no other and help you experience exponential growth.
The third and final concept is one I use most often as a business technique: the Hedgehog Concept from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. It’s inspired by Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay, where he divides the world into foxes and hedgehogs based on the Greek analogy “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
Collins’ analogy focuses on understanding the intersection between “1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine.”
For a business owner, it’s important to always focus on what you are naturally good at and to refuse to settle. That’s how you go from good to great. The Hedgehog Concept encourages you to answer the right questions that are going to move the needle in your business and help you understand what you can be the best at. Then, you’re inspired and encouraged to take the necessary steps in your business to make it happen. You can continue to refer to the Hedgehog Concept as your business grows and changes.
So remember, big things are possible, even with small movement. If progress is present and you are focused on what is moving the needle, you will see momentum. Asking the right questions and building a team with a collective champion mindset can take you to new levels of success you never thought possible.