Congratulations on finding your way to this post. The first question of yours that we’ll address—and rightfully so—is how can we make the claim that growing a business by ten times is easier than doubling it?
It’s not that growing your business by 10x is easy. Far from it. It’s actually that doubling your business is just really, really hard. When you’re trying to double your business, you’re making progress in small increments based on doing more of what you’ve already been doing. You’re using your current operational capabilities and resources, but just trying harder, which places a greater and greater strain on you and your team.
Going for 10x growth, on the other hand, would take extraordinary levels of creativity and innovation. It would mean making massive steps forward in your efficiency, resourcefulness and value creation.
Growth at this level has nothing to do with class, education, entrepreneurial savvy or luck. You don’t even have to be in the right place at the right time. You just need to learn how to access the huge amount of economic copiousness that’s surrounding your business at all times. The entrepreneurs out there who are changing the world and who are enjoying massive levels of success have this specific worldview, and it’s called the 10x mindset. It’s the foundation of the 10x Method, and it’s where your business’s stratospheric growth begins.
What is the 10x Mindset?
It’s simple, actually. You merely decide that you want to grow your business by ten times rather than double, and then you start operating toward that end.
Moreover, you look around you and realize how many capabilities are at your disposal, and you use those capabilities to multiply others. You train yourself to see—and maximize—the huge amount of resources around you when others don’t even realize they’re there. You develop a mindset for multiplying—which is essentially how you put abundance to work for you.
By putting yourself in the 10x mindset, you change the way you do business. It may seem like a bigger challenge, but it’s actually incredibly liberating. You select a big goal of your choosing—one that you’re passionate about reaching—and it gives you amazing clarity of mind and focus. Suddenly, you can assign priorities, clean house, motivate your staff—and the best part about it is that the loftier you set your sights, the more effective the 10x mindset becomes.
Here are five strategies for getting yourself into the 10x mindset today:
- Forget self-discipline. Focus on your habits. Remember that book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? It’s not lying to you—effective people have effective habits, and the opposite is also true. You need to be aware of your own habits. Ask yourself which are going to help you grow ten times and which are holding you back.Then it’s time to start making changes like learning to say no to things that don’t help you achieve your goals and adequately caring for your physical and mental health. Most importantly, you’ve got to learn to let go of the control complex that’s preventing you from delegating key aspects of your business to capable employees and coworkers while you focus on growth. When you work on ditching the bad habits and cultivating the good, you alllow your perspective to shift from scarcity toward a potential future where anything is possible.
- Clean up your mental messes. Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes make a mess. By mess, we mean issues that aren’t yet resolved in your mind and are still floating around in the gray muck of unconsciousness, eating up your mental RAM. Essentially, a mess is feeling obligated to something or someone that you no longer have a commitment to.For many entrepreneurs, this means getting out of the personal office and into a conference room, café, bar or anywhere else that doesn’t carry the huge amount of mental baggage lying around wherever you call home. By getting away from the messes—and slowly working to remove them—you will get much more productivity from your work and quality from your life. It takes a lot of energy to clear these out, but it’s crucial to do so. You can then move forward and work to prevent future messes.
- Strengthen your relationships by focusing on the value you’re providing. If you have a myopic focus on sales, you’re missing out on vital information about your customers and clientele. Instead of spending all of your time trying to get money coming in, focus on providing ten times the value to your customers and clientele. You’ll quickly become one of their favorite people, and that’s the time to ask brave questions:Do you know their pain points? Their dreams and goals? Their strengths and capabilities? If you truly listen to them, you have the opportunity to form long-lasting, incredibly lucrative and valuable relationships with them that will allow you to grow at a rate beyond your—and your competition’s—wildest dreams
- Conquer setbacks by focusing on results. It’s a good thing for leaders to be able to foresee obstacles that could arise. It’s a bad thing if leaders become afraid or overwhelmed by the potential for things to go wrong. Be honest about obstacles, take them one-by-one, and approach them with a results-focused strategy that draws on the capabilities of your entire team to multiply your own capabilities.Once you get in the habit of approaching obstacles not as something to be afraid of, but as something that’s a natural part of goal-achieving, you can start extending what you’ve learned to your customers and clientele, and you can take your relationship past mere financial transactions to a place of trust and mutual effort.
- Increase everyone’s confidence by focusing on capability. In the United States Marine Corps, there are two sayings they teach you in boot camp: “Fake it until you make it,” and, “Confidence is 90% of all effort.” That is, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, have the confidence to try it anyway! You never know what you’re capable of until you try—or until a drill instructor is screaming at you and spraying tobacco-tinged spittle all over your face. Confidence isn’t something people are born with—it’s something that’s worked on and built up over time. Think of it as a muscle that needs to be exercised. One way to exercise it is to continually review your achievements and use them to gain insight into how you can tweak your efforts in the future. Another way is to identify your own great capabilities—the one or two that you have that you’re truly a genius at—and then to identify those same great capabilities in your team. Ask yourself—and them—what it would look like if this capability grew by ten times.
The 10x mindset is the foundation on which the rest of the 10x Method is built. If you’re focused on the right things and have the right attitude, you’re well on your way. But the 10x mindset isn’t all it takes. There are other skills and intangible elements you’ll have to learn before you can get to the top and stay there. Read on!
Connecting To Your 10x Goals
Ladies in the readership, forgive us, but there’s no other way to describe this next phenomenon without using a word traditionally associated with the male gender. Entrepreneurs tend to be macho. Of course, not all of them are, but generally speaking, entrepreneurs tend to swagger even when they’re hurt, act toughest when they feel at their weakest, and disappear as stealthily as ninjas whenever anyone starts talking about emotions.
But that’s exactly what’s about to happen. We’re going to talk about emotions.
Hold your smoke bombs! Don’t slink off into the night! The emotions we’re going to focus on are those at the heart of critically important intangibles like passion, drive and motivation.
You see, you’ve got the 10x mindset down, but making a mental connection to 10x growth isn’t the only bond you need. You also need an emotional connection to your 10x goals in order to sustain the Herculean effort and King Davidian chutzpah you’re going to need in order to achieve them.
The first important step toward building an emotional connection with your 10x goal is to stop thinking about money.
Forget about it.
The money will come when everything else is in place. Instead, think of a 10x bigger business as greater freedom, changing the world, achieving lifelong goals and having the ability to constantly grow and learn while doing something you’re passionate about.
Now, think about what goals you would need to achieve in order to grow 10x and have all of these things. These are the goals of your life and your business—and you need to meditate on them consistently to ensure that every one of your efforts are directed toward bringing them out of the abstract and into reality.
The Story of You
Here’s another hidden bit of knowledge for you: almost every story told in Western civilization follows a single, simple format. Outside of experimental and avant-garde literature and film, nearly every book you’ve read, movie you’ve seen or TV show you’ve watched has followed this framework. As you envision your 10x business, you can create a strong emotional connection with it—and give yourself an unending fountain of passion, drive and motivation – by connecting your business’ success with your own hero’s journey. Envision it within this format:
- Meet the Character and the Setting. Well, you’ve already done this. You know yourself! And take a look around, there’s your setting!
- Something Different Happens From The Day-To-Day. In your case, you showed your courage and struck out on your own to pursue your own dreams—this was the beginning of your quest! Screenwriters call this the ‘inciting incident.’
- The Tension Builds. This is the series of obstacles you have to overcome in order to continue your quest and achieve your dreams. This is also where, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll meet the villain of your story—most often a tragic flaw you’ve got that manifests as an obstacle for the business.
- The Hero(ine) Claims The Mantle. In spite of all the obstacles—and guaranteed great darkness and danger ahead—the hero decides to plunge forward and do great things. Think of this as your decision to go 10x with your business model. Yes, it’s risky, but hero’s journeys aren’t for cowards—and neither is entrepreneurship. Screenwriters refer to this as the ‘hero’s quest.’
- The Hero Faces The Great Foe. Whether this is external or internal, you’ll have a fight for your business’ life on your hands at some point, no matter how great of an entrepreneur you are.
- The Hero Gains Great Treasure—And Wisdom. The happy ending! Spend your time envisioning this, and make a connection to it. It’s at the end of your journey. Even the greatest journey starts by walking out the front door. It’s time to take that first step!
Applying the 10x Method
You’ve arrived! You’ve changed your habits, evolved your mindset and made the emotional connection you need by envisioning the story of you. Now, it’s time to learn the nuts and bolts of the 10x method.
By putting this to work for you—and make no mistake, there is definitely work involved—you will soon have clients and customers referring more business to you than you can handle, you’ll see your customer retention rate shoot through the roof, you’ll make larger sales than you ever dreamed of, and you will destroy the competition. Sound good? Of course it does! And all you have to do is follow five simple steps. Let’s go through them one by one.
- Deliver 10x the value of the fee you charge. Got a product you’re selling for $20? Make sure it’s worth $200. Got a service you sell for $99 a month? Deliver $990 a month in value to your clientele and customers. Would people pay almost a thousand bucks for your service? Almost assuredly not! But that’s beside the point. The point is that you need to deliver $10 worth of value for every dollar you charge people. Give copious amounts of personalized, friendly attention. Remember people’s birthdays and send out Christmas cards. Give people content or guidance on anything you sell them, and make personal time available to them if they have any problems. Spend every single day looking for ways in which you can give your customers more value. If you keep striving, and stay focused, you’ll eventually have the most valuable product or service on the market—and the competition will be standing there with their heads spinning—and their pockets decidedly empty.
- Work 10x smarter than anyone else. That doesn’t mean working longer, though sometimes it means working harder. What it really means is that you have to be willing to do what no one else in the field is willing to do. When someone else is avoiding work, you’re working. When someone else is resting on their laurels, you’re ginning up new customers. When someone else thinks they’ve become an expert, you’re hitting the books and learning. There are only two things you can do every day: get better or get worse. So every single day, you need to get better.
- Set goals 10x higher than you ever have. Do you even have goals? Or are you just getting up every morning and doing the same thing you’ve always been doing? Without goals, you’re settling for less than the best, and as soon as you do that, you can count on being that, and getting that. You struck out to start your own business and to build your own future, so why settle? Set huge goals and let them motivate you to constantly improve yourself and your business every day. Want to own a huge house in the Poconos one day? Start a Pinterest and collect some motivational pictures. Want to sell your company someday and start another, joining other serial entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Richard Branson? Spend a little time daydreaming of the ways you’ll change the world.There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, it’s not childish and it’s not useless. The people who have achieved the greatest things have had the audacity to have the greatest dreams.
- Know 10x more than anyone else. You’re not going to be Queen or King of the Hill because you accidentally stumbled into the perimeter of success. There is only one way to get there, and that’s to be the foremost expert in the field on what you do. Look around at some of the world’s most successful people. They are the world’s leading experts on what they do, because they do it, and do it well, every single day. They have to get results, and they don’t perceive a cushion or laurels to rest on. They know they have to keep changing, growing and learning in order to keep up with the competition and stay on top of the marketplace. What does this mean for you? It means you have to read constantly. It means you have to attend meetings and seminars. It means you have to get a mentor.It means you need to become the absolute expert on what you do, no matter how long it takes to study or how hard it is to carve out time, attention or resources to do so. Because if you’re not the best, you’ll never be able to stay one step ahead of everyone else, and it will be only a matter of time before you’re overtaken. Become a lifelong learner and never think you know enough. You don’t.
- Accomplish 10x more than your competition. At last, the final step in the 10x Method, and the most important. In order to grow your business by 10x and make your dreams a reality, you’ve got to be an accomplishment machine. It doesn’t matter how much you know, or how big your dreams are, or how many amazing ideas you have, or how many projects you’ve started. What matters is that you’ve delivered. In this world, “potential” is a good quality for a child in school to have. You’re an entrepreneur now, potential doesn’t mean anything to anyone. What you accomplish is all that matters. Instead of focusing on how much work you have to do in a day, start focusing on how much work you’ll have finished at the end of the day. Ask yourself every morning, “What will I accomplish today?”Write it out, and then give yourself attainable, measurable, time-sensitive milestones. Then start cranking it out. No one cares what you have to say, or what promises you want to make. Live a vigorous life, a life of accomplishment, and you will have unlocked the great secret to becoming one of the world’s most elite, elevated, emulated entrepreneurs.
Focusing On The Market
A mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make in the beginning is trying to be the next Facebook. They want to target their product or service to a large, generalized market rather than focusing in on a small market.
Wait, a mistake? But if you limit your market, doesn’t that mean fewer sales?
No. Call it yet another piece of counterintuitive knowledge you need to arm yourself with. This is a world filled with competition from an infinite number of online startups that also happens to be filled with a populace that is so desensitized to marketing and advertising that they’d rather have their gums scraped than see one more blasé ad campaign.
Ignore this advice at your own peril: you are a startup entrepreneur, and you don’t have millions of dollars to pour into a national advertising campaign—not that those are even guaranteed to be effective anymore. Anyone remember Groupon’s big Superbowl commercial? How are they doing now?
By focusing on a small, niche market to begin with, you greatly increase your odds of business success, and you take on a lot less risk. You not only spend less money, you’re able to apply the 10x method in a niche you know well and are passionate about, so you can keep up your motivation and really speak to your customer’s pain points, goals and desires.
What’s a Niche Market?
This is a group of consumers—or businesses, if you’re in the B2B world—that have a commonality. Let’s say you’re starting up a software company with a great prototype for health care logistics. Everyone needs health care, right? It’s a huge market! In this case, your niche market consists of hospitals and their shipping/receiving leaders. But if you decide to market your software to other health care professionals such as pharmacists, doctors, LPNs, insurance adjusters and the like, your money will be wasted. Likewise, if you tried to reach the general populace, because nearly everyone who sees your advertising will have no need, interest or desire to follow your call to action.
Let’s take another, less rarefied example. Let’s say you’ve invented a new kind of office chair that’s highly ergonomic and great for people who work at their desks. So who works at their desks?
A pretty huge portion of the American information economy, that’s who. So everyone will want your chair, right? First, you market it all over America, then the world. Right? Wrong. You’re a startup entrepreneur. How much money is in your marketing budget right now? You want to launch a national marketing campaign for a new office chair—something most people don’t even think about—under a brand no one has ever heard of for a couple of thousand dollars? It’s just not happening.
Imagine this alternative: you find a subset of the population that really needs these chairs and, more importantly, can afford them. So you start looking around at assisted living facilities, chiropractors’ offices—anyone who has a real need for a new, better ergonomic chair. And you focus like a laser on that niche market. It’s pretty simple. Think about the people who are kept up at night worrying about the problem your product or service will solve, and target them.
Why Does It Work?
Niche marketing is what’s known as a focus strategy. There are two kinds of focus strategies:
- Cost focus. This is a strategy usually used by large companies with a large volume of production and a substantial level of market penetration. Once you’ve got a lot of folks buying your products, you look at different ways you can bring costs down to free up cash elsewhere to grow your business.
- Differentiation focus. This is all about making yourself different from the competition, which also happens to be something the 10x Method is designed to do. By focusing on customer needs and wants, and over-delivering on every one of their expectations, you set yourself apart from the rest.
How Does This All Work Together?
The 10x Method is a mindset, emotional connection and a set of strategies that’s designed to help you break out of the conventional business mindset of scarcity and start focusing on the abundance of resources around you. It may sound strange to start a program intended to skyrocket your growth with a small market, but it gives you a critical focus early on and allows you to cement the 10x Method in your business plan before applying it again and again as your capability and market penetration grows.
By finding a niche market, no matter whether it is crowded or not, and applying the 10x Method, you’ll quickly conquer your competition and come to dominate the market. Success builds on success, and nothing else will so quickly and effectively create confidence and motivation for you and your employees.
With your new income multiplied by ten, you can reinvest in inventory and delivery channels that will allow you to expand your company into new markets. This will in turn allow you to grow your business ten times again! Alternatively, you can sell your business and move on to the next entrepreneurial venture that’s burning deep down in the adventurous penumbra of your soul.
The abundance is all around you, and that kind of ability will be within your reach. The choice is yours! You only have to make it.
Creating The Culture
If you’re not running a sole proprietorship, you’ve got co-founders or employees, and it’s critical to get them on board with the 10x Method, as well. By creating a culture in your company that encourages ownership and big ideas, you’ll enable surprising avenues of growth to open up from all directions, rather than having to micromanage it all yourself.
Are you the kind of exceptional CEO that can pull this off? Here are two questions to ask yourself:
- Can you measure your effectiveness? Here’s another way of stating this question: can you practice your effectiveness and elevate it, like an athlete? If you’re following the 10x Method, you know that you can list your habits and plan for obstacles. But you need more than that. You need a consistent model that analyzes your effectiveness in specific, measurable ways.
- What does my effectiveness consist of? If you spend all of your time dealing with intangibles, your effectiveness will be intangible, too, and you won’t be able to apply the 10x Method to your everyday work. How do you know that you’re working 10x smarter and harder than everyone else? How do you know that you’re providing $10 of value for every $1 you charge? You need to figure out a way to measure these things, and quickly.
There are three major elements that give you a measurable picture of your effectiveness as a leader.
- Personal predictors. How passionate are you about your work? How much time do you spend working with your three best employees, developing your three best clients, and taking steps to accomplish your three biggest goals? The final predictor: how well do you learn, and keep learning, every day?
- Your CEO work. What is your business model? Is it appropriate for your market and your product or service? What are the core processes of your business? A startup doesn’t need an unwieldy bureaucracy, but a company with fifty employees can’t fly by the seat of its pants without a set of policies and processes. Lastly, how good are your people? Are you working hard to attract and retain the best talent you can find?
- The results your company gets. How much value are customers perceiving? How much value are customers actually getting? How much profit is your company bringing in? How fast is your company growing, and what is your innovation timeframe?
Accomplishment, Accomplishment, Accomplishment
Remember the last and most important step in the 10x Method? It’s all about accomplishment. That’s what everyone from your customers to your clientele to your employees and co-founders will judge you on. But many people lack a set of metrics to be able to truly take stock of their accomplishments as CEO. Here’s a list of the most important measurable producers of your results:
|Value||Core Processes||Talent Environment|
|Customer Delight||Product Innovation||Company Values|
|Customer Retention||Sales||Goals and Roles|
|Profit Margin||Customer Support||Consistent Training|
|Return on Investment||Overhead||Individual/Position Fit|
Becoming a 10x CEO
In order to make the leap and become a CEO that is capable of deploying the 10x method throughout your company, there are three things you need to accomplish:
- Get a consistent analysis model. It’s critical that you have a model that not only analyzes your business, but your effectiveness as CEO, so that you can constantly train and elevate your performance.
- Manage your time wisely. You need to spend more than half of your time on your highest leverage priorities, the “Big Three.” Remember the Parenko rule: 20% of your efforts gives you 80% of your results. In this case, you need to make sure you’re spending enough time and effort with your three best employees to develop them into leaders, your three best clients/customers to make sure your relationships are strong, and your three largest goals, ensuring you’re meeting a sustainable accomplishment timeline to keep your momentum going.
- Make sure the culture of your organization is built around the 10x Method. When you first introduce the 10x Method, it might intimidate some of your employees. After all, when they learn that you want 10x the service, 10x the performance and 10x the value, they’ll naturally think you want 10x the work!
Yet, if every one of your employees understands that they need to create measurable metrics for their own performance, and that they’ll be well rewarded for their increased output, they will understand that once the business accomplishes the lofty goals you’ve set, they’ll get to participate in the glory and the rewards as well. They’ll appreciate that they’ve got a leader with the vision, passion and drive to help them accomplish great things with their careers, and they’ll rise to the high expectations you set for them.
We’ve come to the end – and now you’re armed with the information you need to change the old grind of your business into a new, vision-powered company.
This is not an easy thing to do! It means committing to doing whatever it takes to become a market leader that blows everyone else away. And it also means striving to do so in an economy that’s still recovering and in an environment where people’s confidence is shaky and low. In truth, 99% of entrepreneurs aren’t able to sustain the motivation and drive it takes to take the 10x Method and apply it for huge growth.
But if you’re already in the 10x mindset, you aren’t disheartened by this fact, you’re energized. You know that because so many people—even an exceptional group like entrepreneurs—aren’t willing to apply themselves to such a grand project that you’ve got the immediate upper hand
There’s nothing standing in the way of you and a business that’s ten times larger, ten times more effective, and ten times more profitable. Get the mindset, make the connection, apply the method, and watch the vehicle for your passions, goals and dreams take off.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.