Successful businesses don’t often happen through luck. Hard work and experience play a significant role in determining eventual success. Most have the hard work aspect covered, but many have yet to have been through enough successes and mistakes to be able to establish a consistent pattern.
The difference makers are all about how they approach their business. They realize large impacts rarely come from just doing small things better. It is more important to better understand how you think about your business that will underpin your success.
To learn to think differently, you need to explore other successful entrepreneurs and how their experiences and different approaches to thinking have resulted in success.
How does thinking differently relate to business
The way you think affects business on both a macro and micro level. There are overarching concepts that provide a holistic macro approach to the whole business and then these break down into micro components that can be applied in individual scenarios, such as pricing.
If we take the way that many think about business as a whole, it is not surprising to find the same tropes and ideas are always there. Many people tend to think in similar ways and copy concepts that others have used or that they believe will work.
The true success stories, though, tend to be disrupters who approach things differently from both their competitors and what the market expects. Thinking from a different angle about almost every aspect of their business has been the root of their achievements.
Fixing the ‘why’
Bill Ryan is one of the most seminal proponents of this way of approaching business thinking. In his book “Fixing the Why” he takes apart traditional ways of thinking and breaks them right back down to a simpler question, “why”.
For Ryan, everything is predicated on the idea of “why” you are doing a specific task or approaching a problem that has presented itself to you. It is a scientific approach to thinking that removes the fluff from decisions.
Instead of just reproducing what others have done, this type of thinking process forces us to look for new ways to tackle things. When you break your choices down in this way you start to see that other perspectives might be better for getting to the end goal.
Experience of others
Putting time aside to think about how you do business is a familiar approach. Back in 1930s, Napoleon Hill advocated this in his book “Think and Grow Rich.” When studying modern business books and successes, you will see that adapting the way you think is still the way to stand out and push your business forward.
Indeed, suppose you take almost all these entrepreneurs together and study the continuities that exist between their success. In that case, you will find that the most apparent aspect is that they approach the way they think about business.
You will see that there is a pattern in that they approach their businesses differently, even if they don’t overtly express their way of thinking.
Thinking differently can take courage
Using the same ideas to hope or expect similar results is normally considered the safe way to act. Overall this may very well be true and possibly give you a degree of success. It would help if you did not forget, however, that business, and being an entrepreneur is not a risk-averse position to follow.
Following an alternative path can, in certain situations, actually be the safest direction of travel. It can make you shine above the competition and mark you out as a disruptor.
Why always playing it safe can end in disaster
Even the mighty fail. The Kodak corporation as an example of how not to think, should focus any businessman’s mind. When presented with the chance to enter the digital photography market, they turned it down as they thought along traditional lines and were keen to continue to dominate the film market. Yet digital photography became the ultimate disrupter and within a few years, Kodak no longer had any market.
Blockbuster is another example of a firm that failed to read the situation and was incapable of changing the way it thought. Like Kodak, Blockbusters had the opportunity to dominate the streaming market but were afraid of losing their biggest revenue driver which was late fees from rented DVDs. Before long the whole DVD rental business model had vanished, and with it, Blockbusters.
Success in business can be achieved by thinking differently from those around you. Staying safe and following the pack can only take you so far and can ultimately lead to failure, as it prevents you from being nimble enough to change your business model when it is under stress.
Look to experienced businessmen such as Bill Ryan who chart out for you how to adapt your thinking processes to push your business to the heights you want it to achieve. It is always salient to reflect on how failure to change how a business thinks has seen the demise of some of the biggest names.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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