In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he talks about the concept of the “flywheel.” In that chapter, he speaks about how great companies start by pushing a heavy flywheel. Companies start by struggling to push this flywheel, or the core idea of their business. Then, as they push more and more, it spins faster and faster and finally, it is going full speed. This means the company reaches a momentum that seems to be going on its own. That, of course, is not happening, but that’s how it looks on the outside.
Often, they are then asked:
“How did you do that?”
“What spin of the flywheel was the crucial one?”
“What was the one thing?”
Of course, the owners of the business cannot say, because, to them, they were all important.
I teach the same concept from another mentor of mine, Keith Cunningham. It is the concept of getting in line and staying in line. So many times we get in line or start a program or new idea in our business. Then, when it is not working, we quickly switch to, or come out with, the next program and on and on we go. This is the same as getting out of line. We then look for a new line or a new concept that might make our business successful. When that doesn’t work, we get out of line again and look for another. Sometimes, we even come back to the same line or concept but find it has changed and we have to go to the back of the line. If we are not careful, we can spend our entire lives getting in and out of lines and never really improving.
I have been guilty of this myself. Go to a meeting, read a book, and suddenly we have to change the way we do things. Ask my team, they sometimes hate it when I read. I come up with a new thought or a new idea that is going to revolutionize or change our business. Then we implement that new thing and soon it fades and we are back to doing the same old thing over again.
The better idea may be to get in line and stay in line. Discover what you do best and then just keep plucking away at that thing. Keep improving it day-in and day-out. Half of the business is just showing up every day and doing what needs to be done to improve: “What can we do better this week or this month than we did last?” This sometimes appears boring because it is not as exciting as creating new clinics, starting new products, or creating new programs. But the blocking and tackling that we learn to do day-in and day-out are actually the things that will make us successful long term.
This is not to say we shouldn’t learn, improve or try new ideas. It is more about how those new ideas we are learning fit into our overall concept. How do we make small changes and apply them to what we are already doing? If the change is not the right one for us right now, then don’t change anything. Solutions for business problems are not a one size fits all kind of thing. What may be the perfect solution for a problem you are having will work if you implement it a year from now but would be a terrible idea right now. Another solution would be perfect now but a horrible idea a year ago.
Find out what you do well. Do that thing well and keep improving it. How do you become the best at it? Discover the difference between always trying new things and discovering THE thing.
Keep Living Every Minute,