The 7 Sins of Mediocrity

Posted on March 13, 2016 by Josh Linkner

Since ancient times, we’ve been fascinated with the seven deadly sins that lead people astray. Gluttony, greed, and lust (among others) have certainly been the downfall of many. But lurking in the shadows lie traps just as sinister. While less overtly treacherous, these sins befall most of us at various times in our lives. They may not bring us to the ground, but they lead us to the dark place of mediocrity. Instead of succumbing, we can rise above to the rarified air of champions. Let’s keep these seven foul sins at bay:

1. Settling. When your dreams feel out of reach, you may be lured into settling. Yet the best of the best never do. Instead of settling, push yourself and those around you to reach far beyond what’s merely acceptable. Don’t stop pushing until your calling has been fulfilled.

2. Pragmatism. Nearly all breakthroughs were first perceived to be impossible. Too often, we succumb to imaginary limits that hogtie our greatness. Look beyond the logical approach, shatter conventional wisdom, and discover the unorthodox approach.

3. Complacency. When the perceived risk of trying something new trumps the often-overlooked risk of standing still, the sin of complacency takes hold. Instead of resisting change, resist standing still with the same sense of unease to fight through this gripping trap.

4. Wavering. Too often, our commitments are softer than crushed velvet. Hopes and wants don’t deliver results; only firm commitments followed by tenacity, grit, and unwavering determination do the trick. No follow through plus no accountability equals no success. Period.

5. Timidity.Halfhearted resolve, endless disclaimers, and low-calorie promises fail to move people to action, including yourself. As the Zen proverb states, “Sit. Or Stand. But never wobble.”

6. Acceptance. Accepting the world as it is instead of shaping it to one’s vision has been the hallmark of unfulfilled potential. Instead, look past they way things are in favor of what they can be. Realists don’t make history.

7. Fear. The granddaddy of all sins, fear’s gripping fist has been the primary pitfall for far too many. Coming in many flavors (fear of failure, change, embarrassment, success, etc.), this false idol wreaks havoc on our ability to soar. Fear only exists if you let it. Look this monster in the eye and it will melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Keeping these traps top of mind will allow you navigate a course better suited for greatness. Know them, avoid them, and conquer them. Flip these seven sins upside down by perusing the polar opposite of each, and you’ll have a clear roadmap to seizing your full potential.

Anything less would simply be sinful.

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21 Creativity Quotes

Posted on March 6, 2016 by Josh Linkner

This week, I decided to share the wisdom of others. Here are 21 hand-picked quotes on creativity:

1. “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called ‘All the Things That Could Go Wrong.’”
Marianne Williamson

2. “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
General Erick Shinseki

3. “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”
Picasso

4. “Out there is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet with your company’s name on it. You’ve got one option – to shoot first”
Gary Hamel

5. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John Steinbeck

6. “Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, progress stops.”
Thomas J. Watson

7. “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
M. Scott Peck

8. “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

9. “Challenge everything, assume nothing.”
Sergio Zyman

10. “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”
Thomas Edison

11. “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head almost nothing.”
Marc Chagall

12. “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
Ferdinand Foch

13. “Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future.”
James Bertrand

14. “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember: Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”
Anonymous

15. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”
adidas Mission Statement

16. “Growth and comfort seldom ride the same horse.”
Unknown

17. “You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”
Edward deBono

18. “You can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark but not an adult who is afraid of the light.”
Plato

19. “If the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”
Jack Welch

20. “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.”
Unknown

21. “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones”
John Cage

Enjoy, and I hope you have an inspired week…

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Overpromise

Posted on February 28, 2016 by Josh Linkner

We’ve heard it a hundred times. “Under-promise, and over-deliver.” It’s one of those truisms that appears indisputable, right up with “the customer is always right” and “the early bird gets the worm.” But as one who enjoys balking traditional approaches, I respectfully disagree.

To me, this false wisdom encourages mediocrity. It grants permission to make small, flaccid commitments and then gleefully celebrate delivering them. The very nature of the argument suggests holding back on achievements that can actually be attained. Simply put, under-promising is a promise to play small.

When companies under-promise to customers, team members, or investors, they restrict their ability to soar. Timid, under-promise solutions are the ideal fodder for fresh startups or hungry competitors to come devour your standing in the market. When you under-promise as a person, you may get a pat on the head for delivering against near-term forecasts, but you’re not setting yourself up to make history. No one will remember the under-promisers in 100 years.

Instead of think-small-and-deliver-small, try the polar opposite.

Overpromise. 

Put yourself out there in a big, bold, defiant way. Reach for the solutions for which you lack full confidence you can deliver with little effort, but that will delight your customers or colleagues if you reach. Push yourself and your team to the edges, to the rarified territory where greatness lives. Don’t set out to easily deliver a vanilla outcome. Don’t promise to finish the race in the middle of the pack when the possibility of a championship exists. Instead, reach beyond your comfort zone. Seek solutions, ideas, and outcomes that go beyond. That matter. That shine.

Once you put yourself out there with an overpromise, it provides a powerful calling to deliver. Showing bland results after an under-promise is for everyone else. You, on there other hand, can stand tall and bring home a much more meaningful victory. There’s mystery and magic in an overpromise that forces you to get creative, challenge your previous assumptions, and push yourself to new heights. You now have the opportunity to prove the critics wrong and deliver the dream.

The greatest achievements in humanity are the results of over-promising. We revere overpromisers like Galileo, daVinci, Mozart, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jobs, and Edison. They changed the world by first overpromising, and then doing whatever it took to deliver their masterpiece.

In the words of racecar driver Peter Brock, “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like hell.” Your greatness awaits you. Overpromise, my friends, and then chew away.

Fighting Fires

Posted on February 21, 2016 by Josh Linkner

The blaring shrill from the station bell startles the team into action. Within minutes, the crew is speeding down the road, racing to challenge a raging blaze to a fistfight. Adrenaline pumps through the veins of both veteran and newly minted firefighters as they summon the courage to strut face-first into danger. The stakes couldn’t be higher. This is no drill, no warm up, no dry run. Within minutes, the team will be staring into the abyss of uncertainty. Lives hang in the balance as split second decisions will forge legacies or tragedies.

Chris Fire

While you and I may not face such extreme conditions in the business world, the stakes often feel just as high. Our companies and careers can shift in an instant as we tackle increasingly complex and difficult challenges. Important sales calls, labor negotiations, and supplier agreements require the same skill, tenacity, and focus as the brave men and woman who battle intense flames.

I recently had the chance to meet Chris Poisella, a dynamic leader who has worn both the protective helmet of a fire department lieutenant and also the Windsor knot of a high-ranking corporate executive. I learned that the seven-step approach he took to take down ferocious blazes is also a powerful strategy to meet the raging fires of the business world:

Step 1: Training. While certain unexpected experiences may be completely unpredictable, there’s an opportunity to train in advance for the majority of situations. Firefighters not only embark on initial training, but also extensive ongoing training and skills development that are critical for preparedness. Pro athletes spend 90% of their time training to deliver peak performance on the field, yet in the business world, we rarely take the time for professional development. To ensure the best outcomes, firefighters prioritize training so that they can deliver top performance when it matters most.

Step 2: Pre-Planning. Great fire chiefs make sure they know their town and surroundings. They know the big buildings inside and out. They know the roads, water supply, and the names of their colleagues who provide other emergency services. While you can’t plan for everything, knowing the landscape in advance can deliver a huge advantage when you’re in the midst of an actual battle.

Step 3: Assessment. Chris tells me that 911 calls are often inaccurate. In moments of trauma, people tend to either over-inflate the circumstances or under-report the seriousness of the challenge at hand. Accordingly, the best firefighters try to hear the story from as many callers as possible so they can get a feel for what’s really going on. In the business world, reacting to only one stream of information can easily derail us. Like the firefighters, try to triangulate the data to form an accurate picture of the obstacles you’re facing before deciding on the best course of action.

Step 4: Initial Plan of Attack. While in-route to the scene, the fire chief makes an initial decision on how to best attack and who will take one which roles. In this way, the team knows exactly what to do upon arrival instead of wasting precious time syncing up in the field. Before arrival, everyone knows his or her primary responsibilities and for what they’ll be held accountable.

Step 5: Arrival. Now the leader is finally seeing things firsthand. This initial landing period is critical to success as the chief does a 360-degree look at the situation. While the team leaps into action, the leader assesses hazards, determines resource needs, and looks to adapt to what are often changing conditions in the field.

 Step 6: Implementation. As the team battles the beast, the leader’s role is to listen. Initial reports from key staff help guide the leader to make real-time adjustments. While many important roles have been delegated, those front-liners become the eyes and ears for the leader who may need to pivot the strategy with speed and precision. The objective is to bring the situation to a state of resolution as quickly as possible. In fires, this under-control state means no lives or additional property in jeopardy. In business, the initial state may be to reach a verbal agreement with a customer. The key point is to tackle the monster in phases. First, get it under control. Then, once the initial results are achieved, finalize the details.

Step 7: Debrief. Once the danger has subsided, the team has an open and thorough discussion on every aspect of their approach. The goal is to learn and grow, to ensure they are even more prepared for their next mission. Everyone – including the leader – becomes a learner so they can drive optimal performance for the future. In the midst of our daily grind, it is easy to skip this step. But if you want to create sustainable growth and success, putting your performance under the microscope of examination can be one of the most important steps along the way.

In the same way firefighters rely on this systematic approach to save lives, the best leaders also leverage a proven process rather than simply shoot from the hip. Committed heroes like Chris Poisella not only keep our communities safe; they also provide a roadmap to success for our professional lives. Follow their approach and you’ll be able to extinguish your challenges long before they spread into a four-alarm blaze.

The station bell is ringing for you right now. It’s your turn to respond.

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Can Innovation Save 1.3 Million Lives Each Year?

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Josh Linkner

Rightfully so, the global community reacts in outrage when terrorists take the lives of innocent citizens. Millions walk in solidarity to stomp out breast cancer, while entire communities take to the streets in protest over deadly violence. But we seem to just accept the 1.3 million deaths – and 50 million injuries – related to auto accidents. In fact, car crashes claim more lives each year than war, malaria, terrorism, murder, breast cancer, suicide, or illegal drugs.

We attack these other global issues with urgency and outrage, driven to eradicate these insidious problems. Yet we seem to think of auto-related deaths and injuries as simply a part of life.

Samir Salman will have none of it. As the CEO of Continental Corporation’s NAFTA division, Salman and his team are on a mission: to put an end to auto deaths and accidents once and for all. It turns out that nearly 90% of car accidents are caused by human error. So the Continental team is working tirelessly to bring autonomous driving to the mainstream, hoping to put a massive dent in the global problem of car crashes.

I had the opportunity to go for a ride in a self-driving car prototype with Mr. Salman. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous as we raced down a crowded highway at 70 mph with no hands on the wheel, but after a while I was able to fully grasp the possibilities. In addition to saving lives, automated driving could reduce rush hour traffic by 50% or more. It can reduce fuel consumption, increase productivity, and save millions of hours per year for drivers.

According to Salman, the technology will be fully ready by 2025, but the tech isn’t the biggest hurdle. Regulatory challenges, security, and driver acceptance are all on the minds of his team as they race toward a cure. These are hard problems that require enormous tenacity, grit, and resiliency to solve.

Will Continental enjoy commercial success by pioneering fully autonomous driving? Sure. But that’s not what fires up a team for long hours and sacrifice. The money will come as a byproduct of pursuing a higher calling – to save lives and make the world a better place.

As a leader, you may wonder why your team lacks motivation. Perhaps your crew is all too quick to punch out at 5pm sharp and isn’t demonstrating the drive you’d like to see. Instead of blaming the team, try looking in the mirror. Great leaders inspire action by working toward a mission far greater than healthy gross margins. People bring their full arsenals of creativity, passion, and intensity when they’re doing work that matters. The more important the calling, the more commitment you’ll receive from your team. Innovation doesn’t happen by cracking the whip or offering a bonus – it’s harnessed through the pursuit of a worthy cause.

Zoom out from your quarterly financial targets, and re-focus on greater meaning and purpose. How can your work change the world? How can you make history?

Chase money and you’ll seldom find it. Pursue greatness, and the economic rewards will follow. Focus your team on the biggest possible impact to unlock innovation, conquer your most pressing challenges, and enjoy sustainable success.

Samir Salman is fueled to save 1.3 million lives. What fuels you?

Mind The Gap

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Josh Linkner

If you’ve ever travelled to London, the iconic phrase, “Mind the gap,” has been forever burned into your memory. The automated warning is heard thousands of times each day at every stop of the subway system. The London Underground, affectionately known as “the Tube”, is the oldest rapid transit system in the world. In 1968, over 100 years after the system opened, a recorded voice was installed to warn travellers to watch out for the space between the platform and train, instructing people to “mind the gap” each time a train stops, system wide. This cautionary phrase has become synonymous with London living and appears on t-shirts, as the punch line to jokes, in video games, and throughout modern culture.

The Gap

The phrase can also be one of the most powerful weapons in your professional arsenal. This is the rallying cry for you to explore what’s missing, what’s not there, and what could be. Recited with the same rhythmic consistency of the London Underground, it is a phrase that can open new doors of opportunity.

Minding the gap has been the source of hundreds of hit products and services, as unfulfilled consumer desires were the geneses behind some of the most famous brands in the world. When you speak to customers, find out what’s missing in their lives. The areas of friction, discontent, and deficiency provide you with a heat map for innovation. Rather than studying competitors’ offerings to find a slight, incremental improvement, focus on minding the gap of customer needs. It is a pathway to entirely new – and highly differenced – solutions.

Minding the gap works inside your organization as well. Attacking internal soft spots helps you fortify your company against emerging competitive threats. The earlier you mind those gaps, the less painful the remedy and more productive the result.

Relationships are another area in which minding the gap can help. Both personal and professional relationships can fall into predictable patterns, with blind spots that can grow geometrically and do serious damage. Taking a pause to mind the gap and explore any missing areas can help avoid plenty of pain, from underperformance to dysfunction.

In business today, we tend to focus on attacking live problems when they emerge. We also focus on what already exists, only to make small tweaks. Instead, follow the lead of our friends across the pond and mind the gap. Look for hidden areas of unfulfilled promises, customer needs, and missing information. While the gaps aren’t screaming for attention, they can be a wellspring of opportunity and, if you get to them first, they can help you leapfrog the competition.

Let this mantra lead you to fresh ideas, opportunity, and inspiration. Mind the gap. Queen’s orders.

How Going Big Can Actually Reduce Risk

Posted on January 31, 2016 by Josh Linkner

In our professional lives, we often find ourselves launching something new. It could be a new product, service, ad campaign, recipe, geographic expansion, process overhaul, sales contest or even an internal cultural shift. No matter what you’re launching, you have a choice to make: Dip your toe in the water slowly, or go big.

Instinctively, the bashful approach feels less risky. Embrace a little change and see how it goes, right? We’ve been taught the need to “walk before you run” so we’re practically hardwired to play small. But in the words of former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, “You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.”

While it may feel scary, taking the big leap may actually be less risky. Playing it ‘safe’ can have the opposite impact whereby not enough force can cause your launch to crash and burn. In our fiercely competitive marketplace, there’s little room for timid alternatives.Netflix_Web_LogoNetflix is a stunning example of playing big. When the company shifted from movie rentals to original programming, they faced the same choice. Conventional wisdom would suggest starting small, perhaps doing a couple low budget productions to get some practice and see if customers even want original programming. Instead, Netflix roared onto the scene with House of Cards, featuring A-list actors and reportedly costing over $4 million per episode to produce. Next came Orange is the New Black, another bold leap that has gone on to win countless awards. With a string of high-budget, unconventional programming ranging from Kimmy Schmidt to Making a Murderer, Netflix was able to reach cult-like status in record time.

If you were to hear a description of a new TV program and were told it was launching on one of the traditional networks, you may opt out. But if the same description is tied to a new Netflix launch, it becomes irresistible. Because of their commitment to the highest quality and a refusal to cut corners, they have been able to leapfrog established competitors as one of the top producers of original content in the world.

Netflix won by going big. Had they risked only a fraction of their investment, they probably would have lost it all. The company continued this strategy on January 6 when they launched internationally in 130 new countries on the same day. The smart folks at Netflix realized that going all-in is the only way to play the game.

As you embark on your next new initiative, consider the real risk of a half-hearted launch. The brands we cherish are the ones that broke free, pioneered new ground, stood tall for their beliefs, and set out to shatter the mold. Launch big and launch proud. You’ll reduce risk and enjoy far more upside. Netflix isn’t the only one that can stream breathtaking ideas around the world. You’re next.

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What do Ford and Amazon Have In Common (And What Can You Learn From Them)?

Posted on January 24, 2016 by Josh Linkner

While both are giants in their respective industries, Ford and Amazon are very different on the surface.  One was the bellwether of the industrial era, while the other helped ring in the digital age over 90 years later.  The automaker conjures up scenes of three-piece suits, while the tech firm evokes images of jeans and T-shirts. Midwest conservative versus West Coast progressive.  Building things compared to selling other peoples’ stuff.

Amazon-Dash-button

Yet surprisingly, these two distant companies are more similar than meets the eye.  Both are leading in their field, both are enjoying record growth and profits, and both continue to innovate at a breathtaking pace.  These two industry titans also share some common strategies.  While their tactics manifest differently in the marketplace, both subscribe to three similar philosophies that drive meaningful and sustainable success:

  1. Always expand their role in customers’ lives. Amazon is an e-tailer while Ford makes cars.  Yet both companies continue to expand their worldview as it relates to serving customer needs.  Amazon, for example, recently launched the Amazon Dash Button, a simple device that connects to your home wifi, allowing you to re-order common items (detergent, garbage bags, pet food, etc.) with the single touch of a stick-on button.  In Detroit, Ford is launching MyFordPass – a mobile app platform that helps customers with all things mobility – from finding a parking space to monitoring safety indicators.  Both companies continuously rethink the role they play in their customers’ lives, pushing the boundaries and running far outside conventional industry norms.
  2. Realization: We’re all in the technology business. Ford doesn’t just make cars. They deliver mobility solutions using the latest technology including ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, and alternative energy propulsion.  Amazon doesn’t just sell books.  Rather, they enable digital business in numerous ways – from drone deliveries to voice-command intelligent home systems to hosting other tech companies’ software in the cloud.  If you really think about it, nearly every business is now in the technology field.  From artists and musicians to financial planners and architects, embracing new technologies allow us to soar.
  3. Less sizzle, more Substance. Amazon doesn’t run flashy or boastful ads.  Ford is…well… “Built Ford Tough.”  Too often, companies polish their veneer in the form of fancy marketing or slogans but fail to consistently deliver the basics for their customers.  Both Ford and Amazon let their quality and service do the talking, which yields long-term customer delight instead of short-term wins paired with buyer remorse like so many of their competitors.

In your field, you can apply the same ‘triple threat’ approach to driving growth, profits, and achievement.  If these strategies can drive results for two seemingly unrelated companies, think what they can do for you.  Borrow these philosophies, and pretty soon your doctor’s office, community bank, bagel shop, software startup, or hair salon will be compared to captains of industry.  The other thing you’ll have in common: jaw-dropping success.

How “Micro-Innovations” Can Drive Breakaway Results

Posted on January 17, 2016 by Josh Linkner

The concept of innovation can be completely overwhelming.  Images of Edison inventing the light bulb or Henry Ford revolutionizing manufacturing push the idea of innovation outside the reach of us mere mortals.  If we define innovation as a gigantic, change-the-world, cure-cancer type breakthrough, the concept is relegated to a select few: billionaires, mad scientist inventors, CEO’s, and super-geniuses.

Yet the vast majority of human progress is crafted differently.  In fact, it’s the little creative shifts – what I refer to as micro-innovations – that most often carry the day.  These mini innovations can be subtle, but add up to significant results en masse.   A fresh way of conducting your weekly sales meeting.  Reimagining the physical layout of your shop floor.  A modern twist to the format you use to conduct job interviews. A novel way to manage a customer complaint.  A new item on the menu.

The folks at Proctor & Gamble were fighting hard to gain share of the $7 billion detergent marketing.  Instead of inventing some revolutionary magic serum, they used a small packaging change to win big.  Tide Pods were launched to allow customers to drop a small pod in the wash rather than pour from a messy bottle.  This micro-innovation led to stunning success, over $500 million of revenue in the product’s first year.

While game-changing breakthroughs are glamorous, small acts of ‘everyday innovation’ are the stuff of greatness.  Too often, we put the weight of the world on our shoulders and believe we only have two choices – a) world-shifting innovation, or b) do nothing.  With that kind of pressure, it’s no wonder that most of us restrict our creative output.  On the other hand, micro-innovations are accessible to us all.   Each of us – regardless of role, tenure, age, or title – has the ability to develop creative solutions that lead to real progress.  In this sense, innovation becomes a daily habit rather than a big, scary, overwhelming phenomenon. We all can be innovators, not just those in lab coats or with fancy degrees.

Take a look at your daily work, whatever it may be.  While totally disrupting your entire industry may be daunting, ask yourself what little creative twists could make a small difference.  Apply creative wonder to your product or service, production, culture, sales and marketing, recruiting, customer experience, and internal processes.  While micro-innovations may not land you on the cover of a magazine, they can absolutely fuel your performance.  Not to mention, they’re tremendously fun.

View your work through the lens of an artist, looking to add just a little splash of creativity to even the most mundane tasks. Remove the burden to develop gigantic a-ha moments of brilliance, and focus on a high output of micro-innovations.  Each change or twist may be small, but your results over time will be anything but puny.

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Chew On This!

Posted on January 10, 2016 by Josh Linkner

Caron Proschan loves healthy living.  She also loves gum.  After finishing an energizing workout at the gym one day, she reached for her pack of gum and realized a huge disconnect.  With plenty of healthy, all-natural food and beverage options, why was her gum a troubling shade of alien blue and packed with un-pronounceable chemicals that would pollute her body?  This a-ha moment led to the launch of a dream and a company – Simply Gum.

Gum

Turns out, the gum industry is big – $4 billion in the U.S. and over $20 billion worldwide.  It also turns out the industry is controlled by deeply entrenched giants, with two conglomerates accounting for 95% of the gum sales in the U.S.  The idea for an all-natural gum seemed cool, but how could Caron possibly take on the industry behemoths?  How could a bootstrapped entrepreneur from Queens, New York stand a chance against the lab jackets and deep pockets of her billion-dollar competitors?

In a recent interview, Caron shared her approach with me.  She embraced three key strategies to launch her company, which is now sold in over 1200 stores and is enjoying explosive growth.  The simple playbook of Simply Gum can help you take on your own giants and boost your success:

1. Embrace Dissonance– That little feeling of discomfort, knowing that something isn’t right, can be a fabulous heat map to opportunity.  Caron’s desire for a healthy gum in an unhealthy industry led to her breakthrough idea.  Look for moments of frustration in your own life, which will help forge a path to fresh ideas.

2. Focus on Differences– Most people in most industries follow the industry norms, and then wonder why their results are ho-hum.  Simply Gum, on the other hand, defied tradition.  Beautiful packaging, transparent, all-natural ingredients, and unusual flavors such as ginger, maple and coffee help Simply Gum stand out instead of blend in.  To truly triumph, focus more on what makes you unique and then scream those differences from the mountaintops.

3. Iterate Fast– Simply Gum is constantly refining their manufacturing processes, flavor profiles, and distribution strategies.  Speed is a powerful weapon against those slow, clunky incumbents, allowing this startup to adapt, learn, and grow faster than the big boys.  Rather than waiting until something is perfect, launch your product, service, or solution fast and then adapt quickly to refine and optimize your offering.

So far, the sleeping giants haven’t fired back at Simply Gum.  Caron is soaring while her competitors remain stuck in the mud. She’s using this precious time to grow and solidify her new approach to a stale industry.  In the same way Red Bull disrupted the beverage field, Caron and her team at Simply Gum are using these three killer strategies to carve out their own field of dreams.

Follow the lead of this creative entrepreneur.  Seek dissonance.  Stand out instead of blend in.  Adapt Fast.  You’ll likely enjoy a big boost of growth, and you’ll give your competition plenty to chew on.