How To Think Successfully

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 1st, 2010 10 Comments

We’re still on the topic of “How To Be Your Own Consultant” and in the last blog post, I gave you a couple examples of how companies look for a new way to package their product or a new type of product or service that would appeal to their existing clientele. I also pointed out that another good strategy it to find an entirely new way to market a product or service you already have.

Now I want to switch gears a bit and talk about thinking. More specifically, thinking to succeed.

There’s an excellent scene in an old motivational film by Dr. Eden Ryl titled, ‘You Pack Your Own Chute,” that illustrates the problem with most thinking and the way you have to think to succeed. Dr. Eden Ryl draws a 1 and an ‘X’ in the sand and challenges a friend to turn it into a six with one line. He tries several possibilities, putting a one behind the ‘X.’ Finally she draws an ‘S’ in front making the drawing into the word ‘six.’

Her friend protests saying that she indicated it had to be done with a line but an ‘S’ is nothing more than a curved line it’s just that we think of a line as being straight. We need to be able to step outside the confines of conventional, habitual thinking.

A classic example of the problem, of course, is the railroad industry. They mistakenly thought they were in the railroad industry instead of seeing themselves in the transportation industry.

What business are you in? As your business grows and prospers you’ll probably redefine that business many times. McDonald’s, for example, began as a hamburger stand. Today among other things McDonald’s is a huge and powerful commercial real estate company investing and building a property empire with franchisee’s leases as funding.

Continual frequent rethinking of what your business is, should be, can be and will be is a great success strategy. I tell my clients: if you are striving to stay in the same business you are in, you’ll be out of business altogether, sooner not later. The desire to preserve the status quo and avoid the risk, learning curve, work and cost of change is a very common mindset – which tells you it can only guarantee, at best, very common income.

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    10 Responses

    1. McDonald’s is a great example of a business that seemingly remains the same while in reality it has morphed many times over.

      would their main business today be marketing or real estate?

      Reminds me of The way sears bought Kmart… what business would y’all say they are in?

    2. Charles Ra says:

      What business are you in? As your business grows and prospers you’ll probably redefine that business many times.
      yes Dan, redefining as it grows, is painful. however necessesary. thanks

    3. Rob Anspach says:

      Every business needs to evolve, grow and transform, adapt and change to the demands of the market. If we become stagnant,stale and complacent our clients will give up on us and our business will die.

      We must constantly redefine ourselves, our business and our committment to our customers.

    4. Charles Ra says:

      Every business needs to evolve, grow and transform, adapt and change to the demands of the market.
      yes Rob, and and the adaptation process demands time and commitment into it.

    5. […] Kennedy is another favourite of mine. In his latest posting, he also refers to the need of “continual frequent rethinking of what your business […]

    6. “If You stop redefining your business, ultimately your business will redefine you.”

      you’ll be an expensive office boy, not the CEO of your business.

    7. Rob Anspach says:

      Every entrepreneur needs to be committed to their success!

    8. So many business owners are unwilling to do it, but if they finally take the time and effort to examine ways their business could change, they often discover that the process was actually fun and invigorating.

      I’ve seen many near-burnt-out business owners experience a “second wind” and recapture the thrill of running a business, by simply taking the advice Dan gives here.

    9. […] This is where I firmly agree with great friends & mentors I’ve studied such as Kevin Hogan, Paula Abdul and Dan Kennedy.   […]

    10. solomon says:

      Good morning I am a gold and luxury member for 4 years and attend my local chapter with Mike Capuzzi (he Rocks!)
      I was wondering if you knew anyone that uses DK direct style marketing to rent retail space in shopping centers. 267.939.0424

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