A Lesson in 10X Thinking: Where’s Our Helicopter?

Driving to a meeting this morning, I found myself sitting on the freeway in traffic. Looking toward the sky, I was struck by a helicopter flying easily overhead. As I sat stuck in gridlock, the helicopter traveled quickly across the sky toward its destination.

It reminded me of the concept behind the book 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. One of the book’s themes is this: To achieve a leap in productivity or your results, you have two options. First, you could do more of the same, twice as hard, and achieve a 2X leap. Companies do this all of the time, focused on 2X growth.

Your second option is to do something completely different, upending “this is how we’ve always done this,” thinking and taking a completely different approach. Instead of looking for 2X growth solutions, they start asking, “What would it take to grow by 10X?”

The beauty of this question is this. There is no way the answer between 2X and 10X can be the same. 10X is such a stretch that old 2X thinking and options will never work, forcing you to dig deeper and explore new solutions. More of the same will only create more of the same, at a 2X rate if you’re lucky. For 10X to be possible, more of the same isn’t even on the table.

Stay in your car and try to drive faster through traffic… or step out of the car and into a helicopter.

Stepping into the helicopter, you’re putting a brand new solution in place that avoids the road completely. You no longer need to deal with the traffic because you’ve removed yourself from the road and taken a completely different approach to getting from Point A to Point B. Once you’re up in the air, you’re looking down on the traffic instead of sitting in it steaming. You’re also completely changing how long it takes to arrive at your destination.

We all have that area or challenge within our business (or personal life) that could use some 10X thinking. “We’ve always done it this way” is common, but to achieve uncommon results, that old mindset has to go. Instead, we need to replace it with, “How could we do this different?” Spend some time with that, explore the edges to find your helicopter, and begin flying toward 10X.

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