As co-founder of a startup, I am constantly juggling my priorities to focus on the initiatives that will help our company grow as fast as possible.
As we scale, I think about things with a 10X mindset, laid out by Grant Cardone in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. It provides an awesome blueprint for how leaders can rise above to take "massive action" instead of behaving like everybody else and settling for average results.
To apply this mindset, every time you have to make a hard decision, ask yourself this question:
Is this going to propel the company, person, or project by a factor of 10?
Once you've found your next big 10X thing, then double down. If you know that this is a game-changing "massive action" that will drive significant results for your business, it requires 2,000 percent of your time, energy, and focus.
In other words, don't be afraid to bet big on something you really believe in. It will be worth your investment if it delivers 10X the results.
Here are five examples of initiatives that can drive a 10X return on investment.
1. Hiring an executive.
Let's say you want to hire a board member who is going to have voting rights, take time out of your day, and become a significant player for your organization. Before hiring this person, simply ask them:
How will you add 10X value by being part of the board?
Likewise, if you are hiring an executive or C-level person, ask how they will move the needle of their function by 10X. For example, what are their big ideas of what can grow your business and take it to the next level?
2. Hugging your partners.
Accurately prioritizing your partners can have a 10X return on investment. The key is figuring out which partners will drive the most success.
Big brand names such as Coca-Cola, Apple, Salesforce, and Oracle are just a few examples of companies that have achieved big growth in the past decade by relying on a partner ecosystem.
If done right, extending your partner ecosystem is a 10X idea that can drive customer adoption, stickiness, and an entire industry emerging in your backyard.
When done wrong, it's just PR and a lack of commitment to becoming a big company in the long run.
3. Making big moves.
Many startups and early-stage companies arrive at a point when they need to pivot your product strategy and figure out which way to go.
I call this the "big move" idea. Big moves are what separate good companies from great ones.
When making a big move, the idea must appeal to the human nature of challenging the status quo and changing our lives (both at work and at home) for the better.
Other ideas, such as high-priority feature requests, should be bucketed into what I like to call "rolling thunder." Certainly, these are important too, even if they aren't likely to deliver a 10X return.
4. Delighting your customers.
It goes without saying that if you don't have revenue-generating customers, then your business is on thin ice. The answer to whether you're on the right track comes from customers who pay you. It's that simple.
What's amazing is that each customer can help bring in new customers, and if we do our jobs right to delight our customers, then we can experience 10X customer growth.
For example, if you successfully identify the market segment to go after, you can create vibrant stories (i.e., case studies, testimonials, content) that can be shared with like-minded future customers, driving the opportunity for 10X growth.
5. Going big to 10X everything.
To be clear, the 10X rule is not necessarily about a revenue goal. It could be applied to happiness, quality of content or relationships, impact on your brand, or excitement in the company you're planning to launch.
The 10X rule is all about aligning your priorities, and assessing whether the impact of your move, if not entirely measurable, can potentially be game-changing.