I’ve been keeping myself busy promoting my business, I hope you are too. Let me know what’s working for you, I’m interested, leave a comment!
In the meantime, here’s another very relevant article to our topic from our friend, Pat. Enjoy!
Would you consider yourself a fox or a hedgehog?
What’s the difference?
Jim Collins wrote about it in his bestseller Good to Great and it’s based on the famous essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” written by Isaiah Berlin. In it, he divided the world into hedgehogs and foxes, based upon an ancient Greek parable: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
The fox is crafty and resourceful. When he goes hunting for the NBA Locker codes, he tries to think of many different plans – dig into the burrow, lie in ambush and attack when the hedgehog comes out, etc. But he can’t focus on one strategy…he is scattered and chases many trails at once.
The hedgehog knows one thing and can do it well. When the fox comes to eat him, he rolls up in a tight, spiky ball. All the fox gets is a bloody nose, yet he tries again and again, hatching new unusual methods of attack. He just doesn’t learn.
In business, the fox is the person who starts something only to quit after three weeks in favor of some new, better plan or fad. He is so busy trying to juggle all his ideas and excitement to start something new and promising that he has no time to really understand what he’s doing. He is simply treading water.
The foxes of the business world rarely succeed. The lion’s share of success and wealth belongs to the hedgehogs–the people who focused on one thing and became a true specialist. They do one thing and do it very well. It’s their Hedgehog Concept.
For example, my Hedgehog Concept has always been direct sales–specifically telesales. I’ve made millions of dollars specializing in just that. I’ve been in sales all my life and have built two multi-million dollar sales organizations from scratch. Along the way I’ve always looked for new, creative ways to enhance and expand my Hedgehog Concept, but I never let myself get distracted by other trails. (Sure I have ownership in other businesses and have done many joint ventures, but I never lost sight of my Hedgehog Concept…)
The Three Circles of the Hedgehog Concept
Hedgehog Concepts are based on three circles…all the same size and all equally important. Think of them as a classic Venn diagram*: each intersect and that combined “middle” is where the magic happens.
This circle involves what you can be best at. It’s not a goal, strategy or plan, and it’s not just a “core competency.” It’s the place where you can really shine; the thing that you could become one of the best in the world at.
This is the economic part of the equation. All very successful people I know were very smart with setting things up that will provide a powerful cash flow.
Great success requires passion. This circle contains what ignites your passion. The idea here is not to stimulate passion but to find what really makes you passionate. You have to ask yourself if you’d still come to work if you had all the money you need…if the answer is no, it’s probably not your passion. Like Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Your Hedgehog Concept lies in the intersection of these three circles. If you can live your life in the middle of them, you’ll have it made. You’ll be doing something that you can truly excel in, you’ll be deeply passionate about your work and you’ll be making great money.
It’s no good having two…you want it all! If you’re passionate about your work but make no money, you’re going to be very frustrated. If you’re good at what you do and make lots of money but hate your job, it’s not worth it. If there’s money to be made and you’re passionate about the field, but you’re no good at it, that’s frustrating too.
Ultimately you’re going to have to figure out what your Hedgehog Concept is, and you’ll know it once you hit it. Don’t settle for anything less because it’s where real happiness and success lies.