Why does a street legal car need to have the ability to travel at speeds of 253 miles per hour? It doesn’t, but there’s one that did just that. When the Bugatti Veyron was introduced in 2005, it set the automotive world ablaze. Story after story was written about the mechanics and thrills of such a car that so handily trounced everything that came before it. As a result, cars will never be the same.
While watching a wonderful documentary, “Apex,” which chronicled the development of numerous “hypercars” including the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Koenigsegg One:1, an idea caught my attention.
In the documentary, Chris Harris, a well-respected sports car guru says, “The human race has always responded to times of profound change. That’s when we do things. If you tell us we ought to do things, to mitigate against a risk in the future, we’ll be lazy; we won’t do anything. But if you tell us we have to change, we will.”
Think about that for a moment; think about where we are as an industry.
In our industry, it appears that regulatory changes may forever alter the ways in which we serve clients and build our respective businesses. But what if we do what hypercar makers do and introduce change long before it’s required of us? What if we took the time to think far ahead of where we are now and asked ourselves bigger questions about the future than most of us are currently asking?
Allow me to offer an example of how I chose to respond to this idea. I sat quietly, with pen and paper, and considered what the ideal financial planning business looks like… when current constraints are no longer constraints. If I were to deconstruct my advisory business, how would I put it back together again if I could make it look however I thought would best serve the client’s needs and my needs?
To stir vision, I asked myself a number of questions like:
Why do we have an office?
Why do I have any paper on my desk?
Why are we inputting any client information into any software more than once, ever?
Why do I work year-round, five days per week, with just a couple of weeks off?
Why am I doing any work that others could perform better than me, when there are other tasks that I’m gifted at doing?
Why aren’t we doing more with less, rather than constantly feeling pressured to add more complexity, like bigger offices, bigger staff, bigger everything? Can’t “less, but better” be our business approach?
You see, the hypercar builders set out to accomplish ridiculous feats, even before the means of technology even exist, and even before change is required, to make their dreams a reality. But in the process, they find a way, they innovate, they create. In other words, they force the world around them to catch up to their vision of what’s possible. What if you began doing the same?
Now, a word of caution. The great entrepreneur coach, Dan Sullivan, provided a fantastic framework for being a “game changer” in his book of the same title. In it he wrote, “Being a game changer requires a long-term commitment. It requires the instinct to want to change the world permanently in the direction of your game-changing idea. This means being willing to put in 25 years to pull that off. It may not take you 25 years to achieve your goal, but having a 25-year commitment gives enough proof to others that this is something worth betting on.”
I see this as both a caution and a challenge. Like hypercar visionaries, there’s a big world conspiring against you, eager to see you fail to realize your vision. In order to deconstruct your business and build it to suit your game-changing vision, you really have to be committed. But even if you only make incremental change by way of this process, is it not still extremely valuable, maybe even a lot of fun?
Your practice may not become the equivalent of a 253-mph hypercar, but the process of thinking like a hypercar visionary may pay off in so many ways.