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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Forget Doubling Your Business: Why 10x Growth Is Actually Easier

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What would you say to the idea that it’s actually easier to grow your business 10 times over than it is to simply double it?

That’s the entire premise of Dan Sullivan’s renowned program, The Strategic Coach, and he spoke with me recently to explain why the idea is so empowering to anyone who runs their own business, especially financial professionals.

So what are the secrets behind Dan’s 10x mindset, and how can growing tenfold actually be easier than doubling?

The answer may surprise you.

A Simple Mental Trick to Lay Your Foundation

Half the battle in successful entrepreneurship is mental. That’s why Dan spends so much time focusing on the inward-facing pieces of business strategy.

“We get people to think about their thinking,” Dan says.

There’s no ceiling for anyone who’s self-employed, but the limitless nature of entrepreneurship is a blessing and a curse.

“You’re either going to have a really liberating future or you’re going to have a trapped future based on your thoughts about how big your future can actually be,” Dan says.

To get his clients into the right mindset, Dan has one incredibly powerful exercise that he was generous enough share.

Here it is: Imagine you’ve already grown 10 times and start writing the history of that accomplishment backwards.

The key questions to ask yourself as you retrace the journey are:

1)    What were the three biggest changes you had to make to get there?

2)    What are three new things you’re doing now that you’ve reached 10x in growth?

3)    Which three types of work were most important to delegate?

4)    What were three top-priority things you did in the first 90 days of that journey?

When you commit to this exercise, something fascinating happens.

“Your brain accepts this [growth] as reality,” Dan says. “Then it figures out what supports that future goal and what doesn’t.”

Dreaming of Doubling Your Business: More Harm Than Good?

What’s the power behind the 10x mindset, and why could more “realistic” expectations actually sabotage your efforts?

We all have blind spots when it comes to our aspirations, and failing to subvert them is going to constantly hinder you from getting the objective outlook you desperately need.

Entrepreneurs who ask themselves what it would take to double their business will inevitably generate a mindless list of nominal changes they assume would somehow work together to grow 2x – tweak this, fiddle with that, throw in a little of this, and presumably it will add up to real progress.

But that mindset fails to get you focused on the difference-making changes that truly result in growth, and it gives you no framework for how to make progress happen.

The 10x mindset, on the other hand, forces you to take an honest look at the necessary steps to make big strides in your business, and it gives you a formal structure for the process.

And by the time you get through Dan’s simple exercise, you’ll be surprised at both the actionable ideas you’re left with and how attainable the end goal appears. 

“At the end of a half hour, I ask, what do you think? And they say: This is doable!” Dan has orchestrated this exercise with clients and event attendees many times and the response is always the same.

The Success Cycle, Dan’s 4 C’s, and More…

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, getting started is the next major hurdle. Thankfully, Dan has advice for this part of the process, too. He calls it the 4 C’s: Commit, Courage, Capabilities, and Confidence.

Dan explains it best, but put simply the 4 C’s work like this:

1)    First, you have to commit to your new endeavor. Without strong commitment, there’s nothing.

2)    Next, you have to summon the courage to pursue your goals.

3)    Commitment and courage lead to progress, which in turn will result in the acquisition of new capabilities – an exciting time when you start to see the fruits of your labor.

4)    Last but not least, those new capabilities instill confidence, which helps you circle back to the beginning of the cycle.

This is just a brief look at the guidance Dan shared during our time together. Listen to the whole conversation, plus get free access to an exclusive gift from Dan, at


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