The old-world business model subscribed to “big beats small.” Historically, we believed size matters. That girth and critical mass were essential elements for any enterprise to be truly successful. Today, that model has changed and great business is driven by strategic agility. In a hyper-demanding, hyper-competitive global marketplace, fast beats slow. Speed matters.
So, in the revised edition of The Tortoise and the Hare, the hare beats the tortoise to the finish line, right? Well, not so fast. The hare is still that overconfident 800 pound gorilla in your marketplace. The company that figures they cannot be beaten and continues resting on their laurels. You are the tortoise. You recognize that the hare has you beaten in nearly every regard but you are confident you can fly in under the radar.
It is true that speed is absolutely critical in today’s marketplace. However, if we run too fast we may end up in the wrong place or burn out prematurely. Winning online is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to plan ahead, train hard, keep a steady pace, fight through the pain, and keep pushing until the finish line. There are bound to be runners who are naturally more talented and more experienced than you. You may even be in awe of some of your competition.
Just remember that everyone has to start in the same place. No matter where they are now, they stood exactly where you do today. To get where they are, they had to keep taking incremental steps forward. You need to do the same. Just because they are established and successful does not mean they know everything or are doing everything the best way possible. To complete, you will need to find gaps in their business model and exploit them. Consistent execution of a well thought out plan is key.
The internet is the ultimate example of this. A high school student can literally start an online business with zero capital. Instead of getting a paper route or a job at McDonald’s, they can become a business owner. Students in college can run a business from their dorm or the computer lab. Companies such as Microsoft, Google, Dell, YouTube, Facebook, and many more were either created during college or shortly thereafter. Many others are much less well known yet extremely successful. All of them get the opportunity to compete on the same grand stage as recognized brands. In the past, you needed a bunch of capital to get a company off the ground. Those days are long over.
Make that hare paying for all that trash talking!
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