Creating business success in an unfair world
When I set up my f irst business, MedRecruit, I had no business or recruitment experience. I hadn’t studied business, and I was entering a market where one company had a total monopoly.
We are a recruitment company that places doctors in hospitals throughout Australia and New Zealand, but at the start we had neither hospitals nor doctors. Not a great position for a recruitment company.
It was an unfair f ight and by all accounts I should have failed. I would have if I’d played by t he r ules of traditional business teaching. But because I was smaller, I needed to be smarter: I learnt that my advantage over the bigger competition lay in being nimble; I learnt that I could study and apply knowledge faster than anyone else; and I learnt that I could develop a success mindset that almost guaranteed results – I developed the art of the unfair fight.
THE UNFAIR FIGHT TURNS PERCEIVED WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS.
Over a si x-year period I grew my company to be t he market leader. We featured in the Deloitte Fast 50 for four consecutive years, and in 2012 I became the Ernst & Young Young Entrepreneur of t he Year. People constantly ask me if I’m surprised at my level of success and my answer is always no, because I know that the art of the unfair f ight means I have a massive advantage.
Great entrepreneurs know they are on an unfair playing field, so they focus on today and have a road map for tomorrow. They answer the question ‘How can I meet a need right now?’ while keeping in
mind what the industry is going to look like 10 years from now, and preparing for that change.
Many business owners think business success is complicated; it is not, but it is also not easy. Business success takes a commitment to relentlessly focus on what matters, and that’s exactly what this book is about. It shows you exactly what you need to focus on so that the deck is stacked in your favour.
BUSINESS SUCCESS LIES AT THE INTERSECTION OF MINDSET AND ACTION
This business book is different from most business books.
Almost all business books focus 100% on what to do to be successful in business. Very few business books focus on how to think to be successful in business. Almost no business books cover both.
The Pareto Principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a common rule of thumb in business, but it focuses solely on what you do to get the results.
In my experience, the 80: 20 rule of business success is that only 20% of your success comes from what you do, and a massive 80% of your success comes f rom how you t hink – your personal psychology.
To be ex t remely s uccessf ul i n business, you need both parts working exceptionally well together; you need a powerful personal psychology combined with taking the right actions.
Winning the Unfair Fight is unique in that it focuses on both important factors to create business success.
If you are someone who prefers one to the other, actions or mindset, then you are reading the right book, because it’s likely that the part you are currently missing is the part you don’t embrace to the same extent. Lean into it during this book and lift the lid on what’s possible for you and your business.
Your commitment to both is critical to your success, because true success lies at the intersection.
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THE PUSH-UPS
As the late personal development expert Jim Rohn said, “You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you.” Your success is your responsibility, and if you want to make your business extremely successful, you’re going to have to do the push-ups. You need to take 100% responsibility for your results and give up blame, complaining, justif ication, defensiveness and making excuses.
In business there are many moving parts and it can be challenging to be extremely successful. I think of business as being like ski racing: you have to learn how to turn quickly and powerfully but, every time you race, the course has changed and the gates are in different places. You may be able to make perfect turns, but making the same t urn over and over again will mean you might miss the gates and be disqualified.
With t he rate of change i n t he world, and in business, having a threeto f ive-year business plan locked in is like ski racing, where you expect the gates to stay in the same place every time – it’s a joke, because the world will have changed by the time you press ‘print’ on your perfectly formatted plan. What you need are principles to apply so you can continually adjust your turns to continually adapt to the changing course.
GREAT ENTREPRENEURS KNOW THEY ARE ON AN UNFAIR PLAYING FIELD, SO THEY FOCUS ON TODAY AND HAVE A ROAD MAP FOR TOMORROW.
This is an extract f rom Winning the Unfair Fight − How your small business can take on, and beat, the giants. The
recommended retail price is R200.