What do you do when failing is not an option? You grow. Learn Ken Courtright’s words of wisdom that propelled his company to hit Inc 5000 three times out in the last four years. Get in line with the thinking that puts you in a place of success.
Listen to the podcast here:
How Did We Achieve 3x Inc 5000
The title of this is How Did We Hit the Inc 5000 List 3 Out of the Last 4 Years? First, sarcastically, we would hit it four times had I taken the time to fill out the paperwork, but I apparently missed that email. Here’s the deal, how did we hit the Inc 5000 list like a mature company that didn’t use their first-year tax return to show the four years of growth? We had to. It wasn’t an option. We put something into place that forced us to succeed. We put something into a place where failure was not an option.Having a plan B only distracts you from plan A. Click To Tweet
Here are some questions. Do you have to succeed? Is there anything out there in your course of business that physically forces you not to exceed but to excel and master your category at the highest level possible? We are contractually obligated to succeed. We have no choice. When we enter a contract with what we do, which is we help people build or buy revenue-generating websites. In return for our expertise, we get 50% of the revenue of that website in perpetuity until that person decides to sell the website. That’s fine and good and that would be a good business model.
What made it an incredible business model is we were willing to stand behind our work and put a contractual guarantee. We call it a consulting performance agreement that says, “Even if disaster strikes, Google algorithm, industry change, somebody on our team screws something up. If something happens to that website, we are contractually obligated to a certain percentage of revenue and the site partner that funded that deal is always going to get paid.” We literally built a clause that says if four months in a row go by and there’s something going on, we have to physically build them or buy them a new one with our own operating capital. Out of 800 attempts, we’ve only had even to consider this eleven times.
Here’s the key, it forced us to find dozens of ways to grow websites that are not discussed in books, blogs or conferences. We had to reinvent how to grow websites physically. It was not optional because we have to stand behind our work forever in perpetuity. Some of our discoveries are going to be in my book called Rally: Nineteen Growth Techniques You Have Never Heard of. Here’s the thing, how about putting yourself out there? Hernán Cortés, way back in the day, 300, 400 years ago, gave an inspirational speech to his 600 warriors on the border of Mexico.
His speech was long, “Burn the boats.” We all know the story of Cortés and burning the boats forced losing to be not an option. Was losing an option? No. They had to win against a foe that was 3 to 5 times larger. They had to win because they burned their boats. There was nowhere to go. Having a plan B only distracts you from plan A. That’s from the actor will Smith. I love it. Why do I like that? It’s because Cortés learned the lesson of burning the boats from Roman history. Romans were taught burning the bridges as a core tactic in military training. The option of retreat is distracting. That comes from a Roman general. Here’s the question for you, “Is failure an option?” The first step of all success is stopping lying to yourself. Is failure an option in your business, in your company, in the division you manage, for whatever you do? Do you have a backup plan? Can you fail? If you fail, can you go get another job? If you fail, can you start another business? If you fail, can you file bankruptcy and start over? Here’s the deal, what if you didn’t? What if you couldn’t? Why not consider putting something in play that does not physically allow you to fail? Think about it. Do it. Only the strong survive. I hope this helps take care.