I find one of the most valuable things I can do is to force my team (when looking at a potential investment, our own startup idea, or a current portfolio company) to ask questions and start thinking in terms of 10x… How do we make it 10 times bigger?

This can be revenue, profits, reach, database of customers, brand equity, etc.

The exercise

Brainstorm for one hour with no resource constraints allowed (forget that you don’t have the time, there isn’t enough capital, you have the wrong team or any other excuse – real or perceived). Just imagine WHAT IS POSSIBLE.

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Who is the biggest customer I could land? (again, forget resources)

2.  Who is the industry icon? Can I get them as a board member?

3. What if we took this to new markets? International? A new demographic?

4. What if we offered something for free? What if we charged 5 time more?

5. Could this service be a product? Could this product be a service?

6.  Can we buy a competitor? Or hire their top producer?

You get the point. You should have a huge list of questions and an even larger list of answers. This should be a fun and energizing process.

Now, prioritize the ones that have the biggest impact. The real 10x’ers… I bet suddenly some of those seem doable. You are 2-3 degrees from that board member (tops) if you work at it. You are one hire away from an international market. That biggest customer can be researched, attacked, and landed.

Create a plan to make them happen and take action. Even small steps towards big outcomes can lead to dramatic results.



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