Get Out of Your Country and Your Industry to Find Growth

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Hey, it’s Mike Cooch from Gothenburg, Sweden, where I’m here watching the Gothia Cup.

It is a massive global soccer tournament. I guess it’s the biggest youth tournament in the world. My daughter’s playing in it with her team. There are about 1700 plus teams from 78 different countries around the world.

And it’s simply awesome.

It’s all about the beautiful game and bringing people together around the game of soccer. They have the opportunity to connect and learn about each other’s cultures. The way that the game can unite them even though they have differences in their cultures and politics.

It’s a really, really cool experience and really well produced. I can’t speak highly enough about it.

It reminds me of the importance of getting out of your routine and I’m doing it now by traveling to another country.

Getting out of your industry

It’s an eye-opening learning experience about different cultures and meeting different people.

But in the business getting outside of your routine and industry, and looking for ideas outside of it is actually good.

You can apply it to your business where many of the major growth breakthroughs come from. I’ve read a number of prominent strategists that talk about how most of the major breakthroughs in the industry’s come from ideas that were brought in from outside of their industry.

Because if you’re just doing the things that are being done within your industry, you’re just making incremental improvements.

And if you’re making incremental improvements, it’s hard to really take off from your competition. The reality is incremental improvements means that you’re going to have to be executing better than your competition and it is hard.

The major breakthroughs usually come from a totally different product or service idea, or a totally different strategy.

So even if you’re not executing it perfectly, it’s so different that it gives you a leapfrog situation over your competition.

Most breakthroughs come from outside the industry

The first business that I grew really successful and sold is an IT management company.

The most important concepts that were successful for us in that business actually came from of all things.

Take, for example, the prepaid legal industry, which I studied like crazy. Some of the things that they did there I took it. And then the payroll processing industry. Payroll processing had a really, really successful sales formula and selling to small businesses.

I studied the heck out of those two businesses and applied major concepts that they had success with, to the IT management industry. It gave me a several year headstarts in our business model over what the current environment has and what the competition was doing.

They thought we were crazy because the things that we were doing were totally foreign and out of our industry.

Now that’s the way the entire industry operates, in the small business IT management space.

That gave us something to really get ahead.

And that ultimately is what led to us being able to sell that company very successfully because we had a real head start over the competition. And somebody else wanted that head start as a part of their company.

So look outside of your business, look for ideas that are totally different.

Of course, not all of them are going to be applicable, but you’re going to find one or two of those gems. You will be able to apply them to your business. That will give you a real leapfrog competitive advantage.

All right. I hope that helps you. I’m back to soccer. Take care.

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Mike Cooch
Mike Cooch

LVRG CEO Mike Cooch is a serial entrepreneur who generates 6-7 big ideas before breakfast (conservative estimate) each day.

Mike has a Texas-sized passion for sales & marketing, business development, technology, and entrepreneurship.

He has founded successful businesses in technology services, agency services, publishing, and ecommerce (and flopped on a variety of attempts as well…keepin’ it real!).

His businesses have made the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America three times, and have been recognized as a 'Best Place to Work' in their respective cities.

He has an MBA from Babson College, the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the world by US News 24 years running, where he has been a regular guest lecturer on 'Managing a Growing Business'.

He has three children, is an avid skier, hiker and traveler, and is loving his adopted hometown of San Diego.