Digging yourself into a hole

I just came back from a trip to North America where I met some very smart and ambitious business people.

In contrast, upon my return to Australia, I came across a 19-year old squash player who wants to make it on to the professional tour who said “I don’t have a coach, I prefer to do things on my own, see what’s out there and do it my way.”

I was gobsmacked. His fate is sealed – he is already YEARS behind his peers. We have local players here in Sydney who at the national level are already YEARS ahead of him.

So what does this have to do with business?

Dig Yourself Into A Hole - The Exponential Growth Strategist


In as much as today’s example is squash related, the same is true in business. I see it all the time. Business people who have dug themselves into a hole and want to get out. In many cases, the hole is too deep and as a mentor, I simply walk away. The reason I do that is because as Einstein said “The thinking that created the problem is not the thinking that will solve it.”

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I decided a long time ago to work with the elite in business, those who know what they want and are willing to invest in themselves to get it.

One of the key principles is the quote above. AVOIDING problems and MINIMISING mistakes is a necessary part of success.

One of the most valuable aspects of what I do for my clients is help them AVOID mistakes – prevent them from picking up that shovel in the first place.

A common and all-too-popular hole people are digging themselves into is with social media, another is poor quality copywriting.

The next time you get yourself into a hole – ask yourself this simple question: “How could I have avoided picking up the shovel in the first place?”

If you can do that, you will reduce the number of holes you dig for yourself moving forward.

1 Response to “Digging yourself into a hole”

  • I am just back from a project start up meeting in San Diego. Our client is Australian but their client is based in San Diego. There were 2 distinct differences that really stood out for me:
    – the San Diego based client has assembled a core team of industry professionals around them at the advisory level and were happy to pay for that advice
    – they had a concept prototype used to validate the product but weren’t insisting we just do a better one of those. They were open to getting all our best advice and input.

    These 2 points are based on one principle which is to use the existing teams of successful people around them as much as possible. And not to be afraid someone will steal their idea. I was very impressed with the caliber of people they had engaged as advisors.

    This is the opposite of my usual experience is Australia which is to involve as few people as possible and pay for as little advice as you could. Usually none. Not every client we have is like this of course, but it is more common in this direction than the San Diego experience.

    The reason I am writing this now, is that I have just got back and the distinction is so clear in my mind. And it has also raised the idea that if we can do more of this here, then that would make a huge difference to how much opportunity we can create for local products.

    So it was with interest that I read this as it seems the issue is wider than just the approach we take to product development in Australia.

    Ray Keefe
    Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd
    Engineering new Electronics Products for Australian Electronics Manufacturers
    Casey Business of the Year 2010
    Electronics News Future Award winners 2011, 2012
    Melbourne South East Small Business Award 2013
    Casey Business & Professional Services + Innovation Awards 2013
    Award Winning Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development
    Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development

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