Ep. #828 - The Exponential Mindset
Change is the only thing constant in this world, or so the oft-mentioned adage says. While that statement still holds in today’s modern society, the rise of digital technology pushes us forward to not only think linearly but exponentially.
Listen as today’s guest, Mr. Aaron D. Barre, author of the best-selling book Exponential Theory, explains in detail what Exponential Thinking means or, simply put, the “power of thinking big.”
He sits down with Matt DeCoursey to unravel the mystery of why some of the world’s geniuses, like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, are navigating our tech-driven world at such an exponential pace compared to other business leaders. If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to accelerate your business to the next level, this one is a must-listen.
Consider that we spend more time in our company than we do with our friends or sleeping. We should probably do something we are passionate about, something that has purpose or meaning to us.Aaron Bare
Exponentially, you have to upgrade your hardware; you have to upgrade your company and expand that. It goes to the mindset to get from 0 to 250 in four years, which is amazing. In the next four years, it’s going to take a whole different set of skills, and that’s why you get this hand-off of different leadership roles changing as you grow.Aaron Bare
It’s never an accident. There’s always a level of preparation, practice, and obsession.Matt DeCoursey
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. You hear a lot of talk and conversation about your mindset having a positive mindset having a productive mindset. But how about having an exponential mindset That’s what I’m going to get in today with today’s guests and yeah I’m not going to mess around and just tell you that today’s episode startup hustle is brought to you by fullscale io hoping you build a software team quickly and affordably That’s my company if you want to learn more about how we can help you make your tech dreams come true. Go to fullscale io. With me today I’ve got Aaron Bare and that’s b-a-re. You can learn more about Aaron at http://aaronbear.com. Don’t even worry about spelling it. There’s a link in the show notes Aaron is the author of the book Exponential Theory. We are going to talk all about that straight out of Phoenix, Arizona, where I’m positive, it’s warmer than Kansas City is today. Aaron, welcome to Start Hustle. Yeah, you but you know I like to start my conversations with you.
Thanks, Matt. Thanks for having me on.
Let us know a little bit about your backstory. So, why don’t we just dive right in there?
Yeah, so well man I’ve been an entrepreneur I started my career at Accenture Anderson consulting which tells you how old it was that was too before the millennium. I started at Accenture; it was I guess said it was Anderson Consulting. But since then had been an entrepreneur. Started a dozen companies and sold them probably started failed at more than a dozen companies along the way and ended up launching 3 different incubator accelerators and I’ve actually launched 3 different sustainable nonprofits. So I’ve been busy creating things. I always like to say I like to create and sell stuff and you know the entrepreneurial platform really helps me do that and you know the name of your podcast here is basically the life and world I’ve been in. Finally, as I started kind of creating ah businesses that got larger and larger I started creating this formula around exponential and then I got really involved as entrepreneur residents at Arizona State University Thunderbird and Singularity University which really got me entrenched and exponential and. Thinking about companies that actually impact a billion people is a different mindset than the average entrepreneur out there starting but it’s a great mindset to adapt and really launch into a company because you think differently you think bigger and candidly you’ll grow much much bigger and. You know I’ll share quite a few different stories about Elon Musk and different people that really launched their companies with this exponential mindset and something really to learn from as we kind of move into this exponential technology that is really taking over every different industry. We see a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs to fill some of the voids and spaces there with some exponential thinking. So.
Yeah, and once again I’m looking forward to the chat you know the book just came out on March Twenty-second. Congratulations! As a former and possibly future author I hope people always ask, “what’s the best part about writing a book and I say finishing it”. So, congratulations because it’s really a labor of love. On many days now, you know I’m fascinated with this topic as I mentioned before we started recording. You know, I wrote a book called, ‘Balance Me’, which is the realist guide to a successful life. A little bit of a formula for it’s funny because it’s not a life balance book. It actually says that life balance is kind of a myth. It’s something you have for very brief amounts of time. It’s never really a permanent thing. Overall, people don’t like change and you know so with that I’ve been studying human performance. Now when you say, when you define, like what is, when you look at the Exponential Theory, like what’s the main thesis statement? Or you know how do you define that just you know from a top-level?
Yeah, the Exponential Theory has really taken the power of thinking big, and really from that, you become a much more conscious entrepreneur because when you think about more than just a small customer base when you start thinking. The masses of people you’re going to see a rise in consciousness and um in this book I kind of interweave a lot of these stories of these companies that are leading the way you know and even talking about BlackRock and some of their commitments to sustainability as well as longer-term so when you start thinking bigger. Um, you definitely have bigger challenges but candidly you don’t sweat the small stuff and all that stuff falls away so in these entrepreneurs you know? Ah, an example I kind of launched the book with is Bill Gates who launched Microsoft and in 77 he made a statement in the world when at the time. There were barely any computers on the desktops of workplaces he said there will be a computer in every home in 25 years well he underestimated because now there’s a computer you know literally in every pocket. So the exponential thinking of putting a goal out there seems so ridiculous. Um, basically encapsulated an industry that Microsoft kind of led the way to that. The same thing has now happened you know Elon Musk is one of the probably greatest exponential thinkers of our time you know putting these extraordinarily big goals out there like hey, we’re going to go to Mars. You know we’re literally going to go to Mars by 2040 and a similar type of goal. What Bill Gates, did you know as far as what people believed was even possible. But now you get the other big thinkers that are like well I want to help do that. You know if I’m going to do something big and we all want to be part of something bigger. So if you establish a massive transformative purpose. Um, which is really a nomenclature that’s created in the book exponential organizations by Sele Ishmael which was ah a co really a co I guess he was the president of singular university when I was there. Um, you know, basically these massive transformative purpose allows you to. Get these people that are really wanting to make a big change and you find yourself attracting the right talent we’re in the biggest talent war ever. You know whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re a big company. Um, you know talent does win the war and in that, you know when you say you’re going to go to Mars. There are a lot of different goals between here and there. And the beauty is people can find themselves to say I want to be part of that and that’s what we’re seeing then these companies are growing same with Tesla you know hey we’re going to. We’re going to build the best battery it does when we weren’t going to build the best company the best car company and ends up being.
1 of the leading car companies because they built the best battery which was the technology that really was the exponential technology to take it to the next level. So there’s um, a whole slew of stories. You know in the book exponential theory that really you know talks about how when you start thinking bigger. That you create bigger opportunities for yourself and that goes to even raise venture capital I’m sure you’ve had many different venture capital, people, on or people that raise money I’ve raised over $100000000 it’s much easier to ask for a much bigger number because it takes just as much due diligence to get a bigger number as it does to get a smaller number. So if you’re out there talking to the right people. Having a much bigger scalable plan is a much more exponential idea. Everyone wants to see the hockey curve which is really what exponential is it’s that curve that goes up and you know once you hit the knee in the curve and it starts growing exponentially it’s where every company wants to be. Um, it takes a long period of time to really get there for a lot of different companies even Facebook took you to know several more years than people think to actually get to a deceptively you know where it actually scaled, and then within a couple of years. It literally was global but all these stories kind of culminate. But I’d say as expertise where I help go into companies to really think bigger to actually strategize on how they could actually take their company to the next level by literally just creating bigger and bigger goals and expanding the mindset which is all part of the growth mindset which is kind of anchored within that. But it’s also anchored in not thinking linearly. Because people still think linearly meaning if I had 10% growth every year that sounds great. That’s not exponential if you all of a sudden have ten x growth now you are literally changing the way you’re operating, you’re changing the way growth and to your point about people not liking change. You know change is the only constant but in my book. You know we really prove that change isn’t constant. It’s actually accelerating so when it’s accelerating if you’re going to keep up. You can’t constantly just change with you know minimum status quo you know you really have to accelerate your change by thinking even bigger than you’ve ever thought before.
This is very much in line with you know, recently I’ve been spending a lot of time studying. Genius and first off people confuse genius and talent. And then also I’ve come to the realization that people get it wrong. They think that geniuses are born not made um and you know we all do genius things and have opportunities to do it now with that I mentioned talent and genius being often confused talent is being able to hit the target. Everybody can see geniuses hitting the target. No one even knew existed. And you mentioned multiple people you look at like bill gates. So first off you mentioned 1976 I was one year old um computers weren’t anywhere I mean you look at that lofty goal like that was a target that no one would I mean people maybe there might be the people that saw it or knew it existed. But. You know you have to and the thing I’ve really come to realize is that if anybody that does quote genius things is a big exponential thinker and with that you in order to climb up to where you want to be you know like you. Mentioned the 10% growth people do think it’s stepping but it’s not because it gets exponentially harder at every level and I’m going through this a little bit at full scale. So you know we’re not even 4 years old and I’m coming up on my two hundred and fiftieth employee and it is a completely different game now. Getting to double that than it was to get from 1 25 to 52 and then some of that even involves making tough decisions realizing that some of the people that might have helped you get to that point aren’t the next level people and how to figure that out so when you’re looking at. You know so much about entrepreneurship is a journey into the unknown so you know how do you? That’s what I’m curious about when something is unknown all right? So if we know we’ve got 8 and 8 we can use that as an exponent and and create a sum. And a plan of getting to 64 and all that how do you create an exponential mind the earth mindset when it comes to journeying into something I mean these are all variables that are unknown at that point. So how do you solve for them?
Yeah I mean I think in your own example at full scale. You know it’s you’re reaching that point that as I’ve worked with a lot of startups that some have been backed by the venture some that venture capital some that haven’t but when you get to a certain point. Um. Money solves some of the problems but your organization is probably 1 of your biggest problems. So if you don’t change your leadership team if you don’t change some of your members that are real and that’s where expanding the mindset and the vision of that company and I talk about this in the book is really that you know, um. You know which you know is volatility uncertainty you know chaos and ambiguity that there’s a new voca and this wasn’t defined by me. But you know how do you create a vision you know and then create understanding clarity and agility and a team to create agility that vision needs to be a massive transformative purpose. Um, something much bigger than your company is and then really the leadership needs to expand that otherwise there is a place where you plateau and most companies plateau I had a digital strategy firm candidly that it was a one I’ll just say it was me selling the business and managing a lot of the clients and we had ah a few other. Always attempted to grow and we we would hit this $3000000 mark where we’d have 30 clients and we would just you know would loop back around as it was just always filtering out and we’d always be right? There? Um, that’s when I started thinking about this. How do people just scale through that and you know I figured you know. What I was best at is when I’d come into other companies and help them but my own company I actually wasn’t the right guy to drive it beyond that number I’m not the number one I’m literally the number 2 or the consultant that comes in that helps and I you know I think that’s the realization of some entrepreneurs is there’s a lot of great engineers and inventors and you know technologists that have. You know created great technology but they’re not necessarily the person to really grow and scale that and and candidly Mark Zuckerberg is one the only few people that really created a company and stayed with it the whole way. You know to be 1 of these exponential companies. Most of them had other people that were really running the operation which he does as well. So it’s. You know in a way he’s kind of put himself in a position that he gets credit for a lot there but he has you know Sandberg there and some other people but you know the point is is like how do you expand that where you continually upgrade. You know it’s just like a computer can only grow so much and if we were to use computers from. You know my first computer was ah you know on Apple Mac too which I wish I would have kept because it’s worth like ten or $20000 now. But it had like a hu. What’s that it really is.
Is it really is it really? um I might have to go dig for my parents old Ibm Pc Junior then
there there I don’t know what’s valuable out there. That’s old but there’s some valuable stuff that’s all, but this thing had a a literally fifty four megabyte hard drive on it right? I mean so it you know that’s less than you know some emails I you know exchange now if I use like ah a we transfer. But.
The point is is that exponentially is that you have to upgrade your hardware. You have to upgrade your company. You have to expand that and that goes to the mindset. What took you to get from 0 to 56 years which is an amazing feat by the way is you know in the next four years to do that is going to take a whole different set of skills and that’s why. You often see this kind of handoff of different leadership roles changing as as you grow and that’s even the case on a lot of these that maybe people look like figureheads you know Bill gates early on brought Steve Ballmer in you know Sandra um Sam Berg came in for Facebook. You you know all those they may have been leaders that look like they stayed in that position but they literally surrounded themselves with people that had operationalized at that level. So it’s it’s a constant you know at the end of the day it is ah you’re in different periods of times and exponential growth doesn’t seem as possible but I actually consult with companies like you know diamond mercedes-benz which. You know, literally some of their investments are like how do we create? How do we disrupt ourselves because we know we’re being disrupted which is important for very big companies and honestly very proactive thinking when you’re when you’re looking at the future saying you know there’s all these impending impeding industries kind of colliding. All of a sudden the automotive industry is an automotive. It’s transportation because now uber and you know all these other van gogh and all these other type of companies are literally invading the space and urban people that were their buyers are now saying I don’t ever really aspire to have a car I’ll just you know there’s no. And there’s there’s nowhere to drive that car. You know so around the world. The youth is also you know there’s been this percentage increase of people not wanting to drive all these exponential things that are changing because our habits and taste and things are changing is why companies have to continually to pivot think exponential. Um, and really think about what is their next big thing for them to survive and that’s why you know the sandpfivehundred you know in the about thirty years ago you know the average age was about 67 years on that today. It’s down to fifteen that change just shows you. How much companies change is how fast 1 they’re acquired very easily It’s consolidating but number 2 you know they’re literally pushed off because other technologies or other companies come in to that space so having ah a dominant company for for any amount of time is ah is a tough thing and even. jeff bezos in my book I talk about it is even claims that you know it’s unlikely that amazon will rainign for a very long time It’s you know it’s with certainty that some some better technology or something will come along with that said, you know he’s he’s riding. He’s riding that way right now and and.
I think I think he’ll be all right? Either way he’ll be all right? Either way, you know what what 1 one yeah note note to self for listeners if you ever if your company ever finds a way to launch you into space. Don’t land.
True dominance and ecommerce space. Yeah yeah, he’s he’s he’s in good shape. He’s onto his Rocket company Anyways, just like all the other billionaires. So.
And then tell all of the employees that can’t afford to go to space. Thank you You all did this not a good move so there’s a couple things you said here I think are are important for listeners to to key in on so you mentioned you know talking about upgrading your hardware and and and you know like I look you. Look at full scale as an example like my goal isn’t to be another three and a half years and then we’re at 500 people I’m preparing to have a thousand employees in eighteen months which is exponential. It’s getting there and one of the things that I’ve been talking about recently and our meetings so I’ve got the tricky task of. Dealing with people in the United States and then I’ve got hundreds of employees in the Philippines so you know I’ve got 2 different cultures to to deal with but something I’ve really said is that we have to be honest and honest with ourselves. We can’t tell ourselves as leaders managers and employees of the company that we are. Capable willing or able to do things that we suck at like certain certain things like there are just some jobs that I’m never going to be good at cause I’m not passionate about it I don’t have the skillset or the experience and if you continue to if you continue to tell yourself. And ah and listen to you know you can’t believing the lie doesn’t make it true and you know you mentioned upgrading your hardware and then we talked about a fifty four megabyte thing hey that’s only going to process so much data in info you can’t just you can’t just will your way in. Oh I really believe that that. Original mac has the ability to be faster. It doesn’t and and it is what it is and then you know part of the things I think with the exponential growth and the change is you have to make you have to be exponentially agile and reactive to certain things and at the same time be proactive about other things which. Is always the entrepreneur’s dilemma. You know the chicken and egg problem and you know you look at at some companies you so the problem for entrepreneurs with exponential growth is you got to be planning for what comes out after the exponent is figured and. That means that you got to kind of be a riverboat gambler on some days and take some chances here. Take some chances there and then you’re hoping shit works out which it doesn’t always and you know with that you know that I’m known to say there’s only 1 promise that I ever make in life and that’s that things will change. So you need to prepare for that I think the kiss of death that you hear people say right before their business fails is is things like ah things were just like they used to be yeah, they never They’re never gonna be so ah, looking forward to this? Yeah but it.
Yeah I I think that’s a good. Oh I think that’s a good point Matt it’s um, you know I think the biggest thing that I see when I go into companies that that they’re unable to to reach an exponential mindset are unable to handle that kind of change or speed is this decision making you know people.
And a certain level get paralyzed about decisions and candidly you have to make decisions faster and there’s a quote in my my book and not good at pulling quotes out of my book. But Larry page says there are no companies that are there are no companies that are great. That aren’t great at making fast decisions and the reality is if we are in a war of speed and the ability to make decisions means you have to be willing to make mistakes and I’ve adopted this whole methodology in the companies that I’m involved in is is really you win or learn. You don’t ever fail you know at the end of the day. Is you have to declare those those winnings and like celebrate those like beyond belief when you actually get it right? But you have to learn otherwise and the faster you do that and that’s really what in the book I really kind of cover how some of these companies and how Amazon honestly can you know reign dominance and Facebook because. Amazon has 10000 experimental teams working on different projects some of them working on the same exact project to actually make them exponential or take them to the the future. Um, the second thing is Facebook at any 1 time could have 30000 versions of their software. Looking to optimize it. You know at the 1 time so all of a sudden that experimentation. You know there’s Malcolm Gladwell created the 10000 hours and actually Michael Simmons the productivity guy said 10000 experiments is probably better. You know the faster you can experiment the faster you can get there and part of being exponential is is really. Making those mistakes and learning from them fast and making sure everyone learns from them so that you can obviously then think bigger and bigger and bigger because the more mistakes you learn and the more confidence you give you know like Amazon example is I don’t know if you remember the Amazon fire phone I was so maybe so Jeff.
Maybe maybe it is it. It’s in it’s in stock right next to the Microsoft Zoom player probably yeah right.
Jeff Bezos said this.
Yeah, and the Google glasses and a few others but um, they spent $300000000 on that and you know instead of firing the team that created that because it failed miserably as one of Amazon’s biggest failure they went on to create alexa so that most of that team so all of a sudden because that team. Learned so much they were able to take what they learned in building a phone and said let’s build this thing that nobody knew they needed to have and then you know and said let’s invite it into our house so that we can talk to it and tell her to do this and it listens to us all day you know I mean it’s ah it’s a strange thing that people have adopted all these different technologies. Um, so easily. But you know the need for it wasn’t really known and I think that’s you know Steve Jobs in the book I talk a lot about him just really understanding how to launch disruption because his timing was always good when he launched things. And they actually held some of his technology back to launch him at the right time and I think that’s all part of you know, experimenting to figure that out and some of these really exponential companies are very patient have a longer term strategy than some companies. You know that are that are just thinking about the next quarter or the next eighteen months you know you know I would challenge you mad is the full scale. What does full scale look like in 10 years can you can you can you have a conversation around that like with your team with your leadership team would would you all agree that that’s what you want to create because once you have that group of people agreeing then all your decisions become easy. Then your true north is easy and that’s part of really taking a leadership group and saying like hey let’s let’s think bigger on this because candidly you know the 1 thing that’s different is em I must put a goal out in you know 2040 not many other companies that are thinking out in 2040 you know Bill gates put one out 40 years you know and said hey in 40 years this is going to happen. Um, you know I think it’s how do you think longer term because I think importantly, it, you know another quote out of my book is bill gates says something to the tune is. A lot of people overestimate what they can do in 1 year but underestimate what they can do in 10 and I think that’s ah, a very very good claim disclaimer for exponential if you’re gonna have the exponential mindset. You know we we always think of all we can do in 1 year which is a long time. But we never ever actually think about how consistently we could do something over 10 years and Kennedy that’s been my own flaw and my own entrepreneur career is as I told you I’ve sold companies as quick as I’ve founded them. You know to to be able to sell as many companies I’ve had and you know none of them were great. Huge exits. You know, many were.
6 figure 7 figure exits one eight figure. But I always rolled all that money into the next one you know with the sole goal of just you know doing it bigger the next time but honestly falling in the same decision making set that I wanted to do it bigger but I wanted to do it unless time which I ended up starting to learn a formula to do that. But. And never actually went exponential because you know I didn’t give it the 10 years that it needed or 20 years that it actually needed to to reach its full potential.
Once again, today’s episode of startup puzzle is brought to you by fullscale io which we’ve talked about quite a bit in this episode. We’ll help you build a software team quickly and affordable. You talk a lot about quickly. I mean that’s like honestly that’s why our business has grown so fast is quick and affordable access to offshore development teams which. You know we’re here in the us we’re battling against you know we’ve talked a lot in this episode about having people leadership and these are resources. Um and here in the us there’s 350000 open it jobs and that creates a problem so we knew we had ah had a problem to fix when it came to that now you mentioned something about talking about. You know 10 years down the road most entrepreneurs are are trying to figure out tomorrow or today or yesterday or like the last three years and you know so the 10 year plans is lofty and you know some of that is but here’s the thing is if you can’t as an entrepreneur if you can’t sit back and truly dream about.
Um, yeah, that.
Having built something much much bigger than yourself then you’re really not aiming that big like why limit yourself like what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen. You’re not Goingnna. It’s not gonna happen. 1 other thing I wanted to reply to you mentioned earlier you said you either either learn. Or you win, but there is no fail I actually disagree with that I think you fail if you don’t learn so some people are definitely going to not learn from so many things I so I try to um you know it’s it’s funny because in my book Million dollar bedroom I talk so much about all the.
Dumb shit that I did in that business because I just didn’t really know any better I repeated some of it at full scale like just creating the ball of rubber bands because you know you know Yt growing so fast. It’s easy to go go go go go and I’ll be the first person to advise folks I say don’t be the shopkeeper that never opens the door because you’re too busy cleaning the store you know so you’re going to It’s going to be messy sometimes and if you’re going to if you’re going to sell everything on the shelf. It’s going to look like the tasmanian double came through on Sundays. You do have to end up getting back to changing that. So yeah, another thing when it comes to exponential. So I spend so much time talking to software and tech people about what they’re building and I really do like kind of reveal the formula they think that back to the steps. You know, like adding a second layer onto your onto your tech third or fourth that is not twice as hard. It’s not just another project. It really does become highly exponential and that’s why software and tech companies. They’ll tell you they’re like the last ten percent of the goal takes as long as the first ninety percent which technically means you’re only 50% of the way there by the way that’s the real math people. You’re not 10% away if the last ten percent takes as long as the first ninety percent that’s halfway there, but it’s also where it where it becomes tricky and you know it’s it’s treacherous territory now one of the things that someone said to me that. It’s funny for those of you that quote me on social media I did not make this quote up and I’ve seen it out there. What’s easier climbing to the top yourself or asking those on top to pull you up and you know like really for me. That’s where I’ve really well that’s first off why I enjoy the show. Um, you know people ask me like. 800 episodes later which I’ve been on about 600 of them. You know like why do you keep doing it I’m like because I get to talk to people about interesting stuff. This is you know, multiple times a week I get to jar my own thought process how how important is it for entrepreneurs to continue to disrupt their own.
Well I think you know disruption is a big part of my book because ah, you know you’re either gonna be disrupted or you disrupt you know and canly it’s much better to be in control of your life I Often take this to people out there that are probably working in their job and they want to be entrepreneurs.
Probably a lot of your listeners and you know a lot of times. Um, you know it’s a crazy kind of thing is people will leave a job if they feel like they’re eventually going to be replaced to to have no job but they won’t stay in a job so people will disrupt themselves because change is coming. But they won’t disrupt themselves in a positive like and ah but that’s a negative change it’ like hey I know they’re going to lay off or I know so people leave their job and they don’t even have another job and’re like well why’d you do that because well I knew I was going to get laid off eventually well you know that’s a negative. The positive is is how do you disrupt yourself to like. Really change your mindset to expand it to do something bigger and that’s where all companies and I’m saying every single company on this planet is literally has to be in a mindset of disrupting themselves because whatever business they’re in today. They won’t be in 10 years and I take in my book I take you through every exponential company that. We think of as Google Apple Amazon you know Facebook Microsoft some of these companies are really the 5 biggest companies in the world now those companies none of them are doing and making revenue in the same way they did ten years ago which is you know, just telling you like companies like Ibm and different ones that have kind of fallen off is. They’re constantly struggling to kind of keep up with that disruption to a small company to be more relevant to very startups is you have to pivot a lot to find that magic space like you did in 1 of your early ventures and and whatnot but part of that failure topic just to kind of come back to that that. You know is is to teach. You know you have to learn from this so part of getting a mindset where you’re okay, with failure and and be creating exponential results is because the reality is no one’s ever going to get it right? You know the first time and i’ve. Coached a lot of different startups and they create a pro performer and they like is this a good performa I’m like well the only thing that’s good about it. The only thing I do know about it that it’s not right and they always are like well what do you mean Well, you’re projecting this idea that you know. Something’s going to happen all I can say is for certain. It’s kind of like your change quote for certain. It’s wrong. So you just have to build confidence that it’s right and that’s really about the exponential mindset is building confidence. You know, can you think bigger and can you make everyone believe.
You can actually do that and I think that’s where when we look at some of these great exponential leaders. They actually make us believe you know you know and and honestly are very criticized more than anyone else like you know I Musk may be the one of most criticized people but canidly doing the most innovative things in 10 you know, literally at 10 different industries I mean he’s. He’s not holding back and saying I’m doing this He’s just a leader steps out of the way gets the right team. You know says go make mistakes. Let’s to have him fast. How do we iterate and make this happen. You know, very driven but candidly has hired the right people around him to to obviously drive that.
I don’t give a lot of thought anymore to people that criticize me that don’t do what I do that aren’t like I get myself in trouble too because my wife just says I have a big mouth but I feel that. You know I just I think part of why people listen to this show and and maybe even pay attention to what I’m doing on Sundays and thank you because you have an infinite number of things you can do besides pay attention to anything we’re doing but laying the truth out there like and yeah I kind of got myself in hot water a couple years ago because I was pretty vocal about the fact that. Was literally on social media saying I’m never going to it I’m not going to another fucking event where there is a panel of non- entrepreneururs trying to tell me how to be an entrepreneur. You do not have my attention you know and and it’s funny cause I got a cute like I had people calling me, they’re like dude I wanted to say that forever but I can I’m like why not.
Um, but effectively.
Say it who cares I mean really in the end you got to not worry about if you’re going to if you’re gonna do what you want to do? there’s going to hey hater gonna hate. You know it’s just the way it goes. Yeah yes.
Well and I think the bigger the bigger you think it scares people to think small so you know that’s the point of this is cannily part of adopting exponential theory is to be criticized because you’re going to do things that people don’t believe you know are possible. And they’re going to be like you’re crazy. Well candidly the more crazy you make it sound and the more you know you’re gonna the more you can actually stick consistently and people believe that you’re going to change the world and you know I think that’s the opportunity with exponential theory and and really helping people’s mindsets expand which. I take a second program and building a course called exponential mindset beliefs and attitudes that really has a stepby-step approach of how I’ve actually coached you know ceos at the global 100 level as well as coached entrepreneurs to say how do you take your company to the next level and I think that’s where um. Goal of exponential mindset beliefs and attitudes is in every single word we say becomes part of the culture and especially as a Ceo and leader so you have to be very very careful in who you say to what and that’s where we have such big problems with culture and I I used to build a cultural assessment tool. Back in 2000? Um, after I ah and we went into taiko and Yahoo and six sigma academy and Abbott Laboratories and all these companies this was right around Enron and world com and it was really telling you know that there are 6 you know, basically six problems and companies that are all the same six problems as every company even down to a small company but in those 6 problems what we do is the order them is different and cannily a lot of it almost all of it falls on the leadership to define some of these different things and that’s where. You know companies that want to become exponential. There is clearly a way to coach the ceos to actually what are you actually sharing that are saying that you can do this or you’re not able to do this because if you don’t believe you can do this. It becomes very clear to everyone and then all of a sudden you wonder why? you have. You know retention problems because people are like I’m gonna go find my big. The big thing I’m gonna sell my life out for is gonna be somewhere else which you know you’re literally giving your life to a company when we consider that we spend more time in our companies than we do with our friends or sleeping or anything. Um. We should probably do something that we’re passionate about and something that has purpose or meaning to us and I think that’s definitely what this new generation. What I do love about working with younger people is. They’re all about that. You know there’s nothing There’s no the only predictable thing is like find me something I believe in and I can sell my soul to.
And they’ll be all in on that and unfortunately they’ve been let they’re starting to get let down you know by different companies or whatever. Um, you know demanding all these different things. But we’re seeing more flexibility because if you want those passionate purposeful people you got to meet them where they are not where you are and that’s been a whole shift. You know to companies. Actually understanding the talent actually wins the war not necessarily. You know the idea the idea will die if you don’t have the right people and the right leadership involved because the rest of it’ll fall out’ll fall the line.
You know people people are amazed so at full scale with the hundreds of employees. We have almost no churn like I mean it’s like nonexistent and it’s ah you know I mean talking like 5 people in eight months you know and but the reason is is because we put a head like ah you mentioned passion and purpose so a couple things and just to share so ah, first off, it’s very difficult you talk about exponential culture and dealing with that so when ah you provide service to 40 different. 50 to forty fifty different tech companies. Your people are becoming their their team and so the exponential nature of that is a challenge because you don’t get the everyday look at that now part of how we handle that is we have the you know several years ago um I rolled out the whole idea that we needed to be client-obsessed like obsessed with our clients success like our purpose is to help our clients get to where they want to be now that’s actually not for the client’s benefit. It’s for our benefit. So we have a purpose-driven feeling about what we do now this is prior to the pandemic and the world is very remote now. But by nature. We were always remote so you know we had to do something to like kind of you know, separate and close that gap between.
So much of it. You know another thing I wanted to I have a couple notes here about bringing some stuff up. So I mentioned my my recent research about genius I’ve actually been doing Zoom calls with rock stars which has been a hell of a lot of fun because it’s always nice to talk to your heroes and people that you enjoy but 1 one someone that I’ve known for 15 years That’s like literally like a world-class guitarist Jake seneer from the band Umphreys Mcgee been you know playing in front of 10000 people on on a lot of nights and you know. Talking about like how do you Okay, so if you ask this guy if you say how many guitar cords are there but 7117 like how many even do you know? well mal I know all of them. You know what? and I actually know him backwards too and you know so you say well. How do you if you already know all these things. How do you do something different so when you talk to him about how he creates. He’ll force himself to make mistakes because he wants to see what his natural reaction is afterward and it’s like literally like very mad sciencey in a lot of ways and you know and you’re looking at someone that’s so I’m forty six years old he’s he’s ah barely younger than me and you know there’s ah, there’s ah a point. At which it’s easy for a lot of people to feel like they’ve made it now. 1 thing I’ve realized is that all the high achievers that keep doing genius stuff are never ever satisfied with where they’re at and you know there’s always more There’s always something There’s always this like undying need to. To do a little bit more so I want to really encourage all of you like there’s nothing. There’s nothing wrong with thinking big and you know one other thing too is you mentioned like projections I was as I’ve gotten older I’m slowly. Embracing the role the professor type role I wear glasses every day now I can’t read I can’t read my phone without my glasses that tells you what my life’s come to on many days but I was advising ah given some advice to an entrepreneur half my age and he was just like oh these projections I was like dude they’re wrong.
Um, the hell.
He’s like what do you mean? they’re wrong. Where did I make a mistake I’m like no, they’re always, they’re never going to be right? and if you if you are right like if those any projections you’re making end up being 100% three years later maybe you should just do that because you’re the only 1
That has that crystal ball that works so you know don’t get too stuck on that. Especially when you go to raise money like no one that writes checks is looking and going. You know you want to be realistic I mean I I don’t believe that six months in you’re going to capture 40% market share in pretty any pretty much anything so that’s a different story now. Well Aaron you know these conversations always go so quickly and it’s time to start preparing for the founder’s freestyle. Once again, today’s episode startup puzzlele is brought to you by full scale. We help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And that’s really the key thing quickly easily so much of what we do is trying to clear the air and the bandwidth for you to go build the company not turn yourself into an hr recruiting assessing company and you know why not take the straighter path to getting the folks that you need so you know Aaron I mentioned. My episodes I’m not the only host of the show. So if you haven’t listened before we have more than one host you can hear episodes with my business partner and startup hustle co-founder Matt Watson he’s got a new weekly show right here on this podcast also tune in with Lauren. But Lauren conoway the founder of innovate her. She just got her five Thousandth member which is pretty cool and then if you’re interested in Amazon and e-commerce Andrew Morgans is your guy. He’s the Ceo and founder of http://marknology.comjoinandrew for a weekly show and all in that’s a lot of shows every week five a week and the wheel. Keeps on turnin I think we just ah based on the published date of this. We have just blown past our Eight Hundredth episode and we’re not looking back trying to figure out what we’re going to do for episode 1000 so maybe we should freestyle that but as promised it’s time for the founders’ freestyle I mean really, it’s a good opportunity to. Mention anything. We may have missed or clarify anything or I’ve had people recite poetry I’ve literally had people rap saying do all kinds of stuff I’m not saying that’s an expectation but you know you do what you do? It’s your freestyle bro.
Yeah, all right? Well thank you? Um well exponential theory is is a theory and I think theory is only as good as that you put it into practice and I think to your your last point is is really like seeking mastery. And one of the things that um I think as a younger person or younger entrepreneur is to know that it does take time to get that mastery level like when you’re talking about guitar chords forwards and backwards is because the passion was there and you know he just continued to do that the same with the craft of entrepreneurship or leadership. Sales or marketing or any function within the the greater enterprise you know is how do you come mastery and I think you definitely see these people in organizations when you see mastery they stand out and you see someone that seeks mastery that they know that they’re never there. They’re always wanting more and I think that’s what exponential is about when you can surround yourself with people that want to be masterful in their craft. You’ve already won because 1 you’re gonna enjoy every day you’re gonna find things that are brilliant and genius about each of you because we all have it in us. None of us all of us are meant here to find some greater purpose areta you know as Aristotle said is you know the purpose of life is to seek craft of excellence and I think part of that is you know as you really kind of grow. As an individual as a leader or whatever the next stage is always going to be uncomfortable the next you know for you, you know, breaking beyond your 250 you know hiring a thousand and next eighteen months is going to be uncomfortable and there’s lots of learning opportunities. But that’s you seeking mastery. How do I run this. Organization in the best way possible and it’s getting the people around you to actually seat that as well. So exponential theory is the start of that exponential mindset beliefs and attitudes is a course that we’ve developed that we’re enroying. It’s ah it’s a coaching program that leads to people that want to do mastery and. You know we’re ah we’re actuallyrolling other coaches into becoming exponential coaches because there’s such an exponential nature to companies now that this component is often lost when people you know have four or five percent gains every year they think that’s great. Well the biggest opportunity is actually to think bigger. And then you’ll just be amazed that when people start thinking bigger on behalf of your company of what they’ll create. You know, stepping out of their way giving them a purpose. That’s you know, massively transformative and stepping out of the way and you know that’s part of what I do and help companies through workshops consulting.
You know all kinds of different things all the way to being on the you know board board of directors of some companies a large energy company and stuff so all these different things I think lead back to that There is ah a new skill set that people have to have in the future and that’s exponential and that’s what exponential theory is about is to think Bigger. You’ll become more conscious. You’ll become. Actually create bigger results for you and candidly if you stick with it with persistence that’s a guarantee and that’s really what I’d want to end on is think exponential. Go big.
Yeah, and make sure to pick up eron’s book is available where you buy books so that’s a good there. You go you know a couple things I want to end my freestyles. Going back to your comment about linear so you mentioned just a moment ago seeking mastery I’ve been seeking genius and talking to people about it. It’s just super fascinating. First off 1 thing is is it’s never an accident like there’s always there is always a level of of preparation. Practice obsession and you’ll find also a lot of these words are you driven or are you obsessed? Are you a genius or are you crazy in the end who cares, you’re in the business of so satisfying your own needs in these regards, the outside commentary is just distraction now. 1 thing when I started the the seeking genius ah, you know, really getting into it I kind of I wanted to learn like do people turn it on with a switch like on or off and then I realized there’s no way it’s a switch and I started thinking it was a dial and you turn it up and then it became very very obvious quickly. Those are both linear 2 d kind of things and we as people as organizations as entrepreneurs and then when we get other people around us it becomes more like a spiral. That you’re trying to walk up because there’s a lot of depth complexity altitude like it is not it is not a flat surface. So with that. You know, prepare yourself for that now in the journey up this spiral towards genius there is a couple things that tether you. The universally are believed to hold you down now negativity and then being around other people that are negative or say you can’t are really the 2 primary drivers now. It’s easy to say oh I’m not a negative person. Okay, if you’re not thinking big. You’re being negative. You’re actually telling yourself. You have a subtle. Voice inside you that’s like oh we can only do this much. Okay, that’s actually negative that is a limiting belief. So if you only believe that you can climb so high then and you know there’s a being from Kansas we will say a fat dog doesn’t hunt. So you know you you get you get lazy.
And so and settle for where you’re at and what you do and you know and I mean honestly eraron it’d be pretty easy for me to just go and play golf every day now and be like cool. We have our clients. We have our employees. We’re really profitable blah blah blah but really in the end as as I’ve continued the. If you want to do genius things or you want to do big things. You don’t settle ever really and you never settle for mediocrity. So I drive my staff crazy on certain days because they’re you know like why are you being so picky about this. Well I’ll give you an example this this show is one thing so like. Sound quality of it and I told you even before we turned on I was like I just upgraded our sound equipment I probably didn’t need to do it but I needed it to sound good like I’m not going to settle for it sounding like shit and if we can do a little bit better. Why not? you know we monetized the podcast a long time ago and we can afford it. Why are we doing it. You know, let’s try to do better and better and better and better and there’s always something you can do that’s better and ah you know in conclusion if I’ve only learned 1 thing from being an entrepreneur. It’s that all businesses have problems. So you’re never going to get away from that. It’s not unique. It’s very common and you know so just. Figure out what the most valuable one to solve is or continue to find people that that deal in the mastery of solving the problems that you can’t once again, check out Aaron’s book there’s a link to his site Aaron you do a lot of great stuff and I want to thank you for that I appreciate you. Cataloging other people’s and your own exponential theories I think that these are the kind of things you never know look these theories are like seeds people so plantt them in your own mind. Go. Do it now. See you next time. Aaron.
Yeah I Thanks so much.