10x Thinking as a Creative Force

Cultivate a creative mindset that makes growth and progress “normal.”

People like policy: It shelters them from the strain of having to think. As an entrepreneur, though, you’re from a different planet. Your vitality depends on having the freedom to constantly grow and change, to make new connections, and to ask questions that shake everything up.

To you, bureaucracy is like Kryptonite.

That’s not to say change is always comfortable or any less scary. Even the best entrepreneurs can be tempted to use old habits, messes, and structures as a way to hide from big opportunities. In the face of overwhelming disruption, our minds can flip into “emergency survival mode.”

As Dan Sullivan put it in a presentation last week introducing the Strategic Coach® Program, “The human brain cannot do extraordinary things, only normal things.”

“So the trick,” he says, “is to make the extraordinary normal.”

This is one of the great reasons for cultivating The 10x Mindset: By putting an unreasonably large goal out in front of you, you pose a question to your mind: “What would that look like?” Your mind simply can’t ignore a question, so it begins to make connections and imagine solutions on its own terms.

This kind of thinking is our very definition of creativity: A growing ability to put things together in unpredictable ways that introduce entirely new solutions and produce entirely new breakthroughs.

Just the other day Richard Branson tweeted, “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges, and trying to rise above them.”

That’s exactly what we’re talking about: He’s habituated the growth mindset to such a degree that his daily experience of “normal” is simply unimaginable to most people. And you’ve done this, too: Go back in your mind to a time when your income was one-tenth of what it is today. At that time, you might have considered it impossible to achieve what you have. Imagine how happy and excited that "past you" would have felt if you could tell them how things would work out!

Now turn that focus the other way around, and project forward: Can you conceive of a future that’s 10x bigger than what you have now?

Bureaucracies are based on keeping everything the same so they can preserve their status. Policy and rules “protect” the structure from the effects of individuals, whose participation is measured in hours on the clock, not in results. In an entrepreneurial organization, by contrast, change is life, because “holding your ground” means stagnating and falling behind. Individuals are sought out and rewarded for their ability to think, create, and make a unique contribution.

Make a habit of The 10x Mindset, and innovation, risk-taking, and teamwork will all come together for you in a completely new way. Bureaucratic thinking and structures simply won’t survive in your environment because you and the people around you will be entirely focused on building, adapting, and expanding a path toward your “bigger future” vision.

Read about this and four other key advantages of 10x thinking in Dan’s latest article "Why go 2x when you can go 10x" in the May issue of Success Magazine.


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