Years ago, Brian, the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, came up to my desk and said, “I’ve found it!”
And I was thinking, “you’ve found what?”
He explained that he came up with the “formula” to create the “flywheel effect” Jim Collins talks about.
Basically it amounted to this:
F x F x E = Success (being the flywheel effect kicking in)
Focus x Faith x Effort = Success
· Each letter is scored as a percentage out of 100
· You simply ask yourself on any given day:
o What percentage of today was I focused?
o What percentage of faith do I still have in my business?
o What percentage of effort did I put in?
Let’s say you were 50% focused, 50% faith, 50% effort– that only comes out to 12.5% chance of success, which is pretty crumby odds that you’ll succeed. I wouldn’t bother starting.
But if you’re 80% focused, with 80% faith, and 80% effort on every day, or every week, if your whole business or you were that focused, have that much faith, and had that much effort being put in, then you have a 51.2% chance of success. Better but still not great. You might as well go put all your start-up money on red in Vegas and take one spin of the roulette wheel to see what happens and save yourself years of heartache.
If you want to build a great organization and double your revenue, double your profits and take the amount of days you’re working at and cut them by 50%, you’ve got to start getting in the range of 90 x 90 x 90 – which still only gets you to 72.8% chance of success.
To build the kinds of businesses like we did with College Pro Painters, Boyd Autobody, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, you need 98% focus, 98% faith, and 98% effort – that gives you 94% chance of success.
I’m convinced that not doing this is why 85% of businesses in the United States and Canada fail within the first year. Most of them don’t wake up in the morning doing this stuff. They read great books and they don’t put any of it into practice.
Most companies and most employees wake up and start working on email with not a thought put into goals. Most companies aren’t focused.
In Good To Great, Jim Collins described the Flywheel. In rough this is the analogy:
Are you doing what it takes to get your flywheel turning?
Picture a huge, heavy flywheel.
It’s a massive, metal disk mounted horizontally on an axle. It’s about 100 feet in diameter, 10 feet thick, and it weighs about 25 tons. That flywheel is your company.
Your job is to get that flywheel to move as fast as possible, because momentum — mass times velocity — is what will generate superior economic results over time.
Right now, the flywheel is at a standstill. To get it moving, you make a tremendous effort. You push with all of your might, and finally, you get the flywheel to inch forward. After two or three days of sustained effort, you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn.
You keep pushing, and the flywheel begins to move a bit faster. It takes a lot of work, but at last the flywheel makes a second rotation. You keep pushing steadily. It makes three turns, four turns, five, six. With each turn, it moves faster, and then — at some point, you can’t say exactly when — you break through.
The momentum of the heavy wheel kicks in your favor. It spins faster and faster, with its own weight propelling it. You aren’t pushing any harder, but the flywheel is accelerating, its momentum building, its speed increasing.
This is the Flywheel Effect. It’s what it feels like when you’re inside a company that makes the transition from good to great.
***So for the next two weeks when I’m on vacation, let me know in the comments here, what % chance you’re creating to get your flywheel spinning.