How James Clear's ideas apply to companies
How to create a company that grows.
Hey folks, welcome to my second newsletter!
For those who don’t know, I write Demand Curve’s weekly newsletter where I share 3 startup growth tactics per week with 61k+ founders and marketers.
This newsletter is where I dive deeper into startup topics that interest me.
This is one that I’ve been noodling on for a while.
Don’t focus on tactics/hacks, focus on identity
I used to be nearly 300 pounds.
When I was 20, I lost nearly 100 pounds in one year.
I didn’t crash diet like many do. I did it by changing my daily habits and self-identity.
Sure, eating healthy foods and exercising were the tools I used in my daily habits, but changing my habits and my identity is what allowed it to happen—and stick.
I’ve been following James Clear for a decade. The main thing he’s preached is that our daily habits and self-identity determine everything.
When trying to achieve a goal, don’t say “I want to lose 20 pounds by July.”
A better weight loss goal would be “I want to become a healthy person who never misses a workout.”
We all know this story:
Someone goes on a crash keto diet and starts running every day. They lose 20 pounds. They celebrate their victory and immediately go back to their old habits.
They gain it all back (and MORE).
The diet was a quick fix (a hack) to a problem caused by poor daily habits.
What you should do
If you focus on becoming someone who exercises regularly and makes healthy food choices—for the rest of your life—you’ll make daily decisions that lead to your goal.
And then your goal will become the new normal.
For example, I started to just not enjoy the taste of sugar. It was too intense after not eating it for a while. And I still don’t.
Saying no to dessert is not an exertion of willpower, it’s legitimately what I want.
Just like I got addicted to climbing. I hated it when I couldn’t go 3-4 times per week.
So I lost all the weight and never gained it back.
And this is how you should grow a company
Growth hacks are not a growth strategy.
Running Facebook Ads, or doing SEO, is not the solution to building and growing a great company. They’re specific tools to achieve the goal. Just like diet and exercise.
Instead, you need to focus on daily habits and self-identity.
Become a company that will grow easily.
And become a founder (and team) who is capable of building a fast-growing company.
What does that look like?
Let’s break this down in two ways; your company, and you.
#1. Strive for a high-quality product that solves a painful problem.
This is should be the North Star for any company or project.
For example, we strive to create products that make it easier for people to grow startups.
#2. Optimize for long-term success.
Don’t chase short-term blips. You’ll make better decisions.
#3. Stay lean.
Bloat hurts companies in many ways:
Increased overhead. This gets stressful in slow periods.
Increased complexity resulting in more meetings and memos.
#4. Don’t just fail fast.
Look I love the “fail fast” ethos. Build an MVP, get it in people’s hands, and iterate to a great product.
BUT as a lean team, you have very limited resources. You need to be smart about how you allocate them or you end up spinning your wheels. Have a tendency for action but make sure to prioritize.
#5. Be surrounded by A+ people.
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Your team should be smarter and better than you at many things. Each new hire should bring the average up.
#6. Empower team members to make reversible decisions.
If the founder is the only decision-maker, everything grinds to a halt. And the A+ people you’ve hired won’t be happy or do their best work.
Hire A+ people and trust them to make decisions that are easy to reverse.
The risk is low.
#7. Build in public.
When you build in public you do a few things:
You get the word out about what you’re doing.
You humanize the brand.
You attract people who love what you’re doing. Both customers and employees.
You have your ideas challenged.
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