Episode 196 — AMMA — The 9 Sources of Entrepreneurial Advantage
Success leaves clues and failure leaves fingerprints. Michael Mogill has worked closely with and observed thousands of successful entrepreneurs over the past decade, and he grew his own business from $500 to $40M+ in under 10 years
Along the way, he has identified nine factors that give an entrepreneur a competitive advantage — no matter the business, no matter the market, no matter the leader.
In this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, he’ll reveal these nine secrets so you can start developing them yourself immediately.
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Self-awareness. “Self-awareness is just knowing thyself: knowing what to do, what to say no to, and when to ask for help. The better sense that you have of yourself, your strengths, your capabilities, what type of work comes naturally to you, how you can align with those strengths, and play to those strengths, the easier life you’re going to have, and probably the easier you’re going to be able to set up a great organization around you. Alternatively, if you’re not very self-aware, you’re going to, in many cases, work against yourself.”
Work ethic. “Some people just work harder, and the ability to work harder, longer, and get more reps in is going to give you an advantage, especially early on. I know there’s going to be people listening to this saying, ‘Yeah, I know you can work harder, but you can also work smarter.’ Look, I’ve done podcasts talking about leverage and being able to just work smarter. However, the reality of it is, especially early on in your business career or at times where you really need to push, you’ll need the ability to work longer hours, work harder, get more reps in, be able to fail more, fail faster, and gain those experiences at a faster rate.”
Differentiation. “Your ability to see the world differently, do something different. When everyone goes left, you go right. While everyone’s swimming downstream, you swim upstream. And it is not just necessarily having a contrarian mindset, but interpreting the same type of information that other people receive differently. It’s being able to see second order consequences, third order consequences, and being able to see the forest for the trees, if you will. It’s this ability to be able to differentiate yourself in terms of your thoughts, your decisions, and being able to make different choices. If you look at the bell curve, you want to be an outlier. You’re going to have to make decisions that set you apart from the pack. That might mean that you’re going to be making certain investments or certain commitments. But if you do everything the same way that everybody else does it — you work the same way, you make the same decisions, you have the same thoughts, you you read the same books — well, you’re probably going to get the same results as everybody else.”
Discipline. “I’m not talking about motivation. Motivation is transient. Some days you wake up and you’re motivated. Other days you wake up and maybe you’re not so motivated. Having discipline is the ability to do the things that need to be done, even when you don’t feel like doing them, and being able to do that every single day consistently over time. So you’re focused much more on the process and the habits that you need to develop as opposed to operating off of motivation.”
Talent attraction. “You are the type of person that other people want to work with. You’ve got a vision that attracts those individuals, and your ability to hire the best people and get the most out of them is going to be a huge source of differentiation. There’s the saying that if you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together. Well, I think one of the greatest sources of advantage is the ability to attract a great team. Anyone that has accomplished anything of significance has not done so alone.”
Patience. “I struggle with patience in the short term. I want things to get done quickly. I want things to move. I want to see progress. But when it comes to long-term patience, when you think about things that you’re going to plant seeds, it’s going to take a while to hatch, maybe it takes a year, three years, or five years. I see a strong correlation between those who are long-term thinkers and the output and their results and the massive, exponential output of success that they achieve.”
Pain tolerance. “How many hits can they take and still keep getting up? How many things can go against them, not their way? Can they face challenges, struggles, obstacles, adversity? Are they willing to look like an idiot and then still get better? Are they willing to take risk? Can they handle losses? This is where you really separate those who are the ones that built for this, those who are meant to be an entrepreneur, those who are meant to be a great leader.”
Even temperament. “This is your ability to keep an even head when everybody else is losing theirs. It’s your temperament. Her’s an example. In 2020, we had a global pandemic. There were really a couple of types of law firm owners. I would speak to both on the same day, and I found this interesting because they were in the same market/same practice area, and one looked at the pandemic and said, ‘That’s it. Game over for me. I’m shutting down my offices. I’m laying off my staff. This is the worst thing that could ever happen to me. It’s over for me. You don’t understand. This is horrible.” And then I’m talking to another law firm owner — like I said, same market, same practice area — and they say, ‘Look, this is a new challenge, but with challenges come opportunities. This is an opportunity to invest in our infrastructure and our technology and our team. We’re going to be going remote or to a hybrid structure. We’re going to embrace Zoom for depositions. We moved everything over to voiceover IP phone system. We’re now doing esign with our documents. We’re no longer mailing things out. This is allowing us to really focus on investing in providing a better client experience, and we’re going to thrive as a result.’ Boom. Which one do you think was successful at the end of the year? One was in business and one was not.”
Luck. “As the expression goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get — and luck sometimes is just disguised. When you look back across your career, there’s going to be things that happened, people you met, or people who came into your life that that was just a lucky situation that you happened to come across one another. It could be when you met your spouse. It could be a great team member that you’ve hired. It could also be a certain decision that you made that was an opportunity in that moment. But because you move forward on it, you were in the right place at the right time. Now, luck you really can’t control for, but it is an inevitable factor, and it will certainly a competitive advantage that if you do capitalize on the right opportunities, you’re going to be more successful.”