A person can find their loophole in life simply by figuring out one thing that meets each of these three demands — 1.) Something you are potentially great at 2.) something you could learn to love doing and 3.) something you can make money doing.
I wrote a blog post for poorteachers.com a couple weeks ago about this very topic — How to Find Your Loophole in Life. In that post, I referenced the success many in business are having by focusing on what it is they are GREAT at — what is their Hedgehog.
Hedgehogs: view the world through a single identifying idea.
Foxes: do not narrow their focus to a single idea but draw on a wide variety of experiences.
With the success of people like Tim Ferriss and the 4 Hour Work Week, more and more people are realizing they should only be doing what it is they are great at and outsourcing the rest. John Nastor says, in entrepreneurship a person should only focus on the 20% of the business they are great at and the other 80% should be done by others who are great at that stuff.
These people know how to find their hedgehog!
At the time I wrote that post I wanted so much to figure out my loophole, my hedgehog.
Since then I had been mulling over the idea that maybe I am just destined to be a fox and maybe being a fox is my hedgehog.
I am a born fox
I have always been a fox. My entire life I have been good at everything yet great at almost nothing. Good is indeed the enemy of Great.
When I was a kid my two best sports were soccer and baseball. On my baseball team I was the best soccer player and on my soccer team I was the best baseball player. I never could excel in both — because being good at both destroyed my chances of GREAT. How many Bo Jacksons are there in the world? Most of us need to concentrate on what it is that we have the potential to be GREAT at.
The night after I published the How to Find Your Loophole in Life article, I jokingly wondered if I could be great at being a fox?
It seemed like a silly solution to my problem but today while driving home from work I had a slight epiphany.
Funneling your hedgehog
I was listening to the $100 MBA podcast and I was wondering about the co-founder, Omar Zenhom. Omar had been a teacher. Omar had been an entrepreneur. And Omar knew a lot about business. Omar was really good at all three of these things. However, Omar certainly wasn’t the best teacher in the world. He certainly wasn’t the best entrepreneur in the world. And I really doubt he knew the most about business in the world.
But how many people in the world could match Omar in each of these areas?
What teachers knew as much about business and entrepreneurship as Omar?
What entrepreneurs knew as much about teaching?
Omar had been a teacher for over a decade and after that he had been an entrepreneur for another decade. Omar had a hedgehog! He might very well be the best Teacher-Entrepreneur-Business-expert in the world.
He took three things he was good at and funneled them into one creation = the $100 MBA, an on-line company that produces business education courses designed for the entrepreneur. He teaches business and entrepreneurship. He funneled his hedgehog. He created a purple cow if you will.
Seth Godin advises people in business to create a purple cow. I live in the Shenandoah Valley so I really get this metaphor. If you drive around the country long enough, you start to get bored of seeing cows. But if there was a purple cow it would garner your attention. The same is true in business and marketing — you have to stand out.
Omar is quite possibly the best teacher/entrepreneur/business expert in the world and this allows him to stand out like a purple cow. He is able to funnel these three things he is good at to be GREAT at the one thing — the $100 MBA.
Is Omar my answer?
I immediately started thinking ok what am I good at and how can I funnel this into one awesome creation.
Geography knowledge + teaching + coaching = ok that is my current job and trust me it is not a loophole to the Dukkha of life.
Teaching + creative ideas + ____________ = I really need this blank filled for this to work. Ughhhhhhh…
Wait I got it!
Why am I only including me in this equation? I have a partner! And she is awesome! She can fill in my missing blank!!!
Stephanie is an amazing writer! And she is also an awesome teacher.
Why not funnel — 1. her and my teaching abilities with 2. her ability to write and knowledge of writing and 3. my creativity and desire to figure out this whole loophole/hedgehog thing?!?!
Is there a market for this?
We will create online courses teaching people how to write! In an age where people seem to write less and less; the value of being able to write is more and more. The world needs better writers!
I have a master’s degree in developing courses. In fact, I am getting a post master’s certification in Education Programs and Policy this summer.
We can design courses to help people learn how to write better!!!
So what do you think? Is this a valid idea for a business? Let me know in the comments section.