Five Lessons I Learned About Scaling a Business With Reid Hoffman

How great would it be if you had a group of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to turn to when you need help getting things done or a daily dose of inspiration?

Fortunately, the new Masters of Scale Courses app offers just that – expert advice from some of the best and brightest minds in the world, led by Reid Hoffman.

The first course is all about The Mindset of Scale. Here’s what I learned from the first two lessons:

1. Ask “Why not?” and “What if?”

First, ask two important questions: “Why not?” and “What if?” – whenever you come across something that makes you feel a strong emotion.

For example, think of the last time you felt sticker shock or frustration while waiting in a long line. These simple questions have sparked countless successful products and companies – including Virgin Airlines. In his own words, here is Richard Branson:

“35 years ago when we started [Virgin Airlines]The large porters were terrible. And I was bumped into on one of those flights to the Virgin Islands which is a typical thing airlines used to do back then. “

As Richard Branson, of course, he didn’t pass the time staring sadly at the departure board. Instead, he asked one of those powerful questions: What if? What if he didn’t have to wait for the next flight? What if he created his own flight?

“So I rented a plane and filled it up with all the people that had been bumped into and called it Virgin Airlines as a joke. And we got to BVI and during that flight I just thought, ‘Airlines might bump people into I should Call Boeing the next day. ‘What I did and asked if they had used 747s for sale.’

As you can probably guess, they did and Virgin Airways was born. Now, you may not be in the used 747 jet market, but that doesn’t mean these questions can’t produce similarly impactful results for you. The next time you experience strong emotions, pause for a second, think about the situation, and ask yourself, “What if?”

2. Have an idea, act on it and never look back.

Although many people talk about the power of ideas, the world actually rewards action.

Generating ideas is often the easy part – and with the right mindset, it’s a process that can become second nature. But what differentiates daydreaming from fulfilling your dream is action.

Richard Branson has been an entrepreneur since he was 14 and founded his first company: a student magazine. After the magazine, he started a record label, video game publisher, and many other companies – each a product of doing business.

If you’re like me, just reading this list of achievements sounds daunting. To overcome this feeling, Reid Hoffman offers this helpful piece of advice: “The next time you have an idea that you keep thinking about, respond immediately. “

After asking yourself “Why not?” or “What if?”, identify the smallest or most immediate action that you can currently take to respond to your idea.

If you start small and take immediate action, you can avoid the dreaded “analysis paralysis” and instead build momentum towards your goal.

3. Do you need a great idea? Go looking for one.

Before founding Spanx, Sarah Blakely was at a dead end – door-to-door fax sales were far from satisfactory. She knew she wasn’t on the right track, but she just wasn’t sure what that right track was like.

After a challenging day, she decided to try something different. In her diary she wrote: “I want to invent a product that I can sell to millions of people so that they can feel good.” According to Blakely, “this was something I had an intention to do; I had really asked the universe to give me an idea that I could bring to the world.”

Blakely kept asking himself, “Is that my big idea?” until the answer was “yes”.

With her newfound purpose, Blakely began to explore the possibilities and ideas around her. One night after being disappointed with her lingerie options, she cut off the feet of her pantyhose and found that her DIY solution was exactly what she was looking for – in several ways.

4. Fill in knowledge gaps with the people around you.

After Blakely discovered her big idea for Spanx, she faced a new challenge: How to build a business in an industry she knew almost nothing about. It wasn’t an easy problem to solve, but Blakely didn’t want to let a lack of expertise get in the way.

Instead, she started digging deeper. In the words of Reid Hoffman: “She knew that in order to be successful, she had to be constantly open to information and ideas – always looking for insights and people who could help her turn her idea into reality.”

It’s okay not to know everything about your business as long as you can get help from people who can fill in your knowledge gaps. You will go faster and further with the help of other people.

Ask lots of questions to come up with your idea – and then pass it on.

5. Find a place or time that you think best and take the time to be in that room.

Many decisions are required to build a successful business, launch a new product or campaign, or just do a demanding job. And good decisions are based on good thinking.

Hoffman: “Wherever, whenever, and however the point is, an idea is not going to look for you and it is not going to perfect. You have to put yourself in spaces and places and states of mind where you can find the idea and shape. “

For more lessons on scaling, download the Masters of Scale Courses app 50% using the code HUBSPOT at The offer is valid until May 15th, 21st.

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