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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Are You The Hedgehog...
...Or The Fox?

Steve Gaghagen

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Yuck! A hedgehog...

Not the most glamorous of all the beasts to compare yourself
with, for sure. So how did the lowly hedgehog become the
mammalian mentor for us all?

After all (and no offense to all you hedgehogs out there), it
appears to be nature's accidental cross between an armadillo and
a porcupine -- slow moving, methodical, prickly and not all that

The fox, on the other hand, is...well...FOXY! A quick-witted,
sleek, fast and agile predator, the fox seems to have the
attributes that we can easily imagine we share? (And even if we
don't, we pretend.)

Why compare a hedgehog to a fox anyway? It all started with
ancient lines of poetry that were found from a fragment of verse
by Greek poet Archilochus which says:

"The fox knows MANY things, but the hedgehog knows ONE big

One thing! And that's a good thing?

What about Renaissance men like Leonardo Da Vinci? He's one of
the exceptions to a very perplexing rule according to Jim
Collins, author of the classic business best-seller "Good to
Great". He picked up on the ancient hedgehog vs. fox comparison
in his book. All top level CEOs he says are very hedgehog-ish.

He tells this story:

"Day in and day out, the fox circles around the hedgehog's den,
waiting for the perfect moment to pounce... (The emerging
hedgehog) waddles along, going about his simple day, searching
for lunch and taking care of his home."

While minding his own business, focusing on vittles, the hedgehog
wanders right into the path of the fox. Sensing danger, he rolls
up into a perfect little ball, becoming "...a sphere of sharp
spikes, pointing outward in all directions. The fox, bounding
toward his prey, sees the hedgehog defense and calls off the
attack...Each day, some version of this battle between the
hedgehog and the fox takes place, and despite the greater cunning
of the fox, the hedgehog always wins."

The hedgehog ALWAYS wins!

Think about this: Are you a hedgehog, or a fox?

Your answer holds the key to whether you'll be successful in
business or life!

Nobody wants to be a hedgehog. Admit it. How boring is that?

He doesn't see much of the world. He's too focused for that. He
doesn't learn all the latest hunting tools and tricks because his
world view is boiled down to just what he needs.

In "Good to Great," a terrific book by the way, Collins says the
hedgehog "reduces all challenges and dilemmas to simple -- indeed
almost simplistic -- hedgehog ideas."

"For a hedgehog, anything that does not somehow relate to the
hedgehog idea holds no relevance."

Ever known anyone so focused that they could only pursue a single
goal? Ever known anyone so focused on that goal that nothing else

Think about Olympians. Even thought the Winter Olympics may be a
distant event to us, there's a 10-year old girl somewhere who
gets up at 3:30 every morning to practice figure skating
compulsories for four hours before school. The Winter Olympics is
all she thinks about.

And NOTHING else matters!

Foxes on the other hand, "pursue many ends at the same time and
see the world in all its complexity. They are 'scattered or
diffused, moving on many levels.'"

Multi-tasking with too many balls in the air at once already,
we're asked to do more and be more. Our bosses want us to be
busy, working hard, doing as much as possible.

Yet the fox "who pursues many ends at the same time" NEVER wins!

And the guy who gets the promotion or has the very successful
business is the one who focused on fewer tasks and did them

That was one of Collins' points -- instead of demanding too much
from employees and executives; we should demand one BIG thing.

Think this doesn't apply to you? Wanna bet? You're an employee or
an executive -- or both -- if you're self-employed. And just
because you may wear many hats doesn't get you off the hook
either. Focusing on the hedgehog ideas even when you're doing the
grunt work is the key to your success.

Okay, so it's good to be a hedgehog.

How do we become one if we're a fox by nature?

It's simple. You act as if...

What would the hedgehog do? He'd focus on hedgehog ideas. Don't
know what your hedgehog ideas are? Sure you do. You're just not
focusing on them. This will help:

1) What six things are vital to the success of your business this

2) Narrow it down to three -- two's better

3) Make 'em BIG

4) Focus on those only

5) Nothing else matters

Make this part of your soul. Eliminate everything that is not
helping you focus on your goals.

Keep working at it and some day you'll be a hedgehog too.

About the Author:

Steve Gaghagen is the owner of this blog,
an actor, director, author, Realtor, and
Internet marketing entrepreneur. He makes
his home in Big Bear Lake, California, where
he is owned by a dog named Cimarron.

To Find The Best Home Based Business Ideas And
Opportunities So You Can Work At Home Visit:

Steve Gaghagen's
Online Home Business Learning Center


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