What did Newton Know about Making an Impact as a Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 052

making an impact as a small business cover art for up and to the right episode 050

making an impact as a small business cover art for up and to the right episode 050

Making an Impact as a Small Business | Newton's 2nd Law

Everything we need to know about making an impact as a small business... Newton knew in 1686!? Really?

Newton’s 2nd Law states that Force = Mass * Acceleration.

How can understanding one of the fundamental laws of physics help us make an impact as a small business?

Is changing the world as easy as Force = Mass * Acceleration? Well yes... and no.

Let's rewrite that a bit.

  • Mass = Resources
  • Acceleration = Momentum
  • Force = Impact

How about: Impact = Resources * Momentum?

You get the idea. There are advantages to thinking about business from the perspective of physics.

Let’s get… mechanical!

You’ll find highlights below. Watch the livestream recording or listen to the podcast version on your favorite podcatcher for all the details!

Watch the Livestream Recording!

Listen to or Download the Audio Podcast

Using Common Frameworks to Simplify Small Business

Business is complicated. Or, more accurately, we MAKE business complicated.

By using familiar frameworks (like Newton’s Laws of Motion) we can get down to the core of a business principle and remove the complexity.

We’re still going to have the complexity of implementation but we’ll be starting from a more well-grounded place.

This allows us to make sure we guide the momentum of our resources in a direction that is most likely to achieve our intended impact.

Then we can complicate it with the business models, books, process methodologies, technology solutions, and whatever we find on Reddit.

Why Start a Business?

We become entrepreneurs and business owners because we want to create an impact. Small business ownership is definitely not an easy path to financial success. In fact, the gauntlet is so hard on small businesses that half don’t make it to five years and most don’t make it long term.

If you want to make a lot of money… find a valuable profession and work for someone else.

If, however, you’re driven to create a unique impact in the world then small business ownership is one way to do it.

How do We Create impact as a Small Business?

We create an impact as a small business by applying resources in a unique way that transforms them to add value by solving a problem.

The Variables (still not a band from the ’90s)

To clarify how Newton’s 2nd Law can be applied to small businesses we need to relabel the variables a bit. 

Mass = Resources

What resources do you have that you can apply to your business?

The first ones are easy…

  • Cash
  • An Existing Product or Prototype
  • A Team

But think about these too…

  • Equipment
  • Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Talent
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Knowledge/Experience
  • Creative Association

Acceleration = Momentum

I know ‘acceleration’ and ‘momentum’ are NOT equivalent in mathematics or physics. I guess that’s one nice reason to be in business because we can coopt a concept use it for an analogy and get away with it.

Okay, so a bit of literary license later and we replace Newton’s reference to Acceleration with the concept of momentum or trajectory in our business. The direction and speed that we want to point our resources to achieve our desired… impact.

Force = Impact

Impact, ironically, should be driving the whole process. What impact inspired you to start a business in the first place? What positive change are you trying to make?

Re-evaluating Newton’s 2nd Law and its Relationship to Small Business

So it seems that Newton must have understood the fundamental nature of business in some ways after all.

By applying his second law: Momentum * Resources = Impact we find a direct relationship between the resources we bring to our business, the direction we set (a combination of our strategy and energy), and the impact we have in the market place.

We realize that by understanding the fundamental structure of this aspect of business we can make a clear picture of what we want to do and the tools we have to work with to get it done.

There’s no real need to overthink or overcomplicate this part of the profession of business. It’s really as simple as Newton’s 2nd Law.

Practical Action

Getting value out of this idea is as simple as the concept.

Look at the resources you have access to. Dig a little deeper to find resources you have access to that you didn’t think of right away. After all, one of these might be the element of differentiation that sets your business apart.

Understand the impact you want to have for your customer.

Set your momentum in the direction that will empower your resources to achieve that impact.

Additional Resources

Don't just take my word for it...

Resources: https://www.score.org/resource/list-startup-resources

Momentum: https://timberry.bplans.com/the-phenomenon-of-business-momentum/ (I picked this one because it shows I'm not the only one associating business with physics LOL!)

Impact: https://www.smallbizdaily.com/strategic-planning-small-business-8-tips-success/

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