It is easy to define a business into a category and then move about as it traditionally has been constructed.

It is difficult to start in a predictable business category and then change that category. Equally challenging are the practices of still selling that product/service into the currently defined category and getting the market to move your way into the new model.

This requires outlier thinking and behavior, trips to the fringe, a talented and trusting team, and a war chest to support the time in the transition as the market sees the value and moves towards that new breakaway product / service.

If you get it right, the transition to the breakaway will be gradual until it is sudden.

Outlier thinking and behavior are best served when aligned with discipline and execution. We all know individuals who can think on the edges, but when it comes to disciplined execution, the wheels come off. These are the ones forever chasing squirrels and fancy themselves as revolutionaries but lack the discipline and team to execute on the details that allow the breakaway change to occur.

The leader of the breakaway needs to have a vision that can be communicated to the team and instill in them that there will be changes along the way, but the vision always stays the same. The path that was 100% certain last month could be dramatically adjusted this month to facilitate the proper journey.

This requires the right team members. The tactic of tacking a sailboat to adjust for the wind is the same principle for guiding the business to the shared vision. Selecting individuals who can flex back and forth from approximation to precision is critical for the journey. The qualities and characteristics of raw intelligence, high adversity quotient, organizational skills, and the ability to excel in a community of candor where we “attack ideas and not people” are part of the hiring / vetting process.

Interviews, assessments, reference checks, and a thorough and candid interview process that focuses more on helping individuals assess if the company is right for them versus if they are right for the company. Sharing who they will become if they join the team is empowering for some and intimidating for others.

When you get your team as close to ideal as possible, you then share with them what the vision should look like, but do not tell them what to do. Get out of the way, and they will be able to deliver well beyond what you could have.

Note: The breakaway will take longer than you think. It will require more time, talent, and funds than you think.

Funds, the war chest. Time, people, and gear cost money. Besides lacking vision and disciplined execution of the vision, most breakaways fail because they run out of money. There is no simple answer to this subject; just know that most breakaways require betting it all.

There is a classic 60 Minutes interview with Elon Musk about SpaceX. Watch it.

And finally. Your brain will want to give up because it is wired to need certainty. So, we tend to go towards the predictable. The manifestation of fear occurs in the future but presents itself in the present.

You choose.