The Hedgehog Concept: Finding the Sweet Spot in Your Network Marketing Internet Business

The Hedgehog ConceptI was on the blog of Gideon Shalwick today and saw a great video that he shares how he’s been able to achieve the lifestyle he has by focusing in on the  hedgehog concept that is taught by Jim Collins in his Good to Great book.

Do you ever feel scattered and confused about what you should really be doing to reach success in your network marketing Internet business?  There are so many product offers, ways of building a business, and if you’re like me, you get hundreds of emails a week from various guru’s who are launching the next best product.  How do you know which ones to focus on and which ones to delete?

What is in your Hedgehog Concept?

The Hedgehog Concept is the blending of deep understanding in three areas: (imagine 3 circles overlapping)

  1. Your Passions: What you are deeply passionate about?
  2. Your Skills: What can you be the best in the world at (and equally what you cannot be the best in the world at)?
  3. Making Money: What drives your economic engine?  What makes you money? What one ratio: profit per x; what one “x” will give you the highest return over time?

    The Hedgehog Concept

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, recommends keeping a journal and making a list of the things you discover in your daily activities that you enjoy doing.  Then breaking this list from your self discovery into three sections: Passions, Genetic Encoding, Economic.

This is a process and is something that may take you time to discover.  But it’s important to eventually realize what your sweet spot is so you end up focusing on the right areas of your business that are aligned with your passions, your skills and will give you the best return on your investment of time and money.

Understanding the hedgehog concept and working within your sweet spot will allow you to start every day, knowing what priorities to focus on in your business and which things are not aligned with your goals and vision can be moved further down on the list.  It will help you to stay the course and make fewer twists and turns on your journey to success.

I know for myself that my journey into Internet network marketing was a very winding road, full of twists, turns, and unnecessary expenses.  I didn’t know exactly what to focus on because I was trying to wrap my head around the big picture and discover my strengths.  Knowing your hedgehog concept will also help you know what products and opportunities fit with your overall hedgehog concept and know which ones do not.  You will save time and money by focusing on the things within your sweet spot and eliminating the things outside of it.

Very simply, my network marketing Internet business hedgehog focus right now is to: Increase the leads I generate on a daily basis and developing relationships with my list, my team, and friends in social media.  Anything that doesn’t fit within those two activities right now is scratched off my to-do list.   (Yes, I have dishes in the sink right now because they don’t fit within my hedgehog concept and have been pushed down the list for later today!)

I’m part of one company, I’m building one opportunity, everything I do online is to increase and benefit that one business.  I’m not building multiple businesses.  Sure, I’m building a marketing funnel to monetize my marketing, but that’s going to increase the value I add to others which will increase my opt ins, and help me to sponsor others into my business. Sure I write blog post 3+ times a week, but that’s to generate more traffic to my blog and to my list.  Sure, I spend some time socializing in social media, but that’s developing relationships with people who may become business partners or customers.

The Hedgehog Concept: Are you a Hedgehog or a Fox?

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.  Foxes pursue many ends at the same time.  They are scattered or diffused on many levels.  Hedgehogs simplify everything into a basic principle or concept that unifies and guides everything it does. Hedgehogs see what is simple and ignores the rest.” ~ Mike Filsaime

I’ve spent too much time in my business being the fox, chasing my tail in search of success.  Since the middle of June and creating my blog I’ve become more and more like a hedgehog.  I still struggle from moment to moment and get distracted…could be my ADD tendencies, but hearing this story helped me to define my focus a little bit more than it was.  I hope it will help you too!

Where to find more Hedgehog Concept information:

You can get more information on Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept at his website.  He’s got some great videos there to explain it as well.  (I’ve just added the Good to Great book by Jim Collins to my reading list!)

If you’ve read the book, discovered your own hedgehog concept or you gained value out of this post please comment below!  You will get a little link-love from me because you’re on a dofollow blog!  Also, if you would be willing to tweet and share this post your friends on facebook I’d be so grateful!  I’m sure they’ll enjoy discovering their own hedgehog concept too!

Heather C Stephens, Clever Marketer Internet Network Marketing MLM    Home Business Blog Tips for WAHM Mompreneurs

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  1. I never heard of this concept before but it makes a lot of sense. I love how you called out what your primary goal is to do in order to help you build your primary, #1 business.

    Concentrating on one business at a time is the only way it’s ever going to become great.

    I’m right there with you. 😉

    Have a great night,
    Jerome Ratliff

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Jerome!

      The focus thing took me a while and I’ve, of course, slipped up and gotten distracted by wanting to build more than one business like many other marketers have…but it didn’t take me long to realize what a mistake that was and I’m thankful for the lesson. I’m a one business girl.

      I appreciate your comment,

      Thanks so much!


  2. Hi Heather,
    Did I gain value from this post? That is an understatement! Excellent! What a concept! But, so true. That is where I am now too. Zeroing in on what is simple, my passion, what I like to do in the realm of internet marketing, social networking, as I paint and draw away on the side……

    Simple is good.


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks so much for your comment and please forgive me for my tardy reply. I fell behind with month-close and I’m working to get caught up now. But even with my delay, your comment was very appreciated!

      I love that you’re a fellow artist. I got my degree in fine art and although I don’t get to practice it as much as I’d like, I do find myself focusing better on my business when my creative streak is satiated! 🙂 I hadn’t thought to include that in my hedgehog concept…maybe I’ll have to reassess.

      Great comment…thanks so much!

  3. Hi Heather,

    I enjoyed your post.

    When I lived in the UK, we used to have a family of hedgehogs that lived in our garden and I loved watching them move around at night.

    They were always slow, deliberate and goal directed in their movements so I can fully understand why this concept is so named.

    I think a first step for many people in our industry would be to slow down so that they can realize that the way of the fox is not the only way to do things.

    Great post, thanks.


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hey Marcus!

      That’s cool that you had a family of hedgehogs in your garden. I bet they were fun to watch!

      I know I’ve got to remind myself to slow down and avoid my “fox-like” idea bursts that inevitably come to mind when I’m learning something new. Knowing this hedgehog concept will help me I believe, and having the visual of the hedgehog doing his best thing over and over again.

      Thank you for your comment!

  4. Hi Heather,

    awesome post. I watched some of Gideon’s videos some weeks ago, and it’s really amazing. Congratulations that you build yourself one business at a time. Focus beats everything else.

    Poor foxes. Aren’t they regarded as smart and clever ? “You are a fox.” is a big compliment here. Anyway, I can completely relate to the definition of fox behaviour.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Take care


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Oliver,

      You know, smart as a fox is definitely something we hear in the US as well and I hadn’t thought about it as a negative until I heard this story about the hedgehog. We also have a phrase that someone can be a jack of all trades and a master of none. So I guess it depends on the context.

      I’ve been a “fox” in my business a whole lot, and I’m excited to have learned of this hedgehog concept. I’m sure mine will evolve as my business evolves, but keeping it in focus will be my priority!

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Hey Heather aptly put – not too familiar with hedgehogs but I’m sure they have fairly uncomplicated lives but great metaphor! The point you make about focusing on strengths which are usually in our areas of enjoyment makes so much sense- few people build home based businesses to be busy but largely for better life balance allied often to improved financial circumstances – but not exclusively

    Cheers Kiaran

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Kiaran,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the hedgehog metaphor.

      I know personally, when I’m combining my passions and skills, I’m so much happier and end up working much harder and more effectively. I’m curious to discover how it works out as my hedgehog concept develops and evolves as I learn and grow personally.

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Nice job Heather. I know I’ve been in the fox seat quite a few times. I think we all go through it. Becoming a hedgehog is certainly where we all strive to be and you offer a great formula for how to get there. Staying on track and focusing can be a challenge for many of us.

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Liz,

      I’m sorry for my delay in replying to your comment. I fell behind and I’m working to get caught up now.

      I appreciate your thoughts and agree that staying on track and focusing can be difficult. I’m hopeful that with the hedgehog concept that I’ll be able to stay focused on my strengths, passions, and money-making activities for better results! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Hey Heather,

    This is great! I never heard of this. It makes total sense to have a hedgehog approach. Thanks for sharing this!

    Chat with you later…

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      HI Josh,

      Thanks for your comment. Hope that the hedgehog approach is something that benefits you too. You seem to be definitely working in your passions and strengths! 🙂


  8. Hey Heather,

    Loved the insights and the images. Starting out can be a confusing and daunting road because you’re figuring out the territory. But once you have a good sense of the big picture, it’s time to focus and get to work.

    I couldn’t agree more about building just 1 business at a time. It’s the only way to focus and make something great. Choose one solid company and get to work.

    Have a great day,

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Wayne,

      You are right that when we’re starting out on a new entrepreneurial adventure it takes time to figure out the territory! I’m thankful to have learned of the hedgehog concept and hope that it continues to help me focus on my one business!

      Hope it benefits you too! 🙂

  9. This is a fantastic post Heather. It is a whole new concept to me, but certainly one I can resonate with!

    I too, was a Fox for far too long, but (& I now know it) I’ve been becoming more of a Hedgehog every day as new realizations dawn.

    Stay inspired!

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      HI Michael!

      Wow…I’m glad you thought my hedgehog concept post was fantastic! 🙂

      I think most of us are foxes at some point in our business, and now that I know about the hedgehog concept I’m working more focused on staying in that sweet spot of my strengths, passions, and income earning activities. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting!


  10. Wow, excellent post as usual, Heather! Never heard of the hedgehog concept before but I love it. That’s what every serious network marketer should strive to become.

    I also believe in building one business opportunity. I don’t see how you can succeed with multiple opportunities.

    Thanks for sharing this and for recommending the book by Jim Collins.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Mavis!

      I have tried the more than one opportunity thing and I must say it was a recipe for disaster for me! 🙂

      I’m waiting for my good-to-great book to arrive soon and I’m very excited to read it! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes.

      Thanks for commenting!


  11. That is good Heather. It is so important to focus on what is going to contribute directly to your main aim. Other things just have to be dumped. And I do agree about just one business – focus and more focus

    I will follow up on the link
    Charlie Holles

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Charlie!

      Thanks for commenting on my post! I love the quote, (think it’s by Carrie Wilkerson the Barefoot Executive), “Hocus! Pocus! The magic is in the focus!” That kind-of sums up the hedgehog concept…stay focused on your passion, strengths, and money-making activities to experience the magic of success. 🙂

      I appreciate you!

  12. Great message Heather! And the hedgehog is so darn cute!!! 🙂


    P.S. I will never think of hedgehogs the same way again…they may become my new favorite animal!

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Karen,

      I saw that hedgehog and KNEW I had to make him mine he was so adorable! 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!


  13. Excellent article, as usual, Heather!

    Paul Boone

  14. Heather, awesome post & thanks for the reminder on another great author! I have read the book Good to Great some time ago but now I will read it again! The saying is so true, “chasing after two rabbits & thinking you will catch one” is an impossible task, so why should we think its any different in our business? Thanks for another great article!

    Best regards,

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Karlene,

      I appreciate your comment and hope you’ll forgive me for falling behind on my replies!

      I’m waiting for my book Good to Great to arrive and I’m excited to have read it. I’ve heard the chasing after two rabbits quote before and hadn’t thought of it with this post but it would have been an wonderful analogy! Thanks for adding value and for sharing your thoughts!


  15. Fantastic post. I think I am a bit too scattered. I need to focus more and I really like the list of three things you gave that you focus on. I want to learn more from you. Blessings, Amy

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      HI Amy,

      We’re all a bit to scattered from time to time, like me last week, not replying to you sooner! 🙂

      I’m glad you visited my blog and you gained some value from the hedgehog post. If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know!

      I appreciate you and thank you for your comment! I’m sorry my reply is late!


  16. Hi Heather,
    Thank you for sharing this great post! As entrepreneurs, finding the way to monetize our passions is the only way to maintain the inspiration and determination we need to achieve our most meaningful goals! Now that I have discovered what I love doing, and how it can serve me financially, I simply cannot look back and ever try to earn money doing something that I either do not enjoy or that I cannot do with complete integrity.
    Thank you for you inspiration!

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Justine!

      Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you liked the post!

      I’m glad you have discovered what you love doing. There are so many people stuck in positions that they detest, struggling day in and day out to put food on the table, and it breaks my heart.

      I feel so blessed to be part of this wave of entrepreneurs who are making a difference for others, having fun while they’re doing it, and making a great living at the same time.

      I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your wonderful comment!


  17. Great post,I think a first step for many people in our industry would be to slow down so that they can realize that the way of the fox is not the only way to do things.Thanks for sharing this blog…

  18. Great post,I think a first step for many people in our industry would be to slow down so that they can realize that the way of the fox is not the only way to do things.Thanks for sharing this blog…Thanks..

    • Thank you so much,

      I disagree with you, though. I believe the first step is to get our minds clear on what we like doing, what we’re good at, and how that can make us money. Then we need to figure out how to make it happen. Too many people jump into a business online or in network marketing trying to copy something someone else is doing, instead of focusing on what the unique skills they possess and what they love doing.

      Thanks for the comment,


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