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30 Entrepreneurs Share How They are Being Disruptive

For the past 20 years, the theory of disruptive innovation has been enormously influential in business circles and a powerful tool for predicting which industry entrants will succeed. The great news is that being a disruptor doesn't require you to have your own reality show, helicopter, or casino-hotel. All you need is a fresh perspective and some support in the form of ideas and inspiration.

We asked entrepreneurs about their use of disruption in their business.

#1- By finding ways to help people

Photo Credit: Kyle Risley

For me, being disruptive is finding ways to help people work with systems more naturally. Before starting Lift Vault, it was often complicated and difficult to find some of the most in-demand fitness and weightlifting routines. Most people don’t want to implement the first weightlifting program they find online. Lift Vault gives customers a way to shop for their ideal program, just like they would any other online product or fitness routine.

Thanks to Kyle Risley, Lift Vault!


#2- By sustaining authenticity

Photo Credit: Natalia Morozova

As an immigrant, I have walked the path that many of my clients now look to me for guidance in navigating. Sustaining authenticity is how I am being disruptive. My sworn duty is to guide my clients with passion, purpose, and perspective. I bring my whole self to my line of work to represent my clients with a genuine effort to understand their needs, and a sincere effort to relate to them. Ultimately, I’m being disruptive by being authentic and giving my all to produce fruitful results for my firm and my clients.

Thanks to Natalia Morozova, Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.!


#3- By changing with the shifts in consumer behavior

Photo Credit: Benoit Lacroix

Consumer behavior undoubtedly ebbs and flows alongside technological advancements and other dynamic trends. To be disruptive in ways that matter, study and predict consumer behavior closely to arrive at potential outcomes. Then, keep shifting working styles, activities, and processes in favor of these outcomes to stay agile and prepared for inevitable changes. This keeps employees on their toes and equips them to rise to the occasion in the face of upcoming challenges or changes.  And I think that's what made me so successful in business: I never settled for second best.

Thanks to Benoit Lacroix, Portmoni!


#4- By being authentic

Photo Credit: Dmitriy Bobriakov

Don’t just endure failure instead, squeeze it as facts that your organization is expanding, learning, and trying innovative things. Based on my experience, it’s all about being authentic and unshakeable in accepting new ideas and looking out for new competition that might disrupt our industry in the future. Disruptive help improves your business to generate more genuinely innovative services and products. Failure mold your capability to be tougher in facing circumstances, in order to reach success.

Thanks to Dmitriy Bobriakov, Virto Commerce!


#5- Saving our customers' time

Photo Credit: Jeff Zhou

We are disrupting marketing by saving our customers a lot of time. For example, 94% of applicants get money in their bank the very next day itself. Moreover, the application takes just 5 minutes to fill. We are also 60% cheaper than competitors and 100% more honest. We do not charge any late fees or change fees. There is no better disruption than being better and charging less while being super quick.

Thanks to Jeff Zhou, Fig Loans!


#6- Telling stories

Photo Credit: Chris Myles

Stories are one of the most powerful means of communicating customer success and precious few salespeople know how to do it. Learn, and get good at it, then use that skill constantly. The reason this approach isn’t tried more often is that it’s safe to go with what’s ‘proven.’ Taking this approach means stepping out of your comfort zone as well as your customers, trying new techniques and skills, and making notes of what works and what doesn’t.

Thanks to Chris Myles, Golf Cart Go!


#7- Make getting un-stuck stick

Photo Credit: Shane Paarman

Getting out of the grip of boredom, monotony, or whatever is holding you back is just the first step, not the last. Once you're unstuck, you have to make the new ideas/culture changes/behavior modifications/process enhancements a part of your organization's everyday workings. Make a plan for how to keep the feelings of lightness, freedom, and inspired thinking going for the long haul. Hold events, recognize employee achievements on the path to reaching your greatness, celebrate wins, honor customers, give back, and repeat.

Thanks to Shane Paarman, Awesome Stuff 365!


#8- Taking risks

Photo Credit: Brett White

Take a risk and empower your people to do the same! Don't be silly, but be daring in a calculated way. Give people the boundaries within which you're comfortable with them trying a new approach or testing a new idea. Even if it doesn't work out the first time, or even the fifth time, the respect you'll earn for going out on a limb will carry a lot of weight. Another way is to draw a picture. Most people benefit from actually seeing a visual representation of where you are today and where you want to go.

Thanks to Brett White, Addicted to Veggies!


#9- Changing my industry's onboarding method

Photo Credit: Giada Nizzoli

Here's how I'm being disruptive by replacing ‘free discovery calls and proposals' with ‘paid strategy sessions and blueprints'. They are the industry standard for copywriters and many other service-based solopreneurs. Personally, I find them too time-consuming, and lots of uncommitted prospects end up ghosting you after you've spent hours between the actual call and crafting a proposal. So, this year, I've replaced them with paid strategy sessions and blueprints! Yes, this has put off quite a few prospects, but it's also allowing me to use my limited time to focus on clients who are actually serious.

Thanks to Giada Nizzoli, Crafty Copy!


#10- Don’t follow disruptive competitors

Photo Credit: Brandon Wilkes

Existing players frequently lack the competence or cost-effectiveness that disruptive innovators do when their product fulfills market demands. See how Tesla has elevated the technological bar for the automotive battery market in a way that no other automobile manufacturer has been able to in the past and is still unable to do in the present. Organizations are frequently penalized for following, which causes them to diminish in importance or even cease to exist.

Thanks to Brandon Wilkes, The Big Phone Store!


#11- Go your own way

Photo Credit: James Jimmy Watts

I love grilling, and I love writing about grilling but I don’t like the way things are done in either industry, as it’s always been a case of who, and not what, you know that makes people famous and rich. So I figured that, in the words of Fleetwood Mac, I’d go my own way and do my own thing and that’s why I established Own The Grill. I know I’m not going to win any popularity contests and I’m not going to make a lot of friends, but that doesn’t matter, because I need to do things my way and if that involves disrupting the norm.

Thanks to James Jimmy Watts, Own The Grill!


#12-Being transparent

Photo Credit: Daniel G. Leone

At NJ Law Results, we make an effort to be as transparent as we can with our clients, whether they are potential or secured. While this may not seem disruptive, it can be difficult to find law firms that openly share their thoughts about the industry! For example, our business website has a ‘Blog’ page, which shares a mixture of need-to-know information, and also some more informal and personal content. With this transparency, we hope that we can break down the barriers between our lawyers and our audience. This kind of strategy can work for many different types of companies.

Thanks to Daniel G. Leone, NJ Law Results!


#13- Understanding my customers

Photo Credit: Candice Moses

One of the most important tasks I've done has been trying to better understand my clients. I learned that I must clearly identify my audience, but also grasp what they want. Above all, you must understand why your clients buy your items if you currently have a firm, or what you expect the reason to be with your new enterprise. The reason for utilizing your product or service will disclose a lot about the type of consumer you're working with. In reality, it not only reveals your clients' wants, but it also informs you about the competitors.

Thanks to Candice Moses, Information!


#14- Content creation

Photo Credit: Simon Bernath

Because I have specialized in a very specific niche (furnace and heating), I have created content on everything imaginable within that market – including reviews, buying guides, calculators, and even Covid-19 Safety guides. I have cornered the market on everything heating related – which means that I am the go-to furnace information site. In being so broad with my types of content, but so specific with my overall subject, I am making my consumers’ lives much easier when they need advice because everything is on one domain!

Thanks to Simon Bernath, Furnace Prices!


#15- Embracing challenges

Photo Credit: Ashley Amor

I embrace disruptions as a means of overcoming challenges with unique strategies. Therefore, when it comes to being disruptive in my business, I first evaluate technologies that help me get revolutionary ideas to shape the future of my start-up. Then, I make disruptive strategies and take the first move towards execution. Next, I closely observe my competitors' business operations to gain insight into their strategic planning. Finally, I focus on customer experience as they guide me in adopting disruptions.

Thanks to Ashley Amor, People Find Fast!


#16- Making a plan

Photo Credit: Tracy Acker

Understanding how and when to apply disruptive innovation is essential for success, in addition to developing a clear plan to fill a market gap. I make sure staff feel empowered to present and advance fresh ideas in the early stages of a company or product's life. This is referred to as an emergent strategy. Setting the course of my company requires understanding when to use emergent or planned strategies. An emerging strategy typically performs best in times of uncertainty.

Thanks to Tracy Acker, GetPaydayLoan!


#17- By making fasting simple

Photo Credit: Simonas Steponaitis

Disruptive sometimes has a negative connotation. But in business, being disruptive is often a good thing. It's how you challenge the status quo and create something new and innovative. I'm being disruptive by helping people fast, quickly, and effectively with the DoFasting app. By making fasting simple and accessible, we're disrupting how people think about health and wellness. Fasting has traditionally been seen as a difficult and restrictive practice, but with DoFasting, it can be easy and enjoyable. This is how we're being disruptive.

Thanks to Simonas Steponaitis, DoFasting!


#18- Understanding the mindset

Photo Credit: Jack Williams

A CEO's vision for the future of business is crucial to a company's success or failure. Understanding the mindset of a disruptive leader can help identify extraordinary companies. This Jack says about this, The first thing to realize about disruption is that it works both ways. You are either the disruptor or the disrupted. This means that if you aren't making things happen for yourself or your firm, someone else will most likely put you out of business right under your nose with a lower pricing point and a better business plan.

Thanks to Jack Williams, HandymanReviewed!


#19- Challenge the status quo

Photo Credit: Radhika Gupta

I believe disruptive strategies help me make innovation a reality sooner than later. That is why I challenge the status quo in my company from time to time and request all professionals to make changes to their business marketing campaigns, communication style, meetings, seminars, etc. It helps us to cultivate innovation in everyday business practices. Moving out of my comfort zone and taking on challenges allows me to improve my problem-solving skills and deal with different business issues.

Thanks to Radhika Gupta, One Digital Land!


#20- Make the new normal better

Photo Credit: Angus Chang

Many changes have already occurred this year, and our clients, customers, and associates are eager to adapt to what lies ahead. Leadership doesn't require being a virtual reality startup or a biotech company. Make sure you understand the technology and workflows you'll use, then scrutinize your current offerings more closely than ever. What are you doing now that can be improved or changed entirely? Many companies will resist this change and get swept up instead of embracing it. You must be willing to stand out if you want to be disruptive.

Thanks to Angus Chang, Petwithme!


#21- Media appearances

Photo Credit: John Ricco

I have to admit, I don’t often think of myself as a particularly disruptive person, but I think all entrepreneurs and business owners are in some sense disruptive. If I had to point to the ways I have been disruptive as the co-founder of a successful business, I would point to the long string of media appearances and features that I have done. Not everyone would be comfortable with talking publicly on large media platforms like Fox Business, and yet I have sought out the opportunity time and time again.

Thanks to John Ricco, Atlantic Group!


#22- Challenging the norm

Photo Credit: Adam Crossling

For me, being disruptive means thinking outside the box, and you can only do this if you challenge the norm. I am not one to sit around and accept things as they are. I am always curious to learn more and question the status quo. As an entrepreneur, I feel like it’s our job to step out of the mold and inspire others. The moment you do that, you’re creating a space where people don’t have a herd mentality. As a result, causing disruption. I also always try to do things that might not be my cup of tea.

Thanks to Adam Crossling, Zenzero!


#23- Serving your clients

Photo Credit: Kevin Coker

It's less about being disruptive and more about serving clients in the way they want. We entered the contract research organization industry because we saw smaller inventors entering the market with no support to get through the FDA. Without CRO support, ideas may not make it to market. That means patients won't receive the lifesaving or life-enhancing drug or device. My recommendation to entrepreneurs who want to be disruptive is to look at what could be improved.

Thanks to Kevin Coker, Proxima Clinical Research!


#24- By providing timely services

Photo Credit: Stella Scott

Our company stays productive by offering timely customer service via their most convenient means, including mobile applications and websites. Traditional lending institutions are curtailed in their mission and meeting customer expectations due to stringent regulations and company culture, thus providing an opening for companies like ours to flourish.

Thanks to Stella Scott, EasyPaydayLoan!


#25- By engaging with the community

Photo Credit: Chad Brinkle

To be disruptive, you have to think about what’s happening in the market and how your product or service can make a difference. We're disrupting the market by creating a more accessible market and approachable marketplace for people to get their Off-Road parts and accessories. We carry hundreds of items that are exclusively available through our site. We have been able to create a community and get engaged with the off-road community, which has allowed us to provide the best products and services to them.

Thanks to Chad Brinkle, Highcountryoffroad!


#26- By creating monetization tools

Photo Credit: Kaaveh Shoamanesh

For context, at Plaiced, we create monetization tools to help online communities increase their value proposition and grow their member base. We are democratizing access globally to advertising dollars by removing the many barriers that exist between the 1% and the other user types. It has been fundamentally important for me to lead as a purpose-driven CEO and company. This method has enabled us to reduce the noise of low-hanging fruit opportunities that only provide short-term gains. As a result, it has increased our willingness to learn at every turn and listen more attentively.

Thanks to Kaaveh Shoamanesh, Plaiced Inc!


#27- By continuous learning

Photo Credit: Simon Bacher

Disruptive leaders possess a nearly insatiable interest in a broad range of topics. They draw ideas from unusual subjects and obtain learning experiences from unexpected places. I firmly believe that disruptive leaders never stop educating themselves. They constantly seek knowledge, such as learning a new language, technical knowledge or skill, or a new business concept. With today’s advanced technology, more leaders can become disruptive, implementing innovation, digital transformation, and agile management.

Thanks to Simon Bacher, Ling App!


#28- Through a groundbreaking discovery

Photo Credit: Stephanie Venn-Watson

I'm a researcher turned eCommerce guru. My company has disrupted the supplement industry by creating a pure form of pentadecanoic acid — the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. It’s actually scientifically proven to support cellular health better than the leading omega-3 fatty acid. The moment you know you’re onto something great, you can’t keep it all to yourself. I see it as my responsibility to help others live their healthiest life.

Thanks to Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15!


#29- By creating social impact

Photo Credit: Derek Warburton

I am being disruptive by radically committing to philanthropy and creating social impact. Most businesses would claim that they are giving back to society in one way or another. Some would even say that the work they’re doing helps create advancements that will ultimately trickle down the rungs of society. I agree with this description, but I also believe entrepreneurs can do so much better than that. I have made it my life’s mission to pay forward as much as I can by empowering the underserved and underprivileged to achieve their true potential in life. That, I believe, is more disruptive.

Thanks to Derek Warburton, Mr. Warburton Magazine!


#30- By leveraging data and technology

Photo Credit; Linda Shaffer

Checkr is able to provide a more accurate and comprehensive picture of a candidate, which leads to fairer hiring decisions. In addition, our continuous monitoring feature helps organizations identify potential red flags that may have gone undetected in the past. This way, companies can be proactive in addressing issues before they become problems. To disrupt a traditional industry, we use data and technology to provide an accurate picture of the candidate and help organizations make fairer hiring decisions.

Thanks to Linda Shaffer, Checkr!


How are you being disruptive? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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