The single most crucial thing that you must do for your business from day one

If you are a motorcycle rider, your life could depend on your road position. Whether on a highway or in a curve, during the day or at night, in dry or rainy weather, a proper position will provide you with the needed visibility and grants you safety.

When teaching riders about positioning techniques for the first time, many describe this as alien to them and not anything they would have considered themselves.

Being smaller than most road users is both an advantage and a disadvantage of riding a motorcycle. However, many riders do not give much active consideration to how they can apply one and mitigate the other. Thanks to lane positioning options afforded by a bike’s small size, we can take proactive steps to keep those big, lumbering vehicles from becoming overly intimate with us. Your choice of position within the lane can give you three critical benefits.

  • First, by creating a protective bubble of space around you, it is called a “space cushion” in MSF (motorsport federation) parlance, you can give yourself more time to respond should an inattentive car driver start claiming more than his fair share of the road.
  • The second is to make yourself more visible to other traffic and vehicles by taking the correct position. Understanding the blind spots of other vehicles around you and consistently positioning yourself outside those areas ensures you are continuously visible to their drivers.
  • The third is communication. Many riders neglect to consider the message they are sending to drivers with their lane position. The sad truth is that, as fewer people use their turn signals, drivers are forced to make assumptions based on limited information about what the other road users will do.

So, proper positioning of your motorcycle on the road and within the lane:

  • It gives you a better view
  • Increases your safety margins
  • Maximizes your visibility to other road users

As a Growth Consultant – being the Co-Founder of boutique advisory firm, LINK Advisory and MENA Partner of UK’s leading Growth Acceleration Programme 2Y3X – aside from being a motorcycle instructor, I find the above analogy about motorcycle positioning perfectly applicable to a Brand Positioning, and the cornerstone for that is a clear cutting-edge value Proposition. It all starts from here. That must be the beginning.

Proposition development is the single most crucial thing that you can do for your business from day one. Define clearly what you do and whom you do it for so that those people can find you and will not get mixed messages. We call it a “self-qualifying tool”- an outstanding proposition should ring like a bell – yet most companies struggle to stand out.

It is impossible to nail a proposition without outside help to get it over the line with everyone’s buy-in. And in a recession, what your customers see and how that matches their needs makes the difference between success and failure.

Establishing competitive differentiation is the starting point for most of the ambitious businesses we work with. We believe the clarity of the Proposition is a critical success factor for companies that achieve stellar growth.

This is very important when a company comes to the 2Y3X Programme; the first thing we address is their “Proposition” because a clear one makes everything else less difficult.

The Proposition will have to meet this Venn diagram introduced by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, known as The Hedgehog Concept. 

The Hedgehog Concept developed in the book Good to Great is a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine.

A Hedgehog Concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at. The distinction is absolutely crucial. Every company would like to be the best at something, but few actually understand —with piercing insight and egoless clarity— what they actually have the potential to be the best at and, just as important, what they cannot be the best at. More information on

To be the best at something, you need to be passionate about it, and it should be capable of making you money.

And to my mind, there is an additional Venn diagram here. A clear Proposition should communicate your competitive edge, allowing you to stand apart from your competition and own unique territory; it should also clearly define your target clients, allowing them to self-identify and find you easily. And most importantly, you should be able to substantiate your claim with Case Studies, Records, Customer Testimonials, Reviews and so on…

Therefore, your Proposition is the sweet spot at the intersection of both Venn diagrams shown above.

Below are few samples of really great Propositions we developed by 2Y3X for our Clients, and we’re proud of them.

Impero had won 5 “Agency of the Year” awards by the time we finished the two years 2Y3X Programme. This Proposition lasted for three and a half years. Good “Propositions” last a long time.

Fish in a Bottle is an agency that works with companies like the BBC and doing ground-breaking futuristic AI type Digital. It’s amazing. And what they are saying is not that we do AI. They say that you will trust us if you are a visionary because all other visionaries like you trust us. It’s an utterly resilient brand Proposition.

Alpha Century – The Creative agency for Entrepreneurs. This one we did five years ago, and this is their current website. They are still using it. If you are an Entrepreneur looking for a Creative Agency, this company will definitely go on your Pitch List.

I love this one. White Bear is a Creative Agency for Tech startups. And if you are a tech startup, you think you are going to be the next unicorn. And again, it does not really say that half the work they do is packaging and the other half is creative. It talks to the client, not to the owner of the company.

This is our Proposition. It does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to grow your company and do so at speed, here we are. If you don’t, don’t.

A Proposition allows the audience to identify their needs; it is not about you talking about yourself. A clear Proposition offers your brand and business pre-eminence in your market.

If you are interested in having a conversation about how we can help you craft your Proposition? Reach out to me at

My next piece will tackle the relationship between positioning and pricing. Stay tuned!


I’ve kind of said it a million times so far; look ahead!

As a motorcycle riding instructor, there are few critical skills that I always focus on with every single trainee. Among those skills, probably the most important one is the proper use of the Head-and-Eyes technique, empathizing on always looking ahead, always looking toward the exit. This concept has been drilled into us by our instructors, and in my turn, I ensure I do the same with new riders. An unlimited number of books, videos, online courses, and schools exist and tackle this topic in greater detail.

Why is it so important to look ahead?

There are four main reasons why looking ahead is essential and are all built-in one another. Let’s go over it and then talk through a few practical ways to practice the same in our business. 

First, Drawing the path: We need to look ahead to feed our brains the visual information it requires to draw smooth paths from where we are to where we need to go. If we do not look ahead, we do not know how to put ourselves in the best position as we are taking that path. And we become stuck, relying purely on memory to get us around. It creates the problem that unless our memory is perfect, we end up poorly positioned and unable to carry as much speed as possible. Have you ever noticed, when driving down the highway, how looking at the road stripes way ahead makes them look to be moving slower than if you look at the stripes as they go by? Looking ahead slows things down and gives us more time to plan and respond.

Second, Directing the forces: Taking it one step further, looking ahead enables us to see the direction we require to lead the motorcycle forces. Our intuition rightfully wants us to aim the forces of the bike in the most efficient direction. When we do not look ahead effectively, we may drive around a corner, satisfied in the feeling that we are riding on the grip limit. But that alone is not enough. On the other hand, when we use our vision to see where we should be directing the motorcycle forces, we can immediately tell whether or not we are travelling on the most efficient path around the corner. Using our vision is an essential part of seeing the ideal trajectory that we should be on.

Third, Continuous evaluation: looking ahead plays a crucial role in helping us evaluate our riding! It is not something that we often talk about. It gives us the information we require to see, process and assess our performance efficiency, in addition to what else we need to make it better on the current turn/trajectory or better prepare for the next one. Our visual cues are one of the most critical cues we have at our disposal to tell how efficiently we are moving through the corner.

Fourth, Target fixation: Magically, our motorcycle will always go where we look. Therefore, every time we look at a barrier or a hazard, we notice our bike automatically going towards it in each corner or manoeuvre. It is also known as Target Fixation. Therefore, it is critical to always look ahead towards the best exit possible, and our bike will go where we look.

“OK”, you may say, “That’s all well and good. But how do I get better at this? Where should I be looking? How far ahead?” 

Here I will bring the relevance of the above information related to professional motorcycle riding into a curve and our approach to negotiating an apex in the present business struggle caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty around when is it going to end and how the future of business would be looking like.

So if you are currently inside the bend or curve, and we want to give you the tools you need to prepare yourself by the time the crisis finishes; so you are ready to accelerate as hard as you possibly can, build your business back up, take as much of the market and get back on track. Rather than just surviving the crisis, you need to get to a point of readiness for what comes next; so you can tackle that with vigour, optimism, and the right resources. It would be best if you built a robust plan of action for a quick rebound.

Looking ahead means, all starts by identifying what your goals on reboot day are. What resources do you need to have in place to be able to achieve those goals? Because there will be for sure some gaps between where you are today and where these goals sit. An effective way to get there is to start from the end and walk your path backwards to today. Because If we start where we are today, we could go in a million different directions.

2Y3X QuickMap® is a tested straightforward framework for planning the coming three months, so you are ready for reboot day and get back on track in a perfect model for how business has changed. This strategy map framework is universal, and you could cut this to fit anything you want.

Reach out to me to learn how you can have your plan sorted in just one day. I will show you how to use the 2Y3X QuickMap® methodology to do strategically important work on a tactical basis.

Jihad Al Houwayek

Partner at LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X Master Licensee for the MENA Region


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