Lessons from a digital breakthrough

Since two years, I have the pleasure of being part of the tibor.nl coaching team. A bunch of cool dudes with very varied backgrounds (special forces, entrepreneurship, angel investing, innovation, sales), working on your business. Our job is to help people to break through the barrier and move from being self-employed to becoming a long term business. Combining special forces principles with stoicism and entrepreneurship. With always a holistic perspective, body, mind, soul and business. In that order. 

5 PS and 100 days

Public, product, pitch, position and partners as the structure. With a 100 day plans as the output. With one number and one theme. Ensuring focus, rhythm and discipline. Run as a three-day retreat in a nice hotel somewhere in Holland.

Operation breakthrough

To stay within the special forces theme, we call them “Operation breakthrough”. Runs like clockwork and has at a minimum doubled the turn over of the participants who follow the 100-day plan. With constant 5 star reviews. Clients are crying with gratitude. The buzz of participating in the programme is amazing. 


And then Corona happened. And to Tibor’s credit, he didn’t waste a good crisis and within three weeks created a digital version of operation breakthrough, which delivered last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Three days of being constantly online. Going through the programme like we normally do. Laughing together, exercising together, doing breathing exercises together, having cold showers together, working together. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Better than the “normal” retreat. And I was not expecting that at all.


Which means that we have moved to digital. That we have fundamentally shifted our business model. Which means we can scale easier. All our coaches are fluent in English. We can now deliver this programme anywhere in the world. Thank you, Corona.


There are a few lessons:

  • Never waste a good crisis.
  • Just do it. What is there to lose?
  • Think digital (it is inevitable, and Corona has just speeded it up).
  • Think experience (there is a lot more possible than you think —> Tibor send everyone a kettlebell and ready-made healthy meals as part of the digital retreat. We even tried to get ice delivered to everyone for the ice bath (to go with the breathing).
  • Keep it simple (you can do a lot combining phone, Skype and Zoom and some simple rules).
  • Think public (without an audience Tibor could not have shifted this fast).
  • Do not underestimate how quick people will get used to working remote and by video camera. It will become second nature.
  • Once you are digital, you are scalable.


With my futurist hat one, I think that AR and VR will take huge flight, and I am interested in how that will work combined with AI, IoT, 5G and wearables. But it still means you have to go digital first. 


Our next digital Operation Breakthrough is from 27 to 29 May. That will be in Dutch. You can book here.

International operation breakthrough

I want to do one in English. With people from all over Europe. If you are interested or want to find out more, drop me a line or leave a comment.

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Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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