Hedgehog Concept: The Three Circles

 In Personal Growth

As promised before I would explain the Hedgehog concept, since in my last post there was a comment from Linda, asking what the Hedgehog Principle is.

The hedgehog concept is based on three circles, all of the same size and all equally important. Those three circles intersect in the middle, and this is the place where you should aim.

Hedgehog Concept

The first circle in hedgehog concept involves what you can be the best at. This is not meant to be a goal, or strategy, an intention or a plan. It is a clear statement of fact, developed by honestly looking which area you can shine. It is just as important to define the areas in which you are lacking skills.

This isn’t necessarily related to your abilities in a given area. You may be very good at math, but that doesn’t mean that you can be the best person in the world at math, even with great effort. Keep in mind that what you could be the best at may also be something you’re not doing right now. Before there were computers, how did Bill Gates know that he was the best in the world?

The second circle asks what is driving your economic engine. Discover the single denominator which gives you profits while allowing you to pursue your passion.

In the third circle, you discover what your are deeply passionate about. Ask yourself this question: if you are making all the money you could need, and you were doing this job, would you still come to work? When you can say to yourself. “I’m the luckiest person on earth right now. I was made for this job!”, you truly have it made.

The most important thing is in the middle, at the intersection of these three circles. If you could live your life in that place, you will have it made. You will be doing something that works with your core competency, something you can be the very best in the world at. You’re deeply passionate about your work and can’t believe you’re getting paid for this. That passion and joy drives your economic engine.

You wan to be right in the center of the hedgehog concept. It’s no good having two out of three … you want it all! If you are passionate about what you’re doing and good at it, but there’s no money to be made, you are going to be very frustrated. If you’re good at what you do and you’re making lots of money, but you hate your job, it’s not worth it. If there’s money to be made in an industry that you are passionate about, but you aren’t any good at it, that can be frustrating too. So we want to stay in the intersection of these three circles.

Of course, that will mean research on your part. Look for you hedgehog concept, while seeking the intersection of those three circles. Everything that you do should lead you towards the intersection. When it happens, you’ll find that this guides not only your business choices, but your life choices as well.

Never hesitate to leave any questions, feedback or just some commentluv below =)

Yours in True Success,

Yannick van den Bos

Source: Hedgehog Concept – The Three Circles

Showing 27 comments
  • Venus :)

    Yannick, I love the hedgehog concept. It makes all the sense in the world and really applying it brings satisfaction with what we do while we do it.
    Thank you for your valuable insight,
    Venus 🙂
    .-= Venus :)´s last blog ..The Law Of Laws (part 2) =-.

  • Sandy & Al Abrams

    Hi Yannick,
    What a great concept to be in the center of the three circles. You are right, it will take some real soul searching to get there. This is a slightly different concept of the Hedgehog principle that I learned of before, but certainly valid and valuable. The other part that I was aware of is that once you qualify yourself and find yourself in the center, you curl up around it like a hedgehog and keep all distractions out!

    Thanks for a great post,

    Sandy & Al
    .-= Sandy & Al Abrams´s last blog ..CONFESSIONS OF A SEMI-HEALTH NUT! =-.

  • Wes Wyatt

    I’ve seen this model before – but hadn’t heard it called “The Hedgehog Concept”.

    Great post my friend!

    Have a DYNAMITE Day!
    .-= Wes Wyatt´s last blog ..Seize The Day! =-.

  • Jodi Lee

    This is fabulous, I’ve seen it in different ways but I love this description.

    .-= Jodi Lee´s last blog ..turnkey leads =-.

  • Helen Belcher

    Very Visual concept interesting

  • Dr Linda Douglas


    Beautifully done!….Even your colours speak volumes, as we come to our “Core being!”

    Thank-you for sharing.
    .-= Dr Linda Douglas´s last blog ..ARE YOU RUNNING ON EMPTY? – PART 1 =-.

  • Melissa Wright

    I completely agree that you want to find something that you are good at, that you are passionate about, and something that can be profitable. It is not good enough to have 2 of the 3. I get a little stuck on finding something that you are the best in the entire world. That seems a little daunting.

    I am going to have to do some serious thinking about that. Thank you so much for sharing such a good explanation of the Hedgehog Concept!
    .-= Melissa Wright´s last blog ..How to Start a Blog (Part 3) =-.

  • Henriette Karpf

    Did you create your own blog or did a program do it? Could you please respond? 96

    • Yannick van den Bos

      Hi Henriette, this blog was custom made without a program.. we got our own team that can do blog creation

  • Linda Secretan

    Yannick – Thank you so very much for this post. I appreciate you for being so responsive, helpful, and generous in sharing what you have discovered with others.

    Whoever may have originated the principle, I commend you, my friend, for presenting The Hedgehog Concept to us here!

    The triple Venn is a beautiful and powerful organizer. I’ve also seen it used to great effect in demonstrating the Reading Process where Comprehension is at the intersection of syntax, phonics, and semantics. The Center is far more than the sum of its parts.

    It is elegant in its simplicity yet almost overwhelming in its deeper meaning for someone looking to discover where they should be in the universe.

  • Joe Emmet


    Three daunting areas of life to ask questions of ourselves. For most human beings, these questions require a lot of soul searching!

    Unfortunately, most will choose not to really dig deep to discover the core of their inner being. So, they lives lives of frustration, always wondering why something is missing in their life.

    How much more fulfilling their lives would be if only. . . .

    Maybe this is something that should be taught early in life — say in grade school, what do you think?

    Glad you’re putting this kind of information out on the web. Hopefully we can help you attract a lot of people who need this message.


  • Val Wilcox

    Great post about pulling all three of these areas together to become the person you desire to be while living your life in the best possible circumstances. I agree with Joe that schools insist on you choosing your life path, but they don’t give them the tools to find their passions or how to create this life.

    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Who Is In Your Target Circle? =-.

  • Scott Scales

    Love this post Yannick… it shows the balance we all strive for. Always love learning new things and I had not heard of this concept before. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Scott Scales´s last blog ..5 Questions You Can Ask To See If You Are Serious About Your Business =-.

  • Kellie Hosaka

    Great concept Yannick! Thank you so much for sharing your insight about the Hedgehog concept. I love the intersection of the 3 circles! You always provide another very perceptive way of looking at things.

    Kellie 🙂
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..Are You Happy & Fulfilled In Your Life? =-.

  • Julianna Brower

    I hve not heard of the Hedge hog concept before. Makes perect sense! We should we working toward our passion that we honestly can say no matter what- we would get up and do the same thing!
    .-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..The Empowered Tribe- Social Proof =-.

  • Sandhan

    Hey Yannick… I’m always delighted to learn something new and I hadn’t come across this model before so congrats on enlightening me!!!

    I’ve always said that if we don’t have a big enough reason (our WHY) for doing anything, we will never keep going when the going gets tough, but when we are passionate about doing what we love then work doesn’t seem like work at all.

    I hear you have been really helpful to Jodi on her blog and I would love your assistance too if you have a few spare minutes…the challenges of being a writer not a tecchie!!

  • marghe

    hey yannick!! it’s a great model and i wanna just ask u one thing, do u think is possible to use this model and apply it to a work group at university?


    • Yannick van den Bos

      Hi Marghe,

      First of all thanks and you can use this model for personal development, and as far for your work group there are some other test can you can all individually do. I am sorry to tell you that I know these test only on a dutch website. But I know that if you will look for some group roll test that you will find something and apply that to your group. With the results you can measure in what way your group functions best.

      Hope that helps,

  • Louise

    Great concept, Yannick… I have never heard it before. It has made a complicated concept simple and easy to understand, especially the drawing of the 3 circles. I am a school counselor. I love your 3 circles and am wondering how to apply this concept in counseling high school or college students since they don’t really have one of the circles. Please advise.
    Thanks a lot.

  • James

    The concept is great, I think however you should give credit to Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” where this concept was developed.

  • Scentsy

    This is great!  I found this post while looking for some great training tips for my team.  I will definitely be passing this concept along.  🙂 

  • sirajuddin

    Thanks Yannick , All the three circles have been greatly explained.

  • sirajuddin

    Thanks Yannick , All the three circles have been greatly explained.

  • Mon

    This stuff is pretty good, but it really is WORD FOR WORD from Good to Great.  Isn’t that…plagiarism?

  • Btollec

    I really love this concept but I have a difficulty to understand the circle “economic engine”.I am an organizational consultant and coach and I would like to know what could be the economic engine of a consultant

  • Subash Barua

    Its superb for business as well as for personal goal

    • Yannick van den Bos

      It really is!

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