As a business owner growth is the only valid option you have.
Isn’t growth the reason you got into business in the first place?
If you didn’t want to grow, you’d be better off working for someone else.
It’s time to take a deep breath and embrace growth.
With growth comes growing pains.
With growth comes plateaus.
With growth comes fear.
With growth comes vulnerability.
With growth comes criticism.
With growth comes joy.
With growth comes heartache.
Growth equals change.
It all sounds good at the beginning when everything is new, but when you get to the middle of the growth, things get a bit challenging.
One of the first things to realize is growth is a process that will change you.
If you don’t have the growth you desire, there is only one person to blame.
The person in the mirror.
Let me share with you an area where I tried to grow and failed.
The pain from the failure led me to vow off growth, and I became stagnant.
Nine years ago, I hired my first employee.
It was a complete and utter disaster. I have nobody to blame but myself.
I was the cause of the disaster.
A business coach advised me to hire someone to help me with my work.
I accepted his guidance and hired the first person that came to my attention.
I applaud myself for taking action.
However, the person wasn’t the right fit for my company.
I hired someone that was right out of college.
He had no experience.
I assumed wrongly that this person would know what to do.
I gave him work and tried to train him as best as I could.
It just didn’t work.
Finally, the work position was vacated.
Now all the work was back on me.
I was juggling the balls of doing the work and also trying to market the business and get more customers.
I thought if I could just hand off the work to someone else, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. The work would get done to my standards.
It just didn’t happen.
Part of the problem I had was that I wasn’t making enough money. I was struggling to make ends meet.
I really couldn’t financially afford to hire the guy.
I thought if I could just grow, things would correct themselves.
Maybe the issue will solve itself was my thinking.
This was senseless thinking.
The fundamental model of my business was broken.
The prices for my services at that time were too low.
The prices were barely tolerable before I made the hire. It provided me enough to pay myself.
Or so I thought. I was barely scratching out a living at the time.
Now that I had hired an employee, my expenses went up.
This meant there was a lot less available to pay me.
I felt like I was continually walking into a wall.
It was completely futile.
I kept bonking my head on the wall as I tried to plow through the wall.
The numbers were messed up. I had to rethink how I was pricing the services.
I didn’t take the time to think about how much money I would make after I hired someone to replace myself.
I also made the stupid mistake of pricing my services considerably less than my competitors were pricing the same services.
I won new clients because I had become a low-cost provider.
I rationalized this by saying. My overhead is a lot less than the big firms. I can charge a lot less and still do well.
I began to win more business because my prices were so cheap.
I was excited about it because I was bringing in more money. I was getting closer to my target revenue number.
Then I ran into a big problem. I ran out of time to work.
I had no more capacity to work.
The worst part of the situation was even with bringing in more money. I still was barely making enough to support myself and my family.
It was a miserable precarious situation.
This is a situation that I call the growth trap.
The growth trap is a mindset that thinking growth will solve all the problems.
The growth trap is similar to a situation where someone thinks that things will get better tomorrow simply because it is a new day.
The assumption made by someone caught in the growth trap is that things will work themselves out.
Growth without boundaries leads to chaos.
You can easily see chaos by looking at the flower beds in my front yard.
The weeds in the flower beds are unruly.
Growth leads to chaos in a business because things break down with growth.
Sometimes business owners take time to build systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
However, at some point, those systems break down because they have their limits.
Systems to manage 100 customers a week will likely break when the business has 1,000 customers a week.
The costs to implement and maintain a system that can handle 1,000 customers a week are more expensive than the systems designed to handle 100 customers a week.
Here’s what you need to realize right now.
As your business grows, it will be more expensive to operate.
If the business is unable to pay the owner when the company has 100 customers a week, it is highly unlikely that the owner will get paid when the company has 1,000 customers a week.
The main reason is the business was broken from the beginning.
A broken business is broken until it is fixed.