We trademarked that phrase because it’s central to how we plan our work with our clients. Here’s a quick overview.
But first – why grow? Businesses don’t have to achieve world domination, or be “unicorns”, or generate billionaires, to be successful. A business that supports a lifestyle you love, while nurturing and challenging you in the three dimensions of Head, Heart and Bottom Line®, is a successful business.
However, most businesses we see are not there yet. The owners are still disappointed, frustrated, perhaps despairing. They are working too hard for too little of what they promised themselves when they started. As we learn about the business, we often find one factor in common: the business is not yet at optimal size.
So we set to work with our Four Truths of Business Growth®. Spoiler alert – here they are:
- Growth comes from working ON not working IN.
- It starts with WHY.
- You won’t make it on your own.
- Business growth and personal growth go hand-in-hand. You won’t get the one without the other.
We all know in our hearts that No. 1 is true, don’t we? Just doing more of the same will only wear out the treadmill faster. It’s stepping back to review, reflect, plan and change that allows growth to happen.
With No. 2 I often get blank looks. “I’m in business to make money. DUH.” But profit is a means, not an end, a HOW not a WHY. Dig deep into why you went into business and you will find that it was about filling a need, making the world a better place, providing opportunities for your family, creating a legacy… That’s the rocket fuel. Money is just the sugar hit that gets you through the afternoon.
There’s a trap here – have you seen it? It’s called No Margin No Mission. If your business is not making a profit, it will not be able to support your true WHY. In fact, that’s not a business, it’s a hobby.
No. 3: you hear it all the time at prize nights, award ceremonies, winners’ press conferences, graduations, acceptance speeches… No-one achieves their dreams in sport, the arts, science, politics, education or anywhere else without a support team. Coaches, cheerleaders, a bestie to pick you up when you’ve fallen (you will), mentors, role models, a group of peers walking the same path.
And No. 4 I am not going to try to prove. It just is. You will find, when you reflect on your experience, that the successful entrepreneur you are today is simply not the same person who took those first tentative steps long ago. And your next stage of business success, as it calls you, is also setting you up for more growth as a person. This is the most precious gift of all. It’s tough, you will fall and skin your knees, but you will transcend all that.
“It Starts with WHY” is shamelessly pinched from the title of Simon Sinek’s excellent book. https://simonsinek.com/
Our friend Carolyn Tate writes excellently on the subject of purpose: https://carolyntate.co/