I had it all mapped out when I started in business. I had a long list of milestones and tasks that by completing I would see the success I imagined. But the fact of the matter is, a lot of my ideas didn’t work, and with a lot of things I simply didn’t get around to doing them.
Business doesn’t work in straight lines
What I didn’t know at that time is that business, like anything else in life that is truly worth it, doesn’t work in straight lines. We teach ourselves from a young age that life is a step by step process. Take the education as an example, you are told to do x course to do y degree to get z job.
Thats why “How to books” are so popular, that’s why the title of this post grabbed your attention, that’s why we are fascinated when we hear the stories of other successful entrepreneurs. We want to learn the steps that they took so that we can best replicate them in our lives and businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I think “how to” and step by step guides are really useful, I even write like that sometimes.
Guides assume that businesses function like machines, where Input A = Output B. That if you know the right input steps you will get the output you desire. This is true with machines, but often when something does go wrong with a machine 9 out of 10 times it is because of one thing.
Errors in the design, building, operating, testing or checking all made by us. We are unavoidable factors in business, so you need to think differently about growth. I had to move away from straight lines and mechanical step by step ideas about growing. I looked at when I did grow and what it was about those situations.
Think about your body, to grow muscle you need to tear what is there. Think about your mind, we grow most when our perceptions and ideas are challenged.
I grew most in moments of difficulty, when I was under it, with no way out. These are exactly the same moments that we grow most in business. Those difficult tasks that no one else wants to face up too. Or when you just have failed, being at the limit forces you to do those things that truly matter, those things that we often put at the bottom of the list.
Two areas that this often happens in in small businesses is sales and in building a good team, we don’t continue to chase the next customer until it is too late or create the space to invest in new people.
Recognise that you are human and that your business is an extension of you.
Do those things that are painful, do those things that feel like you are tearing up your muscles. Because for you to grow and maximise your potential you need to feel the pain of your challenges and not just follow someone else’s steps.
Keep on growing in business and do the difficult thing.
Did this make you think about someone, why don’t you share it with them?