Bigger, better, faster is the leitmotiv in the entrepreneurial world.
While big corporations are chasing ever-increasing profits, solopreneurs and small business owners seem to be obsessed with mastering the 10-figure-launch or the 3-months-to-10-millions-sales-formula (ok, I may be slightly exaggerating here but you get the idea).
I am all for big dreams and large ambitions: they motivate you, they push you forward and they keep you going.
However, my experience has also shown that misplaced ambitions can be very detrimental if you don’t have all your ducks in a row.
It’s one thing to have lightning fast expansion, it’s another one to actually be able to sustain it (or even live through it!).
Actually this principle is well-understood in military strategy and it could be roughly summed up as “don’t battle on several fronts.”
History books are full of historical figures who ignored this principle and learned a very painful and humiliating lesson…
In layman’s terms this could translate into: “don’t bite more than you can chew.”
I always remember very fondly a former client of mine, a true champ. She came to me to reinvent her life. I use powerful tools and she went to work fiercely so big results started coming in quickly. Within a few months her life was unrecognizable.
She was so satisfied with her transformation that she signed up for a second round of coaching. Only this time she had one special request: “can we please take it slow?!”
She loved the big changes but there was so much to integrate that she no longer had the bandwidth for more. She first needed to process her transformation before being able to shoot higher.
Going big is exhausting!
When you work for yourself you can easily find yourself wearing many hats. To follow the military analogy you often find yourself covering many fronts at once.
You could be marketing one minute, doing sales the next, managing social media or providing customer service right after. In other words you’re the general, the sergeant and the infantry and you’re on 15 fronts all at once.
A recipe for disaster!
If someone on your team (as in you!) skips a beat, you’re toast.
Add to this equation a reckless expansion and you’re good for the collapse.
Either you’ll burnout, your marketing efforts will go south or customers will suffer. The whole setup is simply unsustainable: something will have to give.
Now I am in no way advocating that you stay put and stop growing. I am simply pleading for a little balance and a healthy business growth that doesn’t take away your sanity.
Before planning your next big move, here are some questions you could ask yourself to help you grow your business in a sustainable manner.
– Do I have the bandwidth (mental, physical, emotional)?
– Do I have the resources (time, team, money)?
– Do I have the systems in place?
– What do I need to do to best prepare my business for this project?