What is the difference between businesses that enjoy significant new growth and those that flatline or fizzle out despite their best efforts?
I’ll answer that question in today’s email. If you’re feeling stuck and uncertain about how to grow your business, then what I have to share is for you.
In my previous post, I shared how businesses are going through a critical inflection point brought on by uncertain shifts taking place as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.
After an inflection point, a business will follow one of four paths.
1. Blow Up Your Business
2. Slowly Lose Ground
3. Burn Out
4. Unlock New Growth
Which path does it feel like you are on right now?
If you aren’t clearly and confidently on a path to new growth, then you’re headed down one of three paths that eventually lead to the death of your business.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these four outcomes; pay attention to whether any feel familiar with your situation right now.
1) Lose Ground (One of My Biggest Business Mistakes)
Between 2005 and 2010, my previous business and podcast, Internet Business Mastery, enjoyed rapid growth.
We consistently ranked in the top ten business podcasts. We increased our income every year, sometimes doubling it. Our audience grew to 30k listeners.
Then we made one of the biggest mistakes of my entrepreneurial career.
We assumed that if we kept doing what we were doing, the growth would continue.
In other words, we started coasting. In business, you are either growing or shrinking. Standing still isn’t an option.
We’d abandoned the very thing that made us a top business podcast and education company–innovation and a fresh perspective.
I see business owners make this mistake all the time. They assume what has been working will continue to work. Making this assumption is a death sentence.
Instead, pause. Assess your business. Refine your vision. Take time to innovate and design the next evolution of your business. Work smarter, not harder.
2) Burn Out
We’ve all been there. You burn the candle at both ends trying to keep things afloat, hoping that hard work alone will get you to the next level.
You frequently feel uncertain and overwhelmed.
You tell yourself, “If I can just [insert goal here], then things will finally get better/easier.”
You’re constantly spinning plates and praying you don’t drop one.
You feel a bit of shame when you hear what other business owners are doing, and that shame keeps you from reaching out for help or a fresh perspective.
It saps you of the very creativity and motivation you need to find a new path forward, so instead, you put your head down and keep grinding metal.
You burn out as your business slowly fizzles.
When you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s essential to ask for help and get an outside perspective.
Assess what is working and what is not. Identify which parts of your business fuel your motivation and creativity and which drain you.
Leverage your strengths and opportunities to design a new invigorating business growth plan.
3) Blow Up
As entrepreneurs, we quickly get bored and impatient when we don’t get the results we want. We get energized by new ideas.
And so, we look for something shiny and new to pique our interest again.
We might even tear everything down because, hey, it’ll be fun to go back to the drawing board….right? We start over because it feels like more fun than the path ahead.
Just because some things need updating doesn’t mean we throw away what is working.
You can and must innovate, but don’t let the desire for novelty lead you to abandon something on the verge of taking off.
4) Spark New Growth
This path is where income, reach, opportunities, impact, and personal fulfillment hit new levels and continue to grow.
The business feels aligned with your vision and mission. You get to focus on the work you do best. You have a sense of ease as you confidently spend your time on the activities you know will produce the most significant returns on your efforts.
Frequent results motivate you forward daily.
You know why your business exists and how exactly it will support the work you want to do.
You move forward knowing your goals and vision are inevitable.
The bottom line is this.
It’s critical that you know how to identify when your business is at an inflection point.
The business owners who avoid blowing up, burning out, or losing ground, take time to design the next evolution of their business and create a strategic growth plan that aligns with their vision, values, and strengths.
However, there are several mistakes business owners make when making their Strategic Growth Plan.
In my following post, I’ll share with you some of these mistakes and what you need to know to create a strategic growth plan that will ensure your business survives, reaches the next level of income and impact, and moves forward with intentionality and clarity.