Regardless of whether we’re doing it intentionally or not, we all are capping our business’s growth at a certain point in our entrepreneurial journey. There are the usual suspects like under-charging and not filling the demand our customers have already expressed, but there are some other ways that are much less obvious than those.
For instance, I have quite a few colleagues that have made conscious choices not to work on weekends or evenings so they can spend quality time with their families or themselves. This choice caps their business’s growth, as it precludes them doing evening calls or weekend workshops which might otherwise bring in cashflow, opportunities, or visibility.
And it’s absolutely the right call for them.
I have some other colleagues that, due to disposition or capability, refuse to hire teammates or move beyond the solopreneur model. As awesome as that model might be, it severely limits the impact that a business can have simply because there’s only so much one person can do. (More on this later, but Mark has already talked about the myth of the solopreneur, too.)
And it’s absolutely the right call for them. Too many people underestimate how much leadership small teams need.
You’ve no doubt sensed that something has gone awry. Yes, I did say that the way some of these examples have capped their growth is the right call for them.
The world of small business and startups can be exhilarating, but running them can eat you alive if you’re not careful. (Click to tweet.)
Businesses can always develop and grow, but the people running them have limits. A business doesn’t need to rest and sleep because a business is a shared human construct like numbers and art.
The people in them, though, are real and need rest, sleep, recovery, joy, passion, inspiration, tenacity, and all the other things that allow us to wake up in the morning and push the boulder up the hill. Or chase it downhill on the best of days.
I’m not invoking a work-life balance framework that so many of us are skeptical about. It’s about work-life integration, not balance, for us entrepreneurs and change-makers. That said, there’s a clear difference between the creative builder, the building that we love to do, and the thing that’s being built.
The very best thing that we can do sometimes is limit the growth of thing being built so the builder can keep approaching the building for the long haul. Some of the ways we cap our businesses’ growth are conducive to that – others aren’t.
How are you capping your business’s growth? Is it conducive to helping you build for the long term?