Let’s say I want to lose 15 lbs. But how quickly? 15 lbs in a week? A year? Two months?
I have many options for how I can lose weight, but how quickly I want to lose weight will help me narrow down the options that will work, for the time period I choose.
- If I want to lose 15 lbs in a week, I’ll probably need to resort to using some sort of miracle diet, diet pill with copious exercise and/or starving myself.
- If I want to lose 15 lbs in a year (just 1.25 lbs/month), I can adjust my diet even slower and exercise some (but not even be that dedicated) to get there.
- If I want to lose 15 lbs in two months, I can probably eat healthier and exercise regularly to make it happen.
But there’s risk associated with the sustainability of each of these, right?
- If I try to lose 15lbs in a week, there is a higher risk for my health in the short-term. Plus the likelihood that I’ll be able to maintain the weight goes down since I took unsustainable measures to lose it.
- If I try to lose 15lbs in a year - well, it’s just not that challenging. If I set my goal that far out, I know I can putz around for 10-11 months and then put in the work on the 12th month. I won’t stay motivated.
- But if I try to lose 15lbs in two months, I know I’ll need to consistently watch what I eat and work out regularly to lose it. Also, I’ll hopefully have created habits that keep me at that weight and healthy after the two months are over.
What does weight loss strategy have to do with business growth?
You should see your business growth the same way.
There are ways you can get to your goals super quickly, but there is greater risk associated with those ways (taking on investors you may not have otherwise, hiring people in a rush that aren’t best for your business, etc.).
Alternatively, you can set growth goals so far out that they aren’t challenging and you likely won’t stay motivated.
The goal is to find the right growth rate for your business. Not too fast, not too slow - just right.
Your business growth should require you to show up and be consistent every day, but not make you feel like like you have insurmountable obligations breathing down your neck.
Our desire for fast growth is usually the issue. After all, you want to make your business a source of sustainable income. But it's not worth resorting to diet pills, starving yourself, or taking the risks that you know aren’t healthy in order to get where you want to be.
Be patient. Know that there is value in being consistent. There is value in not compromising your ideals. You can do business the way you hope to. You will grow. Be patient, but be consistent.
You don’t need to take a short-cut. Your hard work will work.
For more on managing growth, I ran across this excellent post - Goldilocks on Business Growth by Joey Sargent.