Today I read a great quote which really struck a chord with me. It said ”Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”. It struck a chord because, at the moment, as business owners we find ourselves at somewhat of a crossroads – keep on doing what we’re doing (i.e.stand still) or take a leap of faith and take our business to the next level.
When you first start a business there is a lot to do – market research to carry out, business plans to write, finance to raise, websites to built, advertising and promotion to plan and customers to find. If this is your first business then there is a lot to learn and the whole process can become all-consuming. It can be exhilarating, discovering all the new things you are good at, as your comfort zone rapidly expands. And then there comes a point when you find that all that new and exciting stuff has become routine and everyday. You’ve actually achieved what you set out to do and you now need something more to keep your momentum going.
But the thought of the ‘next step’, whether it be expansion, diversification, taking on staff or acquiring premises, can seem overwhelming and daunting. The ‘next level’ may seem miles away from where you currently are. So, what do you do? Stand still or grow?
Many of the business owners I have met have more ideas than they know what to do with. As is often the way, you wait ages for an idea to come along, and then two come along together! But sorting the wheat from the chaff and knowing which idea is good or right your business can be tricky. Lots of ideas, not enough time, too little capital – sound all too familiar?
There is a lot of good, free advice available for business start-ups, but less that I can see for people wishing to expand and grow. So now could be a good time to find a business coach or mentor, to help you look at your ideas objectively and give you some advice and enouragement. With a certain amount of success behind you, you may also be tempted to want to see bigger and better results quickly – to want it all, right now! But ‘quickly’ isn’t always achievable or sensible. A big house needs strong foundations, detailed plans and hours of workmanship, and so does a successful business.
And this is where another old saying comes into it’s own. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Any task or goal, however momentous it might seem, can be broken down into bitesized pieces, one of which could be achieved today – right now in fact. Don’t be put off that the end destination seems a very long way away – as long as you have a clear objective in mind you can get there, as long as you keep moving, slowly but surely.