Grow to Thrive
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Title: Grow to Thrive
Author: Molly Gordon
A thriving business needs to grow or it stagnates and may even
fail. But what does it mean to grow a healthy business?
First, understand that growing revenues is a necessary but not
sufficient aspect of growth. Thinking of growth exclusively in
terms of revenue is like dumping fertilizer on a garden without
watering or weeding it. Inevitably, the crop dies.
Second, growth is iterative. The process is repeated over and
over again. In this sense there is no first or last step. Still,
you can posit a starting point, a platform from which you begin
and to which you return to measure your progress, assess your
direction, and refine your vision.
One way to posit a meaningful starting point is to assess current
reality and how it differs from what you intend to create. What
are you experiencing now? What is working? Where are you
dissatisfied? Look at both external, measurable factors such as
sales, prospects, productivity, and experiential and qualitative
factors such as engagement, enthusiasm, creativity.
Examine your motives for wanting new growth. Are you dissatisfied
with current reality? Do you sense that something new wants to
come into being? Are you feeling impelled by a creative drive? By
boredom? Fear? Competition? Envy? List your motives without
censoring them so that you can understand what is really true for
you. Every motive is an expression of a sort of worldview. If you
repress or misstate your motives, you are the prisoner of their
worldview and unable to examine the underlying beliefs.
With your motives clearly in mind, take a look at how you are
doing now. Measure how many clients you have, how much income you
are earning, how much time you are spending delivering services,
marketing, and administering your business. Review feedback from
clients and look at what others in your field are doing that you
admire. Talk to your employees, or rather, listen to them. What
is the turnover rate? How happy are they? How engaged?
Look at how much you enjoying your work. What aspects of it bring
the most joy? What sorts of clients or customers seem to benefit
most from what you do and who you are? Where is the sweet spot
where you add the most value with the least struggle? What are
the key intangible sources of energy and inspiration? Again, ask
your employees the same questions.
As you gather the qualitative and quantitative data about your
business, reflect on the circumstances and choices that shaped
these results. What were your goals six months or a year ago?
What personal and professional factors have been at play since
your last business assessment? ? What forces in the marketplace
affected your decisions and your results? What were your
aspirations and assumptions? Notice how current reality
correlates with thinking, beliefs, practices, and intentions that
were in place three, six, or nine months ago.
Does this sound like a lot of work? It is, and it will repay your
attention by revealing new possibilities for intention and action
and by showing you where you can let go of outmoded policies,
procedures, and attitudes. By regularly reviewing what you have
and what you want, you generate a healthy structural tension -- a
tension that can impel you to grow your business in a holistic,
grounded, and integrated way.
About the author:
Molly Gordon, MCC, is a leading figure in business and personal
growth coaching, writer and frequent presenter at live and
virtual events worldwide. Visit her website at
www.mollygordon.com and/or her blog at
www.shaboominc.com/blog/ to join 12,000 readers of her
Authentic Promotion« ezine and receive a free 31-page guide,
"Principles of Authentic Promotion."