People all the time come to me with stories about their business. After a period of consistent and often rapid growth, they feel that suddenly it has stopped growing. They use expressions like, ‘it seems to have stalled’, ‘it has plateaued over the last year or so’ or even, ‘it seems to have flatlined’.
If this describes your situation, there may be a number of reasons why this might happen. One is that you were never clear enough on what it was you were trying to build in the first place. Vague goals lead to vague outcomes. It stands to reason. Very often when we set off to create a business we are nowhere near clear enough about exactly what it is we are trying to build. We may want to grow our business but ‘bigger’, ‘better’ and ‘more profitable’ are pretty vague concepts and aren’t specific enough to overcome the inevitable barriers that will slow and stall growth.
When President Kennedy resolved to ‘put a man on the moon’ he was very specific about the goal. He promised to ‘land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth’ ‘before this decade is out’. This was the classic Big Hairy Audacious Goal, but it was specific. Not only did he commit to landing a man on the moon, but for the goal to be achieved the individual had to also be returned safely to earth and all of this had to be achieved within the current decade. It is well documented how the technology to achieve this didn’t exist at the time of setting the goal. Kennedy didn’t know how it would be achieved, but history will show that it was achieved. One of the reasons for this has to be the specificity of the goal. Clarity is power in this as well as many other contexts.
Often, when starting and growing businesses we lack clarity. We lack specificity and so when the forces of inertia start to gather in our way we do not have the wherewithal to overcome them and we capitulate and settle for where we are, not having a compelling enough reason to find our way through, over or around.
In fifteen years of coaching business owners like you I have seen countless numbers of them working ever harder to get ever diminishing results. Like a hamster on the wheel they seem to be running faster and faster without actually getting anywhere. Too often the reality is they lacked clarity in what they were trying to achieve, or had lost sight of it. Without sufficient clarity of destination they end up somewhere they didn’t want to be, perhaps with a job rather than a business, with less time rather than more time, with less freedom rather than more liberty.
This reason may or may not apply to you. It is one of the 10 most frequent reasons businesses seem to stall or flatline. I will be dealing with this and the other 9 reasons in my next seminar. Click here for details.