Movement happens when the force to move (driving force) overcomes the inertia, the force to stay still. When we start a business there is a lot of drive at the beginning. This comes in the form of enthusiasm to grow, to make an impact, to survive. It also comes from expertise and skill.
So, businesses, when they are young, often grow surprisingly quickly, powered by the will and energy of the founder. Often they will continue to grow, as they should, until something stops them.
So, what is it that stops the growth?
Lots of things. The energy required is not without limits, and no matter how capable the leader is there is a limit to everyone’s energy. As the business grows it inevitably becomes more complex meaning there are more calls on the leader’s energy. Problems with customers, staff issues, red tape and regulation all add to the drag on growth. Sooner or later the drag factor is greater than the driving force and eventually growth stops. Frustration follows.
The natural reaction is to apply yet more energy and effort to try to overcome the drag factor, but that energy is not limitless. The more fatigued we become the less likely we are to be able to get forward momentum. If we keep applying the same tactics we are just going to get more and more tired. Inevitably that can only result in burn out.
In nature and psychology that state of being stable is often called homeostasis; a state of equilibrium when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated. In business and life it is called being stuck. In business and life this is not a good thing. A business, like a tree or a person is either growing or dying.
In business and life, the answer is not to try to apply more energy but to reduce the drag factors, many of which are of our own making. Like a hot air balloon all we need to do us to cut the tie ropes so that we can fly.
What are the tie ropes holding you and your business back?
There are lots of challenges in the world but a business that is run well can benefit the world more than almost anything else, creating purpose, dignity, and wealth in honest and worthwhile work, but it is a competitive place in which to thrive. If you would like an edge and to significantly improve your business performance and expand your thinking please reach out.
Doing good by doing well.