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Episode 69 – Right Size Your Business (Growth Is Not Mandatory)

What’s With The Growth Thing?

Reach 6 figures, get a team, reach 7 figures! Then when you hit 7 figures, what’s next? Is it some time off?

No, of course not. Now the goal is 8 figures.

I’m guilty of this myself. I have no memory of my first $10k month because  my brain was already on to the next milestone.

I do remember my first $20k month because I was on holiday at the time, but my focus was on the next thing.

The reason we do this is because we are programmed to want more.

Whatever we get doesn’t seem that appealing once we have it, so we go after the next thing.

It’s the universal principle that is behind all life – which is we have to create more life.

It’s always about more.

But is ‘more’ really the right choice when it comes to having a fulfilling life and business?

We don’t think our favourite Italian restaurant needs to grow and become a huge chain before we think it’s a great business.

We don’t expect the freelancers we hire to necessarily want to start building teams and turning into an agency before we can call them successful.

So why is the standard path for our own business always getting bigger?

The Online Business Growth Ladder

You may have already seen my Online Business Growth Ladder.

The levels go Dreamer, Starter, Hustler, Pro, CEO.

At Dreamer you want to start a business but haven’t yet. Starter is the startup phase, Hustler is when you gain momentum, Pro is where you’ve got everything running relatively smoothly and CEO is when you have a team or you focus mainly on high growth activities.

I always tell people it’s fine to stop at Pro.

You don’t have to become a CEO.

At Pro you’re stable, you’ve got a viable, running business.

Anything beyond that is optional and should only be done when it fits your goals.

What You Probably Want Is This…

You likely started a business or are thinking about starting a business because you want meaningful work, work that suits your personality and you are looking for a change in lifestyle.

Right size your business

These are the fundamentals that almost everyone is looking for.

It’s how we can reach self-actualisation or in other words how we can essentially reach the highest levels of happiness.

Right Size Your Business – Growth Is A Choice

I’m not saying growth is negative. I’m saying growth is a choice.

What is the right size business for you?

Maybe the right size is being a solopreneur.

Maybe it’s having a small team.

Maybe it is having a big team or a big business.

Whatever it is, just because society might be pushing you in the direction of ‘Go big or go home’ it doesn’t mean you have to listen.

How Do You Know The Right Size For You?

It’s about that right combination of purposeful work, workstyle – so the type of work that fits your personality, and maintaining the lifestyle you are looking for.

Your workstyle is the most relevant factor for the size of business because affects what is happening in the time you are at work, it affects the type of work you are do.

Here are two main ways of finding out what size business is right for you.

1. Write out your ideal working day

I love this exercise because it’s not about what you’re going to do in your free time, which is what people focus on when they have none or very little, but it’s about how you want your work to be.

In your ideal work day do you have a team?

Are you making decisions on multiple income streams with your COO?

Or are you at home getting some client work done in the afternoon by yourself?

Sitting with the idea of what it will look like on a day by day basis, gives you a lot of information about what you want.

2. Look at your Focus Type in your Entrepreneurial Design

If you don’t have your Entrepreneurial Design Profile yet you can get yours here.

Your Focus Type indicates how much you like to have going on in your life. At one end of the scale are people who like a lot of variety, at the other end of the scale are people who prefer laser focus.

You can also think of it in terms of how much bandwidth you have for dealing with stuff – decisions, projects, staff, customers etc.

I’m not embarrassed to admit I don’t have a huge amount of bandwidth for lots of different things happening at once.

I like to keep my business as simple as possible.

Which has meant lots of pruning over the years.

It happened often that I started and then got rid of projects where I felt like I should be doing more, mostly because of the influence of other people.

Those projects honestly never worked out that well for me, because ultimately they were a better path for a different person.

Someone with a different Focus Type.

See what your Focus Type is and if it sits right with you take it into account.

Your Entrepreneurial Design is about how you work best, how you prefer to show up in the world.

Using a different metaphor, you think about this in terms of houses you might be the tiny house type or you might be more the luxurious mega mansion, or you might like the compact city condo or maybe the comfortable sprawling farmhouse is for you.

Whatever it is, choosing the right size, as well as choosing the right idea is an option for you.

It’s not go big or go home.

It’s Possible To Earn Amazing Money Without A Big Business

Remember as well that the size of your business, at least in terms of how many products or how many staff you have, does not have to have a direct correlation to how much money you earn.

Often status symbols in business, like fancy offices or many staff members have the potential to reduce your income if you are keeping a tight handle on things.

There are plenty of million-dollar business owners out there who have one or two staff members and very simple business models. Denise Duffield Thomas and Bushra Azhar are two examples.

Business size is relative and big business doesn’t necessarily mean ‘more’ of everything of what you want.

Your Business, Your Rules Baby!

What all this comes back to is there are so many ways that you can do business your way.

Even in areas where in-baked cultural ideas seem to tell you otherwise.

There are no rights and wrongs in this.

It’s about designing a business that brings your gifts to the world and sustains you not just financially, but also at a soul level.

When you really can embody doing business your way, not what’s right for someone else, the world becomes an amazing playground of opportunity and personal growth.