Business Advice

Here’s How to Find Out If You’re Growing (For Real) in 2018

business entrepreneur growth

Growth: the process of increasing in physical size; developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually; increasing in amount, value, or importance; increase in economic value or activity.

That’s my “word of the year” – growth. The concept of adopting words or phrases as mantras is normally not a concept I latch on to. But after Ashley McCue’s Planathon, it became more important to find one. (That’s not an affiliate link, by the way. It’s just darn good.)

How Does Growth Define You?

Having multiple definitions of words makes our language so beautifully complex.  But, no – that subheading isn’t a typo. Figure out which definition of growth will apply to you.

I love these definitions. When I first started thinking about what my word would be I kept thinking of trees. (Because that’s the only thing I can actually draw…sort of.)

I thought about how their roots are deeply embedded in the soil.  The tree itself has different processes for survival, can be damaged and still continue to grow. That’s the beauty of a tree – each one is unique.

Even the ones that appear “ugly” – the ones that have gnarly branches or have begun to encroach in areas where it shouldn’t – those trees are still special and beautiful and meant to be there. With pruning or replanting, a tree can continue to thrive.

Some bear seeds, others bear fruit. Both are trying to increase their legacy by sprouting.

So much to be learned from a growing tree.

Accepting Growth When It Hurts

The part about growth that I wanted to emphasize is that it’s not always easy.

“Growing pains” can be metaphorical and the name of a great 80s sitcom, but they can feel real. Growth implies change. Change can be complicated, messy and sometimes downright painful.

It’s not something people look forward to. I can be very averse to growth. I get stuck in my ways and don’t always look at the big picture. Short term rewards are fulfilling and provide a temporary “happy” fix.

But long-term growth almost always involves something that you don’t want to do. (Tweet this!)

Seriously, unless you want to increase your waistband and that means eating more Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I can’t think of any “growth” that doesn’t involve something at least mildly irritating.

You want to be a better writer? You have to read and write more. Want to be a better marketer? You have to keep up with trends and perhaps attend conferences or get some sort of extra education. Even though I love marketing and all of those things sound really awesome and fun, it will involve things I don’t like.

Airports.

Typing.

Reading things longer than 500 words.

Meeting people. (I’m kidding. Meeting people is fun. It’s just the introvert me requires lots and lots of space.)

How to Help Your Clients Grow

The heart of a business owner is helping someone overcome something that pains them, correct?

Will your work also include making changes or corrections that they may not like or enjoy?

I’ve had clients who give me some pushback about using project management tools like Asana.

Generally, I respect their wishes and use what they prefer. But I often have to give them suggestions they really may not like.

You have to be prepared for pushback. You’re going to bump heads with a client and you’re going to wonder where it came from and what to do next. Ask yourself:

  • What questions do they have?
  • Is their criticism legitimate or overblown?
  • What do you do if you can’t agree on something?
  • What evidence can you provide to justify your stance?
  • When is it time to “fire” your client?

Man, I hate those questions. I know you do too, because your ultimate goal is to gain new customers and keep them happy.

Ya’ll it’s going to be a good year, no matter what. Tell me about what your mantra is for 2018 in the comments and don’t forget to share!

 

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