“We’re about to see some really big growth. I’m hearing good reports coming in and I can sense that we are on the verge of something really big.” If I’ve heard that conversation once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. Unfortunately, that dream of growth is unrealized – held hostage by an insidious myth that keeps things from really moving forward. Let’s expose the myth that keeps so many business owners from realizing their big dreams.
Growth doesn’t just happen
When I graduated from high school I spent several summers working in the oil field. Many of the guys I worked with during that time bought lottery tickets each and every week. The next day they were always back on the job, no richer than before. However, one day as Larry pulled into the c-store to purchase his ticket he was particularly optimistic. Since last week’s jackpot winning ticket was purchased no more than an hour from where we were, Larry was convinced that luck was moving in his direction. He just knew that if he kept buying tickets each week, he too would be a big winner. That was 20 years ago and Larry’s still waiting on Lady Luck.
Larry’s theory – that if he just kept plugging along, one of these days he was going to get lucky – is a fallacy that keeps many business owners stuck where they are instead of really moving forward. The idea is essentially that by continuing to do the same old thing, he would get different results one day. If you want the same results next year that you got this year, then keep doing the same things. But if you want different results in the future, you’re going to have to do things differently.
Making it happen
Larry wanted big money in his bank account. If Larry had taken the money that he spent on the lottery each week and instead placed it in interest bearing account, today he would have big money in his bank account. Making things happen; making tomorrow better than today, is really all about doing things differently.
For too many business owners, their dreams of the big time have a lot more in common with Larry’s dreams of winning the lottery, than they do with successful business strategy. The smart business strategy for growth starts with identifying what changes are needed in order to make progress in the right direction. This often involves investing in advertising that works, or focusing on building (or shoring up) the existing infrastructure in the business. It may involve re-allocating resources so that they best line up with your goals.
Real, sustained business growth is not the result of luck any more than business stagnation and decline are the result of bad luck. It is through our actions, or inactions, that we create our own luck. Big growth doesn’t just happen. It is the very predictable result that comes from developing and executing a smart business strategy.