If I’m brutally honest, I have to admit that I get annoyed for a couple of reasons whenever I hear that question “Do you want to grow your business?”. One of them is that I had not given it a lot of thought in the past, and that was my own fault. That being said, being asked the question regularly has sparked some thought processes that I am quite happy about, but it hasn’t really changed my stance towards the question itself.
The second reason for me personally is this: the question has become ever less clear the more I thought about it. What does business growth really mean? And I came to the conclusion that growth comes in many different shapes and sizes, and that not one of the coaches ever elaborates on the different types more than necessary as their own business seems to focus on only one of the growth types.
Many, if not most, business coaches seem to specialise in the notion that a good business is one that runs on its own. The owner becomes the manager and – in time – might actually even take on someone to fulfil the manager role for him: retirement beckons on the horizon.
That’s pretty much the picture that is portrayed to me over and over and it doesn’t fit with me at all. The kind of work I do is very much linked to me as a person and cannot easily be done by anyone else. Yes: nobody is irreplaceable, but let’s face it: any job that is inspirational in nature depends on the person who does it and represents it. If you are your own brand and product, it is very hard, if not impossible, to find and trust someone else to do things the same way. You cannot simply take the back seat and watch it unfold. Besides, I love doing my work! Why would I even want to retire?
That being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who could benefit from a business coach, and that might even include myself if I ever find one who understands what I do and inspires me rather than impose a fixed idea of “how it’s done”. In the meantime, I do speak with them from a place of understanding my own needs and may walk away with valuable new insights and possible ways to improve things in my own business, in my own way.
Let’s return to the definition of “business growth”. I could come up with at least three definitions of growth that I believe pretty much everyone could agree on:
Each of these – and many other definitions – are correct, but none really covers the complete load for most businesses. It is important to consider this question for yourself to begin with and draw your own conclusions: you need to find your own goals before you decide to look for and find a person who can help you achieve them. Maybe you won’t even need someone else once you have thought it over?
So when someone asks you that question “Do you want to grow your business?” you might want to ask them what they think the end result of the growth they propose should be. Their answer will determine if they are worth your while talking to.
Ask the ClutterMeister
Some pertinent ideas from the 'old office dog' who has seen it all, to help clear away the mess in your office.
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My name is Tilo Flache and it is my mission to help my clients organise and declutter their work spaces.