Episode # 77 - Not All Growth Is Good
This time of year there’s a lot of talk about plans for the new year. We should all be deliberate about our growth plans if we can. That means looking hard at opportunities and plans you’ve made because there are three kinds of growth. This week I talk about all three.
There’s PLANNED GROWTH where you set out what you’re going to do to get to your goals. Then there’s SERENDIPITOUS GROWTH. These are the happy accidents and surprises that pop up along the way. Serendipity is a shortcut. It’s not being so rigid in what your want that you refuse something better. Then there’s DISTRACTING GROWTH. Distracting growth usually looks like a gift at the time but turns out to be a booby trap. It sucks time away and consumes resources. It’s the kind of client that pays well but has so many demands on you that you can’t make any headway on growing the business. Distracting growth is the big new contract that keeps you working 100 hours/week right after you make a goal of spending more time with family. Distracting growth is the kind that means you need to re-direct your budget to a new hire in a new skill when what you really need is someone for your company team not your client team.
Here are the things we cover:
- The importance of taking a moment to get a plan together for your growth
- Giving yourself the flexibility to accept serendipitous changes to that plan
- Making sure your conscious of the danger when an opportunity comes along that moves you AWAY from your goals
Welcome to the Get Your Act Together podcast. I'm your host, Kelly Reynolds, ob strategist and agency coach at the Reynolds OBM agency. This podcast is all about building well-run and profitable businesses, so that we can create the lives you dream of.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode 77. So at this time of year, I'm recording this in January 2022. Everyone is talking about one thing, and that is growth, we are planning about it, we are making beautiful spreadsheets about it, we are buying planners and doing all the things, we want to double our revenue, we want to 10x this company, all the things, right, this is the big topic. In July, this is not the big topic, we've already made our plans, we're seeing what's going on, and maybe we're launching something, but that's about it. This is the time of year when we are really talking about freezing. And I want to talk about that a little bit today. Because I feel like there are lots of different kinds of growth, and they're not all good. Now, I will make this caveat here, there are times that no matter what kind of growth it is, as long as something is happening, and there is money coming in. So you can feed those kids that are always hungry, then that growth is gonna be fine, right? Like you need that kind of growth. But I think that there are different kinds of growth that will help us go places, and there are different kinds of growth that are really just gonna get stuck. So the first type of growth I want to talk about is that growth, that's deliberate. You're making a plan for the future, you've sat down in January or December, November if you're really excited about it. And you've looked at the year and said, Okay, for the next four quarters, we are going to do these things.
In the first quarter, we're going to focus on this. And then January, we're going to focus on this, right, this is when I did strategic mapping that Get Your Act Together strategic mapping, that is the plan, right? We're gonna look at a year, and then we kind of break it down into quarters. And then we really get focused on what the next quarter is going to be. And there are deliberate things that we're doing, there's deliberate growth, we are going to launch a thing, we're going to ramp up marketing, whatever the thing is, you've made a plan. And you are making deliberate strides to make that growth happen, right, we've picked a thing, we work toward it, and we hit our goals. And I love that. But I think sometimes we don't know the next step. We don't know what the plan is. I think I've mentioned this before, like, in the last couple of weeks, I have been in a place where the end of the year was such a blur. And there were so many new things happening in my ‘four months of uncomfortable’ that I kind of needed January to kind of settle in and say, Okay, what do I want? What is the plan? Because I was in the middle of something when I should have been planning so I couldn't plan them. And now I'm sitting here going, okay, so what worked? What didn't work? What do I want to do going forward? I have reached out to a bunch of people yesterday about coaching, asking them questions as research to say, okay, like, I really want to be intentional with the rest of the year's growth. What programs have you been in that you liked the thing? Do you like having two calls a month or three calls a month? Do you like voxer? Do you not like all the little things? I'm in this beta round for the group program. Testing out? Do we like using slack, things like that? And that's what beta rounds are for right? Getting in there and asking them if this working for you, I want to give them the best transformation, I want to help them build their best agency. So that is all a deliberate plan. And I think February will be much more about breaking those things out. When I'm going to run the group program again. I'm trying to figure out all the moving pieces and what I want to do and what I don't. And that is a big huge part. Like right now we're in the first month of the program. And it's all about why you're doing this, what you want to do with your business, what your values are, like, there's a huge thing about like, how, how you want to make this business, what do you want it to be? And then we can go figure out how to build it. And I'm practicing what I preach right now. I'm looking at why am I doing this. What are my values? Have things changed my mission and my vision? How can I go forward? And I think that kind of sucking back a little bit and sitting at all and asking yourself a bunch of questions and writing a lot of stuff down. That's going to be the way I coalesce around a really great plan for the rest of the year.
There's also this other thing, there's this not deliberate, non-deliberate growth. I don't know the proper word here. I'm gonna say it's serendipitous growth. By the way, serendipity is the greatest concept. When I was a kid, the word just sounded magical. What happens is just magical. You walk into someone and your whole life changes, or you find something and you're like, oh my god, this is the thing. And your whole life takes a different trajectory. And that is sometimes the way you grow. You can make all the plans in the world and then the world happens to you instead. But that's not plantable. You can't play And for serendipity like, oh, well, in May, serendipitously, something wonderful is gonna happen. Like, that's not the way it works, right? So you have to have this deliberate plan for growth. And then hopefully, you also will put yourself into situations where magic can come to you. This is maybe a discovery call. This happened to me last week, I talked to someone in a Facebook group, and they were asking about my agency. And I didn't think that I was the right person for them. But like, you never know, right? We had a wonderful chat. She's a lovely lady. And I helped her figure out what would be needed. And I gave her some advice. And I was like, I'm not the person for you. You don't need my agency, you need a full-time person in your business doing these three things, which she was thinking anyway like she had been thinking, that's what she needed. And then I'm there telling her Yeah, I think you're right, I'm not the person. And it wasn't about closing the sale at all, I was just really trying to help another person. And I will recommend this to you a million times, get on those calls. I know a lot of people like I'm not getting on calls unless I sell things. Do you know what this serendipitous growth is, it is the getting out there and putting yourself into positions where things may be magical. And at the end of this call, she said to me, thank you so much for being upfront with me and saying that you're not the right person, I really appreciate you not trying to sell me something that I didn't need. I was not her person, but I could probably help her find the person or at least narrow down where she should look. And we talked about different places where she could look for another person that might be the person for her. And then I will try to also look around and see if I know anyone as well, it took 20 minutes, maybe half an hour by the time I went over the call because I was talking to her and I enjoy that kind of thing. I enjoy helping those people, even if I'm not gonna make a penny from it. The reason I tell you this story is because, at the end of that call, she said to me, I'm in a very high-powered mastermind, and set the name that's full of seven and eight-figure businesses. The fact that you've been so helpful, I'm sure that someone will need you, I'm happy to recommend you. Now, if I tried to get into that mastermind, you can't unless I pay my way in. But helping people who know other people means that one day somebody might mention in their mastermind calls that they need somebody like me, I've already told her all about our agency and what I can do. And maybe now she can tell someone else about it. That's a whole group of people that wouldn't have known about me, and I wouldn't have had access to it. But just by helping someone. Maybe now I did, I had no idea that she was connected in this way. I was just helping because I like helping a little post and Facebook and then serendipitously kind of came into my life. That kind of growth you can't plan for you cannot plan all of a sudden kind of like going viral in a mastermind. Serendipity.
I also want to acknowledge this third kind of growth. And that is what I want to call distracting growth. It consumes resources. It takes up all of your time. And it looks like growth. But there's a limit to what you can do. Think of it this way. Someone said this to me a long time ago, a long time ago when I was dating. And they said if you are sitting at a table for two at a romantic dinner, and the chair opposite you is occupied with the wrong person. The right one cannot come and sit down. How does this apply here? Because if you're sitting at your desk all day, feeling like you've got a good day's work in but you have done nothing to move your company forward. You have taken all of your hours and occupied them just like that person at the table. You've occupied your day with work, that doesn't matter. So I see this kind of distraction happens a lot in agency owners. I coach a lot of them. And there's this up and down yo-yo of I thought I was doing well. But then I got stuck back and one client left. And then that was it. My whole business was over. It happens all the time. And it happens at different stages of your business. Right? You've heard the thing, what gets you to $100,000 won't get you to a million. Because it's a different world. You have to do different things. I would love for you to take some stock of where you are, and what you're doing. Just like I am this month, I am trying to make the best decisions for growth this year. I want you to make decisions that move your business forward intentionally. We talk a lot here about intentional things, intentionally picking things that you want to work on and do and grow instead of letting the world happen to you. Intentional growth right now, I know it's the end of January, but I think it's never too late to do this is to really take stock of where you are and what you're doing but also Try to figure out where you want to go. Where do you want to be in a year or two years? Write it down. Where do you want to be? And it doesn't need to be some fancy polished vision statement. Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in this house, do you want to be, have a bigger company, whatever the thing is, write it down. And then as you are going through your week, your plan for the week, let's say your to do list, looking at that thing that that thing you've written down to say I want to be here in three years, a year. And then see if your plans for the week correlate to that at all. Because they'll have times they don't, we put a lot of things on our to do list to check them off, and not actually move forward. Make sure that where you want to go is reflected in your plans. And then maybe some serendipity comes into play. Because that's really fun to watch. And I will talk to you next week.
Thank you so much for joining me this week. If you have an agency or want to create one, come join my Facebook community. Get your agency together, where we talk all the things growing and scaling your agency for show notes and more info on all the things head over to Reynolds obm.com Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Reynolds OBM. And finally, if you enjoy this podcast, I would love for you to give us a review on iTunes.