Can we all agree by now that growth for growth’s sake is a garbage idea? Our news feeds are filled with examples of how it breaks economies, destroys ecosystems, and damages communities. Growth for growth’s sake is a revenue-focused mandate, reaping wealth for shareholders while workers require food stamps to get by.
And this is exactly why we as entrepreneurs and CEOs, as people who are modeling a new status quo, need to redefine growth, success, and profit to include wellbeing and whole life variables.
Before you sit down to rejig your services suite or discuss your upcoming marketing plan, you need to consider your personal definition of success, your personal definition of growth, and your personal definition of profit.
Consider factors such as personal & creative capacity, your responsibilities outside of your business, ongoing health & wellbeing, and your long-term legacy goals. Revenue is a part of this calculation; it’s just not the whole.
That — in a nutshell — is how you begin to design your business to be regenerative. You consider the system (your business) as a whole and make internal and external decisions based on more than stock values or bottom line.
But redefining growth is only part of the challenge. Once you’ve agreed on a personal definition of what success looks like, you still need to discern where to place your focus for the best outcome. Do you need to focus on internal systems or structures (deepening growth) or external factors (expansive growth)?
Here’s a quick cheatsheet…
IF YOU HAVE:
Recurring revenue from ideal (enough) clients: FOCUS ON → expansive growth
Trouble finding the right balance in your services: FOCUS ON → deepening growth
Scope creep or challenging client relations: FOCUS ON → deepening growth
Not enough clients or revenue: FOCUS ON → deepening growth
Not enough time (but enough revenue): FOCUS ON → expansive growth
Met or exceeded your previous goals & want something new: FOCUS ON → deepening growth
Unexpected external circumstances pulling your attention away: FOCUS ON → expansive growth
Deepening Growth activities:
- Articulating your methodology, redefining your ideal client, tweaking or creating a services suite that supports your goals, reconnecting with your values, aligning your brand with your voice, strengthening boundaries, systems, or structures
Expansive Growth activities:
- Redesigning your website, hiring a new team member, drafting SOPs, launching a new service, creating a new marketing strategy, amplifying your business through partnerships and speaking engagements, strengthening your onboarding process
You know you’re ready to shift — aka you’re in a Transition Growth phase — if you notice the balance has shifted between Deepening and Expansive.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a situation of one then the other then you win the entrepreneurship game. Strategizing using a Deepening Growth vs. Expansive Growth perspective is an ongoing, long-term practice and a good way to shift your perspective from what “isn’t working” to what you need to focus on next in order to grow thoughtfully, efficiently, and smartly — for you and your big, beautiful goals.