8 Business Growth Lies CEOs Tell Themselves

14 min read
Jan 28, 2022

It's simple: The primary reason why CEOs don't achieve their business growth goals is because they hold themselves back.

Instead of facing the (simple) reality that it takes to make a business grow, they lie to themselves!  Why?  They lie to themselves because they genuinely believe that it is difficult to take their company to the next level.

People lie to themselves when they think bad thoughts about themselves or a situation.  In order to justify or ease those negative beliefs, they lie to themselves.

In the case of the high-potential CEO, they believe that growth is hard, so they lie to themselves to feel better about those beliefs.  Little do they know that they would be doing themselves a favor by accepting that achieving growth is rather simple!

That being said, we're sharing 8 lies about growth that CEOs regularly tell themselves!  Each of these lies is rooted in the belief that it is hard to grow a business.

If you realize that you're telling yourself one of these lies... then check yourself!  Odds are that you're thinking that growth is harder than it really is, therefore you're making it harder than it needs to be!


What Is Most Important for Business Growth?


Sure, strategic planning is important for hitting a growth stage.  But, what is most important for business growth?

To put it simply: It's the mindset of the company's CEO.

Mindset = the accumulation of the thoughts you think.  The thoughts you think are vital to your growth outcomes, because... The thoughts you think determine the emotions you feel, the emotions you feel determine the actions you take, and the actions you take determine your results.

And, the lies you tell yourself are simply thoughts that don't reflect reality!  

Therefore, if you're constantly telling yourself lies about company growth, you'll inevitably miss out on the kinds of growth results you want!

You can have the best growth plans in the world, whether they be about increasing your market share or diversification, but none if it matters if you’re lying to yourself.  A poor mindset is capable of bringing even the best growth plans down.


business growth strategy


1. My Target Market Thinks Like I Do


Business is about service.  It's about identifying a problem in the world, coming up with a solution for it, and then serving the solution to customers.  And when it comes to business growth, it's all about serving that solution up to new customers.

Unfortunately though, many entrepreneurs assume that, if they see a solution as valuable, others will see it as valuable too.  Moreover, they think that their target market thinks like they do.

Because growth is about serving more people, believing that new customers think like you do is a potential recipe for disaster.

What is extremely important is to get down to the level of your customer base, study them to figure out what their wants are, and then serve up a solution.  It's that simple!

One of the main reasons why many find growth so hard is because they just don't get down to the level of their customers to identify their true wants and needs.  They just can’t seem to put themselves in their shoes!

If you want to grow your business, you need to step into your customer's shoes to see life from their perspective.  As a result, you'll understand what they want and how they think, so that you can create value for them.


All You Need to Do Is Serve Your Customer Base


Here is how business works: Let's say that your friend is walking an hour in the cold weather from their house to your house.  They finally arrive late at night looking a little disheveled.  To help them feel better, you offer delicious homemade pasta.  Without any resistance, your friend gladly accepts the pasta, and even takes seconds.

That is literally how business growth works!  You think about what your customer base wants and how they want it… and then give it to them.  

There is no need to force your deliverable on someone if you know it fulfills their want or need.  Rather, all you need to do is offer it up, and they’ll gladly take it.


2. Effective Business Growth Strategies Are Complex


Want to make growth more challenging than it needs to be?  Just develop a complex growth strategy.

Remember, here is how business and growth works: Identify a need, create a solution for the need, and then serve it to people.  That's it!  If you feel like you're jumping through hoops trying to create a new business or grow your existing one, you're doing it wrong.

However, if you do feel like you're jumping through hoops, the best thing you can do is have a look at your growth strategy and ask yourself if you're making it more complex than it needs to be.  

The more complex it is, the more likely it will make your life more difficult than it needs to be.  

Always remember that growth comes with challenges, but it is not necessarily difficult.  And if it does feel hard or difficult, then you're likely inflicting that on yourself.


Complex Growth Strategies Are the Root of Business Failure


What makes complexity so devastating for growth?

Think of it like this: Let's say that there is an intermediate-level skier at the top of a mountain with a goal to get to the bottom without falling down.  The skier can choose between two runs... The first one is on a very steep incline with multiple jumps and mounds, while the second one has a moderate incline with a straight shot down the hill.  Which run should the skier go down to make it to the bottom without falling down?

Of course, the skier should choose the second run!

If you think about the skier as a metaphor for business owners and the ski runs as strategies, more often than not, business owners choose the more complex of the two strategies, despite the fact that they're more likely to mess up on the way to achieving their goals.

Why do they pick the more difficult run?

It could be due to mental conditioning that tells them that, if something is more complex, it is more effective.  But, that couldn't be further from the truth.

When it comes to your growth strategy, stick to simplicity!


3. I’ll Start When I’m Ready


We all know someone who has an amazing business plan and regularly says 'I'll start when I'm ready', because they think they need to be smarter or better before diving into business growth.

However, of all the people you know who regularly make that excuse, what percentage of them actually ever get started?

Probably close to zero...

The hard truth about business and growth is that you'll never be fully ready to do everything that you must do to achieve success.  There is simply too much information out there for you to know everything about business growth.

Therefore, always start before you believe you are ready!

If you wait until you're 'ready’, you'll never get going.


Education Does Not Predict Strong Growth


If every smart or highly-educated person on earth was capable of achieving high-level, sustainable growth, there would be a whole lot more successful entrepreneurs out there.

Education is extremely important, but it isn't necessarily an indicator of growth.


Because education is nothing without action.  You can be the most knowledgeable person on earth, but it doesn't matter if you don't know how to apply that knowledge.

The hard truth of the world is that, while our education system is great at equipping people with knowledge, the system doesn’t teach us what to do with it!


Educate Yourself, But Also Empower Yourself


So, if education isn't the greatest predictor of strong company growth... what is?  Simple: Empowerment.

Empowerment is knowing what to do with the education you have.  It's about knowing how to apply your information and skill base to everyday business scenarios.

At the end of the day, people who are both educated and empowered are typically the ones who see their business grow. 

Therefore, don't just strive to equip yourself with more information and skills... Instead, focus on learning how to take action with the information and skills you already have.  Odds are that you are more than educated enough to achieve high growth!


4. Timing Is Everything


Whenever somebody says to you, 'I just need to wait for the right time, and then I'll start working towards growth', just know that the odds that they actually achieve growth are slim.


Because these people are likely coming from the perspective that timing must be perfect in order for growth to take place.  However, that couldn't be further from the truth.

The real truth is that there will never be a 'perfect time' to start working towards growth.

There will always be a problem or hurdle standing in your way.  Literally, the moment you fix one issue, another will almost instantaneously pop up.  Therefore, perfect timing is a myth.

Bottom line: If you base your growth plans on timing, then it’s very unlikely that you’ll achieve sustainable, long-term growth.


business growth and development


There Will Never Be a Perfect Time


Sure... There are some startup businesses that jump into the market at a specific time and use the circumstances of the moment to their advantage.  But, that still doesn't mean that timing is everything!  Rather, it means that they just took great advantage of the circumstances at hand.

For example, toilet paper manufacturers hit it off in the spring of 2020, but that uphill climb didn’t last forever.

Most of the time, businesses that achieve significant growth in a short amount of time thanks to fortunate, unplanned timing only have short-lived growth.

You too can take advantage of great circumstances and deliver what the market needs at a specific point in time, but that rarely works out perfectly or is sustainable.


Implement Growth Plans Now


Not only is there no such thing as perfect timing, but we're also not even guaranteed more time in this world.

Nobody ever knows what tomorrow will bring, so instead of waiting for timing to be on your side, you need to use the time that you have in the present moment to its fullest.

Make use of the time that you have now before you don't have any more of it.  The world needs the solution that you have to offer NOW.


5. Entrepreneurs Should Start Small and Work Up


Entrepreneurship is about bringing a vision to life.  It's about thinking of the world as a better place and then serving people to bring that vision to life.

Unfortunately though, many entrepreneurs believe that starting small and then working up is what it takes to manifest the vision.  Even though they have big visions, they believe that the key to achieving them is starting small.

Yes... While you can't necessarily start from 0 and immediately get to 100, the way that you achieve 100 is by honing in on the 100-level vision and then working backwards to create a plan to bring it to life.

Never EVER develop a 100-level vision, go back to level 1, and then try to build upwards.  Instead, start big and then work backwards to create your plan.

If you try to build upwards from small, you'll likely get small results.


Starting Big Gives You a Big Perspective


What makes starting from the top and working your way down so important for success?

When you kick start growth by first honing in on your big vision, you inevitably have a broad perspective on business.  And, the bigger and broader your perspective, the better!

With a broad perspective, you have a very large lens to look through to identify opportunities for growth.

On the other hand, if you have a big vision and then try to manifest it by first starting small, you will inevitably have a small and narrow perspective.  And when you have a narrow perspective, you have a very small lens to look through to try and identify opportunities for growth.

Remember, we're not saying that you can create insane growth out of thin air.  But, we are saying that growth requires you to start with your big vision and then work backwards, rather than starting from zero and then trying to manifest a big vision.


What is important for business growth?


6. Mitigate Fear and Then Start


'You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable'... It's a quote that almost everyone has heard before, but few ever live by.

This quote can also be interpreted as, 'You have to get comfortable with fear', because, at the end of the day, discomfort is really rooted in fear.

The truth is that if you wait until you don't feel afraid anymore to get started, you'll never start!  Because the truth is that fear cannot be eliminated, only mitigated and managed.

If your goal is to run a growing business but you think you can't start until you're less fearful, just know that fear will never fully go away nor will it stand in your way of achieving success.


Fear Will Never Go Away


What is fear?

Fear is an emotion, and an emotion is energy created as a result of the thoughts you think.

More specifically, fear is a direct result of thinking thoughts related to unfamiliarity and discomfort.  

According to human nature, whenever we think we are in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation, our body's automatic response is to become emotionally fearful.  It does that in order to protect us from potential pain.

Even if the situation is completely harmless, our body will still create fear because of the thoughts of unfamiliarity and discomfort.

That being said, you can never eliminate fear, only mitigate it.


Because, you can never eliminate human instinct, only learn how it works and then consciously choose to not let it get the best of you.

Regardless of what you see on social media or read in books, every successful business owner feels fear.  However, the difference between the business owners who succeed and those who don't is that the successful ones understand fear for what it is and don't let it overcome them.


You’re More Likely to Achieve Growth If You’re Scared


Having fear is actually a good sign that you’re on your way to achieving growth!


It goes like this... In order for your business to grow, you must introduce something new.  However, things that are new instinctively cause our brains to think thoughts about unfamiliarity and discomfort, which then cause us to feel fear.

Therefore, you know that you're on track to achieve growth when you feel fear.  Because when you’re afraid, it's because you’re creating something never seen before.  And when you're creating something never seen before, your brain feels uncomfortable and you feel fear!

If you’re not the least bit afraid of what you’re doing, then your business probably won’t grow.


7. Marketing Strategy Over Sales Strategy


Far too often, business leaders prioritize their marketing strategy over their sales strategy, thinking that great marketing is central to growth.

However, while marketing is important, it isn't central to it.  What overall company growth really comes down to is sales growth strategy!

It's simple: If you make more sales, your company grows.  It doesn't matter if you're breaking into new markets, selling new products, or increasing your current market penetration, a business grows when it makes more sales!

That being said, when outlining your growth strategy, put the sales strategy front and center.  Only once you've got the sales part down, you can move on to marketing.


The Center of Your Business Model Should Be Sales


A business doesn't exist if it doesn't sell anything.  A business doesn't grow unless it sells more.  It's that simple!

Unfortunately though, many, if not most, entrepreneurs find themselves in a bit of a pickle with sales... For some reason, they just can't seem to pick up the pace with it.  Sometimes in even worse cases, they find themselves in an endless sales plateau.

The good news is that, if you're one of the many business leaders who finds themself with this dilemma, top-tier B2B sales training is a totally straightforward and simply-effective way to ignite sales growth!

And, we're not talking about a pre-recorded webinar training that teaches useless and old-fashioned sales skills.  Instead, we're talking about a live training taught by an industry expert who has a track record of producing amazing results.

More often than not, sales training is the single-best investment entrepreneurs make when working towards next-level growth.

So, what are you waiting for?  Sales is central to growth success, and sales training is the best way to achieve sales success.


The Best Marketing Strategies Are Straightforward


While marketing shouldn't be central to your growth plans, it is still very important to nail down.

So, if you want to develop an ideal marketing strategy that'll ignite growth, focus on developing the most straightforward strategy possible.  

By that, we mean to remove all of the frufru, so that a stranger can look at your marketing content and instantly know what you’re all about.

The more complex your strategy, the less likely potential customers are to get an immediate grip on what you sell and who you are, which can lead to devastating outcomes.

Bottom line: If a potential new customer looks at your marketing content and immediately gets a sense of what you’re all about, then you've won!


8. Achieving Business Goals = Fulfillment


Straight-up: Setting and achieving growth goals is important, but don't think for a second that checking little boxes is where you'll find fulfillment.

We're not saying not to set goals, but we are saying that it's silly to think that hitting them will ever satisfy or fulfill you on the inside.

And, in case you've missed it... Business is about personal fulfillment just as much as it is about serving others!  If you're miserable doing what you do, not only will you feel terrible on the inside, but it’s unlikely that you’ll satisfy your customers.

If you're serious about achieving growth, then you need to do the thing that makes you feel the most fulfilled inside.

The more fulfilled you are… the more effectively you serve… the greater difference you make… and the more growth you will inevitably achieve!


Achieving a Goal Lasts For a Second


There are 86,400 seconds in a day, 604,800 seconds in a week, and more than 31 million seconds in a year.  Also, it literally takes less than one second to check a box indicating that you've accomplished a goal.

Now, are you really going to let the single second that it takes to check a goal box determine your overall fulfillment for the 86,400 seconds in the day, the 604,800 seconds in the week, or the 31+ million seconds in the year?

Hopefully not...

And, again, you absolutely should set goals and strive to achieve them, but to base your value and fulfillment on them is nonsense!


Aim for Enthusiasm


The way that you find fulfillment during the growth process is by following the growth pathway that makes you feel the most enthusiastic.

Unless you're enthusiastic about your pathway, then you won't feel fulfilled!

You will know that you are enthusiastic about something when just thinking about it lights a special fire inside of you.  More than that, you'll know you're enthusiastic about something when you can appreciate the challenges just as much as the triumphs.

The growth pathway that gives you enthusiasm is IT: It'll make you feel the most fulfilled and you'll provide the most value while walking it.  Moreover, where your enthusiasm lies is where your greatest growth potential can be found.


Final Thoughts on 8 Lies Business Leaders Tell Themselves About Growth


Does one of these lies resonate with you?

If so, it probably does because you are unconsciously telling it to yourself due to a deeply rooted belief that business growth is difficult.

Never forget that, if it feels hard to grow your business, it's because you're making it that way!  And to make yourself feel better about the difficulty, you lie to yourself.

Stop lying to yourself to eliminate negative thoughts and achieve your biggest growth goals!  Growth begins and ends with you... Will you step up to the plate?

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