It’s easier than ever before for you to start a new business. At the same time, it’s harder than ever before to grow your business!
Don’t believe it?
Of 31+ million medium to small businesses in the US, 93% of them say that they struggle with consistent growth.
Yep - Starting a business is as simple as filing a few pieces of paper while growing that business is a pain point, to say the least.
And, CEOs aren’t struggling to grow because they’re not taking enough initiative. In fact, most CEOs are working harder than ever!
That said, I’m sharing why growing your business is harder now than ever before. Additionally, I’m also sharing how you can start turning things around to make business growth simpler than ever before!
Yes, growing your business is harder now than ever, but still, some CEOs do overcome this harsh reality… Why shouldn't you?
Business Growth Isn’t Complicated, But People WANT You to Think it Is
The first reason why growing your business is harder now than ever before is because most business influencers, gurus, and even universities convince CEOs like you that business growth is complex when that isn’t true.
By approaching growth as if it’s complex, you inevitably make business plans that reflect that supposed reality. Unfortunately, though, those plans never end up working out because they reflect a false reality.
It’s as if you want to climb a hill, but instead of just walking up the hill, you tell yourself that you need to climb backwards on a unicycle while juggling. Ultimately, you've made things unnecessarily hard for yourself and eventually fall off the unicycle.
While there have always been business influencers, gurus, and schools, they’re more present and louder than ever. Therefore, drowning out their influence is difficult, to say the least.
People Want You to Think Growing Is Complicated Because…
People who tell you that business growth is complicated tell you that it’s complicated because they want you to buy their products or services.
Because when you think that growth is complicated, you feel as if you need them and their wisdom to be successful.
Hence, why business schools and online business influencers will try to convince you that growing is complicated and that you need them to succeed!
It’s like those old infomercials in which somebody is obnoxiously trying to crack an egg open (as if it's a hard thing to do) to sell you an egg-cracking product!
Bottom line: Growth isn’t complicated, but people want you to think that it’s complicated so that you buy their products or services.
The More Complex Your Business Model, The Worse Results You Get
As I said, approaching business growth as if it’s complex is the equivalent of wanting to get to the top of a hill and instead of just walking, choosing to ride a unicycle backwards while juggling.
With a complexity-based mindset, you develop complex business models and plans which only increase the odds that you crash and burn.
On the flip side, it’s the CEOs who treat business growth as it is - simple - who achieve the most success.
Rather than seeing business growth as a complex feat, they see it for what it is: A simple matter of making more sales in less time.
Growing Your Business Comes Down to This 1 Factor
Growing your business comes down to this one factor: Making more sales in less time (AKA, sales growth!).
It doesn’t matter what kind of business growth you want to achieve- whether it’s developing new products, expanding to new target markets, long-term customer loyalty, or even investing in new technologies- it all comes down to making more sales in less time to increase cash flow.
Therefore, before you even think about factors like content marketing campaigns or search engine optimization, you’ve got to get intensely focused on optimizing your sales process.
But Brian! Making more sales in less time is more complicated than you make it out to be!
Like business growth in general, most business owners believe that sales growth is also exceedingly complex.
The truth is that making more sales in less time is a simple matter of increasing your overall conversion rate by:
- Generating more leads through cold outreach as well as through referrals from existing customers and inbound marketing plans;
- Understanding your lead’s pain points, goals, and desired outcomes; and
- Making a final sales pitch to close the deal.
If you think that selling is more complex than this, then you’re overthinking it!
Bottom line: Make more sales in less time = sales growth = business growth = business success. If you focus 90% on sales and 10% on everything else, then you’re doing things right.
Most Business Owners Have Less Clarity Than Ever Before
Do you ever wake up in the morning, make your way over to your desk, and then ask yourself, ‘What the heck am I doing?’
While you’ve got an idea of what destination you want to reach in the future, the pathway to that outcome is unclear.
For example, you might want to grow your business to be #1 in its industry, but it feels as if there’s a dense fog preventing you from seeing the pathway towards that outcome.
Because your pathway is foggy, you don’t know what moves to make or which direction to head in. As a result, you struggle to progress at all.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone!
That said, lack of clarity is more pervasive than ever, and it's the second reason why it's harder to grow a business now than ever before.
Unfortunately, though, without clarity, taking your business to the next level is virtually impossible.
Distractions Are More Pervasive Than Ever
Lack of clarity is more pervasive than ever because distractions are more pervasive than ever.
Entrepreneurs are constantly being pulled in different directions by different people telling them what they need to do to grow their business.
On top of that, there are more technologies and online opportunities than ever before, making it difficult to distinguish between which of them are necessary and which are hype.
To make matters worse, everyone knows the feeling of sitting down to do work only to have their phone buzzing with email and social media notifications.
As if tackling your already full plate wasn’t challenging enough, you now have countless distractions clouding your view.
Distance Creates Fog
Let’s say that you’re starting a new shoe business and want to become the most dominant shoe business in the world.
On day one of running your new business, you remind yourself of that outcome. But then, thinking about the difference between where you are now and where you want to be in the future paralyzes you.
Suddenly, you realize that you’re so far off from that outcome that you feel overwhelmed and the fog begins to form.
You thought that your business plans could carry you to victory, but there’s just so much to do for you to reach that outcome that the fog starts to thicken.
Every Successful Business Has a Clear Vision
Getting rid of fog starts with having a clear business vision. You must know the exact business outcome you want to manifest in the future!
When I say outcome, I’m not necessarily talking about a business goal. Rather, I’m talking about the overarching outcome that you want to create through your business.
For example, Steve Jobs’s vision with Apple was to empower people through technology; his vision wasn’t to create the iPhone, rather, creating the iPhone was simply a means to manifest that vision.
Allow yourself to dream a little bit! Don’t be afraid to dream up as big of a vision as you can. Think of the impact you want to create on the world through your business.
Believe it or not, most CEOs don’t even have a vision. Or, if they do have a vision, it’s unclear and only helps them in the short term.
That said, having a clear vision is key to removing fog and keeping it at bay!
With a Clear Vision, You Can Finally Build a Growth Strategy
Once you have a clear vision, you can finally build a growth strategy.
Think of a growth strategy like a blueprint for building a house- It’s a clear outline that tells you:
- What resources you'll need to manifest the vision
- What to do with those resources
- How long it will take you to put all the pieces together
Far too often, entrepreneurs will try to create clarity by building their blueprint first instead of their vision.
It’s as if they’re trying to create a blueprint for a house that they don’t even know what they want to look like!
If you want clarity, DON’T start with your strategy. Instead, start with that overarching vision and work backwards.
Set Ultra Micro Goals
Now that you’ve got a clear vision and strategy, create ultra micro goals which, when accomplished, will bring you one step closer to growing your business and manifesting that ultimate vision.
Creating and achieving micro-goals slowly reduces the distance between where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
Before, you were so overwhelmed with all you had to do to reach your desired outcome, but now you feel as if you can reach it.
Finally, you see that just by making small moves consistently, you can simply reach that desired outcome.
In time, that foggy pathway towards the desired outcome turns into a clear pathway!
Fear Is More Pervasive Than Ever
Straight-up: Fear is the great divider between CEOs who achieve business growth and those who never even get their feet off the ground.
More specifically, it’s the CEOs who take action despite fear versus those who allow fear to stand in their way of taking action.
Unfortunately for CEOs like you, fear is more pervasive than ever before because CEOs are exposed to more people than ever before. This is the third reason why growing now is more difficult than ever.
These days, we don’t want to grow our businesses because we don’t want to risk potentially failing and having the people on our social media platforms and in the peanut gallery see us fail.
As a result, we feel afraid to make the moves that’ll help us achieve growth!
Moreover, we are afraid that our potential business failures will be judged by other people which only makes us more afraid to take action!
Fear Breeds Excuses
Most business owners who are extremely afraid don’t even realize just how afraid they are because they cover up their fear with excuses.
For example, a business owner might be afraid to make cold calls to potential customers so they make excuses like ‘I’m just not ready yet' to cover up the fact that they’re afraid.
While they're making excuses, their competitors are closing deals with their target audience!
Excuses Impede Action
The more excuses you make, the less action you take!
Fear leads to excuses which lead to inaction.
This presents a major problem. How do you expect to generate new customers or create new products without taking any action?
It’s like Thomas Edison said, ‘Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration'.
Without action, nothing will happen.
With Fear, There Is No Joy
Growing the business of your dreams isn’t supposed to be a debilitating process.
Yes, it’s a challenging process, but just because something is challenging doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to ruin your soul.
That said, how do you expect to enjoy the growth process if you're overwhelmed with fear?
More than that, what’s the point of being a business owner if you’re going to despise the process?
At that point, you might as well go back to being an employee of somebody else’s business!
Not only that but the more you allow fear to undermine your happiness, the less likely you are to get those genius breakthrough ideas that’ll help you grow.
Fear Is Working FOR You, Not Against You
What if I told you that being afraid is an advantage for business growth?
What if I told you that the fact that you are afraid can help you grow your business more than somebody who doesn’t feel fear?
It might be hard to believe, but it's true.
Fear is not a disadvantage, but a growth tool. That is if you make it such!
Here’s why: Fear is negative energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed into a form of positive energy, such as adrenaline or excitement. Unlike negative energy, feeling positive energy can help you grow your business!
That said, using fear as a growth tool is a matter of transforming negative fear-based energy into positive energy. With more positive energy, you’re ready to go out and conquer your customer base.
The way to transform negative energy into positive energy is by taking action despite fear.
The moment you take action despite fear is the moment your body kicks into survival mode. It thinks to itself, ‘Oh my god, I guess we’re doing this, I better kick into overdrive!’
As a result, you actually have more energy to grow than you did before.
The key to using fear as a growth tool is simply taking action. When you take action despite fear, it’s as if you’re pouring fuel on that internal flame of desire to press forward and grow.
Use Fear to Your Advantage
Despite what you see on TV or read about in books, EVERY successful CEO has been afraid to grow their business.
Whether they were afraid to go all-out on a new marketing strategy or even reach out to their current customers for feedback, they’ve been afraid in one way or another!
The biggest difference between highly successful CEOs and the rest is that they took action despite fear AND resultantly used fear to their advantage.
Yes, it’s extremely challenging to make big moves without worrying what other people will think if you fail, but it’s something you must do and can be used to help you grow.
If you think that you’re alone in the sense that you’re the only one who’s afraid, just know that you’re not! Everybody feels fear, but not everybody uses it to their advantage.
Final Thoughts on Why Growing Your Business Is Harder Now Than Ever
The vast majority of businesses struggle to grow, but that doesn’t mean that ALL businesses struggle to grow.
Therefore, what’s stopping you from being like the minority of CEOs who defy the odds and consistently grow their business? The truth is that the only thing stopping it is YOU.
Instead of doing what everybody else does, follow the likes of the CEOs who actually achieve long-term, sustainable growth. There’s no reason for you not to grow your business other than yourself!
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