You aren’t really trying to grow, and I can prove it

It’s hard growing your business.
It’s hard coming up with creative ideas.
It’s hard to get a breakthrough.
It’s hard to really make things change

…or at least, that’s what we tell ourselves. But what if it wasn’t true?

What if all this stuff was actually pretty easy? What if the real reason it feels hard isn’t because it is hard, but rather is because we never actually really even think about it?

This is an insane proposition, but hear me out. I am telling you that effective strategic moves and creative ideas are actually right at your fingertips, but the only reason you don’t see them is because you don’t even try to. You simply don’t set your mind to the task. You don’t even ask the question.

Let me prove this to you with a little exercise I heard the other day that can help you grow easily by 33% – The 10/10/10 Plan.

It goes like this. Just come up with three little ideas:

  • One to get 10% more customers
  • One to charge 10% more per customer
  • One to increase repurchase frequency by 10%

Compounded together these changes would result in 33% growth, but that’s not the interesting point. The point here is how easy it is to come up with such ideas.

For example off the top of my head, if I wanted to charge 10% more per consultancy customer, I could:

  • Add in a rudimentary research service
  • Add in a step where I creatively communicate the strategy with some design bells and whistles
  • Create a premium option where we do some of the work at an exotic off-site location
  • Offer a 6 / 12 / 18 month follow up service
  • Etc etc.

This was like 12 seconds work. It was easy! And yet do I actually think like this and do these things? Of course not! Because I’m bloody lazy, distracted, and don’t truly give attention to growing my business.

Just like you.

The reason I think we don’t seriously engage in this process is because we aren’t in the habit of doing so. Our brains are like mush. They’re directed downwards, at our daily administrative concerns, and they lack the necessary space and sparks to actually truly engage with this secretly rather easy stuff.

Sometimes we might try a bit. We might ask ourselves something vague and impotent like “how can I grow this business?”, or “what should my strategy be?”. But these are poor questions, as evidenced by how hard they are to answer.

But when you ask the right questions – like the ones in The 10/10/10 Plan – you’ll find they’re easy to answer, and in fact the creative potential of your brain has been lying dormant simply through lack of adequate stimulus.

If I had to take a stab at what the necessary components are to release this potential, I’d say something like:

  • Time and space away from the running of the business
  • An enthusiastic sparring partner
  • The right questions
  • …and someone great at execution to feed your thoughts to, so they don’t wither on the vine

That would probably do it. But how often do any of us pull together such components? Not just rarely, but never. We never do it.

And when we realise that brutal truth, how can we possibly complain that our business doesn’t grow? How can we claim that we are doing all we can? We aren’t even taking the first step!

So what I want you to take away from this piece is not The 10/10/10 Plan, or any specific direction  like that (though you might enjoy it). What I want you to take away is just how little you are actually seriously working on growth. How despite what you claim, if we judge by your actions it is probably your bottom priority, not your top!

And if you think this is somewhat true… well, it’s not gonna take much to change it.

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