As the end of the year quickly approaches, most entrepreneurs already have their eye on 2022. While I’m never one to discourage planning for the future, I do find that many entrepreneurs focus on the wrong thing when determining their game plan for the upcoming year. Growth is such a hot button in today’s entrepreneurial environment that many small business owners believe that if they are not pushing for growth 24/7, they are bound to fail. Here is why growth should not always be the focus and how to determine what your plans for the new year should be centered around.
Why is growth not always the answer?
It’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs are exclusively focused on growth and are willing to buy into the hustle culture and run themselves ragged in order to attain it. After all, the media tends to glorify overextending yourself and tout “growth” as the end-all-be-all for every small business owner. However, growth for growth’s sake usually means it’s not being done for the right reasons. Just because you’re growing doesn’t mean you’re growing toward what you want your business to look like in one, five, or ten years. And just because you’re growing doesn’t mean your life is in alignment. In fact, it often means you’re out of alignment because you’re so heavily focused on growth that your personal relationships, health, and other important areas of your life are suffering.
Making sure your business is not running you
One of the common questions I ask those I coach is, “Are you running your business, or is your business running you?” More often than not, those who are exclusively focused on growth have a business that is running them. They’re working crazy hours, putting out fires, and not living the lifestyle they would choose for themselves. This is likely not the reason you got into business for yourself, but it’s a common trap to fall into.
What to focus on instead
So if you’re not focused on growth in the new year, what should you be focused on? Let me first rewind a little bit and say that a growth focus is absolutely okay for those entrepreneurs who have their priorities in order and who have a clear vision of what they are working toward. If this doesn’t sound like you, though, consider including the following in your 2022 plans:
- Refinement. If you’re working 12 hour days and still not getting everything done or seeing profits increase, something is wrong when it comes to your business practices. Instead of pushing for more growth, consider focusing on refining the way you do business. Maybe you need to outsource some tasks, raise prices, or adjust the niches you’re marketing to.
- Your ideal lifestyle. As an entrepreneur, you have the luxury of creating a business that supports your ideal lifestyle. Do you want to work from home (or from a laptop on an island) for part of the week or during certain months of the year? Then start changing up your business practices to support this.
- Your services. Are the services you’re currently offering addressing the pain points of your ideal clients? If not, 2022 might be the year to change up what you sell.
These are just a few examples of non-growth-focused goals that will ultimately benefit you as a business owner. To figure out where you need to put your focus, it’s always helpful to work with an experienced business coach who can look more deeply into how you run your business and make sure it aligns with their values, desired lifestyle, and the legacy they ultimately want to leave behind.
Are you ready to work with someone who can push you toward the right way to grow? Reach out to discover how we can work together to help you succeed.