Peter Drucker said this of any business that wants to grow:
“…it needs to prepare itself for the demands its own success will make of it.”
Growth is a goal (THE goal?) for any small business; you have to keep growing because when you stagnate, you start dying. There is no level of “let’s just pause here, this is good.” You’ll have natural entropy (losing customers) and so you have to be proactive in order to gain and keep new customers.
But growth isn’t always easy. Think of the term “growing pains” and you’ll nail the concept.
“Growth has to be fed.”
“…In financial terms this means that growth in a new venture demands adding financial resources rather than taking them out.” -Drucker
Whether you are seeing growth in your business, in your creative work, in your personal life, in your relationships, in your habits, in your finances… If you are experiencing growth, you will also experience pain or discomfort.
It’s the curse of the unfamiliar.
We may crave change and work for growth, but when it happens it’s still new, different, unfamiliar.
Thus, scary. Painful. Uncomfortable.
“Fast growth always makes obsolete the existing controls.”
That’s another Drucker quote.
And that’s kind of the heart of why growth can be painful, on any level. We’ve learned to operate at one level, personally or professionally, creatively or productively. And when we venture onto a new levels, we have to learn new lessons.
Some of our old principles don’t translate well.
A lot of our old habits may not work anymore.
Our old measures for “good enough” probably won’t be good enough anymore.
We have to stretch, learn, rethink, redo, get new habits, find new methods in order to keep up with what growth demands of us.
But it’s worth it, isn’t it? Because without growth, we’re just on a slow path to being obsolete.
If you’re in the midst of growth right now, stick with it.
Don’t worry about figuring it all out right away. There will be some rough patches. Things won’t fit perfectly. But keep working on it. You’ll adjust as you need to, if you’re willing to try.