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The growth paradox

I am 100% guilty of this, in-fact I've done it multiple times. You build a sustainable business that you enjoy being part of and then something happens - I'm not sure why - but you feel you need to grow.


In the book - The Value of Everything, Marian Mazzucato goes into detail the farce behind GDP and it's calculations and the implications that has on business.


In my experience in my own businesses and working with others that are small to medium - growth is fuelled by ego.


Here are three very recent examples of growth for no reason other than ego - and disasterous outcomes.


1. The original Little Tokyo Two. We started as a members club were people came to hang out and also get some creative work done. Our overheads were a friend of mine who helped with ops, me, the building of-course and a substantial alcohol bill. At 100 members we were getting paid what we deserved, having fun without stress and making $20k/pm profit. But then we decided we needed 6 buildings, all different shapes and sizes for all different markets in all different areas.


2. Brazilian coffee cart in the city. Located outside a suit shop, run by one man and 1-2 Brazilian helpers, 700 consistent daily repeat customers, only nibbles sold, could see you coming down the street and your coffee would be ready, remembered everyone's names and had pictures of them, he showed me his Xero - he was pocketing $200k/pa after costs. Soon he decided he needed to grow. He took a retail shop inside a building and added food. Yes - you are still selling coffee so it is a similar business, but it is not the same model. You now have more staff so you know less people, more overheads so you aren't as friendly all the time, the food isn't Brazilian and you can't see us down the street. It's just not the same model.


Scaling that model would be to find another Suit store, on a corner etc.


3. A small personal training based gym in the city. Located above the Korean strip, 100sqm*, mismatch decorations, full to the brim, over subscribed by 30% at least, cozy and fun atmosphere were you are forced to meet others. Soon decided to 6x the size of the gym, move to a corporate area, put consistency into the décor and NOT add trainers. Now the gym isn't cozy, it isn't a hidden gem, It's always empty. It's just not the same model.


Scaling that model would be to find an undersized area above another Korean strip and filling it to the brim.


Why can't WE just find a manager to run the business so you can create free time and do something else and check in weekly?


If you truly felt like you were solving such an important problem for people and needed to help more people, why did you have to change who you were?


Remove the ego and bring your business back to your original WHY. Because I am sure as shit your WHY didn't have anything to do with global domination.

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