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The HaBO Village Podcast

The Pros and Cons of Rapid Business Growth [Podcast]

Episode 147: Michael and Kathryn discuss the pros and cons of rapid business growth. Discover how to strategically plan for growth so you can avoid having to close your doors. If you've struggled to wrap your brain around what it could mean for your company to grow too quickly (or not enough), then give this episode a listen.

a plant with leaves that have business growth symbols on them

 

In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how growing 400% in a short time period nearly put us out of business.

  • Find out how your company culture and emotional stability can be affected by rapid growth.

  • Get our top tips for thinking wisely and strategically when it comes to growing your business.

“Here's the key when it comes to growth: It needs to be a strategic decision. It's better if it's not just an accident. You need to be thinking about it!" 

-Kathryn Redman

 

Resiliency Quiz

References:

Half a Bubble Out - Take the Quiz to get your Passion & Provision Profile

 

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Michael:
              Hello everyone and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this podcast is to help business leaders build passion and provision companies, give you encouragement, hope, tactics and tips so that you can build a company with more profit.


Kathryn:
               More purpose.


Michael:
              And more legacy.


Kathryn:
               Amen.


Michael:
              And we love it. We have been experience. If this is your first time here, welcome. We are a husband and wife team, business partners. Yes, we have not killed each other yet.


Kathryn:
               But it's only heading into year 19 of the business partnership.


Michael:
              And how long have we been married?


Kathryn:
               It'll be 28 years in three weeks.


Michael:
              Yes. We're pretty excited about that. We love our life. We love our businesses. We have two seven figure businesses that we have founded. And one, we run on a regular basis and one we have a partner that we brought in, because we knew we needed to hire the right person for the right job. And we run the work on the leadership team and work with marketing on that. That's for those of you who've never been here. We have created a life that is full of passion and provision. And what we mean by that is we are profitable, growing and emotionally fulfilled in the work we do and in the life we live. And this podcast is all about helping you get there or build more of it and spread that kind of idea. Today we're going to talk about...


Kathryn:
               We're going to talk about a topic that I love because we've had experience with it. Which we haven't experienced everything, but in 18 years of business and two businesses.


Michael:
              A couple of things.


Kathryn:
               We've experienced a couple of things. The topic today is how fast should you grow? And what are the upsides and downsides to fast growth? We live in a world, obviously where the whole idea is that you start a business and depending on the industry you're in, maybe you get capital investment and it's a push to grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. And profit is the key thing. And it's interesting, I'm in the middle of reading a book and there's a quote in here that I just found fascinating. And it was out of an interview with Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard of HP. And when asked for just one piece of advice they'd give to people building companies, Hewlett responded this way, "Don't grow too fast. You need to grow slow enough to develop good management. Venture capitalists often push these young companies too fast, but if you push too fast, you lose your values."


Kathryn:
               And I loved that. We thought we would just spend some time chatting through just some of the pluses and minuses of fast growth, because obviously growing is a great thing. But if you have by chance, graced us by reading our book, you will know that the very first thing we do, the introduction, page one, it starts out with a story about 400% growth and just the experience we walked through of what did it look like to grow that fast? And what was some of the pain? Because that's kind of the basis out of which some of what we do now is rooted, right?


Michael:
              Absolutely. Well and we grew 400% after a season of time where we were trying desperately to grow. There's the early start of a company where you've got to get up enough elevation. Let's think about it as an airplane flight. That's the way I think about it. There is a minimum elevation you've got to reach or you're going to crash into a mountain.


Kathryn:
               And that's a bad day.


Michael:
              And it is a bad day.


Kathryn:
               It is a bad day.


Michael:
              It's an incredibly bad day. With the business failure rate at 90% and if you want to argue with that, you can argue with that a little bit, but you're not going to get below 80, 75, 80%. You're just not, there's too much evidence and there's too much stuff going on, but there's a lot of evidence for near 90% business failure rate.


Kathryn:
               Well and that's over multiple years and multiple seasons. That's not just recently with the recent activities of 2020. This is longterm studies.


Michael:
              Those research studies usually have about a 30 year tail. Yeah, it's not like, oh, just because of the pandemic or just because of the great recession or anything else. When you start to look at the average on that and everything else, it really, it looks like that. And it's not because everything is so amazing and then you have these terrible tanker moments. There is an average, the great recession made it worse for people. The COVID.


Kathryn:
               The COVID.


Michael:
              We joke about it, calling it the COVID so much, I'm starting to call it the COVID. COVID has caused certain industries to thrive and certain industries to plummet. If you're in the events or entertainment or hospitality, it's plummeted, but there's so many other companies that have just taken off. And this is podcast today isn't for that. But what we're talking about is this idea you've got to get above.


Michael:
              In the early days, you've got to grow fast enough. You've got to grow enough to get going. Now there's a couple of different ways. You could even grow too fast there. There's an argument to be made for having enough capital that gives you oxygen to survive for the first year or two so you can get profitable and get profitable enough that you're bringing in enough income. You can be profitable at $20,000, but you can't live on $20,000 a year. $20,000 a month?


Kathryn:
               A day, that would work.


Michael:
              You're starting to get better off. We're talking about this whole idea of not growing too fast in the context of A, you've got to be profitable. You've got to be profitable. And even with recession, you've got to be growing. Even if you never want to have a big company, you still got to be growing at some level with recession. Or not recession, but with inflation.


Kathryn:
               With inflation. And let's think about even that comment, even if you don't want to be a big company, because I think one of the things that matters a great deal when it comes to the question of how fast to grow or the question of growth in general is what is your vision for the company?


Michael:
              Well, and is growth mandatory? Do you have to grow?


Kathryn:
               Do you want to be a big company? Do you want to? What are your actual goals? When you create, as we would say, kind of that centerpiece, which is the vision of your organization, how does that tie to growth? What does that look like? Because there are people who have grown their companies beyond what they actually wish they did. And I've recently read this really interesting story about a company where they were creating the next product and it was going to take them from being a company of 10 to being 40 or 50 and it was going to just blow the doors off the world. And the closer that they got to making that a reality, the more the CEO was just completely angsty, totally freaking out. And she basically came to the place of saying, "Oh, as it turns out, I don't want to be that company." And they pulled it.


Michael:
              Yeah, there's a discovery. Yeah, and sometimes we have these dreams as entrepreneurs that we want to do that. There's a, wouldn't it be great if we could grow at this amazing speed or we're impatient. And I just don't want to wait. I want to get there. And for us, when we grew 400%, we were okay, so we were 400%. At what point did we grow 400%? Did we grow 400% from making $10,000 a year? No, we didn't. We grew 400%, we were a small company. We were doing about $400,000 a year and we grew 400% in 18 months because you need to think about this. Most companies that fail, these 90% companies that fail, the ones that survive, only 4% of them make it to seven figures. Think about that. Only four of them make it to seven figures. There's a lot of friction and a lot of entropy slowing us down, stopping us from becoming successful financially.


Michael:
              And when I say successful, I just mean profitable, sustainable and it doesn't tear away at the rest of our life. That's a pretty simple thing. If we can create in a passion provision model, we talk about it all the time, wrote about it in the book, that if we can have enough money to meet the needs of today and have money for growth to go after the projects we want to go after, the type of growth we want to go after at the speed that we think is appropriate, but we have the money for that, that's financially successful. And then if we're enjoying the journey, it's challenging enough, but not over challenging that it makes us miserable. It doesn't steal from the rest of the areas of our life. Our relationship with our daughter or our friends or where we volunteer our time. That's success. When we're looking for that, how do you grow? And what does this growth too fast look like? We've got that base of, we need to grow. We need to be financially profitable, Hewlett and Packard we're not saying don't grow.


Kathryn:
               No, absolutely not. They were saying don't grow too fast.


Michael:
              And we do need to grow fast enough to get to the place where we can survive. Because if we don't get elevation fast enough, we're going to run into a mountain. But a plane can get to that elevation too quick, stall out and come back down.


Kathryn:
               What does that look like?


Michael:
              What does this all look like? Where do we go from here?


Kathryn:
               I will say at the high level that we personally have experienced kind of two different types of impact from rapid growth.


Michael:
              Tell me a story.


Kathryn:
               I'm going to tell you a story. The one that is the 400% growth here.


Michael:
              At Half a Bubble Out.


Kathryn:
               At our main company, that growth, what completely got us derailed was we lost all sense of passion. We'll talk about kind of the details of that. But we came to the place of just not even wanting to come to work. Our culture was just a mess and lots and lots of reasons that we'll articulate. That's one thing that can happen is when rapid growth happens, you kind of lose control. And if you didn't have a really good vision to begin with, if you didn't have really good values in place, if you didn't have things articulated, then even more so you can get derailed because you're not even sure what you're trying to manage to. That's one way of losing control.


Kathryn:
               The other way that we've experienced and this is with our eCommerce company is probably summed up best in the term growth eats cash. On that side of the world, we experienced a rapid growth where the cashflow, we didn't take investment. We were doing it all on our own and just trying to keep up with the growth was just eating cash. We've kind of looked at both sides of that and we just kind of want to walk through in a little more detail, kind of what to consider when you're thinking about growth, because here's the key. When it comes to growth, it needs to be a strategic decision. It's better if it doesn't just happen to you on accident, sometimes it does sometimes things happen, but you need to be thinking about it.


Michael:
              Yeah, accident, that's a funny term because you're working your butt off to make sure that you're making enough profit. Whether you're a small company or you have 300 employees and your margins are tight and something happens in Butte County, where we live in Northern California, one of our clients has close to 300 employees, multiple business divisions. They've been our client for 15, 17 years. We've walked through a lot with them. In the last three years, we had a major suburb of ours, a whole town in Northern California, burned to the ground. We lost 15,000 homes in 24 hours. We've talked about it on the podcast before. That was 2018. It was a major shock to our community, staff. Many of our clients had employees up there that got burned out. It was terrible. And then we had floods immediately after that. And then we had another fire that came after that. That was not nearly as significant, but still traumatic.


Kathryn:
               All that to say 2019 kind of sucked in Northern California. And we were like, we cannot wait for 2020.


Michael:
              And on top of it, they lost the founding partner in the company. And the non-founding partner they didn't lose him, like he disappeared. He passed away. He was a great friend of ours. Imagine being a company that's been around 40 years, has 300 employees and they're struggling too because it's like, okay, what are we going to do? And then legislation changes in America because of COVID and it dramatically impacts their business. And now it's like, okay, we have to watch every penny. We have to figure out how to grow. We have to figure out how to grow some of these divisions because the revenue is really challenging and it's going to impact our company.


Michael:
              There's a lot of stress. Whether you have a company that's been around a long time and have a lot of employees, that's a story, that's an example of how challenging it can be. And then, when you're small, you're going, I just want to not have to worry about if we're going to pay the bills next month. And as you're growing. And so you go from that beginning to that large, and you sometimes think that bigger companies don't have these problems.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's true.


Michael:
              Bigger being bigger than me by multiples. And if I have 10 employees and they have 300.


Kathryn:
               They're bigger by multiples.


Michael:
              You're looking at that kind of dynamic. Our second company is a pet food company. Let me tell you a story about that. That company, when we started it in 2012 was just literally an experiment. It was a test for our company to continue to build its skills in the area of eCommerce. When we did that, we started testing it and we were working through a lot of stuff. And in eCommerce there's a lot of pieces to the puzzle. And we had didn't have experience in most of them. You have experience shipping FedEx, but you don't have experience setting up a business account, going eCommerce and shipping all these products and having to deal with something called dimensional weight.


Michael:
              I never heard of dimensional weight. I didn't even know what dimensional weight was. And if you don't know what dimensional weight is, it's the fact that the shipping companies will say, "We're either going to weigh it or we're going to measure the outside. And if the outside is bigger than what we think it should weigh, we're going to charge you what we think that size should weigh." And so dimensional weight can cost you a lot of money. And in the pet food business for us, it costs us a lot of money, but it took off. We started having customers and then it was, we brought on our partner and then it was really hard for four years because of pricing and not knowing the industry and different aspects.


Kathryn:
               Well, and moving so fast that you're missing parts. I think we've mentioned it before, but we had this great moment where did a bunch of analysis, pulled back and realized that there was one place that we were selling the product where every time we sold it, we lost money.


Michael:
              We didn't know that for a year.


Kathryn:
               We didn't even know because there were so many different places we were selling it and we were growing so quickly that the analysis was lagging behind.


Michael:
              Now you're thinking, how could anybody know that?


Kathryn:
               You idiots, you idiots.


Michael:
              And I totally agree, that is a total issue. How could that even happen? How could you know, especially on Amazon? And yet with all the different pieces and parts we were growing. That year, we grew 400%. The year before that we grew 400%. That year we grew 300%. We were growing at multiples in the Rabbit Hole Hay business. That's the name of our company, Rabbit Hole Hay.


Kathryn:
               Dotcom.


Michael:
              And get all your small pet feed there, please. And then we're going, okay, that kind of work, you're trying to do it with as few crew as you can, you're trying to make sure. Our pricing was off. We didn't realize how lean our margin was. And when we had four or five different places where we were selling it, our website, different distributors overseas, it starts to get you're just running to keep up with everything. And one of the things we learned experientially was the fact we knew realistically and that complexity. The larger something gets the more complex it gets. And the more complex it gets, the harder it is to keep track of, manage, watch.


Michael:
              And when you double something, it's said, there are people who say that if you double the size of a machine or a business, the complexity goes up eight to 10 times. That's one of the reasons why growing so fast can be dangerous is because you can't wrap your brain around all the different details and you can start dropping stuff. And as Hewlett and Packard said, you want to build management. And being in California and even though we're far enough away from the VC world in the tech, we're kind of on the outside edge of the pond, we still are impacted by the reflections in the pond. When a stone goes in, that VC world still hits us. And there's a dream for, I can be that. But the VCs want their return of cash. The quarterly return is this monster that wants to push the company farther.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, too fast. That example of the losing money on a product is an example of when you're going super, super fast, it hides sometimes what are pretty significant inefficiencies until you slow down enough to be able to pay attention to those or something breaks and you go, "Oh dear." Those things are real. And I think one of the things that I read recently that I found super surprising and if it weren't said by deep research human, it would have been hard to believe is that roughly half of all bankruptcies occur after a year of record sales.


Michael:
              When you told me that, I thought, what?


Kathryn:
               But this is Jim Collins saying this.


Michael:
              Right and if it wasn't Jim Collins, I wouldn't have believed it.


Kathryn:
               Right. Let me just say that out loud again. Roughly half of all bankruptcies occur after a year of record sales. Everything, every indicator from the outside and even from the top and the management is like, we're growing, we're growing, we're growing. We're great. We're great. We're great. But because of the danger of that, because it stretches your infrastructure because it hides inefficiencies, all of those things and because growth eats cash, depending on the kind of company you have, that is what can happen is you can grow like crazy and then just topple.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well and let's talk about when we grew 400%, the emotions, what was going on for us. That was the reality because we were so happy to have the growth. We were so excited about being finally after five or six years of working really hard to see that kind of elevation and almost the dream. And people, you tell people, they're like, "Ah man, that's amazing." And then all of a sudden the consequences start happening. And in the beginning it was awesome. But the consequences of, I'm exhausted. I don't even want to go grind again. Or we hired just to put butts in seats and we didn't have the experience or the clarity of what we were doing and the type of business we were hiring.


Michael:
              And the industry that helped us grow, it was a bubble. Most of these things that cause you to grow, not all of them, but most of these things that cause you to grow with that kind of hypergrowth, they don't last. That particular thing. It's like going down the river. If you've ever gone rafting, there's a lot of normal motion of the river. It's fun, but it's not too crazy. Then you have moments that are just dead flat on the river that it looks like if you looked at it, you'd have to throw a stick in the water and watch for two minutes.


Kathryn:
               To believe it's moving.


Michael:
              To believe it's moving. And those are, you have to paddle through those. And then you get to the places where there's just they're class three, four rapids and sometimes a class five rapid, which is a waterfall if I remember my classes correctly. And those things are crazy, insane, you don't want to fall out of the boat. It gets scary when you're going through it. It can be an incredible rush. And at the same time, incredibly dangerous. You can wrap a boat around a rock, but that's one of the reasons you go rafting.


Kathryn:
               The thrill.


Michael:
              That's one of the reasons you have a business is for some of those rushes, but then all of a sudden you realize sometimes you're in over your head. I remember being in Boy Scouts and we had built our own kayaks and we were going down a great river, the Klamath River in Northern California and we hit a class, I think it was a class four rapid. And one of our adults who was with us, actually he lost his entire boat and he's sitting out there on this rock, in the middle of all these rapids for a couple of hours because we didn't have a rope to get to him, but the danger of getting him out because he couldn't swim out of it. It was too dangerous. Yeah. It was crazy.


Kathryn:
               I've never heard that story before.


Michael:
              Yeah, You know who it was?


Kathryn:
               I don't.


Michael:
              It was John's Schooling.


Kathryn:
               No way.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               That's awesome.


Michael:
              Which was the father of three of our friends from high school and their youngest was our doctor later on in life or at least my doctor.


Kathryn:
               Is not my doctor.


Michael:
              Was not your doctor. And there was a lot of ums in that conversation there. When you get into this, this river analogy is much like the businesses. You want to have a great time, but you want to get to the end of the trip with your boat intact and your limbs intact. And when we're doing this, this growth so fast. Okay, so we've talked about growth. What are a couple of other challenges to the growth process? Let's make sure we're hitting all these points.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Just to make it clear, growth, rapid growth has pretty steep human cost. Just the stress on yourself as a leader, on your managers, on your people, there's just tremendous cost.


Michael:
              Should we avoid it?


Kathryn:
               Not necessarily.


Michael:
              Okay why not?


Kathryn:
               Well, sometimes it is absolutely the right thing to do. Again, it's a strategy decision. What you have to do though, is be aware that if you are in a rapid growth phase, you have got to be so carefully watching for the things that can absolutely take you down later. You've got the money side of it, that's one challenge. But if that is working, then it's really, how are your people holding up? How has your culture? Are you diluting your values? Again, the growth piece, it's neither good nor bad. You have to grow. How rapid you grow needs to be a strategic decision and then if you're growing rapidly, caution, caution, caution, pay attention to your culture. Because otherwise you end up in a place where you're growing quickly, you suddenly have a bunch of cash, but it's no fun to go to work anymore.


Michael:
              Okay. I've got a story. Let's talk large businesses first, Disneyland. Disney, Walt dies in 1966.


Kathryn:
               The year I was born.


Michael:
              Yeah, you came, he left.


Kathryn:
               I know I was a replacement. Okay, not really. He was way more important than me. Sorry. I didn't mean it. I didn't mean it.


Michael:
              Wow. All right. You heard it here first folks. In 66, Walt dies and it really took the company into a, okay. he'd always been the creative push forward of all the different things. Especially in the parks, but really creative on all the films and everything else in animation, technology enhancements, he was always pushing it. They went into this process where they had multiple leaders and as any large company and they were publicly traded goes through that stuff. And they ended up with a leader, a CEO of the park area. Now the parks and hotels area generate about 25% of all the revenue from the Disney Company. That's films, online entertainment, the media, ABC Television that they own, all of that kind of stuff.


Kathryn:
               Probably not in 2020, but normally.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well even, yeah, well in 2020, we still don't know what the numbers are from that, because that was a disaster, especially with parks shutdown. But other than that, sidetrack, what they had is they had a leader and he was really pushed for making it profitable. This was in the eighties and he was pushing so hard he was driving the creativity out of the process, but he was also doing two other things. He sacrificed the amount of money they were putting into cleaning and maintenance. And one of the things Disney's really famous for is having everything working well and safe and you rarely see signs around going closed for repairs. And you definitely don't see that on a regular basis where it's just kind of a normal thing you become used to. Can happen in some parks and different things like that but he was hitting all of the short term goals and postponing all of that. Nobody really understood the cost and the consequences until he left, went somewhere else and 10 years later, five years later, they started seeing really the problem.


Michael:
              And then within 10 years they actually had to invest, I think it was over $200 million to bring the park back up to where it was. And we all know, most of us know maintenance while it costs money, maintenance is always cheaper than letting something totally go to ruin and then have to rebuild it and pass that. And that was a Disney Corporation quarterlies were pumped, they made money and then all of a sudden they're having to spend a 100, $200 million on repairs and cleaning up and getting the place back to its reputation. That's a large company example and that was disastrous. But when I read that story, I went, okay, I got to remember this for the different places. Smaller companies will struggle with the same thing. You've got to be careful of what kind of plays you have.


Michael:
              And the other thing is when we're talking about this whole idea of growing too fast, you have to worry about this specific thing. Growth when you choose to do it, you would let it happen and sometimes it just happens to us and we just have to ride it, we don't have any control. But there are ways to gate it. And some of the ways to gate it are to say no to projects, no to deals, no to customers or put them off. And it is very scary especially if you have a mindset, as we always say yes to the customers because we never know if there's going to be another customer around the corner.


Michael:
              But a good healthy company has got all the systems in place where they know what the metrics are and they know they can monitor it so they have more confidence that there's customers coming in, there's customers coming back and that you can estimate or predict with much more certainty, those kind of things. That's why you have to actually be better at your business. You have to be a better leader because leaders, the gauge of a leader is can you maintain a presence of calm in your mind and in your presence, you're two other people and inside your emotions, your gut, while you're dealing with increased complexity.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's really good. If you're a small company and you will know this probably as I say this, you'll be able to think of an example in your own world somewhere, but in a small company, when you hire badly, one person can completely shift your culture. Sort of one bad apple rots the bunch kind of thing and it doesn't have to be a bad person, just a bad fit. Those are the things that if you're not paying close attention, if you're not thinking clearly about who are we? What do we want to be? How do we manage? You can put somebody in a position that really dilutes your culture.


Michael:
              Well, there's a company that we've been consulting with over the last seven, eight years now. And they had a leadership opening in their senior leadership and they filled that about two years ago, probably about three years ago, it came open. About two years ago, they filled it. Everything was looking good. COVID came and what we realized was that leader didn't have the ability to handle the complexity of COVID and all the different aspects. And they became, in some areas they became uneffective, their leadership and their stuff became very uneffective. It was never or rarely ever bad. It was mediocre that just wasn't producing. It couldn't happen and there were little things that were falling between the cracks a lot. But I want you to understand listening, that leader wasn't doing anything horrible. There was nothing that was just like, oh yeah, we can't work with him anymore.


Michael:
              But it became clear over a whole year of giving him chances after chances, that he didn't have the competency needed to handle all the responsibilities that he'd been hired for and the amount of salary he'd been given for that. After a long consulting with the senior leader, the CEO of the company, working with key leaders on the board, having a lot of conversations, the board unanimously decided that it was time to let them go and agreed with the CEO and the CEO let him go. This is senior leadership role that had a lot of visibility. What we did not realize what was going to happen next. What happened next after he was let go, is everything went from being just sort of okay and works okay, the job's okay, the environment and the process of developing what they delivered for a product and service was okay, to all of a sudden, there was this opportunity for everybody to laugh and smile and be more creative.


Michael:
              And all these people that were already involved, all of a sudden the mood got better. We're talking amongst 30, 40 people. The mood got better. The productivity lifted. The creativity lifted, elevated when I say that and it went to this other level. You could have leadership in your company right now that is just like, there's nothing horrible going on, but it's just so, so, and we saw that with us and our company once when we let a senior leader go. And we thought very few people were going to really be glad that they were gone. Most of the people were going to be sad and everybody to a T, a 100% of our staff was like, "Man, I didn't ever want to say anything but..."


Kathryn:
               Yeah. We really, really liked her, but phew boy we're so glad she's gone.


Michael:
              We're so glad your gone. Which always amazes me when people say, "We really, really liked her, but we're really, really glad she's gone."


Kathryn:
               I liked you as a person, but just not as a co-employee.


Michael:
              It's competence and you can have character, but if you don't have the competence that can handle the complexity and growth can cause all of those problems, do you have the right people? Do you need to grow? Yes. Are you at a place in your company's lifespan where it's really imperative that you grow? Only you will know, but let's say yes. And how fast do you want to grow? How much do you want to put in? Because it takes money to invest in that and go fast. A car going super fast uses more gasoline. A company growing fast news is more cash. Are you going to choose to do that? And if so, have you taken inventory and make sure that everything's tuned up? Because when you increase that speed, you increase the complexity and the stress and the stress can break parts of your company.


Michael:
              It requires more attention on your part. I think growth as we come down to the end here, I think growth is really cool. I like growth. I'm a very competitive person. I want to see our company grow because I have lots of dreams and I want to accomplish other dreams with our company. I want to reach other people. I want to see more companies helped. And dreams, even Walt Disney said, "These great ideas and these dreams, they cost money and they cost a lot of money." How do we make it? How do we do it? How do we build it? And I think it's really important, but here's the strategy. Make sure you're taking inventory, make sure you're doing the right thing in all six areas of your company. If you don't know what those six areas are, they're in our book and on our website, but we talk about them.


Michael:
              And those six core areas are critical. And one of those areas is your own leadership because you can, if you're trying to grow past any of those areas that you have competency or skill in, then you may grow a little bit beyond it, but you'll come back. Your company will shrink. There will be a leak in your bucket and you'll come back to that level and you want to make sure those are plugged. This is a great opportunity to go, yes, I want to grow. I'm going to build a strategy to grow and then I'm going to make sure that we do inventory on all six areas of our business to see how strong they are, how fit they are and if they're not, we're going to start tuning them up and we're going to pay more attention as we grow to those things.


Michael:
              And then you can handle the growth. There is a reason that it back in the sixties, when we broke the speed barrier, the sound barrier in airplanes and was it Glenn that did it?


Kathryn:
               I think so.


Michael:
              That it was, this is what happened, folks. I love this story. The plane, he described the plane as shuddering unbelievably, which had happened to every other plane that had tried to break the sound barrier. And most of them crashed. And there was a lot of fatalities in trying for a man to try and break that because they would try and throttle back when the plane was starting to become out of control. They thought if I throttle it back, I'm afraid to go any farther. And they'd gone beyond a place where they could safely throttle back. And Glenn actually pushed forward, kept going and what happened is he went from the feeling like the plane was going to break apart in the sky to perfect calm. It was like coming off a dirt rocky road and hitting finally smooth pavement. And he had broken the sound barrier and he had full stability and control of the car back again.


Kathryn:
               Of the plane.


Michael:
              Of the plane back again. And so you can do that with your company, but you understand, we want to encourage you to do these kind of things, because we don't want you to become that 50% of companies that fail one year after they grow.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Well and just to say it out loud, it is okay not to have a rapid growth strategy, slow growth strategies work too. It depends on who you are and your company.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Kathryn:
               And there are a lot of companies that have incredible people who are very happy in their jobs with great customers that are doing fine financially and have a slow growth strategy. They're growing 10% a year and they're great. You don't have to have a rapid growth thing. Don't buy into the lie that says the only thing that makes you successful as a leader is having rapid growth. Because it depends on who you are and the company you're running, the industry you're in. There's a lot of factors involved. Just to say out loud, know who you are and what you want as a vision for your company. Because if you're doing a great job, you're probably going to hit growth spurts because people will want more of what it is that you're doing. You have to pre-think that and be ready for that, but you don't have to be hypergrowth mentality.


Michael:
              We get to choose our goals.


Kathryn:
               Get to choose our goals.


Michael:
              We get to choose our strategies and then there are ways to do that. If you're wondering how to develop the assessments for the different areas, we have that at halfabubbleout.com. You can go to our website, there's a quiz that we just put up and it's there for you to start. It's a basic introductory assessment. It's not the high level one. And we do this. We work with folks and help them assess their areas, kind of know what's going on, where are the weak spots? They can take stock before they go into a major strategy and figure out what are the things they need to do to actually make the machine work there? How do you turn your marketing so it feeds that much? Brings in that many new customers or products or sales? How do you handle the leadership side? We handle a holistic perspective with the Passion and Provision strategy so that you can actually create more profit, more purpose and more legacy that you want to leave behind and go to sleep at night well.


Michael:
              Hopefully this whole conversation today was about really just addressing a subject that comes up so often and yet isn't really talked about head on and that is growth. What's the dream? What can we do? You get to set your goals and then go forward with that, find your team, put your self together, get some good consultants that understand this, that can help you read the label from the outside, be wise counsel and bring competency to the table that you don't have and don't want to put on the staff full-time and then go for it. Just go for it. And in today's world, there's plenty of opportunities still to take advantage of a whole lot of things going on to grow your company, strengthen it and see you achieve your goals. And we want to see you do that.


Kathryn:
               Yes. Yes.


Michael:
              That's it for today. Rousing conversation about company growth and not growing too fast and we want to thank you for joining us. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the HaBO Village podcast. Check us out at habovillage.com or halfabubbleout.com. I know it's a crazy name.


Kathryn:
               But we're crazy people. Well, you are.


Michael:
              Have a great day. Bye-bye.