Mar 8, 2012

Growth Requires Sacrifice

What will you give up to reach the next level?

Growth is a choice. You can make changes to progress and achieve a goal, or you can stay where you are. It’s up to you, but if you decide to grow you’re going to make sacrifices.

Sacrifices come in many shapes and forms. I don’t know anyone making over $200,000 a year with a nine-to-five job. The sacrifice for a higher income is often felt most acutely in time. The more you earn, the more that’s expected of you: more travel, more meetings, more responsibility, more pressure. The elevated work expectations cut into personal time and work-life balance.

Growth comes at a price. It’s easy to admire the high growth companies featured in the Inc.500 or the Profit 200, but those companies have made a clear decision to grow. Not all companies have the same desire.

I received a lot of great feedback to my post Pivot or Persevere. And a resounding comment was not all business owners are willing to pivot and change to reach the next level, because they aren’t willing to relinquish control to foster a growth spurt. This is a great point. The larger a business grows the further away the business owners gets from the front line. They move from direct involvement in every bid and deliverable to seeing results delivered by staff two or three levels below them.

It’s easy to tell people how and why they should grow their companies, but it takes a degree of humility. Sometimes the required sacrifices to create growth aren’t worth it.

Choose to grow

Growth is a choice, because you have to choose to sacrifice. What are you willing to commit to achieve your goals?

From time-to-time I have changed directions, because I realized I wasn’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve a goal. For example I don’t blog every day, because I’m not willing to make the time commitment. And in my business I have dropped some services, because I wasn’t prepared to make the necessary financial commitments. They were choices I made, because they made sense for my company and I.

In other cases I commit myself completely to a growth goal. I’m doing just that in my speaking. I practice continually, I’m constantly developing content, I have hired coaches, I am taking courses and I am purposefully investing in my growth. This goal consumes a lot of time and resources, but it’s very important for me.

Your passions will guide you

The funny thing is some sacrifices don’t feel like sacrifices. When you love your job and love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to commit the time and energy.

My passion to communicate and spread my message makes it easy to invest in my speaking skills. It’s fun to be learning and growing. It’s hard work and it definitely forces some hard choices, but I can’t imagine not going for it.

When I look at the goals I have abandoned the passion was missing. I didn’t have the fuel or inner drive to warrant making the sacrifices. Take a look at your growth goals. Do you have the passion and inner motivation to make the sacrifices necessary to get to the next level?

(Image credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

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