Become a Learning Machine

How to get through growth plateaus

I talk a lot about why learning is the most important skill for owners and investors.

In fact, I think you need to become a learning machine. Why?

The skills required to scale revenue, grow teams, and streamline systems/margins change as the topline revenue targets change and the number of employees changes.

Businesses tend to plateau at the $1M, $5M, and $10-15M.

I’ve seen it many times.

Here’s what few business owners realize about WHY this happens — the skills that get you to these benchmarks, are NOT the skills that will propel you beyond them.

You and your people have got to level up to get through these plateaus.

Unfortunately, many times, the company can grow faster than the people running it.

That means you’ll probably have to bring a certain number of key leaders in from outside the company.

Of course some of your people will be able to handle that growth, but you need to supplement them with others who have been through it before.

But more importantly you need to grow as the owner — your knowledge, skills, execution — are always the bottleneck on your next phase of growth.

Here are some ideas for how you can support your growth:

  1. Get a peer group: Entrepreneurs Organization, Vistage, Hampton, Strategic Coach, etc. It doesn’t really matter where you go but peers going through the journey with you are invaluable. Plus you aren’t paying them so they’ll tell you the truth.

  2. Get a coach: I’ve had one for the last several years. It’s hard to find a good one but when you do, never let go. I wish I had found him earlier. I’d be way ahead of the game.

  3. Read and/or watch: YouTube is my go to for any concepts I feel like I need to understand: M&A, financial numbers, how to hire, etc. Go cycle through a bunch of content. Something will strike you and be the nugget that makes the difference.

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