How do you set your focus to achieve your business goals? How do you manage your growth so as to move toward a goal but still be open to other opportunities? Here are 3 things that driving a car can teach us about business development.
What happens when you are driving down the highway and you’re eyes are focused on the road directly in front of your hood? You probably find yourself constantly adjusting your position in the lane. When we focus on a point in the distance though, it suddenly becomes easier to stay straight and you can see everything that’s around you and in front of you.
The same applies for business. When we set our sights right under our noses, we serve and adjust and work way more than we should have to. But when we set a goal and keep our focus set on getting there, the ride becomes much easier. We are also better able to see what’s going on around us; where the competition is, any “potholes” in our path and so on.
Tearing down the road going 105 mph is exhilarating, and incredibly dangerous, but would I actually say that there is such a thing as growing too fast in business? Well yeah. What happens to your peripheral vision as you accelerate? How does the steering wheel feel in your hands? How do your hands feel? We can’t see anything happening around us when we are screaming down the road, the steering is hyper-sensitive and shaky and our hands get wet as our heart pumps faster with more and more adrenaline.
It may sound like a contradiction from the first point, but if you are banging on all 4 cylinders all the time you’re going to burn out your engine or crash hard. Managing growth is a major challenge for start-ups and large corporations. If you are growing too fast you outgrow your ability to provide a quality service or product. You also can’t see what’s happening around you in your industry. What is the competition doing? Am I keeping up with new technology and methods and standards? Growth has to be balanced across every aspect of your business. As your customer base grows, so must your staff. It happens surprisingly often that the thing that killed a start-up was growing too fast and not being able to support their customers. The product was great but there was no plan in place.
So of course, if growing too fast is dangerous, so is being too safe or defensive. When you are approaching a car that is obviously going much slower than you, you just go around them. Being too cautious will end up with you getting passed left and right. It’s all about finding the right balance, the right vision and the right team and tools to manage your growth.
How do you manage growth at your company? What else could you add to this analogy? What other analogies have you heard that you really like?